Margaret River is a renowned location for its surfing, gourmet food, wine and scenery. Located in Western Australia’s South West region, the town enjoys a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, and is perhaps most familiar for its world-famous wine region. And for those who aren’t as partial to wine, the town is also packed with stunning beaches, tall timber forests, world-class surf breaks and stunning, ancient cave systems.
It’s an easy three hours’ drive from the Perth CBD, so it’s the best of both worlds for those who desire both the city and countryside lifestyle. Here’s a round-up of things to do, events to do and history within the idyllic coastal town of Margaret River.
History of Margaret River
There is evidence that the Australian Aboriginal Noongar tribe lived in Margaret River for around 48,000 years. In fact, the Devil’s Lair Cave, just south of Margaret River, is one of the earliest sites of human occupation in Australia. It wasn’t until the 1830s that a group of white settlers settled near Cape Leeuwin, and it wasn’t until 1912 that the townsite of Margaret River started to be built.
The town’s first pine trees were planted in 1933, electricity arrived in 1937, and the Prevelly Caravan Park opening in the 1950s – marking Margaret River as a growing tourist destination. The 1970s then saw an influx of surfers travelling to Margaret River for some of Western Australia’s best waves.
Things to do in Margaret River
- Visit the Margaret River Farmers’ Market
Established in 2002, the Margaret River Farmers’ Market is a Margaret River institution. Open every Saturday morning, the market’s hard-working vendors provide exceptionally fresh food directly to the community. Some notable goods on offer are homemade pasta, bakery goods, chocolate, dairy products, condiments, flowers, meats, seedlings, preserves, nougat and olive oil.
- Explore the Boranup Karri Forest
Nestled between Caves Road and the coast is the picturesque Boranup Karri Forest – a spacious area characterised for its sheer number of pale-barked karri trees. The towering forest is home to some karri trees that are over 60 metres in height, and is a great place for a scenic drive.
The Boranup Lookout is also worth a visit, offering sweeping views of the coastline and Hamelin Bay. There are several picnic tables, and access is via a short road at the southern end of Boranup Drive.
- Go wine tasting at any of the region’s quality wineries
The Margaret River region is perhaps most famous for its delectable wines. There are more than 120 Margaret River wineries to explore – and many also serve lunch and dinner, so be sure to stop for a bite if you work up an appetite wine tasting! Vasse Felix, Barnyard 1978, Aravina Estate, Voyager Estate and Flutes are a few renowned wineries in the area that are worth a visit.
- Explore the region’s ancient caves
The wider Margaret River region is home to over 100 highly decorated limestone caves. Formed approximately 1 million years ago, a number of these fascinating caves are open to the public, and feature some fantastic crystal formations. Popular cave options for those visiting or living in the Margaret River township are Lake Cave, Jewel Cave, Ngilgi Cave or Mammoth Cave.
Annual events in Margaret River
- Cabin Fever Festival
This annual celebration of the food, wine and music of the Margaret River region is a must for those with a penchant for the finer things in life. Guests can expect luxurious winter feasts, rich fine wines, parties with pumping live music and outdoor barbecues.
Taking place each July, there are upwards of 30 events on offer at each iteration of this annual festival – each bursting at the seams with comfort food, fireside brews and lively entertainment.
- Margaret River Region Open Studios
The Margaret River Region Open Studios is a lively celebration of the artists that choose to call towns within the Margaret River region home. During this fortnight-long event, more than 100 established artists open their private studios to visitors for a rare, behind the scenes look at what inspires each artist creatively.
There’s a great variety of art types on display during Open Studios, including but not limited to sculptures, jewellery, textiles, installations, glassmaking, photography and woodwork. The event is quite prestigious, with artists such as Leon Pericles, Rebecca Cool, Ian Mutch and Christian Fletcher as recurring participants.
- Margaret River Pro
The Margaret River Pro takes place over a 12 day period in March or April each year. The competition forms part of the World Surf League, which sees the world’s top ranked male and female surfers compete.
The Pro is a free event for spectators, and is open to all ages. As well as the competition, there is often kids activities, live music and food and drink options for the adults. The best vantage point for the competition is at Surfers Point, Prevelly – or another great spot is at North Point, Gracetown.
- Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival
Held each May in the heart of the Margaret River region, the Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival is the perfect opportunity to hear established and emerging storytellers share stories on panels, at author talks and in interviews. There is a packed program of book signings, Q&As and writing workshops, so there’s truly something for every book lover to sink their teeth into.
Tickets usually sell out, so be sure to book yours well in advance to avoid missing out.
The ACTON Margaret River team are centrally located at Unit 1/124 Bussell Highway, Margaret River, and provide unparalleled results when it comes to finding or selling your perfect property in the thriving and idyllic suburb of Margaret River. Our award-winning sales and property investment professionals are on hand to provide you with the best possible outcome, and can offer you specialist advice on any property-related matters. Give us a call on 08 9758 8898 or email us at email@example.com for more information.