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The pretty seaside town of Busselton
is popular with families and couples
alike, thanks to the beautiful, calm
beaches of tranquil Geographe Bay
and the surrounding resorts. Busselton
is famous for its 1.8km heritage-listed
jetty, with a bustling precinct of seaside
cafes, restaurants and recreation spots
at the shore end and an underwater
observatory – with hundreds of tropical
fish – at the other.
The north-facing beaches of
Dunsborough are some of the prettiest
you’ll ever see, with clear waters and
white sand, surrounded by shady lawns
and bushland. The tip of the peninsula
between Dunsborough and Yallingup
is Cape Naturaliste, starting point for
the 135km Cape-to-Cape Track. Climb
the lighthouse for spectacular views
across Geographe Bay and Leeuwin-
Naturaliste National Park. Yallingup is
a surfer’s dream, yet has a sheltered
lagoon. The sweeping Smith’s Beach
and unique Canal Rocks are gorgeous
sights. Wineries are just minutes away,
and art-gallery precincts are waiting for
you to explore.
TIP Take a guided tour with
One of the main roads in the
region, leafy Caves Road goes
straight from Yallingup, through
Margaret River to Augusta, with
breweries, galleries, a profusion
of excellent wineries and some
amazing views along the way.
Explore the many stunning drives
though the forests and bushland
that run off Caves Road – take
your time, and watch out for
kangaroos at dawn and dusk.
Around 50 wineries
cater for children, with
treehouses, outdoor games,
drawing materials and great kids’
menus. Some even allow pooches.
Here is a small selection, but ask at
the visitor centre for the full list.
Z 3 Oceans Wine Company
Z Aravina Estate
Z The Berry Farm
Z Bootleg Brewery
Z Bush Shack Brewery
Z Cheeky Monkey Brewery &
Cidery and Killerby Wines
Z Cowaramup Brewing Co.
Z Duckstein Brewery
Z Eagle Bay Brewing Co.
Z Howling Wolves Wines
Z Laurance Wines
Z Palmer Wines
Z Swings & Roundabouts
Z Watershed Premium Wines
Z Wills Domain
Z Woody Nook Wines
Z Xanadu Wines
The heart of the region, with beautiful
country vistas of vineyards ribboning
across the valleys, and tall stands
of jarrah and karri trees among the
cow paddocks. There is a plethora of
wineries, farm gates, spas, galleries,
breweries, caves, trails and attractions
dotted through the countryside.
The main street offers boutique
Tip Swim at Meelup
Beach and retire to the
shady grass with a book.
shopping, cafes, restaurants, pubs
and supermarkets. Next to the
mouth of Margaret River, the seaside
town of Prevelly is where the famous
surf can be found, and to the north,
in the tiny town of Cowaramup,
you’ll see fiberglass cow sculptures
as you drive through.
TIP Visit the Saturday farmers
markets and see where the chefs
and locals shop.
Augusta is the most south-westerly
point of Australia, and on a clear day
can look out from Cape Leeuwin
Lighthouse to where the Indian Ocean
meets the Southern Ocean. Hold
on to your hat, it’s windy at the top.
Flinders Bay in Augusta is the best
vantage point in the southwest to spot
southern right and humpback whales
from June to August. Hamelin Bay is
a gorgeous sheltered spot, and
the tall-timber Boranup Forest is
stunningly beautiful – be sure to look
up! Jewel Cave will also dwarf those
who enter its lofty chambers.
The Margaret River Region is home to more than 100 stunning caves,
nestled in the spine of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge. These caves were
formed over the last million years by the constant movement of water
through limestone. They are simply amazing, and a great way to escape
the sun or rain. Experiences range from easy walks and guided tours along
boardwalks, to hard-hat adventure caving. Visit Mammoth, Lake and Jewel
caves, and experience Aboriginal customs and stories at Ngilgi Cave in
Yallingup, where you’ll learn about the history of the Wardandi Noongar
people, the first inhabitants of the southwest.
THE WORLD’S BEST WAVES
Once a sleepy surf village, Margs has built a global
reputation as a surfing Mecca. Hit the waves, or just
be mesmerised by the any of the 75 breaks in the region,
known to be the most consistent year-round, big-surf waves
in the world. In July 2015, the ‘swell of the decade’ saw only a handful of
very experienced brave surfers ride 70-foot waves. The coastline resembled
a stadium, with locals flocking to watch in awe.
Taking a 4WD trip in the forest
Lake Cave (photography
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