Things to do in Margaret River
Food & Wine
Enjoying a Mediterranean climate, the Margaret River region is internationally renowned for its premium grape-growing, and is peppered with more than 215 wine producers and 120 cellar doors.
With great wine comes great food. The region’s seasonal bounty is served in eateries from Busselton to Augusta – from homegrown and artisan delights at weekly farmers markets, to fine dining in gold-plate winery restaurants. Beer lovers can go to town at nine boutique breweries, most with gourmet pub grub. The Margaret River Gourmet Escape in November is a must-do for foodies, with celeb chefs and pop-ups galore.
Things to do
Part of the southwest’s biodiversity hotspot, the region is ideal for nature lovers, and home to many endemic plant species found nowhere else on earth. Whale-watching, birdwatching and wildflowers are just some of Mother Nature’s offerings.
Explore on foot or mountain bike – choose from the diverse 135km coastal Cape-to-Cape Track or the Meelup Reserve Trail, or there are walks and rides through the Boranup Forest, and along the dual-use Rails to Trails network.
Along the coast, there are spectacular sights at every stop. Gorgeous views of giant granite rocks, rugged cliffs, and pretty sandy beaches fringed by peppermint-tree heath abound. You might spot frolicking dolphins or the occasional seal in the water.
If indulgence is your idea of a holiday, you’ll be spoilt for choice, with day spas and retreats sprouting from a strong wellness culture.
Lavish architecture and a flourishing art scene draw culture cultures in droves – literature, film and music festivals ensure there’s always something on. Margaret River’s nationally acclaimed painters, sculptors, furniture makers, metal and wood artisans, jewellery designers, and glass artists draw inspiration from their surroundings, and show at the many local galleries and studios.
Beyond its wine, produce, beauty and activities, the Margaret River region has an irresistible energy that radiates from the ocean and ancient landscape, captivating visitors time and time again. It’s something visceral, and simply must be experienced.
When to go
Summer is busiest, and it’s all about the beach. The surf is spectacular in early autumn, while winters are cool and great for cosy fires, red wine and whale spotting. Spring is perfect for bush walking, with the wildflowers in full bloom.
Tip: Pack a jumper for cool nights.
Where to stay
There are more than 160 places to stay in Margaret River, not including Air B&B and the various luxury holiday homes for hire. The region is huge, so the first decision to make is which part of Margaret River you want to spend your time, and then select your accommodation from there. Summer and holiday periods are often booked in advance.
Image Credit(s): Hiking beach view – Tourism WA, Vineyards & beach – Shutterstock
About Margaret River
Margaret River Highlights
- 08 97514651
See some of the best contemporary artwork from throughout Western Australia.
- Dates:Dec 5 - Jan 27
- Venue:ArtGeo Gallery
- Hosted By:City of Busselton
- Venue Address:4/7 Queen St, Busselton WA 6280
- Art Exhibitions:Drawing,Other Visual Arts,Painting,Photography,Sculpture
See some of the best contemporary artwork from throughout Western Australia and vote for your favourite piece for the People’s Choice Award. The exhibition features paintings, sculptures, printmaking, drawings, textiles and photography. 5 December to 27 January, open daily 10am to 4pm, free entry.
- 9756 5200
Fresh shucking, seafood & lounge beats
- Dates:Jan 9 - 10
- Venue:Howard Park Wines
- Hosted By:Howard Park Wines
- Venue Address:Howard Park Wines, 543 Miamup Road, Cowaramup WA 6284
- Food & Drink:Seafood,Wine,Winery Events
Howard Park Cellar Door’s signature outdoor event, Oysters & Riesling, is back in January 2021!
Now in its 7th year, the summer weekend is always circled on the calendar by locals & visitors alike for celebrating one of the culinary world’s most decadent pairings. Citrusy, crisp rieslings with salty, rich Australian oysters will be the stars of the show from 12pm to 4pm on Saturday & Sunday, January 09 & 10.
At this steamy time of year, the winery grounds turn into an oasis of greenery – lush vines & cool shady lawn – for an afternoon of relaxing & unwinding with delicious seafood & perfectly chilled wine.
The weekend will proceed with the usual free entry & festivities, with the oyster bar up & shucking, more substantial seafood & tacos on offer for a long & lazy picnic lunch, while local favourites Kachina DJs return to spin chilled-out tunes from 1pm.
As for Riesling? Expect the usual selection of renowned classics from Howard Park as well as some cracking back vintages brought out from our museum cellar for the occasion.
Bring your friends, borrow a bocce set & lay back on the lawns to while away a summer afternoon.
- 0405 472 602
The premier ocean swim around the iconic Busselton Jetty, in the south west of WA. Since 1996, the Busselton Jetty Swim has grown from a local event to an internationally recognized event.
- Dates:Feb 13-14
- Venue:Busselton Jetty and Foreshore
- Venue Address:Busselton Jetty and Busselton Foreshore, 1 Foreshore Parade, Busselton WA 6280
- Hosted By:Busselton Jetty Swim
The SunSmart Busselton Jetty Swim 2021 event will be the 26th year and they are planning to celebrate over 2 days with entertainment, activities and family-friendly fun, with the swim taking place on the morning of Sunday 14th February 2021.
Solo and Teams: The course is a swim of 3.6 km around the Busselton Jetty, solo swimmers and relay teams of two and four are welcome. The swim starts on the eastern side of the Jetty, heading out and around the end, and back to shore on the western side.
One Mile - Swim to Shore: There wouldn't be many swims anywhere that you could start at 1 mile out to sea to swim back to the beach, that's jumping in at the deep end! Swimmers will enter the water at the end of the Busselton Jetty on the western side and swim to shore, a distance of 1.6km or 1 Mile.
SunSmart Busselton Jetty Kids Swim. Junior swimmers can participate in the 222 metre Kids Swim for 8 to 12 year olds around the outside of the Swimming Jetty. This will be held at 11:30 on Sunday 14 February 2021 (after the main swim).
Be a part of the atmosphere and enter the best jetty swim in the world.
- 03 5261 5511
Australia's largest off road triathlon with courses for racers of all abilities in a stunning location.
- Dates:Apr 10 - 11
- Venue:Dunsborough Country Club
- Ticket Price FROM:$10.00
- Ticket price TO:$334.00
- Sports:Triathlon / Ironman
- Venue Address:Dunsborough Country Club, 40 Gifford Rd, Dunsborough WA 6281
X-Adventure is the ultimate mix of triathlon and adventure racing featuring an ocean swim in the clear waters of Geographe Bay, trail run along the stunning granite coastline and mountain bike through the single tracks of Meelup Regional Park.
After the 2020 version of the event was cancelled earlier this year due to COVID-19, organisers Rapid Ascent are calling on triathlete and adventure racing enthusiasts along with Dunsborough locals to make up for lost time and get behind the 2021 event.
“We genuinely love what we do here at Rapid Ascent – conducting events that put smiles on people’s faces in some beautiful parts of the country,” said Sam Maffett, Rapid Ascent’s General Manager. “To have had to cancel this fan-favourite event three weeks out from the 2020 race was devastating; not just for us as a business, but for the participants who put their heart and soul into training and planning their weekend away. We could not be happier to see events going ahead in Western Australia and we can’t wait to deliver an even bigger and better X-Adventure next April!” said Maffett.
Conducted in a friendly and welcoming race atmosphere, the weekend features five different off-road races attracting more than 1,500 competitors and many more spectators. Athletes of all abilities are welcome with a race to suit everyone.
Held over two days, the premier Long Course race is included in the 2021 Triathlon WA State Championships.
The X-Adventure Long Course includes 34 kilometres of action with a 1500m ocean swim, 12km trail run, and 20km mountain bike ride. The course attracts racers from corporate relay teams through to weekend warriors and elite athletes.
Frenchman, Simon Billeau, a renowned triathlete and multiple X-Adventure competitor has nothing but praise for the course. “This is a fantastic course, even though it is tough. It’s a great race in such a stunning location like Dunsborough. We are very lucky to have this race here,” Billeau said.
The weekend also includes a Short course option (700 metre ocean swim, 6km coastal trail run and 11km mountain bike), an Aquathlon-X (1km swim, 5km trail run) event and other events designed especially for kids. This ensures sporting stars of tomorrow have a chance to join in the fun.
Located in the majesty of Geographe Bay, Dunsborough is renowned for its stunning coastal trails, beautiful blue water and awe-inspiring scenery. The courses stretch into the sacred Meelup Regional Park with all races taking in sculpted granite coastline, running tracks peaking with wildflower and free-flowing single-track for the mountain bike leg.
Entries to the 2021 X-Adventure Dunsborough are OPEN ONLINE at XAdventure.com.au.
- 9758 7316
A not-to-be-missed event for book lovers, with the chance to hear from your favourite authors while enjoying some of the Margaret River's best food and wine experiences.
- Dates:May 14 - 16
- Venue:Margaret River HEART
- Venue Address:47 Wallcliffe Rd, Margaret River WA
- Other:Literature,Author Talks,Writers Festivals
Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival is the biggest regional literary event in Western Australia (WA). Each year it brings an array of thought-provoking writers to the region including novelists, journalists, academics and established and emerging storytellers from WA, interstate and overseas.
Themed ‘Future Tense’, the festival will look at both possible and highly imagined futures through a literary lens, to explore and share visions for the future from some of Australia’s most renowned writers, speakers and thinkers.
One of WA's most popular visual arts events, Margaret River Region Open Studios, returns in September! Make a holiday of it and plan a colourful journey through this beautiful region.
- Time(s):Most studios open from 10am to 4pm and some by appointment on certain days. Visit the website for details.
- Dates:Aug 11 - Sep 26
- Festivals:All Festivals,Margaret River Open Studios
- Venue Address:Various
- Ticket Price:Free
- Art Exhibitions:Craft,Drawing,Painting,Photography,Sculpture,Other Visual Arts
- Other:Arts & Crafts,Travel
- Hosted By:Margaret River Open Studios
One of WA’s most popular arts events, Margaret River Region Open Studios, returns in September following the popularity of a Springtime event in 2020.
Open Studios promises to be more vibrant than ever, capturing the colours of spring and wildflower season and providing an opportunity for you to enjoy the Margaret River region in all its glory.
More than 100 artists from Busselton to Augusta will be opening their studio doors to welcome in art lovers and share their passion.
The event, marking its eighth year, features painters, sculptors, illustrators, jewellers, printmakers, glassblowers, ceramicists, potters, photographers, furniture makers, woodworkers, textile artists, metalworkers, mixed media artists and upcyclers who share a love of this beautiful part of the world.
Roadtrip to the region and make a holiday of it, going off the beaten path to visit studios of artists you know and love, and some new talent who might just be the next big thing! Renown artists who regularly participate include Leon Pericles, Rachel Coad, Lauren Wilhelm, Ian Mutch, Rebecca Cool, Mary-Lynne Stratton and Christian Fletcher.
Tracing the Swan follows the story of the settlement of the Swan River Colony with the swan as the central character in artworks about race, difference and the unexpected.
- Dates:Sep 28 - Feb 7
- Time(s):Daily | 10am - 5pm
- Venue:Vasse Felix Winery
- Art Exhibitions:Historical,Painting,Photography
- Venue Address:Cnr Tom Cullity Dr & Caves Rd, Cowaramup
- Ticket Price:FREE
In a play between fiction and reality, the black swan is traced throughout the history of the colonisation of Western Australia up to the present day. From historical to contemporary artworks, the exhibition explores how WA was presented to potential settlers, how its landscape was impacted and has changed over time and how the swan stands as emblem of WA against this tide of changes in its real environment.
- (08) 9758 7200
JahRoc Galleries invite you to join the gallery in celebrating the opening of this breathtaking exhibition of realism coastline paintings of the South West by Leigh Hewson-Bower
- Dates:Dec 27 - Jan 17
- Venue:JahRoc Galleries
- Hosted By:JahRoc Galleries
- Venue Address:83 Bussell Highway Margaret River WA 6285
- Art Exhibitions:Painting
JahRoc Galleries invite you to join the gallery in celebrating the opening of this breathtaking exhibition of realism coastline paintings of the South West by Leigh Hewson-Bower.
Sunday 27th December from 5-7pm.
Enjoy fine wine and live music. All are welcome.
“For this show I have chosen locations from the South West of the state, an area of unparalleled natural beauty. After sifting through many of my photographs in search of references I settled on the scenes that best express the grandeur of the ocean in this part of the world. I guess you could say that water flows through my work. I will rarely create a painting that does not include a representation of it. The first time I visited Rottnest back in the nineties was the beginning of my involvement with realism as an artist. Prior to that I was working in a more abstract fashion…the legacy of my art school years where realistic representation was not at that time the current approach. And so it was a liberating experience to simply try my best to represent something in paint. And I shall continue to do exactly that.”
Leigh Hewson-Bower 2020
Exhibition continues until 17th January. View exhibition artworks online: www.jahroc.com.au/
JahRoc Galleries, 83 Bussell Highway, Margaret River, WA.