‘the living moment is everything.’
The Margaret River Region spans 110km from Busselton down to Augusta in Western Australia’s southwest.
Depending on which part of the region you’re driving to, it will take approximately 2-4 hours from Perth. There are ample rest places, small towns, cafes and petrol stations along the way so if you like to stop and see surrounding areas, you’ll have the perfect chance to do so.
I can promise you one thing- you won’t be bored. If anything, just embrace the notion that you may not be able to see and experience everything that this wonderfully diverse region has to offer in a small number of days (or even in a weekend.)
With that being said, you can create your own adventure. From exploring caves to chasing wildflowers, walking high amongst the trees in the Valley of the Giants, to standing 70 metres above sea level at Cape Leeuiwin Lighthouse, to treating yourself to a gourmet brunch or dinner at one of the local eateries and toasting to days filled with breathtaking scenery and moments to treasure with a glass (or bottle) of wine from a cellar door.
There are numerous styles of accommodation to choose from throughout the region. From hostels to secluded beach front villas, family friendly resorts, self contained apartments and cosy bed and breakfasts for a romantic weekend getaway, there is something suitable for your needs and budget.
Jesse and I stayed at a beautiful bed and breakfast located near the heart of Margaret River- The Rosewood Guesthouse. I can honestly say that it is the best B & B I have stayed at to date. The owners, Jane and Dave are a lovely couple who are more than eager to provide suggestions on places of interest, their recommendations for dining out and wineries to drop in to during your stay. Included in the tariff is a complimentary breakfast each morning. The best part? There is an ever changing daily special with three additional dishes to choose from as well as a selection of cereals, fresh bread and spreads, yoghurt, poached fruits and juices, tea and coffee to compliment your meal.
If you’re a lover of beaches and watching the sunrise or sunset over the coast, Prevelly Beach is approximately a 10 minute drive or Redgate Beach is 15 minute drive away from the centre of Margaret River and both are accessible via Caves Road.
On the first evening, Jesse and I had a dinner reservation at The Common- the restaurant located on the grounds of the Margaret Beach Resort. We decided to leave for dinner earlier so we could watch the sunset from Surfers’ Point in Prevelly. If you have time, I’d highly recommend adding it to your to see list as it’s a moment worth experiencing (even on an overcast or wet day, it’s breathtaking.) For instagrammers or photography enthusiasts, you definitely won’t drive away without a beautiful shot.
After a wonderful sleep in our cosy room at the B & B, it was time to indulge in a delicious home cooked breakfast. Rosewood serves breakfast between 8am and 9am but if you’re an early riser, the owners will happily prepare your breakfast earlier for you.
Caveworks offer discounts for tourists and travelers who would like to visit any number of their 4 caves. Admission per adult for a single cave is $22, two caves is $40 and to visit all 4 of their caves it is $67.
Jesse and I decided to visit two caves (as we just missed the semi-guided tour through Lake Cave). We purchased our passes and drove up Caves Road to Mammoth Cave. To walk through the cave, you should allow 45 minutes- 1 hour. The tour is self guided and upon entry, you are given an audio headset which allows you to explore the cave and listen to the facts/information at your own pace. It is a beautiful cave with a small number of stairs.
Once we had found the shawl and explored the cave, we headed back up Caves Road to check in for our semi guided tour at Lake Cave. There are 300 stairs to walk up and down but the work out is worth it (I promise!). The tour guides are knowledgeable and put on a wonderful light display that’s absolutely breath taking (it’s one of those moments where you just get lost in the beauty and magic). The highlight of this cave is a 6.4 tonne suspended table- it’s not an optical illusion or a reflection, the stalactite is truly suspended from the caves’ ceiling.
The walk back up the stair case is a challenge at the end of the 40/45 minute tour but the views of the Karri Trees and hole in the ground definitely make up for it.
After a morning spent exploring two caves, Jesse and I decided that we’d stay above ground and continue the drive down to Augusta via Caves Road. With food on our minds, we drove out to the coast to dine at the Cape Leeuwin Cafe for lunch. (Their toasted panini’s are delicious!). Once we satisfied our hunger, we purchased tickets for a lighthouse tour ($20 per adult.) You can also opt to pay a slighter lower admission fee to walk around the grounds of the lighthouse if you don’t want to do the lighthouse tour itself.
While you’re waiting for the tour to commence, you can walk around the grounds of the lighthouse and learn about the history of the families and daily tasks of the light house operators- all at your own pace with an audio head set and sign posts with information.
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is 70 metres in height and there are approx. 170 stairs to climb. (Don’t stress, there are platforms and chairs inside the lighthouse where you can catch your breath before reaching the top.) At the top of the lighthouse, you’ll get to venture out onto the platform and take in the beautiful birds eye view of the Southern Ocean and Indian Ocean. On days where the wind isn’t too strong, you can also see (for more than a few moments) where the two oceans collide.
The tour guides are also more than happy to take a photo (ladies- I’d recommend tying your hair up because the wind at the top of the lighthouse is 15-25km higher than ground level- save yourself the hassle of trying to brush out the knots!)
After taking in the views, we headed back down the stairs and drove back to Margaret River. After a relaxing afternoon at our accommodation and short stroll into town, we headed back up Caves Road to jump rocks and listen to the waves crashing along the shore at Redgate Beach. Located only 15 minutes away from Margaret River via Caves Road (turn left towards Augusta), you’ll find yourself at a secluded beach. It may not be ideal for surfing or swimming but if you want a prime spot to watch the waves, walk along rocks or watch the sunset, this beach is for you.
For dinner, Jesse and I ate at Settler’s Tavern. You cannot make a reservation but the service and atmosphere is excellent (if you don’t mind live music and the sound of laughter and chatter). It may not be the venue for a romantic candle lit dinner but for a casual dining experience and drool-worthy food at an affordable price, this should be on your to dine list.
Sunday morning came around and sadly, it was time to make the three hour drive back to Perth. I decided to go for an early morning drive down to Surfer’s Point for one last walk along the beach before breakfast. & that’s where our weekend adventure ends…