The Margaret River WA Region, which has been home to the Noongar people for more than 40,000 years, has attracted travelers from all over the world. With stunning ancient landforms, cliffs, beaches, forests, headlands, rocks, and sunsets that will live forever in your memory, it is rich in history.
Each of the communities in the area offers intriguing reasons to visit. The inhabitants really love living in this beautiful region of the world, leading calm, tranquil lives amidst stunning natural beauty, with great weather year-round.
The Margaret River WA region is known as a “Jewel in the Crown,” drawing millions of tourists each year from all over the world, thanks to its abundance of breathtaking sights that will enhance your appreciation of life and all within such a small geographic area.
It’s simple and easy-going to explore the Margaret River WA Region by car, camper, bike, or foot. To get the most out of your vacation, decide to change up your surroundings by spending a few nights in one location and then moving on to another. Both approaches will result in the ideal vacation for people of all ages. Alternatively, pick the place where you feel most at home and unwind there for a time.
1. Margaret River Town
The main street in Margaret River is lined with stores, cafes, art galleries, and tourist attractions, making it the ideal location to seek that special present. Right in the middle of town, the Margaret River Tourist Information Centre is an excellent source for free maps of the region, guidebooks, presents, and souvenirs.
Rotary Park is a recreation space featuring a playground next to the river outside town.
The village comes alive at night with wine bars, dining establishments, and live music. Make a night of it by getting together with some pals.
2. Margaret River Caves
There are numerous caverns in the Leeuwin National Park. Public access is available to six of these.
Numerous ancient fossil remains can be found at Mammoth Cave, a multi-chambered cave. Of the caverns in the area, it is the one with the easiest access. The last site of this self-guided audio tour is a stroll through lovely woodlands.
Beautifully maintained underground chamber known as Lake Cave. A 30-minute fully guided tour is being offered. Anyone with a limited range of motion should avoid it. Our second favorite Margaret River cave is Lake Cave.
Of all the tourist caves in Australia, Jewel Cave is the biggest and has one of the longest stalactites. Be astounded by the roof of the cave’s crystal formations, which soar to great heights. In Margaret River WA, my favorite cave.
Yallingup is closer to Ngilgi Cave. Calgardup Cave and Giants Cave are the other two.
One of the nicest things to do in Margaret River WA on a rainy winter day is exploring the caverns. They are kid-friendly as well; our girls were in awe of the crystal creations!
3. Jewel Cave
One of the most southern caverns, Jewel Cave is only a short drive north of Augusta. It is Western Australia’s largest publicly accessible cave. It is named after a tiny chamber in the cave’s lower levels called the Jewel Casket.
When traveling through the region, be sure to check out Western Australia’s largest show cave, the award-winning Jewel cave! This breathtakingly magnificent cave system has three chambers.
The world’s tallest straws, helictites, stalagmites, stalactites, flowstones, fossils, coral, and more are just a few of the magnificent and delicate rock formations you will witness in nature. A complete blackout might be experienced while taking pictures! Combining the splendor of nature with imaginative lighting, it is truly a delight for the senses and is definitely worth seeing!
The cave itself has 250 steps leading up to it and is encircled by the lovely Karri forest. The Jewel Cave Centre is accessible from Caves Road, which is located 12 kilometers north of Augusta and 38 kilometers south of Margaret River WA.
The one-hour guided tours are really educational. From 9.30 am to 3.30 pm, tours depart every half-hour with passionate and informed guides. The tour typically requires a minimum of 2 participants to be operational. These tours are appropriate for families, and the tour leaders treat kids well.
4. Ngilgi Cave
Ngilgi Cave is an incredible system of Karst caves with the most exquisite collection of different crystal forms, such as shawls and helictites. The semi-guided tour includes time for independent exploration as well as general information and cave history from the knowledgeable and personable guide. You have a wide variety of exploration trips to choose from to learn more about Ngilgi. Drive time of 5 minutes to Yallingup.
Enjoy ascending and descending staircases and traversing tunnels and caverns.
Explore underground pathways and admire untouched cave formations that are accentuated by dynamic, vibrant lighting. Ngilgi is a self-guided tour, so take your time and pause whenever you please.
View both big formations and tiny, delicate crystals. It’s genuinely captivating
We advise you to call and make reservations for your tickets in advance if you’re traveling during the busiest times of the year, which are the spring and summer. Along with the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, you may also reserve tickets for this cave at the tourist centers in Augusta, Dunsborough, or Busselton. The tourist center is well-designed with restrooms, water, ice cream, and souvenirs, and the tour guides are all quite amiable.
5. Hiking or Mountain Biking
The Cape to Cape Trail is the most well-known hiking route in the Margaret River WA area. From Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin, the 140-kilometer track follows the coast. The five to six-day hike from close to Dunsborough to Augusta offers breathtaking scenery. You don’t have to finish everything all at once, though.
Even when the kids were little, we would choose specific areas to hike each time we were there. It is accessible to people of all abilities because some of it is paved.
Rotary Park in Margaret River WA serves as the trailhead for the Ten Mile Brook Trail. This 15 km track mostly follows the river to Ten Mile Brook Dam and is bike-able or walkable. It is a flat hike that is safe for bikes as well.
At Carter’s Road, there are also some of the best mountain bike tracks. Riders of all skill levels can enjoy The Pines’ simple fire road climbs, quick, flowing single-track descents, berms, and entertaining tabletop jumps.
The 10 km Prevelly Cycle & Walk Trail runs from Margaret River WA to Gnarabup Beach. Through the forest and along Walcliffe Road, this concrete pathway leads to the Margaret River WA, and the ocean. There is a convenience store at Prevelly, either at the RV park or the Sea Garden Café. With a view of the ocean and a drink of wine or beer, the café is ideal.
The final section runs from Prevelly to the well-liked swimming beach at Gnarabup. There are restrooms and showers available at the White Elephant Café, which is located directly on the beach.
6. Whale Watching
We in Western Australia are very fortunate to observe these lovely critters along our coast. Due to its long season, Margaret River is one of the greatest places for whale watching.
The beginning of the season is in Augusta, and the best months to watch whales are from June to August. You might encounter humpback, southern right, minke, and blue whales in this area. Humpback Whales are renowned for their agility; you might see them breach or smack their tails. In the bay, Southern Rights give birth.
The best site for whale watching from land in Augusta is Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. Try Boranup Lookout, which is close to Hamelin Bay. Binoculars are a need from here, though.
To give birth, humpback whales migrate further north to the warm seas of Broome. From September to the beginning of December, they travel back to Geographe Bay, close to Dunsborough, to care for their young.
We have occasionally observed whales from the coast, but only in Yallingup and Geographe Bay. The telltale sign is the water spout, so look for it!
7. Beach and Surfing
Even if you don’t surf, Margaret River WA is recognized for its surfing breaks, and visiting the beaches is a popular free pastime.
The area’s most well-liked swimming beach is Gnarabup Beach. The white sand bay is Prevelly’s longest beach, stretching from the southern headland’s towering limestone bluff to Surfers Point.
The Margaret River WA meets the ocean at Margaret Rivermouth Beach. Sand usually blocks the river so you can cross most of the time. Go far right when you arrive in Prevelly to find the Prevelly river mouth beach. It’s a great place for small kids to paddle in the summer. Here, there are restrooms, showers, and dressing areas.
It is ideal in the mornings before the south-westerly breeze rolls in, as is true of most beaches in Western Australia.
There are about 75 breaks in Margaret River WA over about 130 km of coastline. At Surfers Point, which breaks near Prevelly at the mouth of Margaret River WA, the international Margaret River Pro is held. There is a tonne of information on surf places on the Wannasur website, but if you want to learn, consider taking a Margaret River Private Surf Instruction or a more affordable group surf lesson.
8. Caves Road Tourist Drive
Take a stroll down the famous 111-kilometer Caves Road, which links Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste. Despite being inland and running parallel to the ocean, it offers views of the vineyards, farms, and woodlands that border the route.
The majority of the route is a winding single lane, so relax, take your time, and take in the scenery. Avoid driving too quickly; those big trees are forgiving.
9. Boranup Forest
Drive down Caves Road for 25 minutes to reach Boranup Forest from Margaret River town. For the Wadandi people, one of the Nyungar language groups of Western Australia, the name Boranup means “site of the male dingo.”
On the eastern side of Caves Road, Karri Lookout (Boranup Lookout) offers views of the forest, the beach, and Hamelin Bay.
Wander amid the tall karri trees in the spring to see wildflowers like orchids.
The massive bushfire in December 2021 left the Boranup Forest in a terrible state. The Margaret River Mail has published a fantastic article on the need to draw conclusions from this fire.
Visit the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse while you’re here; it’s the tallest lighthouse in mainland Australia. The Southern and Indian oceans, as well as the craggy coastline, are all magnificently visible from this active lighthouse. The Cape to Cape Track begins (or ends) at the Cape Leeuwin lighthouse.
Combine a trip to Hamelin Bay and the Boranup Karri Forest with a day spent in Augusta. In the spring, the karri forest’s towering trees are breathtaking and awash in wildflowers.
The Boranup Lookout offers breathtaking views of the turquoise seas of Hamelin Bay and serves as the beginning of several wonderful walking trails. Birds such as the Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Splendid Fairy-wren, White-breasted Robin, Crested Strike-tit, and Golden Whistler can be found in plenty in the forest.
10. Hamelin Bay
Between Margaret River WA and Augusta, there is a beautiful beach called Hamelin Bay. Margaret River WA is 25 minutes away by car, while Augusta is just over 10 minutes away.
In Western Australia, this beach is well renowned for its stunning white sand and profusion of stingrays. Additionally, it’s a great beach for snorkeling, diving, and fishing.
11. Busselton Jetty
The Busselton Jetty, which is 1841 meters long, provides a rare opportunity to stroll almost two kilometers into Geographe Bay. An underwater observatory was constructed at the Busselton Jetty to transport visitors beneath Geographe Bay’s waves.
The Busselton Jetty is one place to include on your itinerary if you’re traveling to the Busselton/Margaret River WA area. With a length of 1.8 kilometers, the Jetty stretches quite a ways out into the clear seas of Geographe Bay.
You wouldn’t want to flee from that. However, you can walk!
12. Canal Rocks
At Canal Rocks, the amenities are first-rate. Ample parking is available in the spacious parking lot, which is located next to the beginning of the actual rocks. Additionally, there is parking for automobiles and boat trailers as well as a public boat ramp. The actual Canal Rocks are inspiring.
Amazing rock formations include Canal Rocks. Margaret River WA is awesome! A network of patchy rocky islets has been left behind by the Indian Ocean and its carving of channels and crevasses into the headland’s rocks.
From an elevated wooden walkway that leads out onto the rocks, you can see these canals.
13. Sugarloaf Rocks
Sugarloaf Rock is one of the northern Cape’s most spectacular sights. Views of the cliff and the water are amazing thanks to a stunning new overlook. It is a must-see during your visit because of the spacious parking lot and amenities. Cape Naturaliste is the location of Sugarloaf Rock.
A stunning new overlook with breathtaking views of the rock and ocean is a must-see while you’re there thanks to the ample parking and amenities.
It’s fantastic to visit Sugarloaf Rock any time of year. The ocean beats against the rugged crag as it stretches out into the water, exposing its stunning points and crevasses.
14. Surfers Point Prevelly
The best surfing area in Margaret River WA is Surfers Point Break. The waves are fantastic, convenient, and consistent. Additionally, it provides excellent amenities for both surfers and onlookers.
The original platforms and staircases were reduced to burned cinders during the bushfires that ravaged this region a few years ago. What they have put in place to take their place is excellent.
This is a great site to visit and watch the waves and the surfers riding them because of the spacious parking lots and tier-style grassy spaces.
People riding the waves can be seen practically every day of the week.
With swells at high tide, the beach itself wraps around the point, with the waves crashing at the base of the dune stairs.
15. Underwater Observatory
One of the highlights of visiting the northern Margaret River WA Region is the Busselton Underwater Observatory, which is located at the end of the Busselton Jetty. With a guided trip beneath the waves of Geographe Bay, you can get a close-up look at the aquatic life. Extraordinary.
You may have the unique experience of exploring the underwater world without getting wet thanks to the Underwater Observatory at the Busselton Jetty! Here at Margaret River WA, you enjoy Western Australia’s southwest underwater experience.
It’s fascinating to see the marine life that has been quietly accumulating around the pier since the 1800s. Geographe Bay had been uninterrupted and undetectable until that point.
In the distance, near the Jetty’s end, stands the Observatory.
You will have either walked or taken the rail the entire 1.8 km length of the historic Jetty to get to the Underwater Observatory.
16. St Thomas More Catholic Church
The St. Thomas More Catholic Church, which is situated at 22b Wallcliffe Road, was constructed using rammed earth and local wood. Its outstanding craftsmanship, intriguing headlight, stained glass windows, and modern church architecture make it a fine exemplar.
17. Margaret River Wine Tours & Wineries
There are more than 120 top-notch wineries in the Margaret River wine region, which produce award-winning wines. Despite producing only 2% of Australia’s total crush, it controls more than 20% of the Australian premium wine market.
2019 had a considerable difference between the average price per tonne in Margaret River WA and the average price in Australia (Margaret River $1,465 vs. Australian avenue $664).
It is best to use the specialized information offered by the regional tourist information websites in places like the Margaret River wine region, where there are more than 82 cellar doors.
Maps and contact information for each vineyard and craft brewery in the area are available on the Margaret River Region Wineries website, which is a component of the official Margaret River website.
Between Busselton and Witchcliffe are where the Margaret River wineries and vineyards are located. The environment is ideal for growing wine. It has typical Mediterranean characteristics including cool, frost-free winters, healthy soils that hold moisture, low rain falls in the summer, and a protracted, slow ripening phase.
As recently as 1967 saw the planting of the first grapes. Chardonnay, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Shiraz are being produced in the area.
18. Margaret River Chocolate Factory
Visit the Margaret River Chocolate Company in the original factory in the Margaret River region if you love chocolate, and who doesn’t? It was first opened in 1999 and is currently among Western Australia’s top tourist attractions. You can choose from tastes of white, milk, or dark chocolate or try all three for no charge. Through huge viewing windows, you can observe the production of the chocolate while perusing the wide selection of goods for sale.
The Chocolate Café offers sweets and light meals such as hamburgers, fries, salad, soup, cakes, chocolate fondues, milkshakes, and hot beverages.
19. Margaret River Farmers Market
Since 2002, the Margaret River Farmers’ Market has offered its patrons the freshest regional goods available. The Margaret River Education Campus, Lot 272 Bussell Highway, in Margaret River WA, hosts them every Saturday from 7:30 am to 11:30 am. There is too much produce to list, but the Margaret River Farmers Market website has a complete list.
20. Margaret River Weather & Forecast
January and February are the hottest months, with average highs of 26 and 27 degrees. Warm days of 22 to 25 degrees are common in March, April, November, and December, with lows of about 11.
June through September are when it gets the coldest. The minimum winter temperatures will be eight during this period, with a temperature range of 16 to 17.
The wettest months with the most rain falls are June through August, with February being the least wet. Visit the Bureau of Meteorology to view the detailed 7-day forecast.
The Best Time to Visit Margaret River WA
You should go to Margaret River WA between December and March if you want a beach vacation. However, the WA summer holidays are the busiest time of the year, so try to avoid Christmas and January if you can.
Visit the area at any time of the year to see surfing, or go in March to see the Margaret River Pro. From September to December at Dunsborough, and from June to September in Augusta, whales pass by the coast.
Visit Margaret River WA in November to enjoy the Gourmet Escape. Avoid the area during “schoolies week,” when a large number of students leave for the summer.
History and Settlement of Margaret River WA
Near Margaret River WA, in Devil’s Lair Cave, artifacts were discovered there to provide evidence of human life dating back 48,000 years.
For the local Wadandi People to maintain their connection to the land and sea, this place is crucial. Koomal Dreaming offers a variety of cultural trips so that you can see Wadandi and Bibbulman’s country from their perspective.
European settlers initially arrived in the Margaret River region in 1857, the year Alfred and Ellen Bussell constructed their “Ellensbrook” farm.
In 1875, a 14-year lease for the right to harvest timber in the Augusta district was awarded to Lockville Timber Co. The timber trade grew further in the 1880s. Between 1900 and 1914, over 17 million railroad sleepers were harvested from the local woodlands.
According to legend, Margaret Whicher, John Garrett Bussell’s cousin, inspired the name Margaret River WA, which was first registered in 1913. Around this period, the over-logging of the forests caused the timber trade to begin to decrease.
Today, the Margaret River WA area is well-known for its top-notch wines and surfing breaks.