From Melbourne to Margaret River: 4 Day Getaway

Inclusions

  • 3 nights accommodation for two adults
  • Guided tour of Cape Naturaliste and Ngilgi Cave with Wadandi Cultural Custodian Josh Whiteland from Cape Cultural Tours
  • Lunch and behind the scenes tour at one of the region’s founding estates, Leeuwin or Voyager
  • Half or Full-Day Nature Tour with an operator of your choice
  • Farm-to-table lunch at Cullen Wine

Highlights

  • 3 nights accommodation at your choice of secluded, luxury accommodation
  • Guided tour of Cape Naturaliste and Ngilgi Cave with Wadandi Cultural Custodian Josh Whiteland from Cape Cultural Tours
  • Explore some of the region’s natural gems with local guides
  • Enjoy world class dining experiences at two of the region’s pioneering estates
  • Learn about biodynamic farming and winemaking at Cullen Wine

Questions?

Getting to the region is now easier than ever with Jetstar launching direct flights from Melbourne to Busselton Margaret River Airport three times per week as of March 2020. Saving at least 6 hours travel time, means you’ll have ample time to enjoy the natural beauty of the region, along with plenty of winery visits and feasting at some world class restaurants.

Four days is the perfect length of time to relax, re-coop and reconnect and explore the best of the Margaret River region. This itinerary should get your travel planning started but of course, the options are endless in the destination named Best in Asia Pacific by travel authority Lonely Planet.

Accommodation

Pullman Bunker Bay

Smack bang on the beach at the northern end of the capes, Pullman Bunker Bay is absolute bliss. With beautiful, comfortable rooms, an in-house spa and restaurant, and a pool with views over the Indian Ocean, this is an excellent base for a weekend escape. It’s not unusual to spot a whale or two from the terrace, either.

Private Properties

Private Properties have several luxury holiday homes to pick from across the region, all the way down to Augusta. Whether you would like to wake up in the middle of a vineyard or with beach views, they’ll have you sorted. They’ll also sort you out with any additional services you might be after, from a driver, to an in-house chef, to private tours of some of the region’s best attractions

Day 1: Wednesday

Drop your bags off at your chosen accommodation and spare a moment to take in your surrounds.

To get your bearings, head out for a beach or coastal stroll. There are numerous coastal walks in the Margaret River region. Head to Sugarloaf Rock to tackle a short stretch of the Cape to Cape Track, or to the tranquil white sandy shores of Meelup Beach for a paddle in the shallows. You’ll want to bring your bathers with you: it’s one of the best beaches for a dip. If you’d like to work up an appetite you can even hire a SUP to get out on that crystal clear water.

It’s a light lunch after the beach action and there are plenty of superb options to choose from nearby. Try Bunkers Bay Café for delicious dining right on the beach front. You can literally walk right up to the deck from the shore lapping at your feet. Wise Winery and Eagle Bay Brewery are two other options nearby with beach views from their elevated dining location, or if pasta is your thing you’ll be drooling at the options down Caves Road at Barnyard 1978.

With hunger sated, let the afternoons activities commence. Strap you seatbelt on and get out on one of the many wine tours available – you are in a wine region after all. There’s the ideal pick for you no matter what your interest, whether you want a general overview of the region, a trip around the award winning wineries, a mixture of wine and beer tasting or a focus on biodynamic wines.

Relax and chill out back at your accommodation this evening. Pullman has its own restaurant, while the Private Properties team will organise you a private in-house dinner if you organise it a bit in advance. There are numerous private chefs to choose from; simply have a chat with the team when booking and they will be able to help arrange it for you.

Day 2: Thursday

Rise and shine! There’s a whole day ahead filled with exploring the region’s pristine natural beauty, and how it has given rise to some of the best food and wine experiences in the country. Learn from the pros and jump on a tour with an expert guide who knows the ins and outs of where to go, what to do and all the hidden secrets you need to uncover. Gene Hardy from Cape to Cape Explorer Tours will walk you along the coast to explain the dynamics of the natural world and how it impacts the wine industry. It’s then a walk through the vines at the region’s founding winery, Vasse Felix, before lunch at their award winning restaurant. You’ll have the afternoon at your leisure to relax by the pool back at the hotel, or pop into one of the many art galleries along the drive up Caves Road. Yallingup Galleries and Studio Bistro are easy to find, as are John Miller Design and Gunyulgup Galleries which are slightly inland.

If you prefer a self-guided experience. There are a number of bike hire providers and tour guides in the region to book with. Why not grab a bite at one of the local cafes and then hit the trails to see things from a different perspective? Boranup Karri Forest is especially stunning by bike, though it pays to have a guide with so many winding trails amongst the giant Karri canopy. Alternatively, you can take an easy route on the trails around Margaret River and even pop into a few wineries for a taste on the way.

Venture along Caves Road to another of the region’s founding wineries: Cullen Wines. Head winemaker Vanya Cullen is one of Australia’s most lauded and she’s passionate about sharing the winery’s pioneering biodynamic practices. Work your way through a tasting at the cellar door and explore the biodynamic spiral garden outside before sitting down for lunch. With produce from the kitchen garden and under the direction of executive chef Iain Robertson, the two-hatted restaurant will ensure you have a fitting finale to your long weekend in the Margaret River region.

Alternatively, try a full day tour out and about. Sean Blocksidge at The Margaret River Discovery Company will take you to his secret spots to uncover wildflowers, along with a gentle paddle up the Margaret River and a barrel hall lunch. Surf ‘n Dirt Adventure Tours takes activity levels up to the next notch; you’ll be paddling, surfing, mountain bike riding and picnicking in the middle of the forest for a day to remember.

Wherever you find yourself at the end of the day, there are plenty of night time dining options to choose from in the region’s towns – whether you fancy something casual or more decadent.

Day 3: Friday

Today, take some time to learn about and connect with the region’s Aboriginal culture and history with Cape Cultural Tours. Josh Whiteland is a Wadandi Custodian and will share insights with you about the world’s oldest continuing culture as you explore the area around Cape Naturaliste. Let Josh take you through the history of the landscape, the flora and fauna, and be mesmerised by a live digeridoo performance.

Take a leisurely drive down the scenic tree lined Caves Road and get ready for a lunch that will knock your socks off. Margaret River is actually made up of several different winemaking areas and each has very different microclimate and soil structure. It’s only natural that the best way to truly taste and see the differences is with a behind the scenes tour at one of the wineries. Great options for lunch, both Leeuwin Estate and Voyager Estate also offer winery tours that will educate you about winemaking in this part of the region.

It’s worth popping into whichever of the two wineries you missed out on afterwards for a sample of their wines and also to take in the views. Voyager Estate’s manicured gardens are certainly Instaworthy, while the panorama over Leeuwin Estate’s lawns and magnificent Karri trees set the scene for their famous annual outdoor concert. Both make for a relaxing afternoon exploring.

Take a detour towards the coast and gaze out across Surfers Point and Rivermouth. It’s a fun spot to people watch as surfers and wind surfers compete on the white tipped waves. It’s with good reason – these are some of the best surf spots in the country.

Day 4: Sunday

Take the time to truly savour your surrounds before getting going today. Leave plenty of time on your way to the airport to stop by the Busselton Jetty at the Busselton Foreshore. The historic jetty extends 1.8km into Geographe Bay and is the longest timber piled jetty in the southern hemisphere..It also makes for a great Insta shot You’ll be back in Melbourne by Saturday afternoon ready for the week ahead!

Questions?

Cassandra Charlick

Author Cassandra Charlick

Cassandra Charlick is a hat collector. Current hats on the stand include freelance writer, singer, actress, communications consultant and marketing specialist at Brillig Communications. Travelling the globe with her career on stage and off she has a deep curiosity and passion for connection and storytelling. After living in London for 8 years, a move to Margaret River saw a shift in pace and she now enjoys travelling throughout the beautiful region and sharing the stories of the people and communities that call this place home. Instagram: @casscharlick Web: cassandracharlick.com