Relax – three blissful nights in Yallingup
Indulge – a private chef experience, winery adventure map and sunset drinks & nibbles
Experience – the natural beauty of the Cape to Cape
See – this incredible coast line from above
Drop off your bags at your home for the weekend. Wildwood Valley Cottages is set on 120 acres of rolling hills in Yallingup, with views across the vineyards to the sea.
It’s great for international guests and city dwellers; you’ll love the morning sheep parade and kangaroo spotting from your balcony, visits from blue wrens and feeding the resident horse and hand-reared kangaroo.
Foodies – if you’re visiting in summer, you may be able to join one of Sioban and Carlo’s renowned cooking schools, but be quick as they book out well in advance.
Choose from one of four cottages; we recommend booking one of the bigger cottages so that your (optional) private chef has a full-size kitchen to work in. Butterfly and Dragonfly Cottages can be configured with 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms, and Blue Wren can be configured with 2 or 3 bedrooms. Each has a private veranda, BBQ, full kitchen and spacious living room.
Start the weekend with a dose of fresh air and the incredible beauty of Cape Naturaliste. Head to Dunsborough and hire a SUP (that’s Stand Up Paddle board) or take a thrilling Dunsborough Jetski Tour through the bay out to the tip of Cape Naturaliste. Swim in the turquoise waters of Castle Rock Beach or Bunker Bay.
If you’re a land-lover, there’s plenty of great opportunities to relax and take in the views. From September to December it’s whale watching season – pull into Point Picquet which is an excellent land-based lookout point on the road between Eagle Bay and Meelup. Take a guided tour of Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse for 270-degree ocean views and some fascinating maritime history.
With sweeping views over rural landscape and the Indian Ocean, Eagle Bay Brewing Co is a microbrewery, restaurant and vineyard tucked away on the family farm, in the northwestern corner of the Margaret River wine region.
Eagle Bay Brewing Co is owned and operated by third generation local farming siblings Nick, Astrid and Adrian d’Espeissis. The property has been in the family since 1950 and the farm is still operational with the trio’s father John still farming the land that the building overlooks Cape Naturaliste.
Enjoy a paddle of their handcrafted beers, brewed in small batches right on the completely solar powered property. The menu is full of local produce, including seasonal ingredients freshly plucked from their kitchen garden.
We love to celebrate special occasions with sunset drinks and nibbles at Yallingup lookout. The sun sets over the ocean, and it’s one of the most romantic places. ‘Yallingup’ actually means ‘place of love’ in the local dialect. Splash out with a picnic hamper or grazing table from Hide and Feast – they’ll even come and set it up for you, perfect if you’re planning a surprise.
For a wonderful dinner head to Piari & Co restaurant in Dunsborough (a smart-casual neighbourhood restaurant) or to Cape Lodge for a more upmarket dining experience.
Overnight: Wildwood Valley Cottages + Cooking School
Pop the question
Looking for the perfect place to pop the question? You’re spoilt for choice – there are so many truly spectacular spots here!
Here are a few of our favourites –
- Point Picquet – a granite headland overlooking the blue water of Geographe Bay.
- Yallingup beach or lookout – a sunset proposal would be so romantic. Take a bottle of wine and some cheese!
- Skydive Geronimo offer a ‘Will you marry me?’ tandem skydive – just check she’s not afraid of heights!
- Wilyabrup Cliffs – read how Sean Blocksidge of Margaret River Discovery Co popped the question, and more proposal inspiration
Enjoy breakfast in your cottage (you’ll find supermarkets in Dunsborough) or treat yourself to a delicious brekkie at Goanna Cafe which is set in Australian bushland just a few minutes away. You’ll need a hearty breakfast ahead of an incredible day of wine tasting and lunching in some of Margaret River’s most esteemed wineries.
Relax and let Tony from Margaret River Vintage Wine Tours show you some of our best wineries. Tony has a history in vineyard management and viticulture, and his Leeuwin Margaret River Experience tour takes in some of the region’s flagship wineries.
You start the day at Watershed Winery where you learn how to sight, smell and taste the wines. Then take an exclusive behind the scenes tour at Leeuwin Estate Winery with an intimate and informal experience of food and wine matching as your appetizer. You might try an oyster with a Riesling or a yabby with a Chardonnay. Next sit down for lunch at Leeuwin Estate’s award winning restaurant.
After lunch Tony takes you to the Wilyabrup sub-region. It’s where the first vines were planted in the late 1960s, and you’ll take in tastings at several family-owned wineries. Taste venison, chutneys, olive oil, chocolate and cheese from various artisan producers.
Tonight have your own private chef George Cooper of Food by the Chef create an exciting 4, 6 or 8-course dinner in the comfort of your cottage. He completes the night with a cooking demonstration at the table as part of dessert.
George matches classic West Australian ingredients with modern culinary techniques to create delicious and exciting food. He enjoys pushing boundaries and featuring local in-season produce, much of which he grows himself.
George’s background in English Michelin plays a big part in his drive, dedication and passion for what has become the most sought-after private dining experience in the region.
George has been a guest chef at Margaret River Gourmet Escape, Taste of Perth, and the Truffle Kerfuffle. He has worked in kitchens across England and Australia and worked in many of Margaret River’s best winery restaurants. He’s even appeared in the first series of BBC’s British Masterchef The Professionals!
Without revealing the night’s menu, George will usually craft a wine treasure map ahead of your dinner, so that you may visit some of his favourite lesser-known wineries to buy wines to match each course.
Overnight – Wildwood Valley Cottages, Yallingup
Help is at hand
Want to sit back, relax and leave the practicalities to someone else? Cellar d’Or offer boutique winery tours and will pick you up and drop you back at your accommodation. Their private charters for two (or more!), allow you to set your own itinerary or choose from one of the pre-designed luxury tasting tours. Modern, clean, and air-conditioned vehicles will be driven by professional concierge Geoff Anderson-Hord, who has had a lifelong appreciation of the wine industry. Geoff’s knowledge of wine is nothing less than exceptional and his energy and passion on the subject is sure to entertain.
Start the day with a swim at Yallingup lagoon (in summer) or a beach walk in the cooler months. Look out for the red coffee van which is often parked up at the entrance to Yallingup town. Shoot the breeze with the locals, and enjoy an excellent view of the surf. You might even spot a dolphin or two.
Treat yourself to a Scenic Helicopters ride – it’s a wonderful way to celebrate a special occasion and see the region from above. If you’re planning an engagement, Jackson can help engineer a surprise proposal – he can land the heli on a secluded beach and organise a picnic and champagne. You can even take the helicopter to lunch at the next stop, Aravina Estate…
Next up, head to the glorious gardens and stunning surrounds of Aravina Estate. The tree-lined driveway and magnificent hydrangeas set the scene; this is a decadent winery, complete with helipad and owner Steve Tobin’s sports car collection.
There’s plenty of wines to taste at the cellar door; local flagship varietals Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as some Italian and Spanish grapes (Nebbiolo, Vermentino, Tempranillo) a sparkling wine and a sticky. Aravina Cucina also creates some delicious condiments, jams and sauces – lovely little gifts to take home.
If you’re visiting in a small group of 6-10 people, there’s the opportunity to book a private tasting with cheese or five course degustation lunch in Aravina’s private tasting room. Just something to make the holiday extra special!
The Aravina restaurant is a glamorous, relaxed affair. The outdoor dining deck has a Hamptons feel, with luxurious white fixtures. The sun shines in, and you have a fabulous view of the winery, lake and gardens, as well as the helipad should any VIPs arrive. The menu features local produce such as venison, marron from the dam and herbs from the kitchen garden.
Still have room for dinner? There’s several options in Dunsborough, or ask the friendly staff at Wildwood Valley Cottages for a recommendation.
Visit the nearby Smiths Beach. Grab a coffee or breakfast from Lamont’s Smiths Beach. Take a stroll on the beach and watch the surfer’s catching waves at the beach break – perhaps you’ll even be tempted to book a surfing lesson. Enjoy a walk along the spectacular coastline or take a swim.
Head to the tranquil beaches in Dunsborough, enjoy scenic motoring, coastal walks, swimming or kayaking. Enjoy some shopping in town before commencing your journey home.