Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 019 Contents December-June 2011 Scoop Traveller 287
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MARGARET RIVER TOWN
Born to French parents in Cambodia, Nathalie Black fell for Margaret
River’s natural charms 20 years ago. She now runs Nathalie’s Cuisine near
the entrance to town. When she’s not cooking her Asian-influenced food,
she’s off walking.
What’s a good walk to do in Margaret River’s townsite?
I always encourage people to walk the little track at the back of the café.
You meander down a path lined with maidenhair, cross the bridge and
follow the river until the track stops. It’s a good 20-minute brisk walk.
There’s also the fairly new Rain Garden walk just across the road from us,
where a little ecosystem has been created around the drainage system.
Where should the ocean-lovers head?
I particularly love the rocks at Gnarabup Beach. There’s a good walk
track up to Surfers Point.
What’s not on the tourist maps?
From the carpark at the rivermouth you can see a cut in the sand dune
that looks like a rooster. It’s a trail that takes you to the edge of the rocks.
If you follow that along you end up on the Cape to Cape Track walk.
What’s a good free natural thrill?
Giants Cave is one of the caves you can explore without a guide. It’s
like a football oval down there, and it’s kind of eerie when there’s
no-one else around.
There are big rewards in going the extra mile – OK, 45km – from Margaret
River to Augusta. It’s not just the estuary and ocean mix, or the bakery
and tearooms with water views, that give the region’s southernmost town
its charm. The mellow village punches above its weight for distinguishing
features. Take these:
The Cape Leeuwin lighthouse | This marks the point where the Southern
and Indian oceans meet. It’s also the bottom end of the 135km Cape to
Cape Track. Start or finish here with a tour of the lighthouse. There’s a full
day’s walk to Hamelin Bay, or just take the hour-long walk to Quarry Bay.
Stingrays and dolphins | These creatures frequent the Hardy Inlet. Stand
ankle-deep for a visit by stingrays. Dolphins give birth in the salty inlet,
and can often be seen cruising a few metres out.
The universal access path | This is a fairly new addition to the route from
the town jetty to the river mouth. See pelicans and other bird life as you
walk around the estuary.
Jays Beach | A long, sandy beach protected from the swell, making it a safe
swimming beach. There’s occasional surf for body boarders and surfers.
When winds are from the north, the south-facing Augusta coast is the
only escape in the region.
Fishing | Fish with a rod or line - it’s good from the town jetty and inside
the river mouth. In a westerly wind, Flinders Bay is protected for boaties.
Snorkelling | This is good east of the lighthouse, where it’s more sheltered
than the west coast beaches.
Kite-surfing | Kite-surfers flock from around the world to Augusta, where
the sea breezes are at their most convincing. There’s flat water on the inlet
great for beginners – and waves further out on the ocean.
The Augusta Historical Museum | This has great displays about shipwrecks
and early settlement. It’s considered one of country WA’s best museums.
Humpback whales | These creatures start their migration north from late
May, and the first sightings are in Augusta. They stick close to shore when
they’re calving. See them from town, the lighthouse, or a charter tour.
The River Festival | This is when Augusta celebrates its blessings. Bands,
fireworks and a drink can regatta liven up the riverfront in March.
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10/12/10 6:06:30 PM
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