The Margaret River Region is the home of world class wineries. The original vineyards were in the Willyabrup area. Vasse Felix (Tom Cullity) was the first to get underway in 1967 - their first commercial vintage was in 1970. Cullens and Moss Wood (Bill Pannell) followed a year later.
For a change from visiting wineries, the Bootleg Brewery and the Wicked Ale Brewery are worth a visit.
See if you can get through all this in one day: Drive along Caves Road towards Busselton until you reach the Vasse Turnoff. Turn south along Bussell Highway to Cowaramup (Cowtown) stopping along the way to sample the award-winning cheese and dairy products at Fonti Farm and the Margaret River Cheese factory.
The Margaret River Chocolate Factory is an alternative to wineries. Taste the chocolate and then sit back for a coffee and cake on their lovely shaded grounds. Situated corner Harmans Mill Road and Harmans Road South.
On Commonage road, near Dunsborough. Who would have thought a farm near Dunsborough could successfully sell ice-cream? Simmo’s is a must do for the kids after a day when Mum and Dad have been wine tasting.
Galleries/ Potteries/ Studios
Art and wine go hand in hand and the region is famed for its artists. There are numerous galleries, and potteries serving the area. Gunyulgup Galleries, Happs Pottery, Boranup Galleries, the Old Courthouse in Busselton for jarrah furniture and Bob Monkmans furniture gallery in Dunsborough are all well worth a trip.
A sensational and pristine river system, and most of it still in its natural state, great for fishing swimming, skiing, canoeing, or ferry trips
The area is famed for its fishing. Some places to try. From the beach: Quindalup especially near the boat ramp. Smiths Beach. From the rocks - Old Dunsborough (Near the boat ramp - W/SW/S winds). Pt Picquet (S,SW,SE winds), Wyadup rocks (E winds - i.e. in the morning).
Western Australian Yacht Charters, Sea Eco Yacht Charters and Nautical Encounters provide yacht hire and sailing and snorkeling tours. Naturaliste Charters provide deep sea fishing charters. Kayaks can be hired in Dunsborough and Busselton. Jet Skis can be hired in Busselton.
Surfing & Beaches
The west coast between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin is famed for its surfing beaches. Three Bears, Yallingup, Injidup, The Gallows, Huzzas, Redgate, and Margaret River are legendary. Yallingup surf school teaches all ages and experience at the local beaches. Geographe Bay - between Bunbury and Cape Naturaliste is a contrast with miles and miles of calm sandy beaches.
It took hundreds of volunteers nearly 12 months and more than 10,000 hours of hard labour to prepare the former Destroyer Escort HMAS Swan for scuttling as a dive wreck and artificial reef near Dunsborough in Western Australia. Then, with the push of a button, it was over in just two minutes and 53 minutes to sink. It provides an excellent spot to dive on and you can contact the local dive place who take groups out to the wreck.
Whales visit the area between July and November. Whale watching tours start in Augusta in July-August and then the Naturaliste Lady moves around to Dunsborough. Good places to whale watch from the shore are from the lighthouses at Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste.
The famous Busselton jetty is reputed to be the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere. The jetty dates back to last century and was progressively lengthened to proved sufficient water depth for shipping. You can catch a train out to the end of the jetty where there is now an observatory.
Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
The Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse is 100 years old. It was built from stone quarried from Bunker Bay. The lighthouse and the associated whale watching vantage points are well worth a visit as is the seal colony nearby.
Cape to Cape Walking Trail
The Cape to Cape Walking trail runs from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin, and there is also a trail from Dunsborough through the Meelup National Park along the coast to Cape Naturaliste. For those without the time or energy to undertake the full trek (which would take about a week).
The Ludlow Tuart Forest is the only remaining Tall Tuart Forest in the world and is therefore one of the rarest ecosystems left on earth. 1955 hectares are left in the South West of Western Australia. Take the scenic route from Capel to Busselton - follow the signs and divert through the Tuart Forrest.
As you travel south on Caves road, south of Margaret River the scenery suddenly changes and you enter the westernmost stand of Karri forest in WA. These majestic giants are stunning. If you watch out a gravel turnoff to the right (the coast side of Caves Road) will take you wandering through the forest.
The limestone ridge between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin hosts many caves, only a small fraction of which are open to tourists. The caves of the region have been a tourist drawcard since late last century. Worth visiting are the Ngilgi Cave (at Yallingup), the Mammoth Cave, the Jewel Cave and more.
The west coast is rugged and there are many large rock formations. Sugarloaf Rocks is near Cape Naturaliste and can be seen from many kilometres south when looking North along the coast. Canal Rocks is another famous formation, deriving its name from the natural "Canal" formation.
Ellensbrook Homestead is set in coastal sand dunes next to a perennial stream. The homestead is a renovated National Trust property, once the home of Alfred and Ellen Bussell, the district's first pioneers. Close by is the unique and very beautiful Meekadarabee Waterfall.
The old Butter Factory
To view much of the history of the region, visit the old butter factory in Peel Terrace. Now the home of the Busselton Historical Society, this is the place to see old photos, farm machinery clothing etc. and soak up the atmosphere of the region.
An Important surviving example of early farm pioneering in Western Australia. Wonnerup House, built by the Layman family in 1838, is set in farmlands close to a tuart tree forest near the Vasse Estuary wetlands.
Flights and Skydiving
One of the best ways to see the region is from the air. Busselton Air Service offer several flights, including flights to Yallingup, Margaret River, Walpole and from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin. Southern Skydivers operate out of Busselton and provide the ultimate view!
There are a wide variety of golf courses in the area. The Dunsborough Lakes Golf Course is a championship level course. The Margaret River Golf Club and the Augusta Hillview club are another two courses in the area. Lower down in the scale is the Broadwater Par 3 near Busselton.