A Beginner's Guide to Margaret River

Written by  March 20, 2015

Take advantage of your working holiday abroad by exploring one of Australia's wine hot spots.

One of the amazing perks about living in Perth, Western Australia, is the proximity of the city to Margaret River. Only a three-hour drive south of the city, it is the perfect location for a weekend escape from the every day hustle and bustle of Perth.

It took me 10 months to finally make it down to Western Australia’s famous wine region but as soon as I did I realized what all the hype was about. Since then, I’ve returned back four times. I can’t get enough of the place! Yet even with the amount of time I have spent in Margaret River, I still can’t wait for my next trip because there will always be something else to see or do, another winery to try out and another restaurant to eat at.

The first time I went down to Margaret River we only got there midday on Saturday and left midday on Sunday. This only gave me a tiny taste of the region and although I felt robbed of all the places I missed, I would still recommend getting to the region no matter how little time you seem to have.

Initially, I was a little overwhelmed. There are approximately 150 wine producers in Margaret River and that doesn’t include all of the breweries, chocolate shops, dairy farms, oil shops—the list just goes on and on!

Alan and I only went to a couple wineries and a brewery the first weekend we spent in Margs but since then I have been back for longer stays of up to three nights and I have been lucky enough to experience so much more of the region.

For the first trip to Margaret River, I recommend trying to get to a few wineries, at least one brewery, and some sort of specialty shop. A few tips:

• Try not to do too much in one day or else you won’t get to enjoy the overall experience.

• Pick one winery or brewery for lunch but remember that many places finish serving food as early as 2pm so don’t leave it too late or you’ll be disappointed.

• The breweries are often open until 6pm, which is an hour later than most wineries. I’ve found it good to leave a brewery until the end of the day so you can make the most of your time at the places that close earlier.

• If you are planning to sample the amazing wines as you drive around the region, make sure you have a designated driver. If everyone wants the chance to drink there are plenty of tour and charter companies available.

• For dinner, there are lots of amazing restaurants either in Margaret River town or half an hour north in Dunsborough.

• In addition to all the wineries, breweries, shops and restaurants, Margaret River has incredible natural beauty, with caves, beaches, great surfing conditions, forest area and more.

There is just way too much to cover on Margaret River in one blog post; see my next post for my recommendations on wineries, breweries and restaurants to try!

I can’t wait to tell you my favourite place in Margaret River! Until then, I’ll be enjoying a nice glass of Cab Sav and reminiscing about amazing Margaret River adventures.

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Published in Work Abroad Blogs
Gillian Arfin

Gillian Arfin is from Oakville, Ontario. After years of travelling and backpacking and constant itchy feet, she has found herself settled in the most isolated city in the world--Perth, Western Australia. Curious what it’s like to live on the other side of the world? Read what Gillian has to say about it.

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