Luxury Escapes Guide to Margaret River
Cellar doors, world-class restaurants and showdown-worthy surf are the jewels in Margaret River’s crown... in between karri tree forests, majestic caves, vineyards and the coastline.
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Discover Margaret River
Things to see and do
Sample award-winning vino at Vasse Felix
A visit to Margaret River would be incomplete without a visit to its founding vineyard, Vasse Felix. Led by wine-aficionados specialising in award-winning cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay, a welcoming cellar door, wine lounge, wine museum and one of Australia’s most acclaimed restaurants, this multi-talented vineyard is the ultimate place to kickstart your Margaret River discovery. Revel in the pristine isolation and Mediterranean climate with a glass of one of the four specialty vinos in hand. Walk through the sculpture park, contemplate the seasonal artwork from the Homes a Court Collection and enjoy the high design surrounds of the lounge area, complete with a hanging fireplace. Cheers.
Walk the walk at the Cape to Cape Track
The true definition of the ‘scenic route’, the 135km Cape to Cape Track begins at the white lighthouse at Cape Naturaliste and leads all the way to Cape Leeuwin. The entirety of the walk is an equally impressive and ambling journey through nature. Along the way, you’ll pass everything from rocky cliffs to isolated stretches of sand dotted with kangaroos and soaring karri trees. Each pass reveals something new. It’s best enjoyed during migration season when you’re more likely to catch a glimpse of whales over the coastline.
Descend into crystal-studded caves
There’s nothing quite like descending into cavernous crystal chambers beneath the earth, and Western Australia has its pick. Descend through karri forest into the enormous Jewel Cave or be dwarfed by Mammoth Cave’s secret world of ancient fossil remains, Ngilgi Cave’s massive chasm or the permanent shimmering lake in the eponymous Lake Cave. Each underground wonderland has its own appeal, but the ancient Ngilgi Cave, with its Aboriginal legends and dripping crystals, is seriously spectacular. Visitors are encouraged to lie down on a rubber mat in the main underground amphitheatre and close their eyes. When you reopen them, you’ll experience an optical illusion that can only be described as flying through space.
Guided and self-guided tours are available.
Enjoy a soak at Injidup Natural Spa
Follow Wyadup Road right to the end of the carpark and you’ll find amazing Indian Ocean views. A little hike from the gravel carpark and you'll reach Injidup Natura Spa. This hidden rock pool is surrounded by an enclave of rock walls and filled with fizzy saltwater, perfect for a natural massage and, for the more daring, shallow rock diving. While little-known outside of Margaret River, this natural spa is slowly garnering attention, so it’s best enjoyed in the early morning as the sun rises over the horizon.
Stock up on goodies at Margaret River Farmer’s Market
More than just a place to pick up your weekly dose of fresh produce, the Margaret River Farmer’s Market has become a foodie haven. It’s been a firm favourite of the region for the past decade thanks to the eclectic line-up of stalls — tents are chock full of artisanal loaves from Yallingup Woodfired Bread, gourmet delicacies, hot coffee and freshly baked goods like Claudio Biscotti. Located on Bussell Highway and open every Saturday the market lures visitors and locals alike who come for the produce but stay for the bustling atmosphere.
Blend a bespoke gin at Giniversity
Margaret River Distillery Company has lifted the lid on what goes into its multi-award-winning signature gin with their Giniversity masterclass. Hidden away among peppermint trees, Giniversity invites you to immerse yourself in a four-hour distillation class that’s guaranteed to satisfy the most discerning gin fiend. Indulge in a tasting flight and select your favourite raw botanicals from over 40 jars to distill in your own personal miniature still. Whether you like aromatic and fruity or pungent and peppery, this class will help you curate a gin that’s entirely unique to your palate. Graduate with a bespoke 500ml bottle.
Find the best big-wave surfing locations
With over 75 breaks to choose from, we suggest you make a beeline for spots that are guaranteed heart-pumping surf. Yallingup Beach has an exposed reef that creates stellar waves when the swell is up, and serene snorkelling when it isn’t. For the seasoned surfers among us, The Box — renowned for its intense waves that break on shallow reef — and Main Break at Surfers Point are the pinnacle of surf breaking. Come autumn, the latter is where heavyweights like Kelly Slater and Stephanie Gilmore battle it out in the Margaret River Pro.
Western Australia Gourmet Escape
Graced by the presence of some of the biggest names in the culinary world, including famed celebrity chefs Nigella Lawson and Heston Blumenthal, the annual Gourmet Escape is anticipated by locals and international food-lovers alike. Each November, the now 10-day extravaganza brings unique flavours, local wines and gourmet celebrities to this pocket of Western Australia. The extensive program includes everything from lavish, multi-course degustation dinners with paired wines to gastronomic experiences from nationally renowned restaurants.
Top places to eat and drink
Black Brewing Co
Sitting pretty on the waterfront, Black Brewing Co is not just a place to eat, it’s an adult's playground. Clink glasses of Ground to Cloud’s chardonnay, nurse a pint of Black Brewing Co’s chocolatey, silky-smooth Bao Bao Milk Stout and enjoy a signature pink G&T made with Dune Distilling Co’s Yallingup gin. With all these producers found on-site, Black Brewing Co is a one-stop destination for good booze, live music, Instagram backdrops (you can’t miss the wall of wine barrels), and sharing plates of pork dumplings, king oyster mushroom yakitori and chilli-salt fries with slow-roasted ginger and garlic aioli. Oh, and your furry best friend is invited too.
Snugly tucked behind the shops off the Busselton Highway, Yonder Bar is the unassuming and charming speakeasy that every little town wishes it had. The American-style saloon bar with vintage couches, a pinball machine and an eclectic drinks menu all conspire to draw you in. Licensed for just 50 guests, this charming bar is the perfect place for an aperitif or post-workday cocktail. The staff really know their stuff, so our recommendation is to take their lead and settle in for a good time.
With its sweeping forest views, a dining room, an art gallery and expertly crafted wine, there’s no such thing as a quick visit to Leeuwin Estate. On one of Western Australia’s finest vineyards, the award-winning restaurant bypasses the more modern and flashier creations of newer restaurants and steadfastly creates simple, produce-driven cuisine expertly paired with irresistible wine. Signature dishes not to be missed include the Margaret River venison with kimchi and nasi pear, and pork collar with burnt apple, cabbage and smoked eel.
One of the vineyards synonymous with the Margaret River region, award-winning Cullen Wines is a natural vineyard that harvests based on an astrological calendar. Their biodynamic method arguably produces the region’s best chardonnay (or natural cabernet sauvignon if you’re into reds) without added yeast, acid or malolactic acid. Taste the terroir of each vintage with a side of gently smoked kangaroo paired with earthy golden beetroot or locally grown and caught Arkady lamb, in an intimate restaurant space accented by stone and wood.
The family-run Voyager Estate proves that you don’t need an agricultural empire to produce remarkable wines and an award-winning restaurant. With a bi-monthly Discovery Menu that allows guests to embark on a seven-course degustation journey with paired wines, it comes as no surprise that the estate’s restaurant has been included among WA Good Food Guide Award’s top five. Linger for a few hours here to enjoy seasonal locally sourced marron, octopus or lamb on picture-perfect plates with a view of endless rows of vines.
Yallingup Cheese Company
Hidden in the hills of Abbey Valley Cellar Door, Yallingup Cheese Company boasts a serious French connection — from owner Alana Langworthy, a former Burgundy winemaker who completed her cheese apprenticeship in France, through to her soft Wildwood Brie. Warmed, stirred, cut, hooped and packed by hand, Yallingup Cheese’s Metricup Camembert will transport you straight to the south of France. And, to sweeten the deal, platters can be complemented by offerings from the on-site Wulura Olive Oil and Abbey Vale Wines. Bon appétit.
Housed in in an old dairy shed, Beerfarm produces just what its name suggests. Enter through what was once the old creamery, see where hoppy magic is fermented in the Roundhouse and enjoy a taste in the old hay shed with views of cattle grazing on the property. With a rotating menu of unique seasonal brews with names like Cool Ya Farm, it’s unlikely you’ll come across the same pint twice, but the atmosphere, smell of slow-roasted lamb and friendly staff (like head brewer Josh Thomas), means you’ll always be in good company.
Prepare to feast your senses at Chow’s Table, a sizzling restaurant that serves up a modern mash-up of Chinese/Malay cuisine. Head chef Malcom Chow, who finessed his craft in celebrated restaurants including Vue de Monde and Tetsuya’s, pays homage to his mother’s cooking with bite-sized tapas-style dishes. Chow down on plates of mapo egg tofu with Szechuan pepper and squid ink cheung fun rice noodles with crab, perfectly paired with a Gin Shan Crème — a rolled oolong tea with a subtle milky aroma.
From bean to bar, Gabriel Chocolate has mastered the art of their craft. Handcrafting single-estate, single-origin bespoke chocolate using only the finest cacao beans and organic sugar, Gabriel Chocolate creates a sensory experience that will convert even the most adamant naysayers. Scan the custom-built chocolate gallery and you’ll spot colourful truffles, creamy pralines, hard chocolates and walls lined with hand-wrapped small-batch varieties, smoky cocoa nibs and hot chocolate sticks. While the friendly staff are happy to offer suggestions, the chocolate really speaks for itself.
Switch out sleek vineyards and restaurants for a picnic-grazing session at Meelup Farmhouse, a relaxed cottage-style eatery nestled in a pocket of Eagle Bay. Graze under gum trees, cuddle up under olive groves and enjoy a picnic on the lawn — saying hello to Lizzie, the resident highland cow, on your way. Choose from an à la carte menu of baked Margaret River brie with sourdough and relish or a hamper carefully curated to reflect the spirit of the region. Live music creates the ultimate ambience on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons.