The Grove Distillery - Hot Cross Rum

There’s plenty to discover in the Margaret River Region at this time of year, and it’s not just roaring surf and autumn leaves turning crimson and gold.

With immersive food and wine experiences, a new brewery tour, a baby owlet to meet and regenerating forest to explore, there’s plenty to get around in the Margaret River Region this autumn.

Here’s a round up of fantastic new experiences to inspire your autumn wanderings.

Regeneration at Mammoth Cave. Credit Holly Winkle.
The beauty of regeneration after fire at Mammoth Cave. Photo credit Holly Winkle.

Adventures

Mammoth Cave’s Doline and Walk Trail Reopening

Two of our favourite parts of Mammoth Cave have just reopened following damage from the Boranup fire – the magnificent doline exit, and the Marri Walk trail. Fortunately the cave and surrounding infrastructure escaped unharmed, but you’ll see evidence of the fire in surrounding bush land. Admire nature’s resilience as the bush regenerates, with balga trees, emu bush, zamia palms and marri all flush with new growth.

Visiting during the school holidays? Consider the Megafauna Nightstalks, an after-hours guided adventure.

Stir & Swirl with Earn Your Vino

Vintage is complete. No more pre-dawn grape picking sessions, nor worries about adverse weather. The grapes are safely in the winery, and it’s time to celebrate the end of harvest.

Stir and Swirl is a four-day immersive food and wine experience, taking you inside the winery where the action takes place. You’ll help Glenarty Road craft their Syrah and indulge in a paddock to plate lunch, enjoy scenic hiking and savour freshly caught abalone on the beach, among other culinary adventures. Curated and hosted by travel and wine writer Cassandra Charlick under her new brand Earn Your Vino, it’s a hands-on experience for curious wine lovers.

Shelter Brewing Co Brewery Tours

By popular demand, Shelter Brewing Co in Busselton have launched brewery tours that run every day of the week. Get backstage with the brewer and see the brewery from the inside, seeing how the process works from grain to glass.

You’ll also taste directly from the brew tanks, getting a preview of Shelter’s small batch limited edition tap beers that are released every few months. Table Sour is nearing the end of its run, and a new beer is due in May. Join a tour to be the first to try it!

Included in the tour is a tasting paddle, pint, and a meal in the restaurant. Tours run daily at 2, 3 and 4pm. Cost $65 per person. Bookings essential.

Booey the Baby Boobook

Booey the baby boobook owlet hatched on Halloween, and he’s been making cameo appearances at Eagles Heritage Raptor Wildlife Centre. Looking “like cotton wool balls with a blue beak” at first, Booey is now learning to fly to the glove.

Eagles Heritage rehabilitates around 150 sick, orphaned and injured birds of prey each year, releasing birds once they are strong enough to survive. They also operate an educational bird show twice a day, featuring Ivy the Barn Owl, increasingly regular appearances from Booey plus three black kites, Pelle, John and Baby.

Bookings recommended.

Wannang / Peppermint Tree Storytelling Table at Cullen Wines.
Enjoy a tasting of award winning Cullen wines around a table crafted from a beloved Wannang - Peppermint tree.

Vine

Cullen Wines’ Wannang Peppermint Tree Table Experience

Cullen Wines lost a beloved Wannang (peppermint tree) when it inexplicably fell down in May last year. It gave wonderful shade, blossom for bees, a place for children to play and a beautiful sound when the breeze blew through its leaves.

They invite fellow tree lovers to sit at the Wannang peppermint tree table which was crafted from 400-year-old redgum atop the Wannang – peppermint. Taste Cullen’s biodynamic wines around the table, relax within nature and honour this magical sentient being – connect to country through wine tasting.

Ideal for small groups of 4-6 people, the Wannang table experience can be purchased as an ‘add-on’ to all of Cullen Wines’ bookable tastings (+ extra $30 per group).

“…Finally my life-force has given enough. It’s my time to go back to the earth & rest but until I dissolve, I share with you my last purpose, through “these seats” I share my stories, my knowledge, my wisdom my strength n final comfort . For I am a proud strong Wannang- Peppermint tree” excerpt from a piece written by Toni and Wayne Webb – Pibulmun Wadandi Yungunjarli Southwest WA.

I share with you my last purpose, through “these seats” I share my stories, my knowledge, my wisdom my strength n final comfort . For I am a proud strong Wannang- Peppermint tree.

Margaret River Wine’s Mixed Case Shipping

Found a wine you love, but you don’t want a whole case? A new shipping program allows you to pick your favourite wines and send a mixed case back home or to family and friends domestically or overseas.

Simply ask the cellar door staff at any participating winery for a Margaret River shipping box. Fill it as you taste your way around the region. At the final stop, provide the cellar door staff with your box (and shipping details) and they will take care of the rest.

Find further details and a list of participating wineries here.

Coward & Black rose with a conti roll at Providore
A delicious conti roll and a glass of their Coward & Black Rosé is an ideal lunch option from Providore.

Sip & Dine

Rosé & Roll at Providore

What’s not to love, when $20 buys you a glass of award-winning Coward & Black Rosé and a scrumptious conti roll? Pick from a continental roll that rivals Perth’s best, or a free-range chicken and salad baguette and soak up the sunshine on the newly refurbished terrace. A cellar door tasting before filling a basket with lovely jars of sauces and jams rounds off the lunch experience.

It’s still a bit hush-hush, but the clever folk behind Providore also recently launched Margaret River Coffee Co at the same location, and it’s quickly becoming the caffeine spot of choice for local winery teams.

Rosé & Roll available daily from 11am.

Dune Distilling Co’s New Gin Tasting Experience

Dune Distilling have been quietly kicking goals with their gins, all inspired by southwest botanicals, and they’ve just launched a guided gin tasting experience. Four gins are presented on a paddle, with optional garnish and a spiel about the history of gin and the distilling process. Enjoy the gins neat on the rocks or add the suggested garnish – like a blood orange tonic and watermelon pickle for the Signature Gin, or a ginger beer with the lime and green tea gin. Each bottle features the work of a West Aussie artist, making them a beautiful addition to your liquor cabinet or a thoughtful gift.

Gin Tasting Experience $25 per person. Book online.

Meelup Dairy at Meelup Farmhouse

Forgot to book ahead for brunch? Never fear, you can still enjoy the stylish surrounds of Meelup Farmhouse, coo at the chickens and relax on the lawn, as the brand new Meelup Dairy opens this April.

Located at the top of Lizzie’s Lawn, you can grab a real fruit ice cream made onsite, milkshakes, baked goodies and takeaway coffee. Open 9am – 12pm every Saturday and Sunday until Sunday 24 April, then reopening in spring.

The Grove Distillery Special Edition Hot Cross Rum. Photo supplied.
Treat yourself to the limited edition Hot Cross Rum from The Grove Distillery.

Hot Cross Rum for Easter

What happens when you cross your favourite spicy spirit with Easter’s finest baked goods? Hot Cross Rum, of course. Made with actual hot cross buns, The Grove Distillery has crafted 200 bottles of this sumptuous drop, and just like the bun, the rum is homely, sweet and spicy with a beautiful fruit and cinnamon taste.

Like their other limited-edition pours, this rum is sure to be snapped up faster than you can say “who ate my chocolate bilby?!”

Jewel Cave Café

Coffee and a wedge of cake is just the ticket after tackling Jewel Cave’s many stairs. The café’s new owner Becky makes the most glorious melting moment biscuits you’ll ever taste, as well as lemon tarts, orange and almond cake and delicious lunches.

Sit on the deck looking out at native bushland, and you might see some of the local bird life too.

Yelverton Spa Retreat
Get up close with local wildlife at eco-sanctuary Yelverton Brook.

Stay

Yelverton Brook Conservation Sanctuary’s 30th Birthday

Joy and Simon Ensor were far ahead of their time, purchasing a 100-acre virgin bush block in 1988 with the dream to create an eco-friendly tourism venture. They hand-built two studios and three lodges, and in 2001 installed a 2.4km fox and predator-proof fence, officially transforming the property into a Wildlife Conservation Sanctuary.

Yelverton Brook is now home to three critically endangered species including woylies, which South West Eco Discoveries visit on their twilight ‘Meet the Woylies’ tour, plus a multitude of native animals and birds.

Stay in the comfortable self-contained accommodation for a chance to reconnect with nature, with daily visits from kangaroos and blue wrens, knowing you’re supporting an extraordinary business on their 30th anniversary.

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