Margaret River On Tour – Five Luxurious Days in the Margaret River Region

Inclusions

  • 2 nights accommodation at Cape Lodge; home to a vineyard and one of Australia’s most coveted restaurants
  • 2 nights accommodation at Pullman Bunker Bay in prime position along tranquil Bunker Bay
  • a behind the scenes winery tour of Leeuwin Estate plus a wine and food flight
  • an indigenous cultural experience with Koomal Dreaming

Questions?

There’s no denying that the finer things in life are something we all aspire to enjoy. And with good reason: who doesn’t want to spend their days eating delicious food, sipping world class wines, sleeping in the softest of bedsheets and waking up to spectacular views?

Holidays are one of the only chances when the fantasy of a limitless lifestyle can be realised. The Margaret River region is chock full of options to live like royalty. Whether your dream trip involves adventures in the great outdoors, degustations for days or VIP access to discover behind the scenes secrets; it’s all possible in the paradise of South Western Australia.

When spoilt for choice with options, sometimes true luxury lies in having someone else do the planning. This sumptuous five day itinerary is bound to tick the boxes and perhaps even provide a surprise or two!

Day One

It’s definitely time to stretch your legs and top up the caffeine supplies after the drive down to Margaret River. Take a stroll down the main drag and if you’ve got time you might even be able to squeeze in a browse of the town’s tempting boutiques.  Pop into one of the many cafes that craft great coffee. Sidekick Café, Riversmith, Badger & Frankie, Drift Café…whichever you visit, you’ll be assured of a well-made coffee and a morning snack to kick off the day’s culinary journey with.

There isn’t too much time to dawdle, as just ten minutes away you’ve got a hedonistic afternoon in store for wine lovers. Drive on to Voyager Estate for an 11am start with a behind the scenes tour. Your guide for the morning will take you on a journey from the vineyard through to the winery and underground cellar. Tastebuds will be perfectly primed by the time you’re done, so you’ll be happy to hear that a tasting awaits you at the end of the tour. Head chef, Santiago (Santi) Fernandez and his team will look after you for lunch with a selection of dishes inspired from the vineyards and winemaking process. It’s a chance to explore how food can transform wine, with each course perfectly paired with an aged or limited release wine.

Roll back into the car and it’s time to head up to Cape Lodge, your home for the next two nights. Caves Road is one of the most scenic drives in the region, and as you twist and turn northwards, take a short detour down Wallcliffe Road and stop by Surfers Point for a stroll to help digest lunch and gaze out at this iconic surf spot. 20 minutes in the driver’s seat and an arrival at Cape Lodge is one to remember. The 40 acre property is filled with rolling vineyards, manicured parkland and romantic secluded rooms with views to die for from the Cape-Dutch style buildings. You’ll feel like you have stepped in to a private country estate; yet with all the bells and whistles of a five star hotel. Luxury epitomised. Run a spa bath and relax before dinner at the fine dining restaurant. Headed by Chef Tony Howell, you’ll be in hands of one of Australia’s leading food ambassadors and an all-round culinary superstar. Dishes are expertly crafted with classic French technique and inspired by seasonal and local produce.

Day Two

Wake up to birdsong and lakeside views from one of the most comfortable beds you’ll find in the region. Alas, don’t lie in for too long; there’s breakfast to be had. A stroll across the lawn, past the pool and down the rose lined path and you’ll have a hard time keeping your eyes on the food when the tranquil lakeside view is across the table.

Today will be a feast for all of the senses, so make sure your camera’s battery is charged and you are ready to be wowed. First up, it’s some artistic engagement at Leeuwin Estate. One of the regions founding wineries, Leeuwin Estate is as famed for its cultural connections as it is for its wine. The Leeuwin Concert is an annual event that has seen performers and guests visit from all over the world; from Ray Charles through to Shirley Bassey, Kiri Te Kanawa, Sting and Carole King. Drive down the undulating driveway and you’ll arrive in time to enjoy a Leeuwin Immersion Experience.  If the drive has worked up an appetite, you’ll replenish stores with a light morning tea before heading off with your guide. Get set to learn more about the philosophy of the wine making during a behind the scenes tour of the winery. You’ll also enjoy the artistic legacy of the Estate in the Art Series gallery which is filled with some of Australia’s most recognised artists. Finish up with a Wine and Food flight of five iconic Leeuwin Estate Art Series wines, served with perfectly matched canapés. At this point, the next step is dependent on your definition of luxury. Foodies can stay and enjoy a long lunch, while outdoorsy types might prefer to crack on if appetites are sated.

Next up, take in the majestic canopy of karri trees that make Boranup Forest one of the most magical places down south. Head back onto Caves Road and you’ll know when you reach the forest: just wait until your breath is taken away at that turn in the road. If you’re equipped with the enthusiasm and attire for a bike ride, this afternoon is perfect for an E-Bike ride though the natural beauty of the bush. You’ll enjoy the ride without the hard work thanks to local providers such as Margaret River Mountain Bike Tours,  Due South, and Dirty Detours.

Alternatively, if you’re keen to stick to strolling (or you decided to stay on for a longer lunch), simply get out of the car for a relaxing walk amongst the trees. Guaranteed you’ll leave with a plenty of clean air circulating through your body and a deep sense of appreciation for the splendour of mother nature.

Head back through Margaret River for dinner at one of the luxe choices such as Miki’s Open Kitchen for some tempura delights, or try Settlers Tavern for a more casual feed and be spoilt for choice on the drinks front with Western Australia’s best wine list. If you want to bunker down back home; head straight back up to Cape Lodge and order room service. What could be more decadent than dinner in a dressing gown? Ok, maybe a helicopter trip to the beach might be able to top a dressed-down dinner. Scenic Helicopters can pick you up and whisk you off for a romantic and secluded beachside picnic if romance is the name of the game.

 

Day Three

Check out of your room, grab a bite at the breakfast table and it’s time to head north up Caves road this time. Art aficionados can see as little or as much as they like with the region’s numerous galleries. Be sure to stop at Yallingup Galleries for an Aladdin’s cave of work from local and Western Australian artists in this colourful and inspiring collection. Here you’ll find paintings, textiles, ceramics, and much more. Time to spare for some extra artistic exploring? Try The Studio Gallery and Bistro, Gunyulgup Galleries, and John Miller Design.

Travel onward for a cultural experience of a different kind with Josh  ‘Koomal’ Whiteland of Koomal Dreaming and Cape Cultural Tours. From Josh you’ll learn the  history and way of life of the Wadandi people. As is a living custodian of the world’s oldest living culture, this is an experience to be remembered. Josh will take you on a guided bushwalk, identifying traditional medicine plants and learning local Noongar knowledge. Finish the morning with a guided tour of Ngilgi cave and a spin tingling digeridoo performance that will stay etched in your memory for years to come.

By now hunger is surely calling, so it’s a casual lunch today. Try one of the local breweries; Wildhop Brewing Co. is filled with smoky woodfired share plates, while Eagle Bay Brewing Co. has epic views over farmland and the nearby Indian Ocean, along with great beer and tasty food.

Enjoy a beach walk or dip after filling up from lunch. This part of the cape is loaded with aquamarine waters and sheltered coves. Try Meelup Beach or Castle Rock Bay, and if you are keen to really work off those calories you can hire a stand up paddle board or kayak in the warmer months. Just down the road is your bed for the night, at the secluded Pullman Bunker Bay Resort. Make sure you check in before sunset as you’ll be treated to one of the best seaside views in WA as you watch the sun go down with a glass of chardonnay in hand. End the day with a meal at the hotel restaurant, Other Side of the Moon. Be sure to save space for dessert: the sweets are truly spectacular at this five star resort.

Day Four

It’s a beachside breakfast once you have drawn the curtains and dragged yourself away from the duvet. Does your idea of luxury involve kicking the day off with a gourmet detox juice or a glass of sparking wine? Either way, you’re covered here. Follow up with a dip in the pool before pulling on those hiking boots for a discovery of the regions spectacular hiking trails.

The Cape to Cape track is a 140 kilometre trail along the clifftops and beaches between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin. Of course, today is not the day to tackle a serious length of the track, but you’ll be well rewarded for even a short stretch. Try Sugarloaf Rock for a awesome view and some easily accessible walking tracks nearby. Prefer a guide? A number of local companies organise small guided and private tours. Check out a selection to pick from here. Hiking in winter? Look out for whales. Springtime stroll? Wildflowers are rampant. Summer? Pack your sunnies. Autumn? Crisp days and sunshine await you.

If you opted for a self-guided trek, then think about heading into Dunsborough beforehand for a packed lunch and picnic  supplies. If you jumped straight out on the trails, pop on down for lunch afterwards at one of Dunsborough’s casual yet delicious lunch options. Try Blue Manna Bistro for a spread of fresh seafood, or Peko Peko for something light such as sushi or rice paper rolls. Of course, the Dunsborough Bakery has been a food icon for over 68 years so you’d be making a good choice there, or you can pop down the road for treetop views and pub style food at Clancy’s Fish Pub or Caves House Hotel.

It’s an afternoon off from sightseeing and you can take your pick from a number of relaxing endeavours in the heart of Dunsborough’s town centre. Shoppers will be spoilt for choice with clothing boutiques and homeware stores, while sunshine seekers can simply recline on the Dunsborough foreshore with a good book for the afternoon. After all, time is the ultimate luxury, right?

End the day enjoying a dining experience focused on seasonal produce with creative flare at Yarri Restaurant . The kitchen is headed by Aaron Carr and the ample wine list is centred around local wines from Snake + Herring. With the bar menu on offer from either 12pm or 4pm (dependant on the day you visit), you can pop in as early as you like for a bite.

Day 5

It’s time to check out, but definitely not time to say goodbye. After the heavy lifting of suitcases and this week’s full schedule of culinary delights, wine explorations and scenic strolls it’s time for a well-deserved massage at the resort’s Vie Spa.

Turn right at the driveway and head towards Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse for one last survey of the coastline. You’ll learn a bit more of the maritime history of the region, and enjoy a birds eye view of the ocean’s white capped swell. Reminisce about the past few day’s indulgences before heading off home via a pit stop in Busselton.

Journey towards to Busselton Jetty precinct and have a wander; there is plenty to take in. The jetty itself stretches out over 1.8km and is the longest wooden piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. The beaches are filled with soft white sand for paddling, and there is an abundance of public artwork to gaze at. Check out the piece that looks like a long white pillar next to the jetty: it’s a visual representation of the soundscape under the jetty’s pylons. After a wander along the foreshore and through the heritage precinct, tummies will be rumbling, so grab a bite from one of the many restaurants on the main street or head back to The Goose Beach Bar and Restaurant  for some waterfront dining before the drive home. It’s the perfect farewell to a week of decadence.

Vie Spa Pullman Resort Bunker Bay

Questions?

Amanda Carmichael

Author Amanda Carmichael

Amanda is Queensland born, West Australian at heart.After clocking up some serious km's visiting the Margaret River region every second weekend, she recently packed up and made the move to the most beautiful part of Australia.Happiest when by the sea, adventuring and trying ALL the food and wine. Now living in the region, she knows she's hit the jackpot!