The holiday season is (almost) upon us, which for many of us means a jaunt down to Western Australia’s beautiful southwest region.
It’s a trip that can quite often put pressure on your purse or wallet, but it doesn’t have to – below we’ve knocked up a few suggestions of what to see and do along with where to eat, drink and stay, that won’t cost you an arm and a leg in the process:
SEE & DO
Hike some (or all) of the 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 or challenge yourself with an all-day or all-track hike – just make sure you pack plenty of water and sun protection!
Swim with stingrays at Hamelin Bay
Just a quick half-hour south of Margs, Hamelin Bay is a special piece of WA coastline, world famous for the remarkably friendly stingrays that swim right up to the shore on any given day. 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.
Gram at Injidup Natural Spa
A popular little swimming (more like sitting) hole in our state’s South West, Injidup’s natural spa has become an irresistible stop amongst a plethora of beautiful beaches down south. A natural rock formation protected from the wilds of the Indian Ocean, it can be a relaxing – if not a little crowded – spot to chill and post to the gram on a warm summer’s day.
Beach days at some of WA’s best
Some of WA’s – and the country’s (and dare we say the world’s) – best beaches are in this region, and guess what? They’re still very much free to enjoy at your leisure! The only difficult part is picking where to go. Around Dunsborough you’ll find some glorious beaches (also protected from the seabreeze) like Meelup, Castle Rock Bay, Sugarloaf Rock and Eagle Bay. Further south there’s lovely Yallingup and Smiths Beach, Injidup, Gnarabup Beach, Redgate, Margaret River Mouth and more.
Picnic at Surfer’s Point
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.
Art Gallery Inspo
The Dunsborough/Yallingup region is covered in brilliant art galleries celebrating the many talented folk of the region. All within a short drive from each other, this is a great starting point for where to go and who to see.
EAT & DRINK
Hooked Up Fish & Chips
It doesn’t get much more Margs than pulling up on the grassy knoll at Surfer’s Point and watching the world class surf while munching on world class fish and chips courtesy of the Hooked Up van. Check their Facebook page to make sure you’re there at the right time and you won’t be disappointed – an adult’s fish’n’chip pack will set you back less than $20!
If there’s one thing down south does well it’s bakeries. You’re spoilt for choice, and nothing will fill you up quite like a freshly baked pie from the likes of the Margaret River Bakery, or a little further north at Dunsborough Bakery and Tas’s Bakery.
Margaret River Farmers Market
Margaret River Farmers Market showcases local seasonal produce to the community every Saturday morning. Peruse local vendors supplying 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 premade delights for you to feast on.
Peppermint Grove Beach Holiday Park
Peppy Grove Beach Holiday Park is a little north of Busselton, but still close enough to put you right on the doorstep of the southwest region. Residing on Geographe Bay, they’ve got their own woodfired pizza and fish and chips, along with a liquor store – you’ll never have to leave! An unpowered tent site will set you back $40 in peak season, or it’s $50 for a powered site.
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.
Amblin Holiday Park
Amblin Holiday Park is another nestled within the Geographe Bay area near Busselton, littered with shady peppermint trees along with great facilities like an indoor heated pool, kid’s playground, BBQ facilities and camper kitchen. Powered sites start at $45/night, although get a bit pricier at peak times.
Caves Caravan Park
Caves Caravan Park offers chill camping vibes right on the doorstep of some world class surf breaks, with the iconic Caves House Pub just across the road. They have a variety of unpowered ($37/night) and powered ($42/night) campsites available, although given its location, availability gets pretty scarce this time of year so get booking quick!
Yallingup Beach Holiday Park
And speaking of iconic locations, Yallingup Beach Holiday Park puts you right across the road from beautiful Yallingup lagoon, and will have you rubbing shoulders with Taj Burrows in no time. Powered sites start at $45/night, and from there you can basically roll into some pumping surf or laze by the lagoon.
Prevelly Caravan Park
Prevelly Caravan Park has been putting folks right in the thick of it for almost 70 years, just down the road from Surfer’s Point and the Margaret River mouth. Unpowered sites start at $15pp and go up to $19 during peak season, with powered sites being a little extra. If you’re looking for something a little bigger, they’ve got onsite vans starting at $60 for two people.