Sips & Steps
Explore some of the best sections of the Cape to Cape Track, enjoy a picnic amongst the vines, have a dip in the sparkling calm waters of Meelup Beach or explore wonderful subterranean worlds.
|Getting there:||Jetstar operates flights directly from the eastern states to Busselton-Margaret River Airport. You can hire a car from the airport and enjoy a pleasant 45-minute drive to the forest-lined town of Margaret River.|
MINGLE WITH THE LOCALS • RELAX BY THE RIVER
- If you happen to be there on a weekend, start your day at the Margaret River Farmers Market. Running every saturday morning this award-winning market showcases local produce from the surrounding region.
- Explore the main street of Margaret River, there's some great local shops in town selling regional produce and gifts.
- Stop in at the Margaret River Visitor Centre to find out more about the region from the knowledgable staff.
- Time for lunch! Margaret River boasts some of the best dining in Western Australia so you are spoiled for choice. If it's some fine fare you're after then head north to Leeuwin Estate. This family-owned multi award-winning winery boasts a sophisticated locally inspired menu, with stunning regional wine to match.
- Enjoy a walk along the river on the 2.4km Rotary South Bank River Trail, where you'll enjoy the sights and smells of the forest along the south and north shores of the Margaret River.
- Head to Margaret River Distilling Company and try a flight of award-winning locally distilled whiskey or gin on the picturesque balcony overlooking the peppermint trees. If you're feeling a little creative you can also do a gin blending class.
- Head back to your accommodation to freshen up before heading out for dinner in town. Margaret River has many options to choose from, for some local pub grub try the long-standing Settlers Tavern. If you're looking for something a little more upmarket try La Scarpetta for homemade pasta and an excellent local and italian wine menu. For a good mix of both, try Swings & Roundabouts.
CAPE TO CAPE • CALM BAYS • WINE & DINE • CAVING
- About a 30 minute drive south of Margaret River is the town of Augusta, at the southern most tip of Western Australia.
- Try the Pelican River Trail in Augusta, this 2.4km walk follows the Blackwood River from the boat ramp to Albany Terrace. There's plenty of wildlife to see along this trail as well as dolphins if you're lucky. Finish at the Colourptach Cafe for a bite to eat.
- Take a drive out to the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. Built in 1895 and still very much operational, this is the tallest lighthouse on mainland Australia. The lighthouse precinct has a great cafe and an award-winning interpretive centre, so leave enough time to take a look around.
- This is the southern terminus for the famous Cape to Cape Track, a multiday 123km Track running aside spectacular coastline. You can get a taste of the Track from here, by walking to Quarry Bay and back (4.8km). You'll see natural springs, rugged beaches and be rewarded with stunning views of the coastline. The Track is very well signed, and you can download the Cape To Cape app on android or iOS for more information.
- Before you go, check out the now solidified Water Wheel which once used to pump water to the lighthouse precint.
- Head back north toward Hamelin Bay, 15 minutes north of Augusta. This stunning sheltered beach is a great place to have a swim, keep an eye out for the local friendly stingrays and dolphins who frequent the area.
- Time for lunch, heading back onto Caves Road, take Bushby Road to the Brockman Hwy and stop at the lesser known Glenarty Road. This outstanding winery provides a true farm-to-table experience, and much of the produce served up is from their very own kitchen garden.
- Time to go subterranean! There are three caves to choose from that are open to the public in the southern Margaret River region. Jewel Cave is the largest show cave in Western Australia and as it's name hints is lined with extraordinary crystal formations throughout. Lake Cave is the deepest of the showcaves and is a without a doubt the most beautiful of all the caves in the region. Both Jewel and Lake cave are viewed by guided tour only. Mammoth Cave is a self-guided walk through ancient fossils and stunning undergrowth.
- Head back to your accommodation to freshen up before heading out for dinner in town. Don't feel like going out? Then order takeaway and enjoy some quiet time at your accommodation. we won't judge, it's been a big day.
CAPE NATURALISTE • CRAFT BEER • BREATHTAKING BEACHES
- Head north on Caves Road to the bustling town of Dunsborough. Check out the local shops and grab some breakfast at one of the many great cafes in town before heading out to Cape Naturaliste - the northen most Cape of the two.
- At Cape Naturaliste, you'll be able to take a guided tour to climb up Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and be rewarded with magnificent views of the rugged coastline.
- Cape Naturaliste is the northern terminus for the Cape to Cape Track, and one of the more popular sectionals due it's easy access. Stretch your legs and enjoy the Cape Naturaliste to Sugarloaf Rock section of the Cape to Cape, an easy 3.5km one-way trail, or more challenging 7km return. At the end of the trail you'll be rewarded with views of the incredible Sugarloaf Rock - a towering rock formation peaking from the ocean.
- Head back toward Dunsborough and stop in at the beautiful clear waters of Meelup Beach. Have a swim and relax a while, or head for a walk on the Meelup Reserve Trail. This 7km trail runs from Dunsborough through to Eagle Bay and passes isolated beaches and coastal heathland. Hot tip: If you're not up for a big hike, take the trail back toward Dunsborough to see Castle Rock, the beautiful rock formations nestled in the shores of a tranquil bay.
- Make your way to Eagle Bay Brewing for a well earned pint and some lunch. The menu is great and you'll often see tap-takeovers from other local and international breweries. If you're still in a wine mood, head to Wise Winery, perched on the hill overlooking Eagle Bay this winery might have one of the best vista's in the south west. If you're looking for something a little quieter, enjoy a picnic hamper on the stunning grounds of Meelup Farmhouse.
- Make your way back onto Caves Road to Ngilgi Cave - one of WA's first tourist attractions. Hear wonderful stories of touring the cave by candlelight on a semi-guided tour along an extensive network of boardwalks that are placed throughout the cave. Ngilgi is a great cave for the whole family to explore.
- Head back toward Margaret River via Beerfarm, a very child-friendly Brewery on expansive grounds nestled amongst the neighbouring wineries in Metricup.
- After sampling some beers and maybe a bowl of chips, head back to the coast to the stunning Quinninup Falls Trail in Cape Naturaliste National Park. This 3.8km return trail takes you to the base of the beautiful Quinninup Falls. Please do not climb on top of the falls, this place of cultural significance to the Wadandi people.
- Continue south toward Prevelly to explore the Margaret River mouth and Grarabup. There's some beautiful isolated beaches around here to explore. Gnarabup Beach is a calm and protected cove, perfect for a swim and the White Elephant Beach Cafe has great food and coffee if you need some fuel. You can go for a paddle up the river mouth - ask at the Visitor Centre in Margaret River about canoe hire, go for a gentle walk, or watch the sunset from Surfer's Point.
- Head back to your accommodation before dinner, try Miki's Open Kitchen in town, a fantastic japanese menu inspired by local produce.
This is a self-drive itinerary. If you'd prefer to leave the planning to a local, check out Australia's South West.