Red Wine Winter Firepit Leeuwin Estate

7 Days of Winter in the Margaret River Region

The Margaret River Region is the ideal spot for a winter getaway. The crowds of the warmer months have dissipated and the crisp fresh air is tempered with whisks of smoke from open fireplaces.

Rug up and enjoy a glass of the region’s world class Cabernet Sauvignon with a cosy dinner before enjoying a 7 day itinerary filled with brisk bush walks, art gallery gazing, delicious food and even some whale watching.

If your visit falls over a Saturday morning, there is nowhere else to go than the famous Margaret River Farmers’ Market. Set aside at least an hour or two and be sure to take a big basket to fill with all of the goodies on offer. From fresh bread and sticky pastries, through to winter fruit and veg, biscuits, local cheeses, dips and even chocolate; you have the makings of a picnic lunch fit for royalty or enough produce to last you the entire week.

Winter also happens to coincide with some of the best festivals and events, and it is absolutely worth planning your trip around Cabin Fever (which specialises in food, fire and fun), or the illustrious CinefestOZ.

Whether the sun is shining or rain is on the horizon, there are plenty of options to satisfy curious minds and to tickle your tastebuds. Pull your woollies on and get out there!

Walk into Luxury

Start your stay in style, waking up at the beachside surrounds of Smiths Beach Resort. Situated in Yallingup, this luxury accommodation option is the ideal launch pad to start exploring the region from. Upon waking, work up an appetite and head down to the long stretch of white sand at Smiths Beach. It’s perfect for a leisurely stroll or a swim in the ocean for a bracing winter dip to wake up! With an breakfast, lunch and dinner menu at the on-site Lamont’s Restaurant, you’ve got plenty of time to get into holiday mode.

This beachfront accommodation is also located on the Cape to Cape walking track, so lace up your boots, pack a snack and explore this famous walk in all of its winter glory. If your map reading skills are not up to speed, the team at the resort can easily arrange a guide for a little trekking help.

Soak in a hot bath and curl up in front of the fireplace in your room on return. It’s some well-deserved room service tonight, or alternatively duck out to nearby Caves House for a wholesome meal as the sun sets over their gardens. One of the region’s premier live music venues, rest assured you’ll also be serenaded as you tuck into those fish and chips.

Red Wine Winter Firepit Leeuwin Estate

Rise and shine as the sun glistens over the Indian Ocean and get ready for a taste of what lies ahead for your week in the region. The best way to learn about a new destination is to let the locals show you the way – and to taste their creations, of course. Today, take your pick from one of the region’s best winery tours and experience the best the region has to offer.

Enjoy door to door service with a full day tour from Cellar d’Or. Owner/operator Geoff will pick you up and take you to his handpicked favourite spots as he fills you in on the region’s background. Wine lovers and beer lovers are catered for with five stops, as well as a gourmet platter lunch and a trip to Vasse Virgin to sample their locally produced olive oil.

Forest Adventures Campfire Credit Tim Campbell

Hands up who has always had a hankering to get a bird’s eye view of things? Well, today is your chance to swing through the trees and scale heights that are normally reserved for our feathered friends. Jump in the car and take a leisurely drive up to Forest Adventures South West, just 10 minutes north of Busselton.

Here, you’ll have the chance to enjoy 6 courses of sky-high adventure. There are 77 activities to try, including 11 flying foxes, a high wire BMX, tarzan ropes, and even an adrenalin pumping 13 metre base jump, all set within 8 acres of natural forest beauty. During winter you’ll also have the ideal winter refuelling option – marshmallows over an open fire.

After a morning of heart racing fun, head back through the town of Busselton for some lunch and explore the awesome public artwork. Hidden down laneways and throughout the streets and foreshore, there are numerous paintings and sculptures to find. Speaking of local art and crafts, a visit to Busselton’s arts and craft mecca simply can’t be missed: Origins Market. Sheltered from the weather, here you’ll find an array of local farmers, producers, winemakers and artisans all under the same roof.

Of course, you can’t miss a walk down the Busselton Jetty before heading back for the night. The 1.8km heritage listed jetty is the longest of its sort in the Southern Hemisphere. Sore legs can relax and take a train ride out to the underwater observatory at the end of the jetty. Head down the spiral staircase 8 metres to the ocean floor, and finish the days adventures at the other end of the spectrum. From tree tops to sea beds – it’s bound to be a day unlike any other you’ve experienced on holiday.

Vasse Virgin Workshops

It’s all about balance. Therefore, it’s time to take things easy after the previous day’s action. Head to Vasse Virgin’s soap factory for a sensory experience and to learn all about the health and beauty benefits of their extra virgin olive oil products. Owners Edwina and Louis Scherini first discovered the natural wonders of olive oil when they began looking for a natural and chemical free option to help heal their children’s sensitive skin.

After sampling the tasty gourmet delights in their tasting room, step into the workshop space and spend a few relaxing hours learning a new skill. Craft your own natural lip balm in a D.I.Y class, perfect for soothing those chapped lips in the midst of winter. Alternatively, discover the joy of making your own natural perfume. It might sound a little daunting, but with the gentle guidance of Edwina, you’ll leave the workshop a full bottle on base notes, top notes and the differences between floral, spicy and woody scents.

You’ll be feeling thirsty after the workshop so head to Black Brewing Co where you can sit rugged up outside on the deck overlooking the lake, or fireside indoors. Wherever the wind blows you, you can expect good quality velvety winter brews. The latest flavours feature roast chocolate and hazelnut. Head chef Hayden Vink focuses on local ingredients and keeps his dishes uncomplicated but full of flavour. It’s the perfect setting to tuck into some lunch and maybe leave with a cheeky four-pack takeaway!

If you have wine on your mind, stop in at Snake + Herring Wines and pick up a couple of bottles of red for an evening by the fire. Simple, laidback, unpretentious space to enjoy some remarkable wine. Tony (Snake) Davis, and Redmond (Herring) Sweeney – the brains behind the Snake + Herring  label – have blended their passion for great wine and music and even have a playlist on Spotify for the rest of the drive.

Make your way down the glorious Caves Road to your new home – Redgate Forest Retreat. The perfect family escape, this place is a 167-acre property complete with native forest and a small herd of cattle and sheep. There are a few chalets and homes on the property to choose from, each with their own unique features and charms. They all provide the perfect spot to sit back, relax, and see out the day.

Hiking Boranup Karri Forest

Take to the tarmac once again and head south on Caves Road. Be prepared for a breath stopping moment as you enter Boranup Forest. There is no doubt when you have arrived. The towering, almost ghostly karri trees are a sight to behold and it’s well worth stopping for a gentle stroll amongst them.

A few minutes further and it’s time to stop for a bit of contemporary culture. The artistic heart of the Boranup Forest, Boranup Gallery has been a mecca for art lovers since it was established by James and Anne Howieson in 1989. James’ own artistry is on show, with the gallery displaying his heirloom furniture, all lovingly handmade from local Western Australian hardwood. You will want to put aside a good amount of time to wonder through the nooks and crannies of the gallery’s rooms, each filled to the brim with artwork from local artisans. From paintings through to ceramics, glassware and metalwork – it’s an Aladdin’s cave to be discovered.

Head back up Caves Road to spend the afternoon at Mammoth Cave. There are over 150 caves in the region on the Leeuwin-Naturaliste ridge, each with their own unique features. Settle in and allow yourself to be awed by the tranquil beauty created by mother nature over millions of years.

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse Credit Tim Campbell

It’s time to immerse yourself in the elements today. A mere 30 minute drive away, the charming town of Augusta is abundant in natural splendour and, set on the Southern Ocean, showcases a different kind of oceanic beauty. Visit the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse and learn about the history of the maritime landmark that has been sitting here since 1895. Located on the tip of the peninsula, a climb up to the viewing platform is a must – it’s also one of the best spots on land to catch sight of the 35,000 whales that migrate up the coast from May through until September each year.

For the adventure seekers, today is the day to get out on the water and see the whales up close! All Sea Charters will get you front row seats to the action, departing from the Augusta Boat Harbour throughout winter to spot Humpback whales, Southern Right whales and maybe even fur seals. Don’t forget your camera – or your wet weather gear.

After a day well spent at the most south-westerly point of Australia, continue a stone’s throw east of Augusta and check into the sustainable off-grid experience that is sure to nourish your soul: Little House Republic. Nestled in the serene Scott River amongst the peppi trees on 750 hectares of private property, this is your perfect sanctuary to connect with nature without compromising in style. You might end up wanting to stay that little while longer…

White Elephant Cafe Prevelly

Slowly making your way back from Augusta, for a truly invigorating finish to your Margaret River Region holiday, join the locals down at Gnarabup beach for a morning swim – guaranteed to get the blood pumping. Afterward, the whole family can enjoy breakfast with a view at the exceptionally located White Elephant Cafe, or grab a takeaway hot choc and head up Surfers Point to check out the surfers shredding waves.

Kerfuffle Truffle

Winter is also truffle season, so it’s well worth a trip to nearby Manjimup to make the most of this illustrious ingredient while it lasts. Located just an hour and a half’s drive from Margaret River township, Manjimup is nestled among hundreds of hectares of national park and is the centre of a diverse, thriving fruit and vegetable industry. Local growers produce everything from avocados, cherries, plums and kiwi fruit to hazelnuts, broccoli, and potatoes. It is renowned for the internationally famous Pink Lady apple and, of course, is home to the all-important world-class gourmet black truffles.

Hundreds flock here annually for truffle season, and heading out with one of Western Australia’s most distinguished truffières, such as Truffle Hill or Australian Truffle Traders for truffle hunts is an experience not to be missed!

Surrounded by vineyards, orchards and majestic rolling hills,  Truffle Hill and Australian Truffle Traders are two of the few truffières in the world that allows a select number of people to participate in the rare privilege of a truffle hunting experience during the winter months. The perfect reason to extend your stay just that little bit longer!