Image courtesy of Tourism Western Australia
Ask anyone what they think of first when you mention Margaret River and the likely answer is wine and surfing. If you’re a surfer, don’t bother to keep reading. You’ll be kept busy with the world-class surf breaks in the region. For everyone else, wine lovers included, read on. Here’s a list of things to do in Margarete River that will let you indulge guilt-free in wine, cheese and chocolate later on.
Some of the best and most accessible mountain biking trails in WA are located near Margaret River. The Pines, off Carter Road, offers a network of trails suited to all levels of mountain bikers including plenty of single tracks and obstacles for experienced riders. Click here for trail details and maps.
For a more leisurely alternative, try the Trail to Rails. The former railway line has been converted into an off-road walking and cycling trail and runs from Witchcliffe to Cowaramup and passes through Margaret River township.
Dirty Detours organises biking tours and will take you to some of the best spots that only locals know. Check here for details.
Bike hire can be arranged from Margaret River Cycles.
If you’d rather see the sights on a horse than on a bike there are plenty of opportunities to get in the saddle and go horse riding in Margaret River. The very friendly team at Jesters Flats offer a range of tours suited to all level riders. Choose from the twilight rides, country lane tours or the more exhilarating Bushman’s ride. If you love the idea of being a Jackaroo, try the Drover Tour where you get to experience Australian farm life and ride around cattle.
The Mirvale Riding School near Yallingup also offers horse-riding lessons, pony rides for small children like we did here and Twilight Rides.
There’s no better hiking trail than the scenic Cape to Cape Track. The 132km track is Australia’s longest coastal trail and meanders along the spectacular coast from Cape Naturaliste in the north to Cape Leeuwin in the south. Along the way, the trail offers the best views of the natural wonders of the region, including world-class beaches, forests, rock formations, cliffs and wildflowers.
You can do the whole trail and camp along the way, or do a section at a time. You’ll easily find the trail markers at most beach carparks between the two capes.
There are some great forest walks accessible from Margaret River township. Head to Rotary Park and follow the signs for a series of bushwalks or try 15km return walk to Ten Mile Brook Dam. For more walking and hiking suggestions click here.
There are plenty of opportunities for Stand Up Paddling along Margaret River’s coastline and on the river. The protected waters around Gnarabup, Dunsborough and Gracetown are great for beginners and those who prefer flatwater to gnarly waves. Alternatively, have an adventure and go paddle boarding along the river.
SUP hire, lessons and guided tours are available at Gnarabup Beach, in front of The White Elephant Café and Dunsborough.
Abseiling and Rock Climbing
West Australia may not be known for its huge mountains, but there are still a few opportunities to get vertical. The cliff ranges at Wilyabrup offer some of the region’s best climbing. Other options are Moses Rock, which is shorter and smaller than Wilyabrup and great for beginners, Wallcliffe, Gracetown Crag and Bob’s Hollow.
Guided tours can be organised with the Margaret River Climbing Co.
For a birds-eye view of the spectacular coastline, jump out of a plane with Skydive Geronimo. Flights take off from Busselton with a with the option of landing on the beach. You also get a 20-minute flight to altitude with views of Geographe Bay, Cape Naturaliste and the Margaret River wine region.
The Margaret River region has a sophisticated network of caves with more than 150 Caves under the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge stretching from Yallingup to Augusta. Depending on the cave, these can be explored on tours or at your leisure. Ngili Cave, near Yallingup, offers torchlight tours and adventure caving. Find out more here.
Kayak hire is available at Margaret Rivermouth, Prevellly and offers one of the best ways to discover the tranquillity of the river. The very popular Bushtucker Tours continue to be one of Margaret Rivers most popular tours and let you explore the natural diversity and ecosystem of the region.
Have I missed anything? What’s your favourite thing to do in the Margaret River region?
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