Almost like a golden triangle of winemaking, the humble area between Gracetown and Cowaramup, known as Wilyabrup, is where locals and visitors go to live like kings.

The land is bountiful and giving. It’s the region’s powerhouse of vineyards, farming, working families and artisan production. Once a land of milk (literally), there’s now honey and wine. The landscape is one of rolling fields, hay bales and lush vineyards bordered by virgin native bushland. Those who visit have no choice but to witness the seasons first-hand and are compelled to meet the makers, see the production and sample the fruits of land, labour and love. It’s like all roads lead to this special pilgrimage.

Old secrets of winemaking, brewing, distilling and tempering are whispered here. Of course, days end at the coast, and in this case, it’s Gracetown’s Cowaramup Bay, where the sun sets into the water.


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Gracetown Beach

The centre of life in this tiny coastal town – an eclectic hillside of old pastel surf shacks and modern holiday homes heading right down to the sea. Gracetown Beach (or Cowaramup Bay, as it’s known to locals) is flanked by a surf break at each end of its ‘U’ shape, with a protected family beach tucked nicely at the bottom of the bay. The Cape to Cape walk along here is dotted with boardwalks, staircases and seating platforms taking advantage of the views. The bay is perfect for most seaside activities, with the must-do being sunset over the water.


Caves Road

Caves Road is one of the most scenic and beautiful drives in Australia, with 111 kilometres of tunnel-like forest, row upon row of grape vines and rolling hilly paddocks. It’s like the life-giving artery to the whole region, housing many of its wineries and attractions, while being the thoroughfare to a majority of the South West’s beaches. The road begins just west of Busselton and ends in Augusta, running more or less from Cape Naturaliste down to Cape Leeuwin. It is impossible to visit the Margaret River Region without travelling along at least some length of this iconic drive.

Gracetown Beach. Credit Dylan Alcock


Beerfarm is a rustic brewery with country charm in spades, on the site of a converted dairy farm. From the beer hall itself (complete with rusty tin roof), open wood fire, to the craft beer, delicious barbecue food and scenic 120 acre views, rollicking good times abound. The whole place has a sprinkling of cowboy – as evidenced by the neighbouring Black Angus cattle herd that helps supply the menu.


Churchview Estate

So-called because it lies opposite the historical, picturesque (and tiny!) St John the Baptist Anglican Church on Bussell Highway, which is an icon landmark on your drive into the Margaret River Region. Churchview Estate is certified fully organic, driven by principles of cultivating, crafting and cherishing the land. Beyond the cellar door tasting, visitors can book a ploughman’s lunch or a fully stocked picnic in the vines for two.


Margaret River Nuts and Cereals

Harmans Mill Road, just outside Cowaramup, is renowned for its variety of local produce outside of wine. It’s a picker’s and forager’s delight – and Margaret River Nuts and Cereals adds to the diversity. Fill your pantry with honey, chocolate and yoghurt-coated nuts, a wide range of muesli, preserves, chutneys, pickles, onions, sauces and spices. The onsite café makes coffee, tea, homemade cakes, cookies and snacks, and there is seating for all weather and a play area for the kids.


Wow Illusions

Here is a treat to break up the day for the kids (or the kids at heart). Wow Illusions is a collection of weird effects and puzzling eccentricity. Its brightly coloured exterior is unmissable along your drive, and inside the trickery includes a gravity defying room, illusionary artworks, levitating illusions, distorted rooms, various mazes and more.


Black Brewing Co

Black Brewing Co is a beverage haven along Caves Road, noteworthy for its huge dam and magnificent, architecturally-awarded building. The beer garden is extensive, as is the wrap-around veranda (with adjoining playground), which takes in the water and bushland views. The craft beers are brewed in house, there’s a delicious menu of pared-back shared dishes and pizzas, and the gins are inspired by the local terrain and native flora.

Black Brewing Co

Cowaramup Brewing Company

A true rural beer experience, inside a bright rammed earth and timber building overlooking farm country. Take a look at the working brewery on site, or pre-book a tour to get the full Cowaramup Brewing Co experience. The bar and restaurant opens onto a wide wooden deck, the best vantage point to take in the lawned beer garden, playground and dam, with wide vistas of the neighbouring rural farmland and vineyards.


The Grove Distillery

The first of its kind established in the Margaret River Region, and is known for its prolific experimental range of spirits, and a fun and eclectic tasting experience. The Grove pushes boundaries when exploring new flavours and methods of production. Visit the cellar door to taste for yourself, or book a Talk and Taste tour. The drinks line-up ranges from Organic Absinthe to Coconut Rum, Honey Corn-Mash Whiskey, Single Malt Whiskey, Limoncello, Nocino, Gin, Vodka and much more.


Three Lily's Gin

Sweet wines have a cult following…consider this their church! While most wineries might do one or two sweet or dessert vinos, this is the specialty at Three Lily’s Gin, along with its namesake spirit, which is available in its classic form or with a ginger, mango, lemon, lime, chilli, Pina Colada or fruit infused twist! Sweet lovers of all ages are welcome, with the wine, gin, liqueurs, lollies and gourmet foods enticing the whole family to come and relax.


Bettenay Wines and Margaret River Nougat

The onsite winery and nougat factory is just part of the package – Bettenay has a list of exciting experiences, a café of drinks and treats, plus games and activities for the family to enjoy at the vineyard and lakeside cellar door. Wine connoisseurs, sweet tooths or even morning coffee drinkers are welcome to pop in. Check online for their decadent experiences, including nougat-toasting, liqueur-spiked hot chocolate, nougat and wine matching, grazing boards, private tours or brunch.


The Margaret River Chocolate Company

This was the first chocolate company in the Margaret River Region – the one that brought a whole new genre to the world of gourmet food and wine. Since 1999 it has been going strong as a Western Australian icon, hand-making chocolate products and giving away free chocolate tastings to millions of customers. Inside the magical walls, there are more than 200 choc products for sale, the aforementioned free tastings, viewing windows into the factory and a café serving desserts, drinks and light meals.


Margaret River Providore

Providore is home to a gourmet pantry range of the same name, plus Coward and Black wines and the Margaret River Coffee Company. The beautiful rammed earth building is neighboured by a vineyard on one side and a herb and vegetable garden on the other, from which it creates its range of farm fresh gourmet products. Kitchen afficionados can peruse the shelves of ingredients and homewares, and appreciate the onsite organic olive grove, orchard and vegetable gardens.


Vasse Virgin

A mecca for indulgent natural skincare products, gourmet pantry produce and of course, rich olive oil. A treat for the senses, where you can flit around like a hummingbird trying a fragrant soap here, a hand scrub there or deli products like tapenades or the cult macadamia pesto (among many other delights). From the showroom you can witness the hand blending of natural body products with luxurious extra virgin olive oil. Vasse Virgin holds a range of workshops and masterclasses, like olive oil tastings or crafting natural products.


Cape Grace Wines

One of the great ‘little’ wineries of Margaret River that is family owned and operated. Enjoy a friendly, intimate and authentic cellar door experience at Cape Grace Wines – the basket pressed red wines are a highlight. See behind the scenes and learn how the extensive variety of small batch wines are made, which are available only from the tin shed winery. The Karri-Davies family has a history in the area spanning back to 1875, including the founding of Margaret River and the building of Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.

Cape Grace Wines

Cullen Wines

Cullen Wines is one of the most awarded wineries in Margaret River, and one of the founding estates in the region. Quality, integrity and sustainability are the mantras lived and breathed here under the meticulous stewardship of winemaker Vanya Cullen. The family’s iconic Caves Road headquarters includes the Biodynamic Wine Room, seated and hosted wine tasting experiences and fine dining fully serviced by the biodynamic kitchen garden. Adjoining the vineyard outside, there is a self-guided spiral garden that teaches about the biodynamic processes and principles.


Domaine Naturaliste

Noteworthy for its sheer proximity to the vineyard – surprisingly a rarity in the region (think head-height Merlot vines planted right outside). This provides an ever-changing backdrop to cellar door from one season to the next. The space is quite literally the domain (pun intended) of acclaimed winemaker Bruce Dukes and is designed for ultimate relaxation. It’s the perfect setting for Domaine Naturaliste’s wine flight: six wines presented at a seated tasting with personalised guidance from cellar door staff. Charcuterie and cheese boards are available.


Fermoy Estate

With its buildings painted a Mediterranean hue of salmon, and surrounded by olive trees, Fermoy Estate is a landmark on Metricup Road. Is this the South of France, Italy? It seems like it! The grounds are best enjoyed with a glass or bottle of wine at the picnic tables, or with a grazing board from Just In Time Gourmet tasting room and shop next door. The wines themselves at Fermoy have taken out some massive international gongs, and the Cabernet Sauvignon was most prestigiously poured at the royal wedding reception of Princess Mary to Prince Frederik of Denmark.

Couple drinking wine outside Fermoy Estate. Credit Ryan Murphy

Howard Park Wines

One of the most striking, architecturally awarded cellar doors in Margaret River, noted for its Feng Shui design principles. The vast lawn and grounds provide the perfect backdrop to enjoy the range of tasting experiences (including some knockout private seated, museum wine tastings). Howard Park is a specialist in the Margaret River and Great Southern wine regions and the home of sparkling in Margaret River, crafting a variety of champagne-method bubbles in-house. Create your own picnic platter from a gourmet regional selection to enjoy during your visit.


Clairault Streicker Wines

Clairault Streicker features one of the lushest and greenest cellar doors in the area, with manicured grounds and vineyard views surrounded by tall gum trees that offer shade on a warm summer day. Inside, seated wine tastings take place alongside a vineyard kitchen that turns out modern casual dining. Enjoy a meal under the veranda or out on a picnic rug with some lawn games. Beyond the cellar door, there are specialties like the wine blending experience or a private vineyard picnic. The family-owned outfit oversees four distinct, historic vineyards within the Margaret River area to craft its authentic fine wine.


Woody Nook Wines and Nookery Café

A mudbrick cottage nestled against a backdrop of marri and jarrah forest and brimming with country charm. The vineyard and winery property, prides itself on being family-owned, small and unpretentious, but achieving consistent acclaim for its premium wines. The Nookery Café has a rustic relaxing atmosphere with both cosy indoor seating and an all weather alfresco dining area. It serves breakfast and delicious, wholesome lunches including a popular loaded taste plate. Children are welcome with their own menu and grassy play area with swings.


Woodlands Wines

Woodlands Wines was born in 1973 (one of the first five vineyards of Margaret River) from a love for French Bordeaux Cabernet blends, and the Watson’s family dream to create a legacy red wine of their own. The cellar door is home to a newly-renovated space with views of the vineyard, the working winery and the barrel hall. The wines are made from 10 hectares of certified organic vineyard, with a variety of tasting options (including some prestigious museum wines). Grazing boards are available, as well as picnics on the lawn in summer.


Fraser Gallop Estate

Fraser Gallop Estate has just “one vigneron, one vineyard and one vision: to capture the essence of Wilyabrup.” This estate produces wines of exceptional quality and value and has picked up arguably the highest international gongs for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Visit their cellar door or immerse yourself in ‘A Taste of the Vineyard’ experience, gently touring the manicured gardens of the iconic Gallop House in a solar-powered EV buggy, sipping the Parterre wine range at picturesque locations along the way.

Vines at Fraser Gallop. Credit Elements Margaret River

Where to Stay

Cape Lodge

The epitome of luxury accommodation in Margaret River, with the appearance of a private country estate, but the trappings of a world-class boutique hotel. The rooms at Cape Lodge are centred around a picturesque lake and forest, surrounded by manicured grounds, pool, a waterside restaurant and vineyard. The fine dining restaurant is available to guests for breakfast, dinner and special events with head chef Adam Robson Chew.

Eight Willows Retreat

The entry into Eight Willows Retreat is striking; a winding driveway that crosses a lake, surrounded by native bushland, with a scenic gazebo perched over the water. Here, 27 self-contained chalets are set on 75 acres of pristine nature, with each positioned for maximum privacy. The Retreat is located away from the hustle and bustle of towns for a secluded and relaxing stay. Choose from one- or two-bedroom chalets as well as one grand 10-person country residence.

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