Margs is a foodie’s paradise

For a long time the only people to trek to Margaret River were surfers and hippies, as the area has long been synonymous for its surf and wine. But move over surfies, as foodies of the world are heading down under for the area’s dining scene.

The Margaret River region is home to some of the best food and wine in the world so it’s no wonder it’s one of our favourite places to escape for a weekend getaway. If you don’t plan some time ‘down south’ as part of your visit when you ‘do WA’ one day, then you will be missing out. 

Must see’s and must do’s are subjective, what we like, you may not and vise versa. But I’ve included a few suggestions of places we like in the region to start you off to plan your time in the area.

Only three hours south of Perth, Margs is ridiculously spoilt for choice of artisan producers, award winning restaurants and wineries, not to mention the beautiful scenery and white sandy beaches. Margaret River is really shrinking the great divide between Australia’s east and west coast with more than one million people visiting the area annually.  Many a bottle of Margaret River cab sav or chardonnay are regularly consumed in restaurants throughout the nation making this region a household name.

On the way from Perth we suggest a stop at Busselton and walk the longest timber piled jetty in the southern hemisphere. The jetty is 1.8km and there is a train for those short of time or unable to walk the distance.  

Next you will pass through the quaint little town of Cowaramup. But make time to stop for a break and check it out, especially if you like cows. The locals call it Cowtown as there are 42 fibreglass life size Friesian cows scattered throughout the quirky town. Although the town was settled in 1920’s it was only in 1960’s the town was introduced to its first herd of cattle.

In 1967 the first commercial vineyard was established in the area, named Vasse Felix Estate. 

Stop for a browse at Mukau Giftware, pick up some sweet treats at Candy Cow and chow down on the best breakfast bacon and egg burger at Cowtown Diner & Burger Bar. After taking a few photos of some of the 42 cows check out the Roast on a Post, the take off of Laurance Winery’s Chick on a Stick.

As if food and wine isn’t enough to bring people to the area, there is also unimaginable raw beauty, rugged coastline and unpretentious charm. The town of Margaret River is way more than a dot on a map with the wine region covering an area larger than the Sunshine Coast. For 360 degree views of Geographe Bay climb the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse and you may be lucky to see whales on their annual migration or you can learn about the region’s rich maritime history. This is the point where two of the world’s seven oceans meet, causing clashing waves and currents from different directions to create turbulent conditions.

From Cape Leeuwin lighthouse to Busselton jetty the coastline is both stunning and treacherous, with Smith’s Beach, Gracetown, Prevally, Bunker Bay, Eagle Bay, Meelup and Yallingup some of the top beaches. As you enter Prevally Beach you see Eurybia, the mascot and master of the seas as she personifies the vulnerability, excitement and fear faced in the challenge of the seas.

At Rivermouth Beach at Prevally you can see Layla, the bronze statue sitting on a rock breastfeeding a baby whale. There is a network of underground caves, long white beaches, hidden rock pools and limestone cliffs so you won’t run out of things to see and do in the area.  

Within Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park is the historic fossilised Water Wheel that pumped water to the lighthouse cottage in 1890’s. There is a plaque with information about the history, the water system and the fresh water spring it flows from.

Take a drive deep into karri tree country to reach the old timber milling town of Pemberton where you can try the area’s finest delicacy, Marron (shellfish native to Western Australia) and climb the world’s tallest lookout tree, the Gloucester tree. This tree stands at 61 metres, the same height as the Sydney Opera House. A further ½ hour drive and you’ll reach the town of Manjimup for the coveted WA Black Truffle.

While wine and surf remain the main attraction, now the secret is out about the region’s food scene us Sandgropers have had to learn to share our beloved Margs with visitors from overseas and interstate. Western Australia also has more hours of sunshine than any other state too, so isn’t now the time to put this hidden gem on your bucket list?

Breakfast 

Australians love their breakfast and here a few suggestions to make a great start to your day

Cowtown Diner & Burger Bar – see above

White Elephant Café, Gnarabup

Margaret River Bakery, this place is a favourite with the locals so is always busy for the all day breakfast. It has an eclectic mix of retro and antique, you can recline on an old settee, among chandeliers, knick knacks, lace and mismatched teacups and collectible spoons as the smells of good ol’ fashioned baking wafts about. It’s like eating at Grandma’s place. The portions are generous, the coffee is delicious and they do takeaway to keep you going on the road.

Cake & Coffee

Café Boranup

Yahava Koffeeworks

Bunkers Beach Café

Berry Farm Cottage Café for the best cakes, sweet treats and farm style hospitality. Their farm fresh scones and homemade strawberry jam are a delight as are the fairy wrens that hop about the tables.  https://theberryfarm.com.au/ 

Lunch

Cheeky Monkey Brewery – enjoy a tasting paddle of locally crafted beer and lunch

Bootleg Brewery – we had a ploughman’s lunch we enjoyed the picturesque setting at this premium boutique brewery. Bootleg was the first crafted brewery in this wine region

Flutes Escape, Brookland Valley Vineyard, Wilyabrup is the region’s finest dining destination, offering an abundance of the region’s fresh produce. 

Rustico (Hay Shed Hill winery) offers my favourite cuisine, tapas. Try a refreshing rosé sangria with raspberry and ginger or enjoy a Black Spanish Rose (strawberries & Cointreau blended with a twist of Black Sambucca) while checking out the mouth-watering morsels on the menu. This is truly decadent dining set among a lush vineyard on a gently undulating hillside. 

Dinner

Settlers Tavern

Elkamo

Morries

Things to do

Cheese Tasting – Margaret River Dairy Company

Chocolate Tasting  – Gabriel Chocolate

Ice Cream – Simmos

Olive Oil Tasting – Olio Bello

The ultimate Olive Oil experience – Vasse Virgin

Venison tasting – Margaret River Venison

Margaret River Silk Road – Silk farm grows mulberries and cultivates silkworms, sells silk and mulberry products

Wine Tasting 

The wineries, oh where to begin. There are so many wineries in the area and we’ve been going ‘downsouth’ for many, many years and always find a new winery to do some wine tasting. But here are some of our favourites that we just can’t go past.

Fermoy Estate – their claim to fame being that their Sav Cabernet was on Princess Mary’s wedding menu when she married Prince Frederick.

Hay Shed Hill – see lunch above

Lenton Brae

 

Happs

Gralyn Estate

Stella Bella – Pink Moscato 2015, from muscat grapes it’s fruity, light and slightly fizzy, and like drinking Turkish Delight. 

Laurance Winery 

Liqueur Tasting 

The Grove Experience is a great place for a different experience tasting their distilled liqueurs and spirits like Gin, Vodka, Absinthe, Grappola, etc, in lovely surroundings. I love their mosaic.

Tour 

Margie’s Big Day Out – Winner of the prestigious Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2014. They operate beer, wine and food tours from the heart of the South West, Margaret River.

*All opinions and photos are our own and we were not financially compensated for this post.

Does this sound like an ideal place for your to get your foodie on? Is this somewhere you would have like to spend sampling the local delicacies?

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10 Responses

  1. How very beautiful. One of these days we are going to come and spend some time exploring this area of Western Australia

  2. Chloe says:

    Wow this place is indeee amazing, wine, food and beautiful scenery all under one roof! Thanks for sharing!

  3. budget jan says:

    What a huge post. I love this area and you have loads of information for when we return. I had no idea Margaret river was known as Margs!

  4. Lolo says:

    So many amazing choices!! I like the look of that burger, love all of the unique statues and love that mosaic tiled picture of what reminds me of Roman Holiday! #wkendtravelinspiration

  5. I’ve been wanting to visit Margaret River, but now that we’ve left Asia and moved back to the USA, it a less likely option for quick trip. The food looks delicious and the scenery is so stunning. One day, I’ll make it there! #WkendTravelInspiration
    Michele {Malaysian Meanders} recently posted…Villa Vizcaya – Old World Opulence in the Heart of MiamiMy Profile

  6. Ruth says:

    As a food lover, I really hope to visit this area one day. I am sure there are certain things in there that are unique and cannot be experienced anywhere else. Plus, the natural beauty of the area is incredible. There are tons to do between meals. #wkendtravelinspiration
    Ruth recently posted…The Most Romantic Place in Budapest: Vajdahunyad CastleMy Profile

  7. Jill says:

    Wow! So much to do and see! I’m sold! If I ever make it to Australia, it’s definitely a place I’d like to go.

  8. Rhonda Albom says:

    I wish I had more time to spend in Western Australia when I was in Perth. I would have really liked to see the pier in Busselton. Aside from Cowaramup, I recall seeing a lot of artistic cow sculptures on exhibition in Perth last year.
    Rhonda Albom recently posted…The Palaces of Sintra Portugal – the Heart of European Romantic ArchitectureMy Profile

  9. Kathy Marris says:

    Having visited Margs on two occasions I’m already sold on the region, but your comprehensive guide really reinforces this! I love everything about it. I’m currently watching the world’s best surfers battle the mountainous waves at Marg River – spectacular! 🙂

  10. jo says:

    Great food, great wine, beaches, sculptures, lighthouses. This place has everything no wonder it’s so popular! Get me to Rusticos followed by a walk on the beach and some wine tasting. Happy days. #Wkendtravelinspiration
    jo recently posted…ROYAL ALBERT HALL, LONDON, WITH CHILDRENMy Profile

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