Our Guide to the Margaret River Region
Margaret River is located in the beautiful south west region of West Australia, situated 280 kilometres south of Perth or a three-hour drive. Our region offers over 200 world-class wineries (approx. 130 cellar doors). Gourmet food, stunning ocean scenery, majestic forests, ancient caves and boutique accommodation makes it the perfect destination for a romantic weekend, short break or tourist must do.
WHAT IS THE “MARGARET RIVER REGION”
Geographically the Margaret River Wine Region is one of the biggest in Australia, stretching 120km from north to south and 30km west to east. Welcoming 1000‟s of travellers from around the world like no other destination in Australia, making it Western Australia’s no1 premier holiday region.
Despite its size we produce just three percent of the nation’s grapes, but we are responsible for more than 25 per cent of the nation’s premium wines.
But don’t be misled. The Margaret River region while famous for its wine is not just all about wine. There is something for everyone, even the non-drinkers.
Margaret River region has some of the most enticing and pristine natural wonders, fine restaurants, world-class arts & crafts, dazzling beaches, world class surf and surfers, spectacular forests, warm and friendly locals and a charming persona all its own ensuring all year popularity with locals, interstate and overseas travellers.
The mild Mediterranean climate makes the Margaret River region a year round choice for holiday makers. In summer, temperatures rarely rise above 32 degrees centigrade (average 27deg). Although much wetter, winter enjoys mild temperatures that average around 16 to 18 degrees during the day and 9 to 11 degrees at night. Spring and Autumn average in the low 20s. Most rainfall occurs between the months of April and October with an annual average rainfall of 982mm. Each season reveals different aspects to appreciate. In summer the stunning beaches seduce swimmers and kite surfers. In winter, they’re graced with a passing parade of whales. Autumn sees a flurry of arts and wine-inspired events. In spring, the wildflowers put on their own dazzling show.
WHAT CAN WE DO OR SEE?
Many maybe surprised to learn our first claim to fame wasn’t through our production of grapes, but through our surfing community, who were the first to discover the beautiful coastline of this region. Today we are now on the world surfing circuit with many events held in and around our beautiful beaches.
Some of the world’s top surfers have come from here so don’t be surprised if you see someone famous walking or dining in and around Margaret River (and not just the surfing variety).
For those that love the great outdoors our coastline boasts some wonderful walks and bike trails. A trip along our coast will take you through some of the best scenery WA has to offer. As you travel south from the calm Geographe Bay region you will pass through some of the most spectacular Karri forest on the West Coast. Not to mention some amazing caves before arriving at the rough and treacherous coast around Augusta.
If you are unfamiliar with Margaret River then remember the key word here is “region”. The town of Margaret River is about half way between the north and south of the region.
To the north approx. 40-minute drive is Busselton. Famous for its jetty that extends 1.8 kilometres across stunning Geographe Bay, the heritage listed jetty is the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere.
Augusta is 40 minutes south of Margaret River and is home to the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse located on the most south westerly tip of Australia and where the Southern and Indian oceans meet. In season whale watching is available from both Augusta and Dunsborough.
While boasting over 200 wineries our region has now become famous for its growing number of boutique breweries, distilleries, cheese makers, chocolatiers, olive oil producers, coffee roasters, bakeries, restaurants and cafes…a wine and food lover’s dream.
Then for you nature lovers we have our stunning beaches, bush walks, karri forests, caves, art galleries, lighthouses, a waterfall or two…wildflowers, the options are seemingly endless.
Have we got you interested yet?
It’s important to remember business hours are generally between 10-5, but nature is open all hours, so it pays to plan somewhat if you want to fit a lot into a day.
HOW LONG SHOULD WE SPEND IN THE REGION?
If possible we highly recommend a minimum stay of 3 nights. This allows you time to visit both north and south of our region. If your time just won’t allow a long visit then never fear, Our accommodation providers can point you in the direction of the “not to miss” places.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
With award-winning restaurants and cafes around every corner, on a trip to the Margaret River region you are spoilt for choice. From casual eating to first-class dining, the joy of eating out in the region combined with a bottle of our best is one of those rare and exhilarating experiences one finds only too briefly in life. Many of the area’s chefs have trained and worked in the great culinary capitals of the world and now use their skills to transform the region’s fresh, flavoursome local produce into some of the best cuisine in the world.
Margaret River’s passionate chefs have been winners at the prestigious Tasting Australia Regional Culinary competition and are recognised throughout the country for highly creative food and wine matching. Consequently, the number of Gold-Plate Awards continues to grow; a tribute to those who are undeniably amongst the world’s greatest. Reservations during peak periods are highly recommended for many of the top winery restaurants. Our main streets offers a great selection of restaurants and cafes for evening dining.
So come and get a taste of the Margaret River region – a gourmet paradise!
OPENING HOURS IN THE REGION
As a tourism region we operate 7 days a week, with most businesses operating from 10am till 5pm.
Lunches are generally available at restaurants and wineries between the hours of 12pm and 2pm. There are many popular venues where it is important to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
You will find that your dinner choices are generally available only in the town centre. While a couple of wineries closer to the town centres may open for dinner on a Friday and Saturday night during the peak summer season and is something you must book well ahead of time as they are very popular and often booked out. You will find most restaurants will take orders for meals between 6pm and 9pm.
There are certain dates throughout the year when you will find the region closed. Christmas day 25th December is one of these days. Only a few properties will open for dinner or lunch and if you decide to stay in the region over this period please plan ahead. You will also find wineries and some attractions shut on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Both these periods are peak time for the region with accommodation booked out months in advance, so if you are thinking to travel any time between August and May plan ahead otherwise you may find your choices are limited.
Western Australia is eight hours ahead of GMT, the same time zone as Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. It is 1 ½ hours behind Adelaide and Darwin and two hours behind the eastern coast of Australia, except from October to March when most other states advance their clocks forward an hour to daylight savings time.
WHERE TO STAY
Margaret River is the name of our centraltown and our region – there are many small towns and sub regions within the Margaret River region. So you will find a diverse range of accommodation choices available. Whether you’re looking for 5 star luxury, camping or something in between you will find just what you are looking for in the Margaret River Region.
To narrow down your choices here are a couple of things to consider:
- Do you want central town location so you can walk to the restaurants, café and shops?
- Out of town locations mean you will need to drive to get your meals and look at shops, however many are self-contained so you can do the cooking.
- Let someone else cook breakfast?
Margaret River pricing is comparable to most accommodation in Western Australia. You will find the following choices on our website and are all bookable direct with the properties.
- Caravan Parks
- B & B‟s /Guest Houses
- Self-contained cottages
- Holiday Homes
GETTING AROUND THE REGION/TOURS
EXPLORE THE LOCAL AREA
Firstly, we highly recommend having your own transport, but if you don’t have your own transport or don’t drive then there are several options to enable you to experience the diverse attractions of the Margaret River Region. You can choose from a range of organised or private tours and taxi services to help you discover our hidden treasures.
DAILY WINE & SIGHTSEEING TOURS
There are many tours that run daily and pickup from accommodation throughout the region. Many of our operators are listed on this website and give good value for money and an excellent day out.
In addition to standard taxi services, taxi companies in our region can also organise tailored tours for singles or groups.
LOCAL BUS SERVICES
For the best rate on your accommodation or your tours we highly recommend you book direct via our direct link back to businesses website.