Insights make travel memorable.

Being exposed, not just to new landscapes and interactions, but to new perspectives. The Margaret River Region is as dynamic as the many tour operators who work to tell their version of the regional story, and hopping on board for a few hours – or a day – with our talented guides is a direct connection to a new experience.

Taking that viewpoint on and making it your own is the next step. Which is what makes these one-day itineraries so unique: tour in the morning, and then dive deeper into your new Margaret River Region experience with a sensory expedition matched to the morning’s tour.

Hunt wildflowers, then hunt down wildflower-inspired cocktails. Walk local farm paddocks and then lunch from paddock to plate. Reach into an understanding of Country and then taste the Indigenous six seasons.

It’s a considered way to explore aspects you may have previously missed or barely tasted. Launch out of the familiar and touch a whole new aspect of the region you thought you knew. There is so much to rediscover when you wander out yonder.

Spider Orchids Wildflowers
Discover the region’s stunning wildflowers on a tour. Then back this up with a delicious botanical cocktail at the Margaret River Distilling Co.

Option 1: Botany & Wildflowers

What: A Nature and Wildflowers Tour with Margaret River Exposed followed by botanical-infused drinks at The Margaret River Distilling Co.

Hank Durlik is born and bred Margaret River and wants to show you his backyard, which just happens to be one of 36 biodiversity hotspots in the world. “I’ve been looking at flowers and orchids pretty well all my life, but it’s probably in the last 20 years that I’ve focused on the Margaret River area, and you realise how special that is.” Species of plants that grow here are found nowhere else on earth.

Hank knows, not just the region, but how to help you capture it: the founder of the Margaret River Camera Club has taught photography and offers tips on shooting wildflowers as part of his tour. Number one piece of advice? “Slow down,” Hank laughs. Look. Take your time.

A tour with Hank takes in three or four special spots empty of people but full of flora. There’s a luxury four-wheel drive in the offering, and a boutique restaurant lunch. So, capping it off with a gin made in Margaret River from native botanicals at the Margaret River Distilling Co is a nice way to digest the day. There are gin cocktails, a deck that pokes out into the forest, and the option of a gin tasting. Pay more than lip service to a native gin cocktail by taking the time to first experience the region’s rare environmental beauty.

Tour: Margaret River Exposed Nature and Wildflower tour costs $225 per person, including travel in small groups (two to six people) in a luxury four-wheel drive with lunch in a boutique restaurant included.

Drink: The Margaret River Distilling Co produces a range of gins made from Australian natives and botanicals. Book a table for a tasting or book in for a Giniversity blending class. The distillery is open seven days for lunch and afternoon snacks.

Planning: The Margaret River Distilling Co is a 15-minute walk from the Margaret River Visitor Centre.

Other experiences you might like: Margaret River Discovery Co offers luxury four-wheel drive wildflower tours. Cape to Cape Explorer Tours offers wildflower and walking tours.

The Koomal Dreaming experience will stay with you forever and can be enjoyed by both adults and children.

Option 2: Aboriginal Culture

What: A tour of Country with Koomal Dreaming followed by lunch or dinner at Yarri

As a cultural custodian of the Wadandi people, Koomal Dreaming’s Josh Whiteland is a caretaker of Country whose tours specialise in connecting visitors to the landscape through story and experience.

“To aboriginal people, we believe we belong to the land and boodja – mother earth – provides us with everything we need,” Josh explains. “In return, we have to provide time when we can to make sure we look after her.” Education is integral to ensure land custodianship, but so is attachment. Josh provides the former to lay the groundwork for the latter: caring becomes natural once Josh has walked you through mythical landscapes or helped you to identify native foods in the coastal scrub.

Seeing these native foods transformed at the hand of acclaimed local chef, Aaron Carr, at Dunsborough’s Yarri Restaurant + Bar reinforces the relevance of Country to our current culture. Aaron’s food is built on the six seasons, celebrating producers, winemakers and farmers who work with the land to produce simply stunning produce. Aboriginal culture is now, not a story long passed, and together these experiences communicate that.

Tour: Koomal Dreaming’s Ngilgi Cave Cultural Tour is 2.5 hours and costs $83 for adults, $49 for children (under three is free). The sensational Aboriginal Food Cave and Didge Tour is a bushwalk with Josh to forage for seasonal native bush foods and is 3 hours, includes gourmet BBQ lunch and a selection of local wine and beer. For other tours check the Koomal Dreaming website.

Eat: Yarri is open for lunch Friday and Saturday, and dinner from Tuesday through to Saturday. Spring at Yarri is a three-course set menu with timed seatings and bookings are essential.

Planning: Leave 20 minutes to make your way from Yallingup to Dunsborough

Other experiences you might like: Ellensbrook House on Mokidup is a great place to visit to learn about the region’s Indigenous history. Get the most out of the visit by booking one of their guided tours. A visit to Ngilgi Cave is also a great way to connect to Country.

Glenarty Road
Glenarty Road Winery offers incredible paddock to plate dining as well as farm tours.

Option 3: Paddock to Plate Philosophy

What: A Permaculture Workshop followed by lunch at Glenarty Road

Fair Harvest Permaculture – located about 5km out of Margaret River, makes for an eye-opening look into the Margaret River region’s sustainable farming and permaculture community.

Founders Jodie and Do started the journey back in 1995, and in 2012, the old machinery shed was cleverly redesigned and renovated as a venue for courses and events as well as housing a commercial kitchen for dealing with the increasing volume of food coming from the gardens. Since then, Fair Harvest has run numerous courses including the popular South West Permaculture Design Certificate. It has hosted music events, weddings and private functions and has opened its gates on a regular basis for freshly prepared organic lunches. Get in contact to book in for a farm visit or Permaculture workshop, and definitely secure a camp spot at the beautiful grounds in the warmer months.

Now, take that newfound inspiration and digest it alongside lunch at Glenarty Road, a Karridale farm, vineyard and restaurant run by fifth-generation farmer Ben McDonald and wife Sasha. Ben and Sasha are committed to the land and to their animals – the McDonald’s farm (yes, really) has 26 acres under vine, more than 250 fruit trees, 16 varieties of hops and an outdoor wood fired grill that kicks out the best fired meats this side of Grandma’s Sunday lunch. Dining paddock to plate takes on new meaning when preceded by an actual farm tour experience.

Tour: Fair Harvest runs several events and workshops throughout the year. Check their website for specific dates. Eat: Glenarty Road is open for a Farm | Feast lunch from Friday through to Sunday. Bookings are recommended.

Planning: It takes around 35 minutes to drive from Fair Harvest Permaculture to Glenarty Road.

Other experiences you might like: Burnside Organic Farm offers a farm stay experience.

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