3 Day Family Holiday in Augusta

Highlights

  • An abalone breakfast at the Boranup Café
  • A family quad-bike eco adventure through the Boranup forest
  • A locally-hosted tour up the Blackwood River
  • A paddock to plate lunch and ground to glass wine tasting at Glenarty Road

Questions?

Augusta is the Margaret River region’s best kept secret, and the quintessential family holiday town for rest, recuperation and reconnection.

It’s only forty kilometres from the ever-popular Margaret River township, and though that might not sound like a lot, it’s a different world down here.  You’ll notice it in the land and seascapes, as the jarrah and marri trees give way to the towering karri forest of the Valley of the Giants, and the Indian Ocean greets its raw and unpredictable Southern cousin.  Augusta is also home to the South West’s largest waterway, the Blackwood River, which cuts a swathe through hidden valleys and secluded woodlands.

To help you navigate your way around, we’ve revealed some of Augusta’s hidden gems in this action-packed three-day itinerary – including experiences with some of the most unique locally-run tours the region has to offer.  Augusta is the region’s answer to nostalgia for family-holidays of old, providing total immersion in serene nature, the opportunity to unwind and to get a taste of the region’s finest produce.

Where to Stay

Blackwood River Houseboats

One of the region’s most unique accommodation offerings, a stay at Blackwood River Houseboats has you completely immersed in this thriving waterway, surrounded by bush walks and birdlife, the odd dolphin and of course, enough private fishing spots to poke a rod at. The houseboats are fully self-contained, complete with a functioning kitchen (in which to cook up your catch) and front and rear decks for relaxation.

Experience Augusta

Offering a range of excellent properties, many of which are architecturally designed, Experience Augusta is a good go-to for families of varying sizes and needs. Choose from town apartments, big beachfront homes or low-key seaside shacks – regardless, you’ll be surrounded by Augusta’s lively waterways and vibrant natural beauty.

Seine Bay Apartments

Things are kept simple and sleek at Seine Bay Apartments, with modern 2 and 3 bedroom apartments looking out over the bay and ocean. Set walking distance from all the convenience of Augusta town (including the iconic Augusta Hotel!), this spot is the perfect base for a family getaway to the region’s southern tip.

Day 1

Morning

Ease into holiday mode with breakfast at Café Boranup in the heart of the Boranup forest.  There’s entertainment for everyone here: it’s dog-friendly and there’s a giant chessboard for the kids.  Be sure to try the abalone dish, a regional delicacy fresh from the nearby Southern Ocean.

Then walk off breakfast in the stunning forest nearby.  You’ll find a panoramic rest stop a few kilometres further south, where Caves Road winds through a magical section of forest. Or, for something different, tour the forest on a quad-bike with EcoAdventures Margaret River.

This area is also abundant in million-year-old limestone caves, so you could spend a couple of hours exploring one.  There are guided tours at Lake and Jewel Caves, and a self-guided audio tour at Mammoth Cave.

Lunch

For lunch, stop at the rustic Karridale Tavern, where the outdoor tables are crafted from giant karri stumps.  Karridale was once the epicentre of the entire region thanks to a thriving timber trade, and this pub is a relic of past prosperity.  The bronzie burger is a winner, made from fresh-caught local whaler shark.

If you’ve got time, check out the Margaret River Sculpture Park, where the interactive ‘Giant’s Garden’ houses dozens of wooden sculptures.  Some are up to four metres tall, and all were handcrafted with a chainsaw. Alternatively, spend some time cruising the Augusta main street shopping for gifts, or head to Oriel Karridale Gallery or Boranup Gallery to take home some locally-made jewellery, furniture or art pieces.

Afternoon / Evening

Take a late-afternoon walk along the Augusta Rivermouth beach, where spanning the horizon are the towering cliffs of a mostly inaccessible section of WA’s South Coast.

Enjoy dinner and a panoramic river view at sunset from the deck at the Augusta Hotel.

Day 2

All Day

After breakfast, head for a swim at the sheltered Flinders Bay, Western Australia’s original whaling settlement. This quaint seaside settlement is also a fantastic spot for whale watching between June and September, when the WA coastline becomes a highway for migrating humpback and southern right whales. If you’re visiting during this period, both Naturaliste Charters and Legend Charters offer open-ocean adventures, spotting migrating humpbacks and southern right whales.

From here, head down to the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.  This is the most South-Westerly point of Western Australia, where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet.  The lighthouse is the tallest on Australia’s mainland, and was painstakingly constructing using local limestone.  Climb to the top on your own, or take a guided-tours every half hour from 9.30am to 4pm.  Grab some lunch, tea, or light refreshments from the Lighthouse Keepers’ Café below.

Then head to the nearby Water Wheel, and observe the work of WA’s first Europeans.  This structure pumped water from a nearby spring for the lighthouse builders to mix mortar, and later piped in water to the lighthouse for its keepers.  The one hour walking trail to Skippy Beach, past colossal granite rocks, rock pools, and coastal bushland, is also worth a hike.

While away the afternoon by wetting a line off the rocks at the Augusta marina.  Or if it’s rough, head to the sheltered estuary, where at the Ellis Street jetty you can hire a paddleboard, kayak, tinny, or fish for silver bream.  If you don’t have any luck try the fish and chip shop, which took out the bronze medal in the 2017 Australian Fish and Chip awards.  Best enjoyed on the grassy foreshore!

Day 3

All Day

Grab some breakfast or stock up on the day’s supplies at the Augusta bakery, then head down to West Bay and take a tour up the Blackwood River with Augusta River Tours.  Along the way are bush walks, fishing spots, a bird sanctuary, unique wildflowers, wild river dolphins, a private island, and over 25 kilometres of National Park protected by a river reserve.

For lunch, look no further than Glenarty Road, an intergenerational boutique farm with a vineyard, winery, cellar door, and a paddock to plate restaurant experience.  Sample their wines on a ‘ground to glass’ tasting tour, and gorge on a meal of their fresh grass-fed lamb. On the way back into town, stop in at Hamelin Bay Wines for a few final sips of the region’s finest.

Out here is some of WA’s prime growing country, and what’s a trip without a souvenir? Travel a little further up the Brockman Highway, turn left down Wright Road, and call in to see the Meat Mate, an organic butcher and market garden.  The farmer, Simon, raises all his own lamb, cattle, and pig.  Grab a meat and veg box to take home, or finish off the trip with a quintessential Australian barbecue.  Food doesn’t get any fresher than this.

For a secret shortcut back to Perth, travel down Sue’s Road, a lovely countryside drive which pops out near Capel and shaves almost half an hour off the alternate trip.  Just watch the kangaroos! Or, why not explore more of the Margaret River region – another three days in Yallingup, Dunsborough or Busselton instead perhaps?

Questions?