Last Updated: August 13, 2019
While I was en route to Margaret River, I looked out my car’s window and noticed that everything looked like a scene out of a National Geographic documentary. Sprawling green lawns, lush and towering trees, and vineyards everywhere. Downright gorgeous.
If you love to drink wine and eat good food, or if you love countryside towns with sweeping views of the sea and land, you’ll absolutely love this little quaint town in Western Australia. I absolutely did.
Filled with most beautiful scenic views, award-winning vineyards and wineries, and the most amazing food and fresh produce, time seemed to stop for me in Margaret River, and my days flew by in a blur because of the non-stop eating and drinking.
Eating, drinking and enjoying life is honestly one of the best ways to spend your holidays, in my humble opinion. Here’s everything what you can do on a 4D3N trip to Margaret River.
The nearest airport to Margaret River is in Perth, so in order to get there, you’d have to take a 3-hour drive.
There isn’t any form of public transport that takes you to Margaret River. Fortunately, there are plenty of private drivers around that’d chauffeur you around for a fee, which varies depending on where your drop-off point in Margaret River is.
If your flight arrives at Perth at an ungodly hour and you’d like to spend a night at Perth before embarking on the long ride, we suggest staying at Alex Hotel, a boutique hotel that opened in 2015.
It has 74 rooms, with beds ranging from queen to king size, with free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast, smart televisions and more.
Alex Hotel: 50 James St, Perth, Western Australia | Tel: +61 8 6430 4000 | Website
I truly realised that I was in the countryside when I peeked out of my car window while en route to Margaret River and saw fields of cows, sheep, horses and kangaroo grazing on lush lawns.
For someone who’s lived in the city all her life, being able to see so many wild and farm animals in their natural habitat was so refreshing!
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even stop by the road and get up close and personal with some of these wild animals, but fair warning: these wild and farm animals might be easily frightened, so approach with caution.
On your way to Margaret River, be sure to drop by one or two farmer’s markets, such as Western Grower’s Fresh in Busselton.
This is where all the local farmers sell their goods, which can range from organic produce, fresh fruits to baked goods. Think supermarket, but with all the produce being grown by nearby farms. How meaningful!
Western Grower’s Fresh: 99 Causeway Road, Busselton, WA 6280 | Tel: +08 9717 6010 | Opening Hours: 8.30am – 6pm (Mon – Fri), 8.30pm – 5pm (Sat & Sun) | Website
Finally, the first vineyard and wine tasting! Voyage Estate is a family-owned winery in Margaret River that was founded in 1978. The land spans a stunning 270 acres and it’s most known for its Chardonnay.
Voyager Estate is built in Cape Dutch style, so you can expect lots of grandiose roofs, whitewashed walls and thatched roofs. You might even recognise it from its time on Masterchef Australia 2019, as a cooking challenge was filmed there in May 2019.
It has a wide variety of tours, wine tastings and meal pairings, such as Voyager Estate’s Wine Essentials Tasting (from AU$45), which lasts an hour. You can try some of Margaret River’s iconic wine varieties, such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Semillon.
Voyager Estate: 41 Stevens Rd, Margaret River WA 6285, Australia | Tel: +61 8 9757 6354 | Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (Wine room, Daily) | Website
Now, it’s all the rage for chefs to collaborate with wineries to host dinner parties for the public. These are ad-hoc events and you’d need to either do some research prior or have some contacts in Margaret River who are aware of the latest happenings.
While I was at Margaret River, I was fortunate enough to attend the Arimia x Fervor Pop-Up Restaurant event, which was part of the Cabin Fever festivities (a.k.a. Australia’s winter festival).
The candlelit dinner was really intimate and cosy, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The chefs and winemakers would occasionally interject our meal with small speeches about the fresh produce or wine-food pairings.
While it was supposed to be a six-course dinner, with each course being paired with a wine or beer, the chefs from Arimia were so enthusiastic that it turned into a 14-course dinner that left me utterly stuffed!
Looking for a place to stay while at Margaret River? Cape Lodge is an amazingly gorgeous lakeside country house hotel that has its own vineyard and winery.
The impressive thing is that this exclusive hotel only has 22 rooms, all equipped with king-sized beds, luxurious bathrooms with headed flooring, complimentary Wi-Fi and more, so you’ll be assured of the best during your stay.
Cape Lodge has a variety of rooms, most of which have a view — be it of the lake or the garden.
Honestly, everything looked like something out of a Jane Austen novel, and I almost believed that at any moment, Mr Darcy would appear across the lake and wave at me.
The hotel also has its own award-winning restaurant, massage and facial services, and more!
The thing about Margaret River is that wherever you go, there’s almost always a scenic view for you to enjoy.
I had breakfast at Cape Lodge, which offered a buffet spread of homemade granola, fresh bread, homemade jam and fruits, and hot breakfast food such as truffled scrambled eggs and french toast.
Nothing could beat the view though — that scenic lake view was absolutely amazing!
Established in 1977, Xanadu Wines is one of the pioneering wineries of Margaret River.
It’s well-known for its impressive Cabernet Sauvignons, especially the 2016 Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon, which won the Jimmy Watson trophy, Australia’s most coveted wine award, at the 2018 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards!
Wine tastings start from AU$5 per person and can go up to AU$25 per person, depending on if you’d like to have a tour inside its winery, taste more wines, have small bites, or taste its rare vintages.
It also has a restaurant that’s open from 12pm – 3pm daily, so you can pair its fabulous wines with fresh fish, tender beef cheek, or lamb.
Xanadu Wines: 316 Boodjidup Road, Margaret River WA 6285, Australia | Tel: +61 08 9758 9500 | Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (Daily) | Website
What better way to burn off the intense amount of eating and drinking with some exercise? And of course, in true Margaret River style, it isn’t complete without a scenic route through Boranup Forest.
Margaret River Adventure Company organises activities such as fat bike riding, reef snorkelling and coasteering in the ocean and more.
Cam, our experienced instructor, brought us through our Fat Bike Adventure (AU$88) with ease. It took us through Boranup Forest’s towering karri trees, where we were able to see the stunning forest trails up close.
More importantly, Cam catered the ride according to our skillsets and fitness levels, so while the entire experience was a tad challenging, it was still ultimately safe and fun for the entire group.
Margaret River Adventure Company: Website
Not all wineries in Margaret River have their own vineyards. An example of this is Flametree Wines, a winery founded in 2007 that sources its fruit from vineyards all over the Margaret River region.
Being able to choose from vineyards all over Margaret River gives Flametree Wines the ability to pick between vineyards, as well as blend more complex and interesting wines.
It doesn’t have a restaurant, but you can pair your wines with an array of cheese and olive oil.
Flametree Wines: 7 Chain Avenue, Corner Caves Road, Dunsborough WA 6281 | Tel: +08 9756 8577 | Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (Daily) | Website
Vasse Felix is Margaret River’s oldest wine estate, having been founded in 1967, so this is a definite must-visit whenever you’re in Margaret River.
It even has a vault, filled with all of Vasse Felix’s past wines, including the very last bottle of 1972 Cabernet Sauvignon that was created by its owner, Dr Tom Cullity, himself.
Taste its wines for yourself through its The Original Tour (AU$55), which takes you behind-the-scenes on winemaking at Vasse Felix, and ends off with a private tasting of the wine collection.
Vasse Felix also has a restaurant on the second floor, and its menu is created from local and seasonal produce.
Vasse Felix: Caves Road (Cnr Tom Cullity Drive) Cowaramup, Margaret River, WA 6284 | Tel: +61 08 9756 5000 | Wine tastings: 10am – 5pm (Daily), Restaurant: 12pm – 3pm (Daily) | Website
For the ultimate indulgence, sign up for a chocolate & wine masterclass. The one we attended was hosted by Providore, a food store and deli, and Coward & Black Vineyards.
The masterclass will bring you through the different wine and chocolate pairings.
For example, fruity and citrus-based chocolates can be paired with lighter and sweeter wines, like Semillon, and darker ones can be paired with richer red wines.
Our masterclass brought us through nine chocolates, six wines and four chocolate liqueurs. For the cost of AU$40 per pax, we were even given a bottle of chocolate liqueur to bring home!
Providore: 448 Tom Cullity Drive, Wilyabrup 6280, Western Australia | Tel: +08 9755 6355 | Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm (Daily) | Website
This entirely depends on your driver or tour guide, but our driver surprised us by bringing us to a secluded beach somewhere near Cape Mentelle to have a glass of wine by the ocean.
It took quite a bit of walking to get to the beach, but honestly, the view up there was as breathtaking as the view of the ocean itself.
I love the sea, so this was probably the most memorable moment for me across the entire trip. As I held a glass of pristine Chardonnay and faced the roaring sea, I felt such joy and peace.
The winter air was frigid, but for someone who’s grown used to Singapore’s humid weather, the freezing cold was so refreshing.
If you’d like, bring up a basket of chocolate, fruits, bread and cheese and have a cosy picnic by the ocean, but be sure to do it while it’s low tide.
If you’re like me and can’t do without a bit of shopping while overseas, drop by Vasse Virgin, an all-natural skincare brand that uses 100% extra virgin olive oil, pure essential oils and all-natural plant extracts.
It contains zero artificial additives, preservatives, fragrances, or colours, as well as zero artificial beads for its exfoliators.
The store also has a food range, selling olive oil, balsamic vinegar and more.
It specialises in handmade soap bars and has over 40 varieties, ranging from Chamomile & Lavender Soap (AU$5.50) to Roobios Tea, Honey & Almond Soap (AU$5.50).
When I mentioned that I had eczema, the owner, Louis Scherini, enthusiastically showed me Vasse Virgin’s Chamomile and Lavender range, which is made specially for individuals with eczema-prone skin.
I personally tried the Chamomile & Lavender Soothing Skin Balm (AU$27), which is formulated with a natural beeswax base and is made to protect and soothe rashes and stressed skin. My skin absorbed it really quickly and it left little residue, and my skin was visibly less red. Impressive!
Needless to say, that was my prized purchase from the store.
Vasse Virgin: 135 Puzey Road, Wilyabrup, Western Australia | Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (Daily) | Website
What’s a visit to Margaret River without seeing where it all literally originated from?
Be sure to visit Margaret River Mouth Beach, where the river meets the ocean. It’s really a breathtaking sight — you can choose to watch the waves by the lookout point.
If it’s low tide or summer, you can even walk down to the beach itself and wade in the water!
Margaret River Mouth Beach: Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River WA 6285, Australia
We’ve all heard of lagers, pale ales and stouts, but you’ve definitely got to try sour beer while you’re in Australia.
I was fortunate enough to try Rocky Ridge Brewing Co.‘s Strawberry Sour Beer at one of the pop-up dinner events. It tasted surprisingly fruity, almost like a cider, but with that characteristic malty aftertaste.
I learnt that it’s producing all kinds of fruit-based sour beer now, using fruits like kiwi, plum and more. It’s only available in one place in Singapore for now: Il Lido, an Italian restaurant along Marine Parade.
Rocky Ridge Brewing Co.: Website
Canal Rocks is an impressive sight and definitely something you should tick off your bucket list while at Margaret River.
Sadly, it was cloudy when we were there and we were unable to catch the sunset. We were told that Canal Rocks is an amazingly beautiful place to catch the sunset.
Against the backdrop of roaring waves and rocky islands, there was a rickety wooden pathway, narrow enough to only allow one person to walk through at one time. It led me out across the rocks and to a series of little pools and lagoons.
Standing there on that tiny narrow wooden walkway, it seemed as if I was right in the middle of the ocean! I could see the rushing ocean beneath my feet and it was such a memorable sight.
We’re told that during high tide or when the waves get too high, it actually does crash into the poor tourists standing on the tiny walkway.
If you’re adventurous enough, you can climb across the rocks to check out the little pools, which house marine creatures like starfish, crabs and more.
This was my first trip to Margaret River and I can no doubt tell that I’ll already be going back in the near future. There’s just something about the fresh produce, amazing wine, and gorgeous views that make it such an enjoyable trip.
There’s practically something to do every season — wildflower spotting in spring, sunbathing at the beach in summer, taste wines in autumn, and enjoy Cabin Fever festivities in winter. With something to do all year round, what’s not to like about Margaret River?