Sugarloaf Rock at sunset Credit Jarrad Seng

There’s something simply magical about closing the day watching the sunset over the Indian Ocean.

Looking west over the water, sand between the toes, taking in the pink and orange skyline. It’s a breathtaking experience. You can appreciate a sunset in the Margaret River Region while sailing on an old pearl lugger, sharing a bottle of wine in a cabin, or on a budget – enjoying a couple of cold tinnies at a lookout point. Here’s a top five for visitors.

Sugarloaf Rock
Sugarloaf Rock is an iconic sunset spot. Photo credit Russell Ord.
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Sugarloaf Rock

The changing colours, the crashing sea, and abundant seabird life make Sugarloaf Rock, a gigantic granite rock that emerges from the Indian Ocean, a sunset hotspot.

As the day turns to night, the rock changes colour every minute with the sky’s gradient that moves from yellow to orange to red and onto a purply-mauve. If you stay long enough, you’ll see the beam from the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.

Situated within a designated nature reserve in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park just off Cape Naturaliste near Dunsborough (so leave the dog at home), Sugarloaf Rock is one of the region’s most spectacular coastal landforms. The ocean side is often battered by treacherous seas, separated from the coast by a narrow channel of wide waves.

The best viewing point is from the elevated lookout.

Wine at Sunset. Credit Russell Ord
Dial up the romance and finish your day watching the sunset. Photo credit Russell Ord.
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Redgate Beach Escape

Watch the sunset every night from your very own digs at Redgate Beach Escape where each of the four villas enjoys uninterrupted panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park.

Nestled amongst 80 acres of coastal bush atop of the Cape Leeuwin Ridge, each two-bedroom villa carries the vibe of a secluded beach shack but comes with all the mod cons for a luxurious stay thanks to its simple but functional design, relaxed Balinese-inspired furnishings and cosy surrounds.

Sit on your front veranda, fire up your own exclusive barbeque and feel like a millionaire who is hundreds of miles from anywhere as the sun lowers to the horizon. You’d never guess that Margaret River town is just a 10-minute drive, and several of the region’s great wineries even closer.

Main Break, Prevally, at Sunset. Credit Elements
Watch the surfers from a grassy spot on the hill at Prevally. Photo credit Elements Margaret River.
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Prevelly

Without a doubt, one of the best vantage points for a south west sunset is at Surfer’s Point in Prevelly.

The ocean here is vast and wild and the mesmerising waves of Main Break and South Side just add to the spectacle. The view of sandy beaches and green coastal scrub curves all the way down to Gnarabup. There’s tiered grassy areas where you can stretch out, the famous steps down to the beach, each step adorned with the name of the winning surfer of the Margaret River Pro over the past 20-odd years, or you can just park up, stay in the car and take it in all in.

Go further along to the River Mouth and watch the sunset from the sand, barefoot with the ocean at your feet. The incredible view with the headland in the distance makes for excellent photography opportunities. Grab your drink of choice and sit back and watch the show, and best of all it doesn’t cost a thing.

Local Tip: During the summer months, there’s often food trucks stationed at Surfers Point.

New Experience Willie Pearl Lugger Cruises
Enjoy sunset from the water aboard Willie Cruises. Photo credit Tim Campbell.
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Willie Cruises

Departing from Dunsborough, Willie Cruises, takes passengers on an afternoon cruise that finishes as the sun begins to set.

Operating in the summer months, ‘Willie’, a 67-foot gaff-rigged schooner modelled on the designs of early 1900s Broome pearl luggers is indeed one of the last operating pearl luggers in Australia. It’s like stepping onto a piece of history, cruising underneath her heavy sails after they are manually hoisted up.

There’s no roughing it like the original seafarers, ‘Willie’ is comfortably fitted with seating – our pick is the boom net in the water – and includes complimentary canapes and drinks plus there’s a bar on board. Sailing the azure waters between Quindalup and Eagle Bay, there’s nothing to do but take in the beauty of the coast.

You can charter the vessel yourself and invite 29 friends to join you on your own private cruise. We can’t think of any better way to watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean than gently sailing the calm waters of Geographe Bay.

Sunset at Hamelin Bay Credit @keweitay
Hamelin Bay is particularly photogenic at sunset. Photo credit @keweitay
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Hamlin Bay

Famous for its resident wild sting rays that swish along the shoreline, the white sandy beach of Hamlin Bay is a serene sunset spot that also offers fantastic snorkelling.

There are 11 shipwrecks at Hamelin Bay in the Ngari Capes Marine Park, and four in the WA Maritime Museum’s Hamelin Bay Wreck Trail; the Agincourt (1882), Chaudiere (1883), Katinka (1900) and Toba (1930s/1940s). The four wrecks are visible by snorkelling and also visible from the coast at certain times.

Deemed too dangerous to be a port to service the nearby timber mill, the original jetty that was built in 1882 was decommissioned in the early 1900s. Just a few pylons of the original jetty remain, jutting into the sky, they create visual interest and look great in photos any time of day, but particularly during sunset.

Advice from a Local

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