Stunning scenery, great food, award-winning wine and wineries to visit – what’s not to love about Margaret River? With Perth just a five-hour flight from Singapore, it’s a great option for a short break. There are so many things to do in the region, from exploring beautiful beaches and hiking trails to visiting vineyards and galleries. Here are some places to visit, things to do and cool accommodation options, from one-bedroom chalets to houses that sleep ten!
Private Properties Holiday Homes
If you’re travelling in a group or just love that feeling of having home-style accommodation while on holiday, renting a house from Private Properties Holiday Homes is a great option. The Western Australian company has over 100 holiday homes throughout Margaret River and its surrounds, providing great bases to explore the region. From stunning beachfront houses to rural country retreats, these unique holiday homes are spacious, many of them having numerous living areas, theatre rooms, pools, tennis courts and spectacular views. Concierge services are available for booking tours, in-house wellness treatments and dining.
Picquet in Eagle Bay is a beautiful beachside five-bedroom property (three king bedrooms and two twin-king single bedrooms) with a private pool and heated spa. Another seaside property, Blue Vista in Yallingup, has six bedrooms over three floors, with a pool, spacious living areas and balconies with unblocked views. And just 25 minutes away from Margaret River and located near Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, the Flinders Bay House features gorgeous Hamptons style interiors and plenty of spaces for groups to hang out in. Another great option is Farm Break in Bunker Bay, which is in the north of the region, near Cape Naturaliste. The two villas can comfortably house 12 guests, and you can enjoy the best of both worlds as the property offers both bush and bay views.
Forest Rise Chalets and Lodge
Forest Rise Chalets and Lodge is a luxury retreat located close to local attractions, wineries and breweries, making it a great place from which to explore the Margaret River region. Choose from one- and two-bedroom chalets and a lodge that accommodates up to eight people. You also have the option of having meals by the in-house private chef served in the privacy of your accommodation, and the same goes for spa treatments and yoga sessions. Nature is a key feature here, too – wildlife sightings are common, particularly kangaroos.
The one-bedroom chalets are located in the forest, while the two-bedroom chalets are on the edge of the forest, a short walk away from the lake. Each is set in an area of its own for greater privacy, and both types of chalets come with fully-equipped kitchens, dining and lounge areas. You’ll want for nothing here; there are washers and dryers, barbecue facilities, board games and mountain bikes for embracing the outdoors. Larger groups can opt to stay at the lodge that has four bedrooms and five bathrooms, a kitchen, spacious dining and living areas. With its own spot in the woods, it has a private driveway, and a pool and heated outdoor spa for everyone to enjoy.
Woody Nook Wines
Woody Nook Wines has 37-acres of vines in the Wilyabrup area of Margaret River. The boutique winery is family-owned and run, producing just 7,500 cases each year. For thirty years, winemaker and viticulturist Neil Gallagher has won hundreds of local and international awards for Woody Nook. Varieties made include cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, merlot, sauvignon blanc, chenin blanc, chardonnay, tempranillo and graciano. When you arrive, head to the cellar door to sample a full range of wines. You can also view an art gallery, browse the gift shop that’s well-stocked with items unique to Woody Nook and enjoy a tasty lunch at The Nookery Café. A wide range of dietary requirements are catered for. There is also a special menu and play area for little ones.
You can stay the night at the rustic Woody Nook House that overlooks the vineyard. Accommodating up to 10 people, the cosy cottage is fully self-contained and equipped with useful amenities including an oven, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer.
Woody Nook wines are available in Singapore at Asia Wine Network (44 North Canal Road).
Windows Estate is located on the border of the Yallingup and Wilyabrup sub-regions of the Margaret River area. The wine here is certified organic, and personally produced and processed by local Aussie owners Chris and Jo Davies, who planted the vineyard 20 years ago. Grapes continue to be carefully handpicked, and gently and traditionally processed by hand, with as little machinery and automation involved as possible. The winery believes in maintaining a minimal intervention approach, making the most of the fruit’s natural flavour and allowing its indigenous yeasts to develop the wine’s distinct character. There are nine main varietals on offer at the estate, including cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and sparkling.
During your visit, you can choose from two experiences that will allow you to get to know more about the wines on offer. One is a behind-the-scenes tour with the owners, in which you’ll find out everything about managing a vineyard, from the growth environment and pruning techniques that suit different grapes to weed and pest management. The one-hour tour includes a private tasting amongst the vines. Or, if you’d prefer something more sedentary (it’s a holiday, after all!), you can sip on wines paired with cheese and charcuterie platters while enjoying views of the vineyard. Vegan platters are available (book in advance).
More fun things you won’t want to miss!
#1 Go whale watching
Between June and early December each year, large pods of whales migrate from Antarctica to the waters along the western Australian Coast, making Margaret River a great place to spot them. Look out for these majestic creatures from land (lookouts, tracks or even lighthouses such as Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse at Flinders Bay) or book yourself a whale-watching cruise for a closer view.
#2 Visit local markets
Get your hand on fresh produce, crafts and other fun bits and bobs at the markets across the region, held mainly on weekends. A popular one to visit is the Margaret River Farmers’ Market (every Saturday, all year round). Not too far away is the Margaret River Town Square Market (every Sunday from November to April, twice a month during other months), with stalls selling all sorts of crafts, jams, honey, organic vegetables, candles and more.
#3 Set out on a scenic hike
Love walking and exploring? Go on a couple of trails and take in the beautiful surroundings. Margaret River has all sorts of trails to suit different abilities, from short walks along paved paths to half- and full-day hikes.
#4 Explore a cave
Margaret River is home to many limestone caves with amazing features. Popular ones to visit include Lake Cave, Jewel Cave and Mammoth Cave. Some caves are harder to navigate than others (some have boardwalks and paths, while others don’t) so be sure find out more before visiting or booking a tour, especially when travelling with children.
#5 Go to the beach
Visiting in the summer? Spend time at the beach! Whether you just want to soak in some sun or hope to catch some of the famous waves, there are many great spots to head to, such as Smith’s Beach in Yallingup and Eagle Bay in Dunsborough.
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