Margaret River Wine Region Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia


The Margaret River region juts out from
the south-west coast of Australia, into the waters
where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet. Mother Nature was in very fine form
the day she put this place together. The Margaret River Region, or Margs as locals like to call it, is place of abundance. It’s a playground, a place of stunning beaches and over 50 world-class surf spots. It’s a pantry, a place that wherever you go, something delicious is being put before you. It’s a garden, where ancient Karri forests
give way to coastal heath carpeted with thousands of species
of orchids and wildflowers. The Margaret River region runs down
the Western Australian coastline for over 80 miles, and stretches inland for a further 20, and the best way to explore this remote region, is by car. A good place to break the three and a half
hour drive down from Perth is in Bunbury, whose fabulous beaches, lighthouse and
laidback lifestyle are just a taster for what lies ahead. A further 40 minutes down the highway is Busselton, the gateway to the Margaret River Region. Busselton’s jewel is her wooden jetty, the longest of its kind in the southern hemisphere. First constructed in 1865,
the jetty has endured fires and cyclones, and is today one of Australia’s
most unique dive sites. At the jetty’s far end, take the 26-foot descent
to The Underwater Observatory and experience the aquatic life
that thrives amid the jetty’s pylons. Busselton marks the beginning
of one of Australia’s most scenic drives, Caves Road, which gets its name from
the incredible limestone caves which honeycomb the region. One of the most accessible is Mammoth Cave. Descending through lush forest, leave the sound of birdlife behind
and enter a silent subterranean world below… Caves Road winds inland through picturesque villages
and historic timber towns before arriving at the region’s main settlement, Margaret River. Even though Caves Road
is only 69 miles in length, it could take days to fully explore end to end. Each village, each farm gate, invites you to slow down, stop, and taste all this region has to offer. There are beers brewed with pure rainwater, ice creams and cheeses courtesy of
the most contented cows you’re ever likely to see, and olive oils and preserves
crafted with passion and love. But it all comes together, the climate, the soils, the people, in the wines. Surrounded by coasts on three sides, and enjoying virtually rain-free summers, as a wine-growing region, Margaret River has been compared to
France’s famous Bordeaux region. Margaret River’s first vineyards were planted
in the mid 1960’s, just yesterday in wine growing terms, but today, it’s home to over 200 wineries. Cruise from cellar door to cellar door, sampling some of the most exciting Chardonnays, Shirazs and Cabernet Sauvignons on the planet. And at wineries like Vasse Felix, the region’s first winery, enjoy some of Australia’s most innovative
and picturesque dining along the way! All along Caves Road are turnoffs to the coast, side roads to places that for decades
were only known by local fishermen and surfers. At Margaret River’s northern end
is Cape Naturaliste, a headland surrounded by secluded spots, like Bunker Bay, Eagle Bay, and Meelup Beach. The Cape Naturaliste lighthouse looks out
over Geographe Bay to the west, and south towards Cape Leeuwin. Between June and December, the lookout points around the lighthouse make this cape one of the best places
to spot whales in Australia. Cape Naturaliste marks the start of one of
Australia’s most beautiful walking trails, the Cape to Cape track. The track follows beaches and cliff tops, and strings together many places, which still retain their Aboriginal names. Places like Yallingup, which means, place of love, and Boranup, the place of the male dingo. Then there’s Hamelin Bay, named after the French explorer who sailed
along this coast in 1801. And, Prevelly, named after the monastery in Crete, which gave sanctuary to a local soldier
in World War 2. The names of these beaches may vary in origin, but one thing unites them all, their ability to nourish and feed the soul. A great way to experience the coastline is
to get out on water, on a whale watching cruise. Once hunted to the brink of extinction, today, thousands of whales return
each year to mate, calve and simply enjoy the warm waters
of Margaret River. The Margaret River region’s southern end
is marked by the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, where below, the waves of the Indian
and Southern Oceans meet. Once, teams of lighthouse keepers toiled
to keep the light burning. Today, you can climb the same stairs
to marvel at the views, and appreciate how the region has blossomed, from one of the wildest
and most remote places in Australia, into one of the most welcoming. Margaret River is one of those rare destinations
that’s a feast for all the senses with tastes, touches, sights and sounds you’ll savor,
for the rest of your days.

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