Transport yourself to a place where time is irrelevant, and stress is nowhere to be found; Margaret River is a hub for all things carefree and cool. Next time you head south be sure to check out this list of all the best things to do, places to see, and where to eat and drink in Margaret River.
EAT & DRINK
Settlers Tavern is the perfect pub; the food is wholesome, the staff are friendly, and the vibe is second to none. But what this Tav is most renowned is for being the quintessential live music venue of the southwest – band posters and fanbase paraphernalia adorn the walls like a trophy cabinet of good times gone by. Throw in the occasional comedy night and food and drink specials, and it’s easy to see why Settlers Tav is the place to be.
The River Hotel
Formerly The Knights Inn, The River Hotel just down the road have also entered the fray as a fantastic spot for live music in Margs – check out their upcoming events here. Otherwise their restaurant is a great spot to eat, and their courtyard is a dangerous place to wile the hours away.
Miki’s Open Kitchen
For a standout dining experience head to Miki’s Open Kitchen – Japanese chef Mikihito Nagai takes you on a diverse culinary journey through contemporary fine dining like no other.
Margaret River Farmer’s Market
Margaret River Farmers Market showcases local seasonal produce to the community every Saturday morning. Peruse local vendors suppling anything from warm baked goods, dairy, chocolate, condiments and pasta. If you’re not looking to have a cook up yourself, there are stalls with delicious pre-made delights for you to feast on.
Margaret River Distilling Co.
At the northern tip of town you’ll find Margaret River Distilling Co., nestled among some shady peppermint trees and a delightful spot to spend the afternoon. Home to the popular Giniversity Gin, award-winning Limeburners Single Malt Whisky, Dugite Whiskey, and Tiger Snake Sour Mash Whiskey. The friendly staff will make you mean cocktail to enjoy in the grassy backyard.
For some authentic, rustic, cosy Italian vibes make sure you visit Ivin and his family at Pizzica. Combining Italy’s best pizza flour with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and a giant wood fire oven makes for some molto bene delights.
Hooked Up Fish And Chips
It doesn’t get much more Margs then pulling up on the grassy knoll at Surfer’s Point and watching the world class surf wild munching on some world class fish and chips courtesy of the Hooked Up van. Check their Facebook to make sure you’re there at the right time and you won’t be disappointed.
Brewhouse Margaret River
Across the road from Margaret River Distilling Co. you’ll find a bigger, beer-fuelled time at the Brewhouse. It’s a big, no-fuss, family-friendly brewery with a lush outdoor area, plenty of hearty brews on tap and big, honest modern Australian fare.
Margaret River Chocolate Co.
Having been in operation for over two decades, the Margaret River Chocolate Co. knows their way around a sweet treat. The cafe also serve up plenty of great lunch options to go with their huge range of cakes, desserts, chocolate fondues, milk shakes, brownies and more.
Sea Garden Cafe
Featuring fantastic views of Surfer’s Point and the beaches of Prevelly, the Sea Garden Cafe just happens to be the only licensed venue with ocean views in Margaret River! Whether it’s a pre-surf coffee or a post surf sunset beer you’re chasing, the Sea Garden Cafe has you sorted.
One of the most popular eateries in Margs, morries’ incredible tapas selection is matched only by their alluring array of cocktails – seriously, look at this list! A bustling joint since opening in 2012, don’t expect to just rock up and grab a table – make sure you book ahead.
The Common lives up to its name, an inviting spot offering relaxed, down south vibes that make it a favourite for visitors and locals alike. Live music regularly wafts out from their beautiful beer garden deck, there’s regular meal deals throughout the week and sports fans are well catered for with TVs and even a pool table.
White Elephant Cafe
For breakfast on the beach you can’t go past the White Elephant Cafe, owned and operated by local legends AJ and Alex and offering all the good stuff including Perth-fave Dimattina Coffee, the best poached eggs going around and even the perfect wedding venue (should you require one).
Cowaramup Brewing Company
Just down the road from Margs you’ll find the unassuming town of Cowaramup, a place that’s very quickly becoming as essential as the rest of the Margs region, and the Brewing Company is a great first port of call. The brewpub busts out a bunch of hearty beers, while the kitchen dishes up equally hearty feasts.
La Scarpetta Trattoria
All of this adventuring and wine drinking could use a serious pasta hit, and La Scarpetta Trattoria at the southern tip of town serves up some incredible varieties. It’s all made fresh in-house daily, and even has some solid gluten free and vegan options.
Burger Baby Margaret River
Perth’s love of a good burger joint is slowly spreading south, and Burger Baby is doing the south proud. Big burgers, a bigger craft beer selection, some foosball tables and friendly staff make it an very popular spot for people from all over. Stop in on Thursday nights for $9 pints and a quiz.
SEE & DO
Margaret River is of course home to one of the world’s most heralded winery regions and there’s HEAPS of ‘em. Dozens in fact. So many, that perhaps it can feel a little daunting when it comes to picking places. If you’re looking for a full list of wineries follow this link, otherwise you can check out 15 of our favourites here.
Photo by @thisishelenchan
Just south of Margaret River you’ll enjoy some scenic driving through the tall trees of the Boranup Karri Forest, part of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. They can reach upwards of 60m tall, and will do plenty to remind you of how small we are in this world. There’s plenty of options to pull up and walk around, including the Boranup Lookout and a few spots to barbecue, picnic or even camp.
Amaze’n Margaret River
For an action-packed day of fun for kids big and small, head to Amaze’n where you’ll find a half-hectare giant hedge maze and an 18-hole mini golf course set amidst five hectares of lush green gardens.
Cape To Cape Trail
The 135km-long Cape to Cape Track is a hiker hotspot in spring, and Margs falls pretty much smack bang in the middle. The track is the perfect vantage point to spot whales and dolphins from the shore and is home to a whole variety of coastal wildflowers. Pick a section and go for a gentle stroll, challenge yourself with an all-day or all-track hike, or take a guided tour with operators like Cape to Cape Explorer Tours or Walk Into Luxury.
Image via Margaret River.
Margaret River Wellness Centre
If you’re really looking to get into a chillout zone, The Margaret River Wellness Centre provides many services from deep tissue massages to trigger point therapy to gently prod, poke and roll your way into deep relaxation.
Located a 30-minute drive south of the Margaret River town centre, Jewel Cave is the largest tourist cave in all of Western Australia with one of the longest stalactites in the world. It is recognised by visitors from across the globe as one of the world’s most spectacular show caves; encrusted with gleaming crystal ornaments throughout its three massive chambers. Read our full guide here.
Lake Cave is located on Conto and Caves Road in Boranup; around a 15-minute drive south of Margaret River. Walk down 350 steps and you’ll discover a stunning pristine chamber beneath the earth, with a beautiful permanent lake reflecting the unique formations of the cave. Once back above ground, admire the views from the Lake Cave Deck, a spectacular viewing platform in the treetops.
Giants Cave is an adventure cave with torches and helmets provided on arrival. Negotiate vertical ladder climbs and rock scrambles, tight spots and gigantic chambers, natural cave floor and constructed walkways for more than half a kilometre in the 86m deep cave. It’s located a 15 minute drive south of the Margaret River town centre.
Photo by @sasarizk
Living up to its name, Mammoth Cave is 500 metres long, 30 metres in depth and is one of only a few caves in WA that contains fossils. During winter, a stream flows through the cave, creating reflections and giving it a whole new life. It is one of the more accessible caves in the region and provides wheelchair access to the first chamber.
The Flying Wardrobe
If you’re chasing a bit of retail therapy with a difference, make sure you land at The Flying Wardrobe – a true collector’s paradise. Offering an eclectic mix of clothing, vinyl records, glassware, ceramics, toys, jewellery, books and more, if you’re done with the metro antique scene who knows what awaits at the Wardrobe.
Arguably the region’s most iconic spot, Surfer’s Point is home to the world class waves of Margaret River main break. An area steeped in history, it’s also the home of the World Surfing League’s Western Australian event, and if the waves are too big (which is most often), it makes for fantastic viewing.
The Actual River
With all there is to see and do around Margs, it can be easy to forget there’s actually a wonderful, winding river at its heart. Head to the river mouth to play where the river meets the sea, or do a little more exploring further along where you can hire canoes or go swimming and fishing.
Photo by @dylan_alcock
A little further south you’ll find the much calmer waters of Gnarabup Beach, it’s the most popular public beach in the area and also the main launching spot for boats. There’s a pontoon in summer, and ample opportunity to catch a fish or two if they’re biting.
Conto Campground near Conto Springs Beach is huge, with over 100 sites nestled amongst shady peppermint woodlands in Boranup, 20 minutes south of Margaret River. It’s mostly accessible with 2WDs, and has some stellar hiking trails (jump on the Cape To Cape track here) to go with surfing, fishing or just putting ya feet up and relaxing.
Photo by @ktgeeee
Redgate Beach is a popular surfing spot a little further south of Prevelly, and can get pretty wild and wooly in certain conditions. During summer it calms down a bit, and is a great spot for exploring – just be mindful of the conditions on the rocks close to the water.
The Wadandi Noongar people are the traditional owners of this part of south west WA, and if you want to learn more about their experiences with the land there is ample opportunity to do so. Cape Cultural Tours, Kaya Cape Experience and Cape Cultural Experience all offer different options, head here for more info.
Eagles Heritage Raptor Wildlife Centre
An awesome, off-the-beaten path idea is to pop in to the Eagles Heritage Raptor Wildlife Centre, home to twice-daily flight displays in beautiful bushland surrounds. They have the biggest collection of eagles, hawks, falcons and owls in Australia.
Just a quick half-hour south of Margs, Hamelin Bay is a special peace of WA coastline, world famous for the remarkably friendly stingrays that swim right up to the shore on any given day, but there’s plenty to discover further offshore and inland at this little bay just a short trip south of Margs. Read our full guide here.
Forest Rise have 10 secluded chalets on the property, each with their own spa bath, patio and log fire. For added luxury, there’s an onsite personal chef, gourmet hampers and massages available upon request.
The Cabin Margaret River
The Cabin is a beautiful artisan building made using local timbers and rustic decor. It’s comfortably set amongst 75 acres of farmland in the charming Witchcliffe in the Margaret River region. Spend your day exploring the beauty of the area and end with a warming fire, relaxation time in the outdoor bath and star gazing.
Carpe Mykonos is a beautiful new home in Margaret River that’s themed on the architecture of those beloved Mediteranean islands, and with a Greek Orthodox Church just a kilometre down the road. Overlooking a well kept tennis court (racquets and balls provided), lush southwest bushland and an open pit fire, the house can accomodate up to 10 guests with four bedrooms and three bathrooms.’
For more accomodation options check out our article on the 30 Best Airbnbs in Margaret River.
Header image: Settlers Tavern.