Picture never ending vineyards, overflowing wooden buckets of wine, creative micro-breweries, beaches galore and stunning forests and lakes. Did we just describe your idea of heaven? Well then, you'd better get yourself on a plane ASAP and head on over to the Margaret River. Renowned for its wineries and spectacular coastal setting, this holiday destination is the place to enjoy all the lavishness life has to offer, all year round.
See And Do
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
The historic Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse sits at the most southwesterly tip of Australia. The majestic white structure is enveloped by a beautiful blue backdrop of the ocean meeting the sky. In the daytime the structure glistens beautifully in the sunlight while at night the lighthouse lights up the surrounding landscape and sea for 48 kilometres. Visitors can climb the lighthouse tower or stroll through the grounds and soak up the sunshine. Guided tours are available if you want to get to know a bit more about the lighthouse's history.
The Mammoth Cave is a great opportunity to explore the secret world of ancient fossil remains inside a setting of majestic chambers. Mammoth Cave allows visitors to wander along the cave's boardwalks while listening to an audio guide through their own headset. The tour finishes with a walk through the scenic marri trail which is filled with beautiful flora displays and accompanied by the sweet sound of whistling birds.
Wineries And Local Breweries
The Margaret River is celebrated as one of the world's most conducive areas for producing fine wine. The region is highly regarded for its chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet blends. With over 150 growers, visitors are spoilt for choice (good luck coming home without a suitcase full of wine!). Many of the cellar doors also boast restaurants, market gardens and art galleries to help you while away your afternoons. The region is also home to many creative boutique breweries who are giving the wineries a run for their money by throwing regular live music and events. If you feel like having someone else organise your day, check out The Margaret River Discovery Co. who run tours that are a little bit different from your average wine tour.
Margaret River Farmers' Market
The Margaret River Farmers' Market is a wonderful display of local, seasonal, fresh produce. Held every Saturday, visitors will be delighted by the diversity of produce found at the markets. With a fine selection of meats, seafood, and delicatessens as well as a gorgeous nursery, you'll be hard pressed leaving without picking up something.
Eat And Drink
The Settlers Tavern, known by locals as 'The Tav' embodies the true spirit of the Margaret River with its friendly atmosphere and 'all-are-welcome' attitude to hospitality. The Tav has an impressive 400 long wine list and 16 taps pouring local and international beers. The food menu has a mouth watering selection of seafood platters and juicy meat dishes, plus a great range of vegetarian friendly dishes too.
Muster Bar & Grill
Muster Bar & Grill is located on the buzzing main strip in the hub of the Margaret River. Their ethos is based on the locavore trend (the push to eat foods that are locally grown), so pride themselves on preparing everything in-house. Things to look out for on their menu include the 'Canadian stack' for brekkie with pancakes, eggs, bacon, maple syrup and icing sugar, and their diverse range of burgers including a prawn burger with avocado and their well loved 100% butterfield beef burger with bacon, cheese and fries. Yum!
Eagle Bay Brewing Co.
Eagle Bay Brewing Co. is part restaurant/part brewery/ part vineyard and totally fantastic! It's a third generation farming business run by three siblings who want to share fresh quality farm produce in a friendly environment. They are placed in the middle of a working sheep and cattle property which gives it the authentic farm feeling and magnificent views. Menu favourites include a delicious coconut chicken salad with roast pumpkin, edamame, rice noodles and nam jim (how is that for a killer combination?!) and the 6 hour BBQ braised beef brisket, soft tortilla, sweet corn, green tomato and ancho chilli salsa.
Knee Deep In Margaret River
Knee Deep in Margaret River is a beautiful cellar door and restaurant. Knee Deep is set on 34 hectares of premium grape growing soil. Serving up contemporary Australian cuisine in a beautiful vineyard setting, this is one romantic place to escape to. Diners can choose from an a la carte menu or, if they are so utterly relaxed from the tasty wines and luscious views, they can choose the "Trust The Chef" 3 and 5 course set menu. This way they are guaranteed all the tasty menu items without even trying.
Vasse Felix is one of the most awarded wineries in Australian history, in particular for their Heytesbury Chardonnay. Its founder was one of the first to begin experimenting with vineyards in the Margaret River, and with over 40 years of trial and error they have now secured themselves as one of the best in Australia and are internationally acclaimed. Their beautiful restaurant, surrounding vineyards and their old wine hall turned art gallery make for a very elegant day.
This 5-star luxury lodge is surrounded by the great wineries of the Margaret River, a stunning forest and a pristine lake. It is pure luxury. Voted Best Boutique Hotel in Australia, it features a multi-award winning restaurant, an all weather tennis court and a beautiful free form swimming pool. If it's a lavish get-away you are after, this is the place to go.
Smiths Beach Resort
As the name gives away, this resort is located right next to the pristine Smiths Beach. For a first-class Australian beach side experience this one's a beauty. The resort offers fully self-contained accommodation as well as the convenience of Lamont's gourmet deli, cellar door, bar and restaurant. A perfect summer getaway!
Aqua Resort Busselton
Here's a chance to stay at your very own holiday house right at on the beachfront. Offering contemporary architecturally designed homes which are fully self contained, guests can choose from 1 to 5 bedroom beach houses with a heated pool and private landscaped garden. The resort also features a beach front infinity solar heated lap pool, spa, gymnasium, steam room and full sized tennis court. A perfect family getaway or romantic trip for two!
For a rejuvenating body, mind and soul getaway, Empire Retreat will spoil you like no other. Nestled amongst tranquil pastures and undisturbed bushland, guests can truly put aside their busy lives. Comprising of bathing suites with large stone baths, a steam room and rainforest shower suites, this destination is perfect for those searching for quiet solitude.
Image credit: The Margaret River Discovery Co, Margaret River Farmers' Market, Muster Bar and Grill, Knee Deep in Margaret River, Cape Lodge