Margaret River, a surfie town south of Perth has generally been known as the “go to spot” for many Perth residents wanting a break away from the city. You can’t be surprised really with the kinds of offerings that are available in the region. Although Margaret River has been a quiet and “seasonal” destination, it is now quickly evolving and becoming a significant holiday destination to many.
When the announcement was made that Jetstar will soon be servicing flights from Busselton-Margaret River airport to Melbourne (and vice versa) the radical improvement to the tourism offerings in the region dramatically improved and increased.
What Makes the Margaret River Region so Special?
Where do you start really… Margaret River caters for many types of travellers. From food, wine, adventure, eco-tourism, there is so much to see and experience here. Something that really sets a precedent however, is wildlife and nature.
Experiencing the Margaret River Coastline
The coastline around the south west is beautiful and plentiful. From calm bays to large waves, this is a region with a coastline that can cater for most, if not all. See some of our suggestions below that are worth a visit:
Surfing – The Margaret River Pro is held down at Surfers Point, and for good reason! This is a great spot to head to if you’re keen to catch a wave or two. Alternatively, if you have a 4wd drive, 3 bears is a favourite with the locals, or another easily accessible location would be down at the Yallingup lagoon.
Swimming – There are many places to swim in the Margaret River region. One of my all-time favourites would be at the Busselton foreshore which is approximately a 45-minute drive from Margaret River but it is well worth it. The Busselton foreshore is a family friendly destination which offers a smaller jetty for the kids to jump off (or for the older kids, the big Busselton Jetty is great fun for bombies!). There are shark nets for peace of mind, a range of different restaurants and a playground, all within walking distance. Your whole afternoon will be sorted here!
Taking the Scenic Route
The bushland around the region really adds to that sense of being in a “natural environment”. If you are really wanting to get that feel of being out of the city, then I recommend doing the scenic drive down Caves Road.
Caves Road is a 111km scenic route which begins in Dunsborough and ends near Augusta. You can expect to see multiple vineyards full of rustic charm and when in season, the area is vibrant and full of colour with multiple types of wildflowers. There are also the giant Karri trees which tower over you and makes you feel like you are in some kind of fairy land.
You do need to be cautious on this road as it is a little narrow and full of corners and bends, so allow plenty of time and drive safely.
The Margaret River Wildlife
The wildlife in Margaret River is NEXT LEVEL. Go ahead and take a guess on what my personal favourite is! Perhaps the not so obvious hint below will you help out with this!
Whale, Whale, Whale, you are sure to have a whale of a time when you visit Margaret River…
Ok, so just in case you might not have figured it out, let’s just confirm that it is the WHALES that I love and adore so much! Did you know that one of the largest whale migrations takes place off the West Australian coastline EVERY year!
Whales can be sighted throughout the Margaret River region over a 6 – 7 months period, generally May to November. To get a glimpse of these majestical beauties, the best spot to see them from May to August would be from the small seaside town of Augusta, approximately a 40-minute drive from Margaret River. You can see them from Augusta whilst they are on their “Northern Migration”. The whales use Flinders Bay, Augusta as a resting point prior to continuing their journey north.
When the whales have made their arrival to warmer waters in the north and they have finished giving birth to their young they will soon be ready to return to Antarctica, this is when they will then commence their “Southern Migration”. The best destination to see the whales when they are heading back south is from Busselton and Dunsborough between September and November.
Dunsborough and Busselton are approximately a 20-minute drive from each other and one thing they have in common is that they both share the crystal-clear waters of Geographe Bay. The stunning Geographe Bay is a popular resting location for whales including the Humpbacks, Southern Right Whales and the largest living creatures to ever exist on this planet, the BLUE whales.
The whales in Geographe Bay can often be sighted from the shoreline with Point Picquet being one of the best destinations in the region to whale watch from land. If you would like an up-close intimate experience with the whales then there are Whale Watching tour companies who operate tours throughout the region during the appropriate seasons.
I would highly recommend Naturaliste Charters for your Margaret River Whale Watching experience. Naturaliste Charters are the founders of whale watching in the region and was established back in 1993 so very highly experienced. Naturaliste Charters are an Eco Tourism accredited company with morals based around sustainability and respecting the wildlife. Visit their website www.whales-australia.com.au for more information.
Things to do in Margaret River
Following are some of the best things to do in Margaret River
- A winery/brewery tour – Taste your way around the region and join a winery tour. There are multiple operators throughout the region, find one that suits you at https://www.margaretriver.com/tours/wine-beer-food/
- Explore underground limestone caves that were from 1 million years ago https://www.margaretriver.com/attractions/caves/
- Get lost then found again at the Yallingup Maze https://yallingupmaze.com.au/
- See whales live and thrive in their natural habitat with Naturaliste Charters https://www.whales-australia.com.au/
- Visit the Busselton Jetty and catch a train to an underwater observatory on the largest timber jetty in the Southern Hemisphere https://www.busseltonjetty.com.au/
- Enjoy the most sensually amazing degustation at Rustico at Hayshed Hill https://hayshedhill.com.au/pages/rustico-at-hay-shed-hill
Margaret River truly has a natural beauty and a great range of experiences that will leave you feeling refreshed, revitalised, and thankful for the stunning planet we have been blessed to live on. Be sure to explore all the towns around the region and to enjoy your trip in the unforgettable Margaret River.