My down south getaway
HE’S HUNG OUT WITH WILL SMITH, HUGH JACKMAN AND CHRIS HEMSWORTH, BUT AUSSIE ACTOR LINCOLN LEWIS LOVES NOTHING MORE THAN DISCONNECTING WITH SOCIETY.
“I love the Margaret River region, in fact, I love Western Australia and if Hollywood were close by I’d live there, dead set.”
I try to get down south a few times a year. I love the wide open spaces, the pristine ocean, white sandy beaches and the natural forests. And the epic sunsets. And don’t get me started on the sensational food and wine.
Last time I was down south, we went four- wheel driving through the Boranup Forest – how nice is it there? Those trees are just beautiful – magic. And then we went to Boranup Beach.
We spent the whole day there and saw just two other cars, all day! It’s so amazing to be able to have that seclusion and privacy in such an insanely beautiful place.
The people down south are what really make the place stand out. Even though I’m an outsider, the locals make me feel so welcome, it feels like home. And I’m not just saying it, I truly mean it. Their sincere, friendly, down to earth manner and the way everyone wants to share their piece of paradise with visitors makes it feel really special.
The locals are so happy to go out of their way for visitors – you don’t get those personal touches in big cities.
One of my favourite experiences in Margaret River was doing a tour with Koomal Dreaming. Tour guide Josh Whiteland was so generous with his knowledge, teaching us about traditional foods and medicines and how traditional landowners in the south west lived.
I’m fascinated by Aboriginal culture – there’s so much we can learn from Australia’s first people, they are the oldest living culture on the planet.
With Josh, we’d be walking along and he’d pick a leaf from a plant and explain that if you rub it together with something else, it cures certain illnesses, or if you ate it a certain time of year, it would be toxic. It’s so interesting. At the end of the tour, he played a didgeridoo in Ngilgi Cave, which is so beautiful and has amazing acoustics.
It was a really spiritual experience actually. The south west has a rich Aboriginal history and I really loved learning about it and spending the day with Josh.
We had brekkie at the White Elephant – what a sensational spot. The food was spot on too. We went to the Margaret River Bakery – it’s so cool with all their old furniture – it has a real Byron Bay feel about it.
We also went to the chocolate factory, which was great. And visited about five or six wineries and I bought wine from each one. I’m a red wine drinker, and man, those reds in Margaret River are so good. I’m always looking for Margaret River wines on wine lists whenever I go out. I’ve been to a couple of the breweries too – we spent all day at one of them during CinefestOZ , had a great feed and a fun day.
Then, Tony cooked it up for lunch there and then and it was delicious! It was my first time trying marron, and my first time catching a fish and eating it straight away. That’s so good that you can go there and do that.
There’s so much to love about Margaret River – but its beauty, clean natural environment and the fact you can easily get away from it all is what’s won me over. I can’t wait to get back.
With chef Tony Howell, I went to Eight Willows Retreat and we went fishing in their dam, caught some fish and he caught a marron.
THE TOP THINGS I LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING A HOLIDAY DESTINATION (and Margaret River has this in spades):
- I’m an ocean baby, so clean, clear turquoise water and a pristine beach wins my vote every time
- Seclusion – being able to get away from the rat race – not having to fight for a parking spot or a place on the sand at the beach.
- People – friendly locals and a chilled-out vibe
- Food – eating well is super important
- History and culture – Aboriginal history is amazing