Margaret River is home to an abundance of natural beauty creating a simple, more minimalist way of life.
A day in the southwest consists of finding that perfect beach to unwind on before heading off for a hike or drink at one of the many wineries and breweries scattered throughout the region. With the intricacy of the roads which seem to maze off from the main road, it can often become an overwhelming decision of which one will lead you to the hidden gem you have been longing for. While we encourage you to explore, Hunter and Bligh have decided to help you out with our ultimate drinking and beach guide.
Where is Margaret River, Australia?
From Perth, Margaret River is found just over a three-hour drive south out of the CBD. Perfect for a weekend getaway, on your scenic drive to Margaret River we suggest taking a detour through Dwellingup’s Lane Poole Reserve and the iconic Dwellingup Station that features a working steam ranger.
Conto Springs Beach
There really are no words to describe a beach that is simply so magical and beautiful. The short coastline hike takes explorers along a track surrounded by an array of wildflowers and green shrub which then opens to one of the most beautiful vistas of the region. On certain occasions, there are dolphins splashing about in the water below and as you are heading down, surfers rush past, board on their hip, ready to catch one of the long waves rolling in. On the beach, the dramatic green cliffs are the perfect backdrop while you relax and soak up the sunshine, with the cool turquoise water a few metres away. A definite must visit on your trip down south!
To get to this haven we recommend starting at the Rivermouth, north of Surfer’s Point. After hiking the short track from the opening of the Cape to Cape track in the dunes, visitors will soon reach their destination, Kilcarnup Beach. The walk takes you along a beautiful strip of coastline that overlooks turquoise water and limestone cliffs before opening up to the isolated strip of sand known as Kilcarnup. Just like Conto Springs Beach, all you have is the fresh southwest air, the warm sun and a refreshing body of water to swim in (which is what you need to prepare you for the hike back). If you are lucky enough you may even see a manta ray swimming close to the shore.
You have never stepped on sand that is as soft as the sand that stretches across Redgate Beach. Isolated and quiet, the hardest choice will be deciding on where to set up camp, so that you can prepare yourself for a morning or a day of relaxing. Unfortunately due to the rough conditions of Redgate Beach, we would only recommend the use of water for proficient surfers. However, Redgate is still perfect for on the sand explorers.
Although this beach is located in Dunsborough, we couldn’t help but include it as one of the must beaches you have to visit. Castle Rock Beach is found six-minutes from town and features a mesmerising calm turquoise water and is definitely the best place to swim and cool down. Like any beach in the southwest region, you can easily head off on a pleasant 50-minute walk from Dunsborough and find yourself at this beauty of a beach. Once you are there, you will find that this protected bay is the perfect spot to relax under your beach umbrella, with a picnic basket filled with local produce, knowing the most beautiful body of water is there to cool you off.
Howard Park, owned by the Burch Family, is one of the pioneering wineries in the great southern region that has been handcrafting wines since 1986. The winery was built on 138 hectares of land and is surrounded by native bushland, meaning you are immersed in the beautiful surrounds of nature. Home to an impressive selection of wines, Howard Park is the only winery in the region to make sparkling wines using the champagne method. Housing the fruity MadFish range, we can assure you that regardless of your choice, Howard Park will pour the perfect wine for your visit. Stuck on what to try? We’d recommend the Madfish Moscato and the Madfish Prosecco – both light and refreshing.
Howard Park – 543 Miamup Rd, Cowaramup WA 6284
The team behind Voyager Estate are one of the leaders in Margaret River’s wine region. Aiming to be certified organic by 2023, so far, the winery has implemented a number of sustainable methods such as becoming carbon neutral, using natural products on the vineyards and replanting indigenous trees to rehabilitate the surrounding farmland. Heading to the cellar door at Voyager Estate and sipping on any of their wines, particularly their Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, means you can do it guilt-free. In the wine room, visitors can enjoy Voyager Estate’s Wine Flights which gives visitors a tasting of three of their wines all accompanied by the Voyager team who are available to answer questions about tasting notes. This alongside a tasting plate of cheese and bread makes for the perfect afternoon.
Voyager Estate – 41 Stevens Rd, Margaret River WA 6285
Known as one of the founding five wineries in Margaret River, Cape Mentelle know and understand what it takes to produce beautiful wines – they have been perfecting their craft since 1970. Their position on the cape means the winery enjoys a humid maritime climate and a long and dry growing season, allowing the grapes to ripen perfectly, producing a slew of high quality wines such as their Cabernet Sauvignon. There are plenty of tours that work through Cape Mentelle, ranging from a 45-minute private tasting to a two-hour behind the scenes tour with food and wine pairings. For film buffs, Cape Mentelle also host summer movie nights events so you can bring along a picnic and bottle of wine and enjoy watching a new release movie amongst the vineyards.
Cape Mentelle – 331 Wallcliffe Rd, Margaret River WA 6285
In amongst the powerhouse wineries that have been built and established in Margaret River is a growing number of boutique and artisan wine producers – and Windows Estate is one that is making waves for creating wines that never compromise on taste or quality. Due to the small cellar door, the family-run team at Windows Estate use traditional by-hand methods to prune each of the vines and are heavily involved in the processing and bottling stages. By doing so, Windows Estate are able to produce high quality wines that are unique and let the grapes speak for themselves. Inside the cellar door, you can enjoy cheese and charcuterie platters while tasting their selection of wines.
Windows Estate – 4 Quininup Rd, Yallingup WA 6282
Breweries and Distilleries
Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co.
The team at the Cheeky Monkey brewery understand what it takes to produce and serve up a good quality brew – and winning a gold medal for their West Coast IPA at the Australian International Beer Awards proves it. Located on the scenic Caves Road, since their opening in 2012 the brewery has been keeping visitors happy by serving their range of seasonal and core beers straight from the tap – all overlooking a lake and vineyard. This spot is perfect to enjoy a great pint of cold beer (or even their ginger beer or fruity cider) alongside a few pizzas outside. Don’t forget to buy some beer on the way out – if not for the beer then do it for the cool can designs!
Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co. – 4259 Caves Rd, Wilyabrup WA 6280
Colonial Brewing Co
Colonial Brewing Co set up their brewery in Margaret River in 2004 in the very lush Bramley Brook Valley. The philosophy behind the brewery is to keep things uncomplicated which is why their beers are known for their simple and crisp flavours and why they only use cold-pressed Australian apples for their ciders. The brewery is filled with an abundance of natural light, is family and dog friendly and has a food menu with plenty of pizzas and hearty meals to keep you going well and truly into the afternoon. One of the more popular beers, the Kolsch Ale features a hint of lemon and passionfruit while the South West Sour has a more fruitier tasting note. No matter what your preferred brew is, Colonial Brewing Co is the best brewery in the South West to quench your thirst.
Colonial Brewing Co – 29 Osmington Rd, Bramley WA 6285
The Beer Farm
After a morning spent hiking or hitting the surf, there is no better feeling than to drive out to The Beer Farm and spend the afternoon enjoying a few pints of beer packed full of flavour and made using fresh and quality ingredients. Previously a dairy farm, now the brewery uses the former hay shed as the main bar, creating a rustic and historic atmosphere for guests as they enjoy their food and drink whilst watching the cows grazing the surrounding farmland. With a long list of hand crafted beer, the Australian Bitter is one that should definitely be tested, especially since the pale ale has 95 per cent of its ingredients sourced locally. For a more fruit-driven palate we’d recommend the Western Cider which uses pink lady and granny smith apples from Manjimup. The brewery is working towards sustainable practices with their farm running on solar energy, making this a brewery you can be proud about.
The Beer Farm – 177 Gale Rd, Metricup WA 6280
Margaret River Distilling Company
In amongst all the beer and wine that is celebrated in the southwest, there is one place in Margaret River that is celebrating everyone’s favourite spirit: gin. Despite the Margaret River Distilling Company being one of the youngest establishments in the region after opening in 2015, it has been enticing visitors with its beautifully and botanically infused Ginversity line. Some of the infusions the team at the distillery have conjured up include juniper, sandalwood and lemon myrtle botanicals in their London Dry, Barrel Aged and Smoked Hemp Gin – the latter being the first of its kind in Australia. Heading to this distillery is a wonderful break from the usual wineries and breweries, especially when you can stay at the nearby chalets and undertake their Ginversity classes where you can become a distiller for the day and make your own signature gin.
Margaret River Distilling Company – 1 Maxwell St (off Carters Rd), Margaret River WA 6285