Explore a million-year-old cave and gaze with wonder at magnificent crystals that formed around 500,000 years ago. Caves Road is named for the 100+ caves that lie beneath the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge, and four are open for tours; Ngilgi Cave in Yallingup, Mammoth and Lake Cave within Boranup Forest and Jewel Cave further south near Augusta.
All of the caves are Advanced Eco-Accredited with EcoTourism Australia, which recognises innovative ecotourism products that operate with minimal impact on the environment and operators who are committed to achieving best practice, using resources wisely, contributing to conserving the environment and helping local communities.
After exploring the caves it’s time for an energy boost, and the Margaret River Chocolate Company not only serves up delicious chocolate treats, but they’re also set to achieve their 2025 carbon neutral plan two years ahead of schedule.
It’s the growing, harvesting and transporting of cacao beans in Africa that emits the most carbon, co-founder Patrick Coward explains. ‘A lot of the carbon cost is borne by the cutting down of native forest to plant cacao trees. By increasing yield, you don’t need to increase the planted area.’ Hence the chocolate company supports the Beyond Chocolate program which aims to lift 5,000 family plantations out of poverty, increase yields and decrease deforestation.
The flagship Margaret River venue has just been clad in thermally efficient jarrah. Next is a move to 100% compostable packaging, including a cellophane replacement made with sugar cane fibre.
Visit for an indulgent eco-conscious chocolate experience and purchase products supporting the conservation of the Western Swamp Tortoise, Quokka or Numbat.
After a big day it’s time to linger over a late lunch. The team at Barnyard1978 prove that hospitality and environmental conservation can coexist in their restaurant and Barn Hives eco-pod accommodation. ‘Create more, consume less; embrace every opportunity to learn and improve, and always look to nature,’ says owner Egis Rusilas, who wants to inspire others to positive change.
Sit under the restaurant’s solar pergola overlooking vines, sculptures and free roaming chooks. A paddock-to-plate approach means that the fresh pasta is made with home grown eggs, and the chickens feast on kitchen scraps.