Surf breaks, migrating whales, and excellent wineries are all within reach of Margaret River.
Fringed by a pristine stretch of Indian Ocean coastline, the Western Australian town of Margaret River is beloved by travelers from near and afar for its excellent wineries, thriving food scene, and gorgeous beaches. Those looking for a laid-back day on the beach can enjoy the white sand and calm waters of Geographe Bay, while surfers and other water sports enthusiasts should head for the reef break at Yallingup Beach. Add an extensive underground cave network, whale-watching, and lush national parks, and you’ll start to get a picture of how much the region has to offer.
Overnighting in town gives you the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding area, especially the nearby Voyager and Leeuwin Estate wineries. In a natural forest setting a 10-minute drive south of Margaret River, and close to Boranup Forest National Park, Margaret River Retreat offers a range of lodging choices, from glamping and cabins to studio rooms. Both within walking distance of the town center, Riverview Tourist Park and Margaret River Tourist Park have powered and unpowered caravan and camping sites, as well as cabins, which include such perks as wifi and camp kitchens.
Around a 30-minute drive north of Margaret River, Yallingup offers spectacular seascape views, epic surf breaks, and idyllic white-sand beaches. You can get active on the water, snorkel in the clear lagoon at Yallingup Beach, marvel at the unique formations of Ngilgi Cave, and explore the beautiful forests of the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park. Set waterfront, with views over Yallingup Bay, the family-friendly Yallingup Beach Holiday Park features a mix of cabins and shaded van and tent sites. Inland, Caves Caravan Park offers a range of accommodations from chalets, to powered and unpowered camping sites and caravan bays.
Set on the long curve of the gorgeous Geographe Bay, the beach town of Busselton is famed for the long Busselton Jetty and Underwater Observatory. As a tourism hub, you’ll find plenty of conveniences here, including a choice of accommodation options from luxe resorts to well-equipped caravan parks. Steps from the beach, options at Sandy Bay Holiday Park include cozy Swiss-style chalets and powered caravan and camping sites with access to a camp kitchen. Just west of town and overlooking the bay, Mandalay Holiday Resort Beach offers everything from shady, powered sites for caravans, camping, and motorhomes; cottages and villas, and luxe glamping tents, all with access to the camp kitchen, bbq, wifi, and laundry facilities.
Perched on the tip of raw and rugged Cape Leeuwin, the quiet little town of Augusta is known for its historic lighthouse, surf breaks, migrating whales, and as the starting point for the 76-mile (123-kilometer) Cape to Cape Track that runs all the way to Cape Naturaliste. Within walking distance of town, Turner Holiday Park has powered and unpowered sites, as well as two-bedroom chalets. Surrounded by woodland, on the Blackwood River, the Alexandra Bridge Camping Ground offers a tranquil, and more basic, getway, while the Boogaloo Surf & Yoga Campsite has unpowered camping, bell tent glamping, and activities including surfboard-making, yoga, and massage.
The Margaret River region's relatively mild climate makes it a pleasure to visit any time of year, though winter (June through August) can be chilly and wet. Summer (December through February) brings pleasantly warm-to-hot days that are best for enjoying the beaches and surfing, while the crisp days of spring (September through November) are ideal for viewing the colorful wildflowers that bloom around the area. The region has the longest whale-watching season in Australia. You can spot migrating humpback, southern right, and occasional blue whales from June through August in Flinders Bay, Augusta, and from September to early December in Geographe Bay, Busselton.
- There are limited local bus services between Margaret River, Augusta, and Busselton: Renting a car is the most convenient way to travel. - As a major tourist center, you’ll find plenty of places to stock up on supplies in Margaret River. - Entry fees apply at many parks in Western Australia. An annual park pass can save you money if you plan to visit a few. - As the region is often busy with tourists, especially in summer, it’s a good idea to make reservations in advance.