There’s nothing quite like the freedom of jumping in the car with no plan, no set destination and seeing where the day takes you. Let’s get this show on the road.

The Margaret River Region offers road trips with dreamy views of rugged coastlines, rolling vineyards, and at this time of year, green pastures full of olive groves and fruit trees, sheep, cows and alpacas. Pack your bags, pick a playlist and journey through one of Western Australia’s favourite destinations.

Meelup Eagle Bay Road Trip
Take a scenic drive along Meelup-Eagle Bay Road to Point Piquet. Photo: Matt Deakin

The short but scenic route


Cape Naturaliste Road drive leaving from Dunsborough town and ending at the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.

How long?

Drive time is one hour but allow up to three if stopping for food, a dip in the ocean, and a tour of the lighthouse.

Details of the drive:

There isn’t anything more stunning than a drive along Cape Naturaliste Road and discovering the beaches and look-out points along the way.

Starting from the beginning of Cape Naturaliste Road, the first pit stop worth a gander is the Old Dunsborough Boatramp. It’s a well-facilitated part of the bay with a jetty, and child-friendly areas with grass and picnic tables. Carry on towards Meelup Regional Park and pick either Castle Rock Road or Meelup Beach Road for more must-see beaches. The white sand against the turquoise-blue water and red ochre rocks are striking so make sure you don’t leave your camera in the car! Popular with yachties and fishing enthusiasts, you’ll likely spot boats in the inlet or fishermen casting a line out from shore.

Take Eagle Bay – Meelup Road along the coast and pass Point Piquet and Eagle Bay, letting you take in the sweeping views. It will also conveniently pass Eagle Bay Brewery and Wise Wine if you’re all of a sudden quite thirsty. Continue toward Bunker Bay and you’ll find another one of those white sand, blue water coastal gems perfect for long days under an umbrella with an esky. Need a coffee? Bunkers Beach House has you covered.

The final leg takes you up to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. Positioned approximately 100 metres above sea level, it offers a large viewing deck that allows you to breathe in the beauty of the northern tip of the cape and reconnect with the land.

Aquabumps Surfing Roadtrip Margaret River
Discover beaches and look-out points along the way. Image: Aquabumps

The Surfer's Roadie


All the classic surfing spots from Yallingup to Gracetown to Surfer’s Point in Margaret River.

How long?

Depending on whether you’re doing a surf check or getting in the water at each stop – this could be anything from a half to full-day road trip.

Details of the drive:

This route is for the adventurer or the nostalgia-chasing surfer. Autumn is one of the best seasons for offshore winds and glassy conditions, and the beginning of winter sees huge swell in the region.

Start in Yallingup where pioneer surfers carved out the first tracks down to the beaches before recovering at Caves House Hotel. If you’re new to surfing, check out Smiths Beach or if you don’t mind a paddle out over the reef, Yallingup Mainbreak is the place to check. This break and nearby Rabbits are not for the faint-hearted and can be hollow, shallow and fast, with a hazardous rip. Yallingup Mainbreak’s lagoon is perfect for a post-surf swim or snorkel.

Back on the road, carry on south to Gracetown where fibro beach shacks fan their way around the bay, a quaint general store feel like you’ve stepped back in time. For a mellow A-frame, head to Huzza’s – a fun and easier break. North Point handles a heavy swell but if you aren’t up for the challenge it’s a great place to just sit and watch the surf.

The road trip isn’t complete without finishing up at Surfer’s Point in Margaret River. A beautiful paddle out through a key-hole lagoon, if there’s a sea breeze, you’ll find windsurfers and kite surfers enjoying the breaks too. Surfer’s Point has a beautiful vantage point so if you’ve arrived here by sunset, you may have timed this road trip perfectly.

Cullen Wines Vineyard Wilyabrup is worth the Road Trip.
Cullen Wines. Photo: Tim Campbell

Driving Through the Vines


A drive from north to south along Caves Road.

How long?

Anything from an hour and a half to half a day depending on if you’re stopping for food, wine or sightseeing.

Details of the drive:

If you are a foodie on a road trip, Caves Road provides the perfect opportunity to taste, see, and explore.

Start your road trip in Yallingup, at the northern end of Caves Road. There is no shortage of stops along the way. For those who like to be prepared, shortlist your top picks (our Eat & Drink page will help) or simply hop in the car and see where the day takes you.

Stretched between two capes, a drive along Caves Road is all about appreciating sweeping vineyards, happy livestock and locally grown produce. Jarrah, Karri and Marri trees get thicker and taller as you head south. You can see the geography and the colours changing and open paddocks of gold and green are replaced by the dense browns and deep greens of the Karri trees.

Round the bend in Caves Road, just south of the Conto Road exit, and enter Boranup Forest. With towering trees so impressive and powerful, you’ll definitely need a moment here to let its beauty sink in.

Busselton Jetty Whale Art
Whale mural on the Busselton Jetty by artist Ian Mutch. Photo: Supplied

The Visual Arts Voyage


A cruise at your own pace from Busselton to Cowaramup, to Margaret River and Prevelly. The route follows the main roads that lead to public artworks around the region.

How long?

This road trip will take around a day if you’re taking your time. Make plans to stop for a bite to eat halfway in either Margaret River or Cowaramup.

Details of the drive:

The South West, equally famed for its thriving art scene, is worthy of a road trip in itself. Start in Busselton, and walk along the Busselton Jetty to catch Ian Mutch’s incredible life-sized whale paintings. Head to the end of the jetty and discover the new Underwater Sculpture Park. Look down, eight metres below the ocean surface and find 13 stunning sculptures from Western Australian artists, doubling as an artificial reef for the bay’s inhabitants.

Head south to explore the Margaret River Art Trails and unearth sculptures, mosaics, murals and street art through a collection of trails in Margaret River, Cowaramup, Prevelly and Augusta coming soon. Interact with the art by scanning QR codes near each artwork and meet the artists, reveal behind-the-scene footage and in the future, be immersed in augmented reality.

Start in Cowaramup, where quirky cow statues welcome you. Fremantle artist Brenton See paints site-specific murals, featuring local flora and fauna, and was commissioned to paint the town’s namesake on the Lion’s Shed in Pioneer Park on the main street of Cowaramup. Just around the corner are Anita Revel’s “Cowara Dreaming” interactive wings.

Continue to Margaret River, set off on foot and find public art at every turn. Starting at the Visitor’s Centre, Alan Meyburgh is the artist responsible for ‘Ziggy,’ a nod to Margaret River’s historic wilderbeasts (megafauna) that once roamed the region (the sculpture sits on the corner of Bussell Highway and Tunbridge Street). Kyle Hughes-Odgers and Ian Mutch’s mural just to the left of the Visitor Centre entrance and before IGA is also worth a squiz.

Take the scenic drive down Wallcliffe Road to the coastal town of Prevelly and spot a number of Russell Sheridan sculptures. You’ll find the whimsical man and dog piece at Riflebutts Reserve and the beautiful ‘Layla’ – on a rock being pummelled by waves near the rockpools before the Rivermouth.

Boranup Forest captured by Zac White
Boranup Forest. Photo: Zac White

The Road Less Travelled


Leeuwin Road Augusta, Caves Road Augusta and towards the southern end of Margaret River (finishing at Redgate beach).

How long?

Stopping for tours or continuing the drive, this road trip is around two to three hours.

Details of the drive:

Take an exhilarating ride through the back roads, find solitude on beaches all to yourself, and encounter the wonders of unplanned adventures. When taking the road less travelled, it’s important to respect the land and leave nothing but footprints behind.

Start with a tour at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse on mainland Australia. Cape Leeuwin is also the most south west point of Australia where The Indian and Southern oceans collide. Leave via Leeuwin Road, for views of Flinders Bay, the boat harbour, Hardy Inlet, and the Blackwood Rivermouth. A coffee at The Colourpatch cafe on route is a must.

Following Caves Road, make your next stop at Hamelin Bay and make sure to visit Jewel Cave. Hamelin Bay and neighbouring Cosy Corner are worth a visit to admire the white sand and turquoise waters set against limestone cliffs.

Enjoy the road trip north along Caves Road through the Boranup forest and make Contos your next stop. Taking the unsealed drive down Conto Road can be an adventure all on its own exploring cliffs, Conto beach, and the rock pools.

Finish the road trip by continuing north to Redgate Beach, south of Margaret River. If the timing is right, it might be wise to grab a take-away bottle of wine from one of the many cellar doors you’ll pass and have a sundowner at the beach.

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