Pack up the car and fill up the tank, it’s time for a road trip! Just shy of three hours south of Perth lies the home of decadent wine, great surf and laid-back culture. 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 in Margaret River.
Rock out to live music
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. The musical diversity of this establishment can send you on a genre bending journey from rock n’ roll to jazz, indie to folk, and everything in between. 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.
Photo of Settlers Tavern
Try all the wine
Grape growing conditions in the southwest are some of the best, so it comes as no surprise that the most premium wines originate from this region. Don’t go past the Vasse Felix founding wine estate located just off Caves Road. Try their famous Cabernet Sauvignon and experience an authentic behind the scenes winemaking process. Another local favourite is Cape Mentelle, another of the founding five in Margaret River, setting the precedence both locally and internationally for great wine. Why not make a day of it and book yourself in a tour, let the tour guides educate you with plenty of local knowledge and experience. The best part is, no designated driver required so everyone can get tasting!
Photo of Vasse Felix
Sleep in luxury
After a long day of wine sampling, put up your feet and rest your head at one of the many premier accommodation options in Margs. Karri House delights guests with an oasis amongst nature, nestled amongst two acres of forest and wildlife. French colonial essence with large ornate ceiling designs and warm interior design all make for a truly luxurious spot to end the day. The Grand Mercure Basildene Manor provides comfort at every level, from the outdoor heated swimming pool, sun deck, tennis court and beds that feel like marshmallows. But if you’re looking for a true home away from home, Margaret’s Forest 4-star self-contained apartments have everything you need to live your best for a competitive price.
Photo of Karri House
Check out the surf
Margaret River is famous for their surfing conditions, and is home to the annual Margaret River Pro, one of World Surf League’s 11 World Championship Tour events. Explore coastline from the north at Cape Naturaliste, to south at Cape Leeuwin and everywhere in between. If you aren’t a seasoned surfer there are many introductory surf trainer groups available to show you the ropes. Too scared to brave the west coast waves? Just kick back on the shore at Surfer’s Point and leave it to the experts.
Photo by @discovermargaretriver
For a standout dining experience head to Miki’s Open Kitchen, a six-course degustation prepared right in front of your eyes. Japanese chef Mikihito Nagai takes you on a diverse culinary journey through contemporary fine dining like no other. The restaurants throughout Margaret River are quality and plentiful, but if you’re looking for a true foodie experience, the award-winning farmers market is where you need to be. 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. Don’t go past the Harlequin Desserts for some gluten free sweetness that will satisfy the strongest of sweet tooths. This market will give you a true picture of the local community charm of this idiosyncratic town.
Photo of Miki’s Open Kitchen
Be one with nature
There is no better experience than Immersing yourself in the great southern wilderness. Appreciate the magnificence of the Karri Trees growing strong and tall, breathe in the fresh petrichor and allow it to take you back to simpler times when playing outside was the only thing on your to do list. There are several hiking and biking trails in the area. For the eager hiker, the cape-to-cape is a weeklong hike and one of the top long hikes in WA (one glimpse at the coastline views will tell you why). If you’re not interested in the titan journey, a quick trip to the Margaret River Rotary Park and a stroll along the heritage trail might suffice. In addition to hikes, you can practice outdoor yoga, book a campsite and have a bonfire or make your way underground to check out the many caves in the region.
Photo by @tomproudfoot
If you’re struggling to slow yourself to the southerner’s laid-back pace, why not pamper your way there. 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. The Injidup Spa Retreat is situated right on a secluded beach. Services include a body balance salt glow, detoxifying marine body wrap or perhaps go the whole hog with a spa journey inclusive of hydrotherapy spa bath, and full body massages. Body Bliss is another excellent choice for a regenerative experience with services like meditation groups, massages, sound therapy and facials.
Photo of Injidup Spa Retreat
About the author:
Michelle is a Perth based freelance writer who loves to write about all things travel and lifestyle. When she’s not running her freelance business, she spends her time patting dogs, eating burritos and planning the next travel destination. Get to know her more at https://moshthefreelancer.com/
Cover photo of Cape Mentelle