Things to Do at Margaret River
Margaret River (www.margaretriver.com) is well known for its award winning wines, fine food, pristine beaches and breathtaking scenery. The region also has Western Australia’s most extraordinary attractions.
Here’s a quick glance of where we went in Margaret River:
- Cape Leeuwin (Lighthouse),
- Jewel Cave (Beautiful limestone cave, others we skipped: Lake, Mammoth, Moondyne and Nigilgi Caves),
- Bonarup Karri Forest,
- Prevelly (Popular surfing spot, at the mouth of Margaret River),
- Wine, chocolate and nougat places, and
- Margaret River Discovery Tour (includes canoeing, food tasting at wineries, trekking cape to cape trail).
In Margaret River, we stayed in a chalet at Riverview Tourist Park, click through for our review of the accommodation.
On Day 1, we did a scenic drive through to Cape Leeuwin, Jewel Cave, Bonarup Karri Forest, and Prevelly.
On Day 2, we went for the Margaret River Discovery Tour, wine, chocolate and nougat places.
For the details on our Day 1 itinerary, refer to “From Perth to Margaret River | Mandurah and Busselton“.
Margaret River (Day 2): Discovery Tour
Day 2 is a bit less of nature, and more of wineries, estates, food and art. We decided to do a “Full Day Margaret River Discovery Tour” with Margaret River Discovery Co. If this tour is not to your liking, there are many other full or half day guided winery tours, varying from casual and relaxed to first-class style.
The tagline of Margaret River Discovery Co. is “Tour for people who don’t do tours“. That’s us! Anyway, the discovery tour takes only up to 6 pax and lasts about 5.5 hours. Our tour was conducted by Sean Blocksidge.
The guide hopped on to our boat, perhaps thinking the petite me might not row as fast as the rest. Although I didn’t get to have a romantic time with BB, I could relax and not paddle as hard.
The calm waters of Margaret River make paddling easy and canoeing is indeed a nice way to enjoy the scenery. Perfect weather, light drizzle, and hence a good temperature for canoeing.
2. Honey Tasting by the Falls
We sat by the river rapids to taste the different types of honey while our guide narrated how the Aborigines settled in the area many years ago. I don’t really get this part of the itinerary, perhaps because we didn’t think the honey was super delicious. It was okay.
3. Fraser Gallop (Winery): Lunch and Wine Tasting
Fraser Gallop Estate is set upon 165 acres of land in the Margaret River region, close to other premium producers. All their vines are dry-grown.
It is one of the up and coming wineries with award winning wine priced at affordable rates.
This estate is not open to public and only accessible through the tour. Not a wine drinker, I did’t know how to appreciate the good wine passed around during lunch. But I did like the white wine and bought it, even though I am more of a red wine gal.
Speaking of lunch, it was a simple fare that’s not filling for us. It consisted of wine, and platters of cheese, bread, meat, and greens.
4. Cape to Cape Trail (Bonus)
This is actually not part of the itinerary, but seeing there’s some time left, our guide brought us to cape to cape trail upon everyone’s consent. Turns out, this was my favourite part of the tour!
The wildflowers were blooming everywhere, beautifying the landscape, untouched by human hands.
We were supposed to walk only a small part of the trail, but the guide brought us a little further down the trek. He spotted some whales near the shore and thus got us to a better spot to sight them.
He pointed into the ocean, towards some water spouts, “See the whales?”, the guide asked. “You can see them nearing us,” he added and zoomed into them with his camera, snapping photos away. “It’s weird that they are so near to the shore. It’s a rare sight. Perhaps, it is the sharks chasing and cornering them.”
We feast at this rare sight, as we made up for our missed dolphin sightings at Mandurah. The photo below is with no filter, heaven’s picture perfect.
Review of Margaret River Discovery Tour
So how was our experience?
We did things which we wouldn’t or couldn’t have done without the tour, such as 4WD adventure in a land rover. But as Sean mentioned in the beginning of the tour, whether the tour is fun or good depends on group participation.
The other four group members are Aussies and New Zealanders and soon they got comfortable with one another with their ‘inside jokes’ and accents. On the other hand, I switched off after a while because I couldn’t catch up and understand. So as you guess, I didn’t enjoy the tour as much.
Overall, the tour was not bad, just not up to my expectations. Perhaps my expectations were too high from TripAdvisor’s 5 stars rating. The tour also ended about 3+pm, which I felt made the tour more like half day than full. Moreover, the food was kind of disappointing. Even the drinks provided during snack were just simple takeaway coffee and free tea from a cafe.
Considering the currency exchange and our budget, I think the tour was not really worth the price.
Margaret River (Day 2): Driving Around for Wine, Chocolate, Nougat
If you don’t want to go on tours, you can drive around Margaret river and do a winery hop, since the wineries are nearby. For us we drove to places that specialise in chocolates and nougats too, which I am more interested in.
We didn’t have much time to go around the estates, so did a quick visit to the two must go wineries in Margaret River – Voyager and Leeuwin estates.
Voyager Estate, a family-owned Margaret River winery, is one of Australia’s most innovative producers of great wines, particularly Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. It is currently undergoing full organic conversion.
The estate is also famed for its architecture, garden and afternoon tea scones.
Leeuwin Estate is family owned and one of the five founding wineries of Margaret River district. With many international accolades, Leeuwin exports to 30 markets. The estate also features an award winning restaurant, cellardoor and art gallery. It is also home to famous annual Leeuwin concerts, which had several well known international performers
Providore x Margaret River Chocolate Company
At Providore, find premium groceries such as home made jams, preserves, cheese, spices and sauces. Providore harvest and press their own estate grown olive oil and make their own wine. Go ahead and try their chocolate liqueur – Sambarino!
Remember to also taste and buy delicious chocolates from their sister company, Margaret River Chocolate Company.
Head over to Bettenay’s for wine and nougat tasting. The tasting room is open 7 days a week, 9:30am – 5pm. There’s also a nougat kitchen to see how the nougat is being made.
The nougat here is super yummy!
And I so love the space outside Bettany’s. Lovin’ Australia!