Planning a weekend in Margaret River? This is the ultimate itinerary for lovers of good wine, good food and good times.
Sunshine, natural beauty, world-class wines, gourmet dining and dreamy beaches on the doorstep – what more could you ask for from a weekend escape? A scenic three-hour drive from Perth, Margaret River is the ultimate easy getaway. The thrum of city life feels a million miles away as you sip wines beneath the leafy vines, stroll on soft-sand beaches and shop local for handmade cheese and chocolates.
If you have just a few precious days to spend, here’s how to get the best out of a weekend in Margaret River.
Friday: beach walks & hotel dinner
Now you’ve arrived in this beautiful pocket of WA, it’s time to check in and check out from day-to-day life. Treat yourself to five-star serenity at Pullman Bunker Bay Resort, nestled just steps from the sands of Bunker Bay, amid 35 acres of native landscape. With its heated infinity pool, day spa and acclaimed restaurant, this luxurious cocoon promises to pamper you after days of exploring.
Want to stay in the heart of nature? Karriview Margaret River is surrounded by 48 acres of natural bush and karri trees in Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. Its chalet-style accommodation invites you to awake to the sounds of birdsong and the gentle rustle of the trees, with kitchenette facilities available for laidback breakfasts on the balcony.
Accustom yourself to the slower rhythm of life with a sun-kissed stroll on the beach. WA is famed for its white sands and azure waters, and Margaret River offers a bounty of them thanks to being surrounded by ocean on three sides. Guests at Pullman Bunker Bay Resort can step straight out onto the sheltered sands of Bunker Bay, while those staying at Karriview Margaret River will have the sparkling waters of Cowaramup Bay just a five-minute drive away.
Tonight, set the tone for a weekend of indulgence with a gourmet dinner at your hotel. Other Side of the Moon, Pullman Bunker Bay’s award-winning, ocean-view restaurant, pays homage to local and indigenous ingredients sourced from Bunker Bay. Simple yet highly skilled handling allows the ingredients to sing, whether that’s locally bred Linley Valley pork belly, foraged herbs, Manjimup truffle oil or Margaret River Wagyu beef. The restaurant takes its name from the famous local surf break – one of the rare places in Western Australia where you can witness the moon rising and setting over the same ocean.
Those staying at Karriview Margaret River can kick back in the comfort of their accommodation with a platter of local gourmet produce, laden with delicacies including Margaret River Dairy Company cheeses, The Smoke Shack meats and Olio Bello olive oil. The hotel’s restaurant, MJ’s Bistro, is open on weekends for hearty sharing plates and comforting hot dishes. How could you feel anything but content once you get to the bottom of a gooey oven-baked camembert
, accompanied by honey-glazed shallots?
Saturday: wineries & gourmet indulgence
Throw yourself wholeheartedly into a day of indulgence as you head out to discover Margaret River’s incredible food and wine scene.
Start off in style at the internationally renowned Leeuwin Estate, perhaps Margaret River’s most famous winery. One of the five founding vineyards of the region, it remains family-run to this day, despite exporting its acclaimed wines to 30 markets. Treat yourself to an tasting in the Art Gallery Cellar, where you’ll be invited to sample cellared museum releases of Art Series Riesling, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz while admiring contemporary Australian artwork.
Just a hop, skip and a jump away is Voyager Estate, another of the founding wineries, which has produced world-class drops for more than 40 years. All its wines, including the renowned chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, are 100% estate grown, made and bottled, and are in line to be certified organic by 2023.
Next, swing by Olio Bello to stock up on 21 varieties of organic extra virgin olive oil and treat yourself to a light Mediterranean lunch amid the olive vines.
It must be time for more wine by now, surely? Make a stop at Vasse Felix, the founding winery of the Margaret River region and the first to recognise its unique environment and climate. Head to the Cellar Door bar to sample its collection, including, when available, pre-release or small-
Don’t miss The Margaret River Chocolate Company, where chocolatiers can be seen at work creating handmade truffles, rocky road and gourmet bars – the perfect souvenirs for your journey home.
Wine and cheese go hand-in-hand (or glass in one hand, laden cracker in the other), so finish up your gourmet tour with a stop at The Margaret River Dairy Company, where you’ll be spoilt for choice with its range of soft ripened white cheeses and waxed crumbly cheddars.
Be sure to save space for dinner, as there are some incredible eateries in the region, all showcasing Margaret River’s bountiful produce. It’s hard to go wrong here, but if you want something a little different to the winery restaurant experience, head back into town to Miki’s Open Kitchen. Owner and chef Mikihito Nagai creates Japanese-inspired dishes using ingredients straight from the hands of local farmers, thrilling guests with his own brand of culinary theatre in the open kitchen. Be sure to book in advance for a taste of his famous tempura.
Sunday: Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park & Cape to Cape Track
Treat yourself to a lazy start this morning, with breakfast overlooking the water at Pullman Bunker Bay Resort or a hamper of local treats at Karriview Margaret River.
Lace up your walking shoes and work off the indulgence of yesterday by exploring Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, one of WA’s most beloved holiday destinations thanks to its raw and rugged beauty. Soaring limestone cliffs and windswept headlands shelter quiet, white-sand bays and caves, ripe for exploring in safe conditions. The start of the famous Cape to Cape Track can be found here, which spans 125km from Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse and takes up to eight days to complete in its entirety.
A key attraction on the Cape to Cape Track is Injidup Natural Spa, a natural pool nestled at the edge of the Indian Ocean. Its azure waters will welcome you for relaxing dips on calm days
, or a much more ‘refreshing’ shower experience as the tide moves in and ferocious waves crash over the rocks.
After a windswept walk and cooling dip, treat yourself to a replenishing craft beer and lunch straight from the wood-fired rotisserie at Wild Hop Brewing Company. Bucking the brewery trend for pizzas and burgers, this new kid on the block is bringing with it a fresh kind of menu to accompany its tap list – and is out to show that Margaret River isn’t all about wine.
Just 10 minutes from the brewery at the northern end of the track is the final stop on this Margaret River itinerary: Ngilgi Cave, an underground cavern dripping in stalactites and stalagmites. Tours depart every 30 minutes during the day, inviting you to proceed on boardwalks through the illuminated cave into its very heart, where you’ll learn about early explorations and the crystals that form here.
Finally, with full stomachs and hearts, it’d time to make your way back home – taking your gourmet souvenirs with you.
Featured image credit: Tourism Western Australia