There is a reason Margaret River is the tourism euphoria of Western Australia. It’s green lavished land, superb beaches and giant forests make the region a top spot for couples and families of all kinds.
It starts with wineries as you head south down the highway, it is a scenic drive to remember. The ending is a gorgeous town, so lively, happy and upbeat. In-between is bliss as activities mount up and it makes for a good time for all to enjoy in the mighty South West.
Wineries take up a large portion of the South West region and in Margaret River they thrive in their numbers. You can’t drive a couple of kilometres down the scenic roads without seeing a winery with rows of grape vines out front. Take a break from driving and go inside for a little wine tasting, but be careful not to overdo it.
The best way to take in the wineries is to take a tour bus, so you can drink with freedom. A couple of notable tours available are Top Drop tours and Bush tuckers tour. Tours can go from around $80 a person.
The dark caves with littering crystals is a sight to behold. Take a trip deep underground and be part of one-million years of Australian history.
The major caves in and about the Margaret River region are the Ngilgi, Mammoth, Lake and Jewel Caves. They provide great tours and some extreme tours too if you are travelling without the kids and want to explore a bit of thrill.
It is well worth the $22 ticket, less for kids and upwards for the adventure tours. I have only seen the Ngilgi Cave and it is simply breathtaking. Be warned though there a are a few steps to go down, which means you’ll need to go up eventually.
Margaret River Chocolate Factory
Did someone say chocolate. Gimme gimme gimme now.
Now it’s not the chocolate factory we all love and know with the chocolate river and Oompa loompas, but there is lots of chocolate available in many varieties, but it won’t come cheap. Come for the chocolate or stop by for a coffee. You will love being crowded by the sweet chocolate, oh and the free samples are pretty good too.
A place for the kids in Cowaramup, a little town just north of Margaret River. It is what it says, a shop full of candy and delicious fudge. The kids will love the many ranges of candy available, like sherbets, toffees, lollipops and bubble gum to name a few. If you arrive at the right time the kids can see the candy being made. It is always a treat.
Hikes are a huge part of the South West. You can’t take a trip into Margaret River or any other town in the region without exploring the green forest by foot, or else you are wasting what is around you. Late winter and early spring is great as the lilies come to life.
The hikes vary from extreme to family friendly and any good hiking tracks can be found at Trails Western Australia.
It’s the beach that makes Margret River so popular, where world class surfers come to be one with the ocean. Prevelly beach is not just about its surfing, its stunning views and picturesque scenery not only make it one of the best beaches in the state of Western Australia but in this country. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy eating with the sounds of the waves crashing, and whatever you do, don’t forget your camera.
If you are done with the wineries, the beaches, and chocolate, it could be time to get your retail therapy. The Margaret River town centre is saturated with retail outlets, especially surf shops, to spend your hard earned cash. And I mean hard earned cash because it doesn’t come cheap.
The Margaret River town centre has many restaurants, pubs and cafes provided. So you can get off your feet and enjoy a meal with a wine or beer or simply have a coffee.
Another to add to the list, is the Farmers Market that is open every Saturday morning, with plenty of fresh fruit available amongst of other things. It also has a delicious crepe stall, so be sure to take advantage.
Hotels, chalets, camping. You name it, Margaret River has it in numbers. Whether your roughing it or staying in style, there will be accommodation to suit any budget or any size family. Just google it.
A couple to recommend for budget stay is Riverview Tourist Park, which is very affordable and clean. And for the camping enthusiasts you will love the Wharncliffe Mill Bush Retreat, it is a beauty, that has plenty of hikes and mountain bikes for hire. Wharncliffe also has chalets available if camping is not your thing.
Drive with care
It is easy to get distracted driving in the Margaret River region, the nature is stunning. Drive with care, stick to the speed limit and do not overtake until at the overtaking lanes. Especially drive with care on the bending roads at Caves road at keep a lookout for signs for certain places, they come at you in the last moment.