On Friday, Jetstar announced it’ll be flying direct between Melbourne Airport in Tullamarine to Busselton-Margaret River Airport, Western Australia, starting in March 2020. The move by the budget airline means travellers can now skip Perth Airport and the subsequent three-hour drive to the region.

The greater Margaret River region runs around 100 kilometres from Busselton in the north to Augusta in the south. It’s internationally recognised for its local produce, destination dining and excellent wine – cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay in particular – but it’s also home to pristine beaches, world-class surf breaks, dramatic cliffs, tall-timber native karri forests and ancient cave systems. The area is also dotted with artisan producers of everything from olive oil, bread, cheese, chocolate and ice-cream to surfboards, and has more than 85 cellar doors among hundreds of vineyards.

The region also hosts part of leading culinary festival, the Western Australia Gourmet Escape which attracts global culinary talent (formerly the Margaret River Gourmet Escape, the festival's program was expanded in 2019 to include events in the Swan Valley and Perth) and the World Surf League Championship Tour in autumn.

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Jetstar will run three services a week between Tullamarine and Busselton-Margaret River airport on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, leaving Melbourne at 8am and leaving Busselton-Margaret River at 9.40am. Introductory pricing offers one-way tickets for $89 ($75 for Club Jetstar members) depending on travel dates. Standard fares range from $199 to $285.

The first of Jetstar’s direct flights between Melbourne (Tullamarine) and Busselton-Margaret River Airport depart on March 25, 2020. More information and book here.