Margaret River

Margaret River, affectionately called "Margs" by the locals, is one of the true pearls of Australia. Located in the southwest of the country, you could be mistaken for thinking that Margaret River had everything you could dream for packed into a relatively small town. Hugely popular with Australians, this area has remained relatively untouched by travelling backpackers compared to the east coast. With dramatic caves and rock formations, as well as world class vineyards and some of the best surfing in Australia, Margaret River's appeal is unmistakable. It is easy to come here intending to visit for only a short trip and end up staying much longer than you anticipated for.


The expression goes that you cannot have both cheese and chocolate, but Margaret River will prove you wrong on this one. Its original occupancy as a dairy town has led there to be a Fudge Factory and The Candy Cow which are both located on Bussell Highway, ten minutes north of the town. On the same road is [ The Margaret River Dairy Company] which is open daily between 9.30 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. offering tastings of its famous cheddar and yoghurt, which is also available to buy at a discounted price. If you fancy chocolate as well as cheese then a visit to [ The Margaret River Chocolate Factory] is a must, which has two factories displaying how all their scrumptious goods are made.

As well as sumptuous food, Margaret River is also renown for its outstanding wines. The area boasts over seventy different wineries which produce a quarter of Australia's wines, and with vineyards comes tasting which is very popular in this region. Travelling between the vineyards is only possible by car due to them being spread over vast acres of land. However, obviously this will be a hindrance to your tasting and thus a scheme has been developed whereby tours have been arranged to ferry you between each winery so you can experience as many as you can! Full day tours will cost around Aus$80, or half days are available which will set you back around Aus$45. These will usually include a gourmet lunch, visits to around six vineyards as well as a guided trip through the local countryside. It is best to ask locally for recommendations for which tour to choose, or to ask other enthusiasts.

Caves Road, south of Margaret River, provides one of the best drives in the area. There are hundreds of hidden caves, some of which are accessible to the public, as well as stretches of golden sand beaches. Margaret River is famous for its network of caves that it has running through the town, the most famous of which is Mammoth Cave. This small limestone cave houses the fossilised remains of many of Australia's animals, and is one of the few caves fully open to the public. Many of the other caves show evidence of Aborigine occupation, for example Niligi Cave which is named after a good spirit from ancient Aboriginal legend.

The surfing at Margaret River is renowned throughout Australia. Every March/April the globally accredited International Soloman Masters Competition draws flocks of surfers who come to take advantage of the one hundred and thirty km of surf, offering over seventy five breaks. Constant swells can be found here, although the best surf comes in winter and spring. South of Margaret River is Boranup, accessible from Hamelin Bay, and daily you will find camper vans and VWs packed with surf boards and surfers filling the car park. Other breaks include Redgate, the originally named Surfers Point and Three Bears, which are for the more experienced, whereas Yallingup is a smaller break that is also popular with swimmers and sunbathers.


Market days fall on every weekend of the month, and these take place in the town centre. You can buy locally made craft, jewellery, clothes as well as food produce. Boutique shops are especially popular in Margaret River, as well as Australian street brand fashion names and of course surf wear. The town square is the main shopping drag in the town for clothes shops, and you will be able to find craft shops dotted around the outskirts. Obviously wine shops can be found in an abundance selling all locally made wine.


Margaret River has all types and styles of cuisine you could desire. The gold-plate awards will direct you to the most reputable of these, where freshly caught seafood and locally produced chocolate fill the menus. However, although the food is first-class you will find that many of the restaurants can be quite pricey.

Sauvignon Blanc is the favourite tipple of the locals here, though you will be able to find a vast range of other wines that are locally produced, as well as many different types of beer. The town can become very busy during the weekends, with the party often lasting far into the small hours of the next day. Wine bars are also available for those wanting to have a quieter night.

Tourist Information

Margaret River Visitor Centre 100 Bussell HighwayMargaret River WA 6285

  • Phone: +61 8 9780 5911
  • Fax: +61 8 9757 3287
  • Email:
  • Website: []


The closest airport to Margaret River is Busselton Airport which is located fifty two km away from the town. This only has domestic flight transfers and you have to travel to Perth Airport, three hundred km north of Margaret River, if you wish to make an international connection.

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