The Ultimate First-Timer’s Guide to The Margaret River Region
Western Australia’s Margaret River Region is a foodie and beach lover’s paradise, known for its shimmering turquoise bays, ancient granite coastline peppered with caves and winding roads lined with lush vineyards.
We can almost guarantee you’ll be planning your second (and third) visit in no time.
As visually spectacular as it is diverse, the Margaret River region’s quiet forests, surf breaks and rickety farms have beckoned creatives since the 1960s, and now there’s a thriving arts scene.
How to get to and around the region:
The Margaret River Region is predominantly a self-drive destination and car hire is an excellent choice if you’re arriving by plane. Traditionally the main route is to fly to Perth and then travel by car which takes approximately 2.5 hours to Busselton, or 3 hours to Margaret River.
The region’s main airport, the Busselton-Margaret River Airport is ten minutes from Busselton or a 45-minute drive from Margaret River town. You can now fly direct from Melbourne Tullamarine to Busselton with Jetstar, ideal if you’d like to skip the city and head straight to this food and wine mecca.
Coaches also connect Perth to the Margaret River Region and depart daily, and there are multi-day tour options available from Perth.
How long to stay:
Between long lunches, winery hopping, languid beach walks and all the activities in between, there is a lot to see and explore throughout the region. We would recommend staying at least four or five nights to truly whet your appetite with all this region has to offer.
When to visit:
Truth is, the south west has something unique to offer all year round. Surrounded by ocean on three sides, the Margaret River Region has a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters.
Visiting in spring gives you opportunity to discover all its delights. Clear, crisp days on the Cape to Cape Track and evenings rugged up with a glass of Cabernet and a roaring log fire. Native wildflowers bloom, and our coastline becomes filled with whales on their annual migration. It’s also when 160+ artists swing open the doors for Margaret River Region Open Studios, the biggest arts event of its kind in Australia.
The Fun Stuff
Where to Stay:
The region has plenty of fantastic accommodation options for all types of travellers, depending on whether you’re basing yourself in Busselton, Dunsborough, Yallingup, Margaret River, or Augusta.
Stay in cosy cabins, working farms, or in luxurious hotels and resorts. Embrace nature at one of the many fabulous caravan parks or opt for creature comforts at one of the glamping retreats dotted across the region.
Pictured, left: The Lookout in Yallingup by Private Properties.
Where to Wine and Dine:
Home to some of Australia’s best wine, the region is filled with passionate producers, creative chefs and hospitality heroes serving up truly amazing food and wine experiences.
With so many great culinary options, the hardest part will be choosing.
Plan your meals and book ahead to reenergise and reflect on your Open Studios visits.
Visit Voyager Estate and Leeuwin Estate (pictured) for impeccable wine degustations, impressive architecture and art. Take in the family friendly Swings & Roundabouts with their scrumptious pizza, Gralyn Estate – Margaret River’s first cellar door, and don’t forget to add hidden gems like Dormilona to your list too.
Where to Play:
Exploring artists’ studios is lovely way to meet locals and learn the gentle rhythms of life in the region. You’ll strike up conversations about wildflowers, Aboriginal culture, geology, geography, the quality of the light, whale migration – and a myriad of artistic techniques – glass lampwork, print making, felting, how artificial intelligence influences art. Pick up an event guide or Meet the Artists to start planning your studio visits. Select the artists you’d like to visit and the new TrailMaker will help plot your journey in Google Maps.
Marvel at the sheer number of natural attractions scattered across the region, from crystal caves to towering forests, breathtaking beaches, fantastic surf breaks and the world-famous Cape to Cape Track.
Spend your days relaxing at some of the region’s best beaches or climb the tallest lighthouse in mainland Australia. Catch a west coast sunset at the iconic Sugarloaf Rock or walk along the 1.8km long Busselton Jetty over the protected waters of Geographe Bay. Head underground to one of the crystal palaces dotted across the region or during whale-watching season, witness the annual migration of humpback, southern right and blue whales.
The region is also filled with some of the country’s best walking trails, with many visitors flocking every year to attempt the world-famous Cape-to-Cape Track. The 125km track follows dramatic bays and cliffs from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin, Augusta. Walkers are blessed with breathtaking views and landscapes, curious wildlife and during spring, beautiful blooming wildflowers.