by Carmen Allan-Petale
Before going back to Australia to get married, we pondered where to go for our honeymoon. Asia? It was nearby and on the route back to London. Eastern Australia? The cocktail bars in Melbourne and Sydney beckoned.
Eventually we decided on Margaret River in our home state of Western Australia. Although we’d been there countless times, we decided to leave the backpack behind and upgrade our accommodation. It was our honeymoon after all.
Margaret River is a well-known wine region in Australia. If this isn’t a good enough reason to want to visit, it sports some of the best beaches in the country and is surrounded by jarrah forests that are thousands of years old.
A perfect setting for a romantic getaway.
We stayed at Hilltop Studios, a secluded apartment on the top of a hill overlooking the bush. In the evenings we watched the kangaroos hop about and at night we could see the stars from our bed through the near floor-to-ceiling windows.
Things to do in Margaret River
Visit the caves
There are many caves in the region, but we decided to visit the Jewel Cave because it’s the biggest that’s open to the public. Its stalactites have been forming for hundreds of thousands of years and your tour guide will take you 42 metres underground to look at the formations.
Body surf a wave at the beach
The beaches are stunning. When we visited, the surrounding area had been devastated by a fire only a few months before. No one lost their life but many homes were destroyed. Even so, the natural beauty shone through.
Go for a bushwalk
It’s not hard to believe the region is prone to bush fires – it’s covered in trees. You can easily get lost in the bush although there’s something deeply tranquil about trekking amongst trees as tall as skyscrapers.
Dine in a top restaurant
There are so many restaurants in the area that serve award-winning cuisine that it’s tough to choose where to go. We decided on Lamonts and Vasse Felix. Both were superb and in stunning settings – Lamonts adjacent to the beach and Vasse Felix overlooking a stream and the winery. However, I have to say that Vasse Felix’s food was better than its wine and vice-versa for Lamonts.
Visit a winery
Of course, many of these restaurants are better known for being a winery first and a place to dine second. There is a lot of good tipple grown in the region, although Brown Hill has to be my favourite – even if the cellar door is the back of his shed!
Visit the coffee and chocolate factories
Margaret River Chocolate Factory is an old favourite and an added bonus is that they do free tastings, so you can still stuff your face on a limited budget.
Yahava Koffeeworks just opened a new cafe where they let you try shots of their range. A must do for those, like Dave, who need a dose to wake them up each morning!
I may be biased, seeing as we’re from Western Australia, but I must admit that after all the travelling I’ve done, Margaret River is still one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in the world.
Take a look at our video from Margaret River here.