Published on 2nd August 2017
by Dianne Bortoletto (words) & Jessica Wyld (photography)

Get to know this world-class wine region that's rich with natural beauty.

The Margaret River region is three hours' drive from Perth and stretches roughly 100 kilometres, from Busselton in the north to Augusta in the south.

The region has everything you could ask for in a country escape. It's best known for internationally recognised wines, amazing local produce and first-class dining. But it’s also home to some of the most diverse and beautiful natural destinations in the country. We’re talking pristine beaches, world-class surf breaks, dramatic cliffs, idyllic bays, tall-timber native karri forests and ancient cave systems. The region is also dotted with luxury spas, artist studios and artisan producers of everything from olive oil and chocolates to soaps and surfboards.

There are 217 vineyards and 187 wineries. The region produces just three per cent of Australia’s overall wine production, but more than 20 per cent of Australia’s premium wine. Wine here isn’t just good – it’s excellent. The region is particularly renowned for cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay. There are also plenty of breweries, so beer drinkers won’t miss out.

A visit to the Margaret River Farmers’ Market is a must for anyone serious about food. The region’s produce includes grass-fed beef, pork and lamb; line-caught fish and fresh seafood (including abalone); and pasture-raised free-range poultry and eggs. There’s more: venison, marron, native bush foods, a multitude of fruits and vegetables, olives and olive oils, wood-fired bread, artisan cheeses, chocolates, coffee, ice-cream and other dairy.

Australia’s premier food festival, the Margaret River Gourmet Escape, attracts global culinary superstars each November and is just one of the region’s major events. Each autumn, the World Surf League Championship Tour sees the world’s best surfers compete at Surfers Point. Then there’s the Leeuwin Estate Concert Series, Cinefest Oz film festival, Emergence Creative, Jazz by the Bay, the South West Beer Festival, Ironman WA, Southbound music festival, the Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival, Anaconda Adventure Race, Cape to Cape MTB, Forest Rally and, new in 2017, the winter Cabin Fever festival. You’d be hard pressed to find any other region in Australia that can boast such a diverse and culturally rich events calendar.

Welcome to Margaret River

EAT

When it comes to food, the region covers a lot of ground.

Leeuwin Estate

Restaurant

One of Margaret River’s original wineries.

White Elephant Beach Cafe

Cafe

Breakfast, lunch and million-dollar views.

Sidekick Cafe

Cafe

A “responsible cafe” with a health-conscious menu.

Miki's Open Kitchen

Restaurant

Book well in advance for this special dining and food theatre experience.

Wills Domain

Restaurant

One of WA’s greatest winery dining experiences.

Yallingup Gugelhupf

Cafe

The best traditional European cake you’ve never heard of.

Yallingup Woodfired Bread

Shop

Real, handmade sourdough with texture and taste to remember.

DRINK

Chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon are the stars here, but there's plenty more to try, including beer and small-batch spirits.

Settlers Tavern

Bar

As diverse as the Margaret River locals who patronise it.

Vasse Felix

Restaurant

Margaret River’s first winery is still one of its finest.

Eagle Bay Brewing Co

Bar

Easy-drinking beers and stunning ocean views.

Cullen Wines

Restaurant

Organic food and award-winning biodynamic wines.

DO

Explore some caves, paddle into the surf or go shopping.

Margaret River Farmers Market

Shop

Connecting locals and visitors alike to farmers and other food producers.

STAY

There are hundreds of places to stay in the Margaret River region catering for a wide range of budgets. But when it comes to a luxury escape, these three are standouts.

Smiths Beach Resort

Accommodation

Beach views and luxury aplenty.

Itinerary

Explore Western Australia's most renowned wine region

You'll need a car to see this expansive region properly. Our itinerary covers three-quarters of the 100-kilometre drive from Busselton to Augusta, but don't be afraid to get lost. Turn down a random road and you're liable to discover unsung family wineries, marron farms, artisan chocolate makers, secluded beaches and more.