Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 020 Contents July - December 2011 Scoop Traveller 295
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he off season doesn’t
dent the appeal of the
Margaret River region.
If anything, it augments
it. The streets are mercifully free
of summer tourist traffic, the
wineries are cosy, the surf is up
and the countryside is a lush deep
green. Off-season accommodation
deals smooth the way for
spontaneous weekend visits, and
once you get there, the options
are as vast as ever. For the outdoor
types, it’s bumper season, from the
Busselton jetty all the way to the
southern windswept point at Cape
Leeuwin. Surf in the morning,
bushwalk in the afternoon and
join a cave expedition at midnight.
Or get a little bit more extreme
and go skydiving or abseiling
In winter and spring, winery
lunches overlooking newly pruned
vines can be as long as you like.
Fossickers can scour the streets of
Margaret River and Dunsborough
in peace, uncovering boutique
treasures, gourmet supplies
and coffee. Parents can let the
kids off the leash on 100km of
beautiful beaches, or lose them
momentarily amidst the karri
trees or a maze. Whale watching is
rife between July and November,
with boat tours getting you up
close or – just as exciting – grab
a pair of binoculars and take a
front-row seat on the cliff tops for
the humpback gymnastic
display in Geographe Bay.
Whatever you choose, get a
little mud on your shoes and
dirt under your fingernails. It’s
worth the effort. The region
continues to expand, and each
year’s Margaret River holiday
is better than the last. Rug up,
stress down and head south...
“A train ride on Busselton Jetty?
Ice-cream and chocolate factories? A
lighthouse view of frolicking whales?
Kids will struggle to pick a favourite
Margaret River region attraction, but
they’ll love the endless choice”
Busselton Jetty and train
(Photography Busselton Jetty).
Want to scare yourself witless?
Try surfing a 20-foot winter
monster at Margaret River’s
Main Break, or indeed any of
the region’s massive surf breaks.
Mountain bikers can tackle
the technically difficult XC All
Mountain Tour track, where
they’ll pass by rock climbing and
abseiling enthusiasts tackling
the ocean cliffs near Wilyabup,
south of Dunsborough. A network
of 150 caves, some scarily deep
and claustrophobic, await the
subterranean adventurer, and for
those who prefer the open air, why
not fling yourself from a perfectly
good airplane on a tandem freefall
skydiving jump. Hikers can find
plenty of uneven ground in the
forests and along the rugged cliff
tops from Cape to Cape, while
divers can hit wreck sites and coral
outcrops in crystal-clear water.
Margaret River is perfect for
de-stressing overworked city
folk. Spa retreats are tucked away
in bush and beachside locations,
and yoga classes come in many
varieties. There are raw-food and
organic cafes and provedores,
including chocolate emporiums
that are good for your health
(honestly!), and spellbinding
crystal meditation workshops.
Wine lovers can throw away the
car keys and join a bus or guided
tour, complete with gold-medal
fine dining lunches and dinners.
Fresh air lovers, purchase a food
and wine hamper and picnic
on a lonely cliff top overlooking
the ocean, or recline at a cosy
B&B in front of a blazing log fire.
Sometimes the best thing to do is
nothing at all.
Winter and spring is bushwalking
heaven in Margaret River. The
wildflowers are out in September
and the forest floors are alive with
rare species and native fauna.
There are countless individual
walking trails in the region, graded
from beginners to advanced, with
many tracing spectacular ocean
cliffs and ridges. The best for the
average stroll? Parts of the 135km
Cape to Cape trail from Naturaliste
to Leeuwin. Alternatively, head
out on a gentle day-trip drive
along Caves Road to discover
hidden art galleries, jewellery
workshops and produce vendors.
Smiths Point (Photography Ashley Jones),
Cycling in the bush at Forest Rise
(Photography Forest Rise Eco Retreat).
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