Margaret River is the most prominent wine producing region of the famous and renowned wines from Australia; and it is easy to comprehend the reason behind its fame, because the wines that are produced and aged here are truly superb. Margaret River is an essential stop for those who want to optimize their time in the western part of Australia and choose what to do in the city and its surroundings. Aside from having a taste of the most exquisite red and white wines, Margaret River is also popular for its gourmet cuisine prepared by its myriad of world class chefs and fine dining places.
The city is lined with huge estates, wineries, vineyards, beaches, caves, and a well preserved wildlife center. Driving along the highway is always a pleasant experience as you go cruising along its paved roads while admiring the rocky cliffs and the picture perfect coastline that define its unique landscape.
When To Go:
The overall atmosphere of this city is basically Mediterranean and characterized by dry air, humid summer, chilly winters, and warm temperature all year round. The summer season officially begins from the first week of December until the month of February; while the cold winter season starts from June up to August. These are the best months to explore Margaret River and jump from one vineyard to another. It is also the perfect time to see the fascinating sight of green and red grapes sprawled and ready to be picked up along the vast vineyards of every estate here in Margaret River. The wet season months are considered the low season for tourism, which starts from September to October. Although summer and winter are both high seasons, Margaret River’s warm temperature still makes it an ideal all year round destination despite the rainy month of October.
Here are the top attractions and wonderful things to do and discover in the city of Margaret River:
Lake Cave is not only worth the detour, it is necessary to explore it when in Margaret River. Although Jewel Cave is apparently listed as wider than the cave, “Lake Cave” is truly worth seeing. Once you buy your tickets, you do not know what to expect. You can enter a mini replica of the cave and almost start to be disappointed, but once you walked past the door from the outside, you will realize that this cave is impressive and magical. You will love the tour set up with friendly guides who will give you enough time to pause and take beautiful photos. The cave is full of stalagmites and stalactites and it offers the so-called “suspended table impression” where an entire block of limestone is suspended over the water. The infrastructure is excellent, the cave is well lit, and walkways were built strategically to enable the tourist interaction with the site allowing privileged views.
It’s not a huge cave, but it is certainly one of the most suggestive of all lakes with the presence of the pond, which means it’s the only cave in the Margaret River that always have a reserve of water in it. The tour lasts about an hour and the guide will tell you many details about the history of the cave and its discovery, which occurred randomly. The cost for entry is 22.5 AUD (as of June 2015) and is objectively a bit expensive. There is a tour every hour and you’ll likely need to wait for the next group because it can only accommodate around 30 people. The steps to do are many so it is not recommended for anyone who has trouble with climbing on steep rocks. The beautiful play of light created artificially highlights the various points of the cave. If you have time and money, visit the three caves of Margaret River. The city has several caves, but only three are open to the public and the Lake Cave is one of them. At the end of the inspection tour of the caves there is an impressive light show where the changing light shadows begin to take shape in the form of koalas, dragon, eagle, and other creatures.
The Mammoth Cave is a hidden gem in the Margaret River forest. On the way to the attraction, there are indications for the various caves in the area and usually the visitation for every cave requires the presence of a knowledgeable guide and an appointment with a tour operator. Only Mammoth Cave offers free visitation, when and how you want. The tour begins with an amazing walk through the cave by suspended walkways. Climbing the narrow stairs generates a lot of adrenaline, increased by the continuous air flow, the height differences, and the low light.
The interior of this cave is beautiful and an audio guide (headsets are given upon entrance) explaining each step and the history of the place complete the tour experience. Picture taking is allowed and you will learn a few things about geology. What makes this cave different from the other caves is it has lots of informative panels, interesting rock formations, and very instructive guides. You can go at your own pace and simply enjoy this gigantic cave in Margaret River; it is an absolutely incredible experience!
The Jewel Cave is one of the really nice underground caves in Margaret River that is definitely worth a visit. The guided tour and the panels are very informative and entertaining enough.
In addition to that, you have lots of opportunity to spend time and admire the rocky landscape and take amazing photographs of the underground attraction. The staircase provides a rich and immersive experience for this cave tour. Include this hidden gem in your tour of the public caves (Lake Cave + Mammoth); it is one of the fascinating things to do while in Margaret River.
The Giants Caves is one of the three caves in Margaret River that grants public access. This cave has narrow spaces and a considerable amount of wide open space. The tour is made possible with a guide who knows the ins and outs of the cave, going up and down is made possible by the rocky stairs, thick ropes, and wooden ladders set up by the guides.
There are a few tight spots and it is not ideal for claustrophobic people. This cave is so dark and there are no chains of lights installed inside it. However, a helmet with torch light is given at the entrance and included in the tour cost.
Margaret River Tourist Visitor Centre
If you are a tourist in Margaret River, it is a must to visit the Visitor Centre before exploring or if you are clueless about the major attractions of this city. The Margaret River Tourist Visitor Centre is equipped with friendly staffs that give good tips and maps for every attraction. They are helpful, kind, and knowledgeable about every major roads and attractions in the city. There is much interesting material to be purchased, from classic souvenirs to tourist guides and contact information of the tour operators in the area. They also provide considerable material on the wine, the vineyards, things to do, and details of the tour that you can make while exploring Margaret River.
Another interesting fact about this center, you need to walk around because this long and busy street is fun to stroll, shop, and the best place to observe the local life. For bird lovers, this is a beautiful area because just behind the corner of the shopping street you see in the trees or on the terraces, the Galah (a parrot with gray back and pink breast) and Tintin – a yellow ring neck parrot (green parrot with a yellow ring around the neck called the 28), and the Kookaburra (a large Australian kingfisher eating territorial prey like reptiles and small birds, he also has a raucous laugh).
For lovers of wine and wineries, the Caves Road passes between the most renowned wineries in the region. It is a pretty road that will give you access to the beautiful beaches and through a captivating forest of Karri trees. In addition to the fabulous vineyards (there are more than 100 in the region that is as large as the Bordeaux), this road connects to the ocean and where you can watch the waves for surfers and sharks.
The surrounding forest includes no less than 7000 species of trees that are found only in this place on earth. The caves are fabulous and provide easy access when going from one attraction to another. If you choose this way, you should have plenty of time and just enjoy the charming nature of Margaret River. You can see a whole fantastic area with all caves, forests, and winding roads as you drive aimlessly on the Caves Road. Be sure to make a stop on the side road and take a picture of this breathtaking panorama.
Eagles Heritage Wildlife Centre
If you are amused by the natural wildlife and the birds of Australia, it is mandatory to see this site. The Eagles Heritage Wildlife Centre is an animal conservation area in Margaret River where guests can have close interaction with the Australian Eagle, owls, etc. and watch entertainment shows involving a skilled bird trainer and the famous eagle.
There are also guided tours that are led by guides who explains in detail the importance of this bird sanctuary in Australia. There are slideshows and a chance to take pictures with the Australian Eagle, plus the opportunity to feed while the eagles swoop down from the air and grab the bird seeds or any type of food that is in your hand with one gesture from his trusted bird trainer. This unique experience is ideal for families with kids and children can have a fun time while getting educated about the story and the importance of the Australian Eagle here in Margaret River.
Bushtucker And Winery Tour
For the best wine tour and food tastings, contact the tour operators of the Bushtucker and Winery Tour. The tour is well organized and very informative. The journey begins with being welcomed by the driver named Silvana who is also tasked to bring the tour participants within a short time to the actual winery and vineyard area. His explanations on wine and food are just great and will make your mouth water.
There is good wine and a delicious lunch buffet presented by the winemakers and local chefs at the dining area of this winery. The all day tour with the Bushtucker team is highly recommended.
You cannot visit all the wineries at the same time here in Margaret River, but the best thing to do is to make choices and leave some for the next opportunity. Leeuwin Estate is one of the first excellent wineries you can visit and a place worth coming back to when in Margaret River.
Aside from the winery, it has a gallery with the paintings that adorn the labels of a number of wines that you must not fail to visit. The wines are excellent, but the prices are quite competitive. They promote excellent concerts at certain times of the year – it is worth consulting the winery site to try to reconcile the travel date with the concert calendar.
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is a place of lush green, clean air, intense blue sea with strong winds and verdant surroundings. The lighthouse of Cape Leeuwin marks the spot over the extreme southwestern part of Australia where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean. This lighthouse is in an area of very green and beautiful rocks, with good structure and dining places that always serves a hot meal because it is always quite cold in this part of the city with the heavy breeze coming from the sea. Highly recommended is the pumpkin cream that is served warm and tasty with a piece of bread.
The sea is a dazzling blue and always busy because it is an open sea and there is landmark stating that this is the point where the two oceans meet. As you walk through the place, you cannot help but admire the beautiful vegetation next to the blue ocean, clear sky and cold air. You can also see a large wooden wheel that once provided power to the lighthouse by moving water coming from a nearby natural spring. Today this wooden wheel has become an open-air museum object, along with a pirate cow complete with its leg-of-staff and bezel, which all makes an interesting subject for a creative photo.
Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Cidery
The Cheeky Monkey Brewery and Cidery is like a representation of how the people from Margaret River express their love for life, through good wine, beer, relaxation, and great food. This place is like a classic meaning of relaxation for them; a long weekend, food served along with a good beer at the table in the garden, sun, friends and laughter.
The dairy products here are equally impressive and you can have a taste of the best cheddar cheese that you cannot find anywhere else in the world. The menu includes French fries and a huge chicken cooked in a sweet and sour broth. The food and wine are all good and tummy filling. This tour is suitable for families, newlywed couples and friends. There is also a shop where you can buy various local products and offered at a much lower price than the ones sold at the local grocery.
The Hamelin Bay is a beach in Margaret River that is beautiful and extremely quiet. It has clean public bathrooms and easily accessible from the Caves Road. It is a spectacular beach with crystal clear water, fine sand, and visible manta rays on the shore. There are stingrays everywhere and comes very close to the coastal side and they seem to act like they need to be stroked each time they look back from the water. If you’re in luck, you can see some dolphins, especially if you stay around the wooden observation deck area. It is not frequented by tourists, no umbrellas and loungers that obstruct the view of the beachfront area, and when there are fewer crowds, it leaves an impression of being a paradise like destination in Margaret River.
Spending your summer holiday vacation in Margaret River is one of the best ways you can fully appreciate the natural attractions of this city. Blessed with warm temperature and well paved roads, Margaret River has all the elements to make your summer holiday one for the books with its numerous activities you can do on the beach, caves, and winery and vineyard tours. The chance to try exquisite wines along with prepared local cuisine is a common tradition here in this part of Australia. The locals here live to eat, appreciate their wine, paradise like beach atmosphere, and welcome tourists with interesting anecdotes about the origin of their city and the different attractions you can find here. If you’re visiting Australia, include in your travel itinerary a glimpse of this mystical and exciting city that has lots of surprises in every corner.