Welcome to the ‘Cape Naturaliste’ bubble – your own private island in the south west.

This tiny corner of the world is flanked by the turquoise waters of secluded, lagoon-like bays on one side and dramatic, granite-lined surf-breaks on the other. The canvas well and truly sets the scene for coast-to-coast indulgent living between Dunsborough and Yallingup. The daily schedule is unhurried. It looks like a surf or a swim, a hike on the Cape rewarded by a long lunch, an afternoon of sourcing gourmet produce, and finally, seeing out the day with a lazy glass in hand at your winery or brewery of choice.

You can experience the Cape region intimately, or join those who regularly return, calling it their own retreat – their home-away-from-home – albeit more spectacular.

 

Your Story Starts Here

1

Sugarloaf Rock

Sugarloaf Rock is a mighty and majestic landmark on the South Westerly coast – spectacular, dramatic and huge – nature at its rawest to take your breath away. The gigantic granite formation is actually an island, separated by a narrow channel from more granite cliffs on the other side. This is one of the most photographed icons in Western Australia, having graced the cover of Australian Geographic magazine. ‘Sugarloaf’ is a dramatic stop on the Cape to Cape track, but can also be accessed by car. Along the track, walk trails and safe swimming spots are accessible nearby.

2

Meelup Regional Park

The waters and landscape of Meelup Regional Park are like a dream – forested bush racing right up to the pristine shores of Geographe Bay, meeting secluded rocky bays and perfect white, sandy beaches. For just over 11 kilometres between Old Dunsborough and Bunker Bay, take your time in the park to find your own special spot, lay out your towel and your beach umbrella and do as much or as little as you like. The walk trails along this coastline commence in Dunsborough town, and are mostly flat and very accessible.

3

Ngilgi Cave

Western Australia’s first tourist attraction, and its popularity led to the construction of its namesake, the historic Caves House hotel nearby. Ngilgi Cave lies in the pristine coastal corner of Yallingup, surrounded by peppermint and eucalyptus trees. Extensive boardwalks lead through the large chambers of this underground wonderland, impressively decorated by nature. There is a junior explorer’s tunnel for the little ones, and the rare opportunity to handle cave crystals at the touch table. At a constant temperature of 20°C, the cave is an ideal place to visit at any time of year.

4

Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse

One of the region’s most popular attractions, Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse has something for people of all ages and abilities. An easy climb of 59 stairs makes the lighthouse accessible even for small children. Guided tours give insight into the functions of the working lighthouse, where a fascinating maritime history of shipwrecks, the formidable coastline and the hardships of a lighthouse keeper are revealed. The heritage precinct features a universal access platform at the base of the lighthouse with sweeping ocean views, plus landscaped lawns and a nautical-playground for visitors to linger or bring a picnic.

5

Eagle Bay Brewing Co

A prime classy-yet-casual establishment, where its slick limestone and concrete architecture – overlooking farmland and the Indian Ocean – belies a world of fun. Eagle Bay Brewing Co is a microbrewery, restaurant and vineyard tucked away on a family farm, where the proprietors (third-generation farming siblings) have a passion for sharing their love of handcrafted brews and local produce. Enjoy lunch or late afternoon drinks in a vibrant atmosphere, with six handcrafted brews to choose from.

6

Wild Hop Brewing Co.

Caters happily to the whole family, with grown-up brews, a modern casual setting overlooking epic views for the parents, a nature playground for the kids and even welcoming well-behaved pooches on leads. Wild Hop features a revolving list of seasonally-inspired craft beers as well as local wines and spirits. Its share-style menu centres around the wood fire, with signatures including the rotisserie chicken and tomahawk steak. There’s a woodfire inside surrounded by comfy lounges, with a beautiful deck and plenty of outside seating or lawn lazing for those sunny afternoons.

7

Gabriel Chocolate

To visit Gabriel Chocolate is to travel the world one cacao bean at a time. The chocolate is taken seriously (being Western Australia’s first bean-to-bar choc makers) and is a tad more grown up – single-origin sourcing is a staple here. Explore far flung chocolate destinations in the comfort of the gallery at Yallingup. Sit inside at the café or the outside veranda or lawn with Gabriel’s award-winning chocolate creations, famous hot chocolate, decadent chocolate chunk cookie, chocolate inspired gelato or a choice of loaded coffee.

8

Yallingup Cheese Company

Cheese – from ooey, gooey to sometimes stinky (in the best way!) Yallingup Cheese Company definitely satisfies that craving. The hand-crafted artisanal cheese producer is inspired by authentic French cheese and runs a showroom inside Abbey Vale Wines. The cheeses are made from multiple weekly deliveries of local goat and organic cow milk, and used for production that day, sealing in those fresh creamy milk flavours. Pick a cheese (or three), buy a grazing box and enjoy the picturesque grounds with your newly-foraged picnic.

9

Lagoon Yallingup

Relaxing, all white interiors and two-storeys of seafood-focused restaurant goodness metres from the sand at Yallingup. This makes Lagoon a no-fail combo for locals and visitors. Inside, the self-described ‘refined casual’ dining runs for breakfast and lunch (with limited edition seasonal dinners). The lunch menu especially is a celebration of local and native produce, where seafood is king. Wash it down with a prime selection of local vinos or a cocktail. If you’re doing a quick stop, Lagoon has a kiosk overlooking the Yallingup foreshore park and playground, serving breakfast, lunch and takeaway hot food.

10

Happs

A family-owned winery that has been operating for more than 40 years. Perfect for the wine-curious and adventurous – discover varieties, styles and flavours in the region’s only outdoor, self-serve wine-tasting venue that is free to everyone. The cellar door sits elevated on a hill of native forest, with beautiful grounds and lawn area where you can enjoy your favourite bottle of Happs with a delicious build-your-own gourmet picnic hamper. Or, if you are looking for a unique gift or keepsake, visit the pottery and art gallery where you’ll find artists in residence and a selection of handicrafts and jewellery by local artists.

11

Commonage Pottery

Commonage is a working pottery studio, art gallery and workshop space within Happs winery. You will often find resident potters at work, or teaching workshops for both pottery initiates and dedicated students. Take a wander through the gallery where you’ll discover a showcase of beautiful creations including paintings, sculptures and stunning jewellery all handcrafted by local artists. Ceramic styles vary from Raku to stoneware, crystalline glazes, woodfired and high-fired reduction glazes. The pottery classes are fun and are great to enjoy with your friends after a wine tasting. Check the website to book a class.

12

Marri Wood Park Biodynamic Vineyard

A boutique family-run and owned winery in Yallingup, located on Caves Road, a stone’s throw from Smiths Beach. With a passion for the environment, the vineyard is managed with a biodynamic philosophy at heart. Marri Wood Park utilises sustainable and chemical free practices when crafting the wine. The winery has recently opened a cellar door set among natural bush, where visitors can pop in to try the wines, with the open fire often going in winter. Call ahead to book a picnic or Yallingup Cheese board, borrow a blanket set and treat the kiddies to a gelato. It’s rustic, charming and dog-friendly.

12

Swings and Roundabouts Yallingup

Swings & Roundabouts is much-desired for a casual lunch and linger, often abuzz with its magnificent lawn, views and playground. The building itself is full of an artful timber interior, designed to mimic the feel of a wine barrel! Expect a friendly atmosphere, good music, open fires and cosy corners. Outside – sit at a picnic table, spread a blanket or take a spot at one of the most photo-worthy tables in the region, complete with actual swings for seats! The wines are plentiful and Mediterranean in style; the food is simple, flavourful and rustic to match.

14

Windows Estate

Owned and run by multi-generational farmers who understand the importance of organics, Windows Estate is a beautiful rural property and award-winning cellar door set near native forest. The winery was awarded Best Small Cellar Door in Margaret River by Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine for several years running, and offers picnics, organic vineyard tours and cheese and wine pairings (in addition to cellar door visits). Owner Chris began farming this land at just 19, and is meticulous over the handling of his certified organic vines, being his life’s work.

15

Wills Domain

When dining alfresco at Wills Domain, one of the finest views in the Margaret River region is delivered, atop a hill overlooking the entire Gunyulgup Valley. As well as that vista, Wills Domain has a renowned restaurant, which works in perfect harmony with its award-winning wines. The restaurant is consistently one of the best-awarded in Western Australia – now helmed by acclaimed chef Jed Gerrard – where you can be delighted by a four or a seven-course degustation menu. Bookings are essential.

16

Koomal Dreaming

Join Wadandi custodian Josh ‘Koomal’ Whiteland for an introduction to one of the world’s oldest living cultures with his authentic, personal interpretation. Be moved by the skill and intensity of Josh’s didgeridoo playing and fire-making, taste native foods, discover bush medicine and meet the animals, plants and Dreaming spirits that have enriched the lives of Wadandi and Bibbulman people since time began. Private Twilight Didgeridoo Cave Tours currently available for a truly unique experience, privately accessing Ngilgi Cave after it is closed to the public for the day.

Local Guides and Transport

South West Eco Discoveries

To scratch below the surface of the region and tap into the nature, the wildlife, the produce, then who better to guide you than two brothers, born and bred third generation locals? Sustainable nature and wildlife tours is the game at South West Eco Discoveries, where the motto is ‘See, Taste, Discover’. Three different tours are on offer (all family-friendly) where you can see the sights of Geographe Bay above and below the water (wildflowers and marine life included), taste local produce, visit 2 stunning and contrasting wineries or discover a rare and unique nocturnal native animal.

Where to Stay

Private Properties Holiday Homes

Beautiful architecture, jaw-dropping locations and creature comforts are all essential features of Private Properties Holiday Homes. With a portfolio of 100-plus options, Private Properties has inspirational accommodation for unforgettable holidays all covered. Beachfront in Eagle Bay and Bunker Bay, on Yallingup hill with 180 degree ocean vistas, rural retreats on acres of sweeping countryside, and in Busselton and Dunsborough with an easy stroll to the beach. Locally owned and operated with over 26 years’ experience, their passionate team can find the perfect holiday home for you.

Pullman Bunker Bay Resort

One of the most exclusive resorts in the region, Pullman Bunker Bay Resort lies right on the shores of Bunker Bay and surrounded by national park. The five-star luxury accommodation is 12 minutes from Dunsborough, but feels a world away with its access to hidden beaches and natural landscapes. The property is famous for indulgence with an outdoor heated infinity pool overlooking the ocean, the Other Side of the Moon Restaurant and Bar, and the nature-inspired Vie Spa. Architecturally designed villas offer privacy, bath tubs, outdoor courtyards or decks and boardwalks down to the water’s edge.

Smiths Beach Resort

The ultimate beachside escape. Relax in spacious, stylish accommodation ideally situated in the heart of Western Australia’s Margaret River Region. Savour understated style and receive individual attention at this Small Luxury Hotel of the World.

Enjoy the surrounding natural beauty, the stunning stretch of white sandy beach, coastal Cape to Cape walking trails, Lamont’s gourmet deli, café and restaurant, infinity solar heated swimming pool, tennis court and neighbouring world-class wineries. The Resort offers a range of accommodation styles, some offering stunning panoramic ocean views.

Wyadup Brook Cottages

Experience a dose of rural farm life at Wyadup Brook Cottages, just around the corner from the Cape to Cape Track and Injidup Bay. The Wyadup Brook flows through the middle of this 100 hectare property complete with chooks, cows, wildlife and wildflowers.

Surrounded by native peppermint trees, there are six uniquely crafted cottages to choose from, all self-contained including wood fireplaces to keep things toasty in winter. Located close to Caves Road for quick and easy access to Yallingup and Dunsborough.

Advice from a Local

Our team of local experts are here to help plan and book your stay in the Margaret River Region.