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Top Things to do in Margaret River

Things to do in Margaret River are many and marvellous, dragging in visitors from near and far eager to experience an area of charming visual contrasts. Western Australia's "south-western jewel", Margaret River features striking forests, impressive rugged coastlines, various renowned wineries & breweries and remarkable ancient cave networks. Endless relaxing days can be enjoyed over river cruises, cheese tastings and frolics through vineyards. Whatever activities you choose, Margaret River is sure to steal your heart and have you returning time and time again.

The Top 10 Things to do in Margaret River, WA

The lovely Margaret River, which serves as the name of a town, river and region that surrounds it, is something of a hidden gem on Australia’s west coast.

Located just over 3 hours’ drive to the south of Perth, the region makes for a great getaway destination that is an impressive showcase of all things natural – its scenery varies from the impressive rugged coastline to awe-inspiring limestone cave networks, and further on to rolling green vineyards and wineries that stretch as far as the eye can see.

The area is also renowned for its culinary delights, with those aforementioned wineries making for much more than just a pretty sight – they’re responsible for some of Australia’s best up and coming wines, and when combined with the array of fresh produce grown in the region can combine for some truly outstanding eating and drinking for locals and visitors alike.

Couple all of these with great surfing, plenty of wildlife, and a charming local shopping scene, and there’s a reason why Margaret River and its surroundings are quickly becoming considered one of Australia’s true destinations on the rise.

If you’re planning to visit Margaret River and not sure how best to spend your time there, here we break down the Top 10 Things to do in Margaret River and surrounds in detail.

The Top 10 Things to do in Margaret River, WA - Take a Winery Tour in Margaret River

1. Take a Winery Tour in Margaret River

Location: 101 Bussell Hwy, Margaret River WA

There’s no getting away from it: wine is one of Margaret River’s most famous calling cards, and its presence and consumption permeate almost every other part of experiencing the region in some form.

A huge drawcard for many choosing the destination as their travel spot, the area is home to over 150 individual wine producers ranging from tiny boutiques to major labels that continue to grow in national and international renown every year.

From Chardonnay to Sauvignon, the region boasts a wide portfolio of quality mainstream wines, as well as more unconventional niche, produce that is sure to delight the connoisseur.

Margaret River’s maritime climate plays a large role in its striking suitability to grape-growing conditions, with both temperature and rainfall ranges falling among the ideal.

As a result, those with a taste for a drop of the good stuff will be in heaven here, as the opportunities for getting out and sampling a glass or several are present both in and around the town.

Names such as Brookwood Estate, Cape Naturaliste Vineyard, Stella Bella Wines, Cape Mentelle and Woody Nook among others all rate highly, however planning out an itinerary and choosing from the vast array by yourself can prove a challenging task.

Winery tours in the Margaret River are an incredibly popular pastime, allowing visitors to enjoy the “fruits” of the region without having to concern themselves with the responsibility of driving. Vasse Felix, Voyager Estate and Leeuwin Estate rate highly for those who want to indulge in some wine tasting in Margaret River.

Offering itineraries that aim to cover the best wines of the region in a single, comprehensive package, their tours provide guests with a behind-the-scenes wine experience that covers sightseeing, tasting, history and off-road adventures all in one.

Specially chosen wines that augment a delicious degustation menu are what the Margaret River culinary experience is all about, and these tours deliver in full while also providing a whats-what of local regional highlights along the way.

There’s even a canoeing portion that gives a look at the area from an entirely different angle!

Margaret River Discovery Co. are renowned for treating their guests as friends rather than mere customers, and it’s the combination of this attitude, local insider knowledge, and going the extra mile to expand the standard winery tour experience that make heading out on a tour with them our consensus pick for the best way to enjoy Margaret River’s delights.

The Top 10 Things to do in Margaret River, WA - Lake Cave

2. Lake Cave

Location: Caves Rd, Margaret River WA

Margaret River isn’t all water, wildlife and wine; it’s also home to one of the most spectacular natural attractions in Western Australia. Join a guided tour of the Lake Cave to go deep beneath the surface to view the tranquil lake inside a cave. If you’ve made the trip to Margaret River then Lake Cave should be near the top of any travel itinerary.
the likes of which is only really matched by a similar offering in New South Wales.

We’re of course referring to the region’s amazing limestone cave networks, the visual pinnacle of which is the stunning Lake Cave located amongst a pristine nature reserve around 20 minutes’ drive to the south of Margaret River town on the aptly-named Caves Road.

While it’s far from the largest cave in the region, it’s arguably the most beautiful. Entry to the cave is gained via a relatively long descent down a flight of 350 stairs leading into the heart of the massive doline, which is a sight into and of itself.

While it’s a somewhat intimidating initial approach to the attraction, the reward after making the trip down is well worth the effort.

What is found within after entering the cave is simply an example of nature at its most pure, beautiful self – a massive number of stalagmites and stalactites formed over thousands of years from dripping, mineral-rich water.

Man-made lighting is used to full effect here, with both neutral tones and other vivid colours illuminating the cave walls to give it a surreal touch.

Lake Cave derives its name from its constant body of water which provides a mirror-like surface for the lighting to reflect off, amplified by its one true gem, its floating suspended table formation, which is one of only two of its kind in the world.

Throughout your exploration of the cave, your guide will provide an enlightening and entertaining narrative on how this and other similar caves came to be, with history on Lake Cave itself as well as the technical formation of the rock formations outlined in detail.

Guides accompany visitors for safety reasons as much as to provide information, as it’s a fairly strenuous trip and the presence of water can make incidents and rare but possible factor; however their degree of experience and friendly, reassuring nature is more than enough to allay any fears one may have.

While it’s only a single room rather than a massive, winding network, the guides are experts at making the whole tour interesting. t’s a peaceful and somewhat alien landscape that’s best visited outside of the school holidays if possible, as the noise from rowdy children can shatter the mood somewhat.

There’s also a decent amount of quality facilities set up around the cave such as toilets and a cafe that makes extending the experience and relaxing amongst the lovely surrounds a possibility, too.

If you’re prepared to put in the effort and push past plenty of stairs, you’ll come away with an experience of one of Australia’s most spectacular show caves – and given the rarity of such a perfect natural formation, if you’ve made the trip to Margaret River then Lake Cave should be near the top of any travel itinerary. Just think of the required investment of exercise as a healthy bonus!

The Top 10 Things to do in Margaret River, WA - Whale Watching

3. Whale Watching

Typically running from May all the way through to early December, the length of the whale watching season provides numerous chances for visitors to the region to take part in what is widely acclaimed as one of nature’s most impressive wildlife spectacles. Join a whale-watching cruise from Augusta or Dunsborough for an incredible wildlife encounter.
The Top 10 Things to do in Margaret River, WA - Helicopter Tours

4. Helicopter Tours

The beautiful Western Australian cities of Perth and Fremantle beg to be explored and there are few better ways to do so than from high above with these city scenic helicopter flights.
The Top 10 Things to do in Margaret River, WA - Sunflowers Animal Farm

5. Sunflowers Animal Farm

Location: 5561 Caves Road, Margaret River WA

While Eagles Heritage Wildlife Centre mentioned above specialises in all-things-avian, this charming animal attraction takes the wildlife experience one step further by offering a large array of creatures from all over the animal kingdom.

The facility scores major bonus points for being particularly hands-on, with a high level of emphasis on interactivity with the creatures of all kinds that both kids and wildlife lovers alike will no doubt appreciate.

Sunflowers Animal Farm offers a slice of authentic Aussie farm life with a dash of additional, more unconventional animals mixed in, you can expect to be able to interact with the likes of pigs, rabbits, lambs, kangaroos, alpacas and much more, many of which are young which adds an extra touch of cuteness to the proceedings.

If you’ve got children, they’ll be in their element here as they’ll be able to pet, feed and play with the majority of the animals which are all situated at various points amongst the layout of the huge farm.

Buckets of food are available for purchase while washing facilities are also on hand for after you’re done – prepare to get a least a little animal saliva on your hands! Other traditionally fun farm activities are also on offer at Sunflowers Animal Farm include pony rides (a favourite amongst little girls in particular!), gathering eggs, tractor rides and plenty of other things to keep the younger ones occupied for hours.

There’s even a playground for them to burn off their energy while you take a breather, which is a nice touch.

Sunflowers Animal Farm also doubles as a rustic farm stay accommodation facility for those looking to spend a night or three, and it’s a truly intimate experience that makes for a refreshing change from the typical cardboard-cutout hotel.

Other traditionally fun farm activities are also on offer at Sunflowers Animal Farm include pony rides (a favourite amongst little girls in particular!), gathering eggs, tractor rides and plenty of other things to keep the younger ones occupied for hours.

While there are no stores or cafes on hand which sell (human) food, guests are welcome to bring their own supplies – and with barbecue facilities on hand, the farm makes for a pleasant location to enjoy cooking up a lunch.

It’s a laid-back, family style atmosphere provided by the farm’s hosts, and cosy units with full kitchens and enough amenities to get by; they even come with log fireplaces that can both add to the charm and be a godsend during colder months of the year.

Plus, as an added bonus, choosing the farmstay as your accommodation means you’ll be able to get UNLIMITED access to the farm and its animals throughout your stay, rather than paying for entry each time.

Located in a quiet and peaceful area that’s conveniently easy to access just outside Margaret River, Sunflowers Animal Farm makes for one of the best wildlife experiences in the region while also serving as perhaps the best place to stay in the area for those travelling here with kids.

The Top 10 Things to do in Margaret River, WA - Explore the Coast

6. Explore the Coast

Location: From Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin, WA

Characteristic of much of the coastline of Western Australia, the areas where land-meets-sea around Margaret River are prime examples of rugged, untamed Aussie beauty at their finest – expect to see the likes of impressive Indian Ocean waves crashing against rocky shores and cliff faces, with many areas conducive to some of the best surf in WA.

The scenic portion of the coastal region surrounding Margaret River stretches around 100 kilometres in total, and throughout its expanse, numerous rock features and pristine, uncrowded beaches can be encountered at regular intervals, with your own quiet slice of seclusion never too far away.

Visitors to the region wanting to soak in the coastal spectacle can thus get a dose of independent sightseeing by simply hiring a car and heading along the coastal roads which provide great outlooks at intervals between one town to the next.

Typically encompassing the “Cape to Cape” stretch from Cape Naturaliste in the north to Cape Leeuwin in the south, a number of coves, beaches, breaks and bays along the way is staggering.

Be sure to bring your camera along for the journey as the various granite rock figures and vivid green-blues of the water are extremely photogenic, and likely to produce some of the best travel memories you’ll want to take away from the region (all for entirely free).

The coastal region surrounding Margaret River stretches around 100 kilometres in total, and numerous rock features and pristine, uncrowded beaches can be encountered with your own quiet slice of seclusion never too far away.

Many of these come equipped with lookout areas – or even car parks in the case of some larger beaches – which provide a great panorama to grab yourself some snapshots, too.

Some specific highlights along the course of the drive include Surfers Point (a great spot for surfing, of course, but also swimming and even some light snorkeling in its sheltered reef areas), Boodjidup Beach (about as pristine a stretch of sand as you’re likely to come across in Australia outside of the Whitsundays), and Cape Leeuwin’s characteristic lighthouse (which stands on the shore of a rocky promontory and makes for some great photo ops in itself) among many, many others.

While the coastal drive can be done in a couple of hours, given that you’ll likely want to get out and explore at multiple points to make the most of the things, it’s best to allocate a full day to fully enjoy its offerings – or even a couple of days if you’re looking to spend the night in such charming coastal towns as Prevelly, Dunsborough or Gracetown which can be found along the route.

Regardless of how much time you’re willing to spend, starting your Margaret River journey off by exploring its coastline is a great way to orientate yourself with the region’s “lay of the land” before exploring its intricacies in greater detail.

The Top 10 Things to do in Margaret River, WA - Amaze'n Maze

7. Amaze'n Maze

Location: 9978 Bussell Hwy, Margaret River WA

Scoring bonus points for uniqueness, the aptly-named Amaze’n' Maze is one of the Margaret River region’s signature man-made attractions that serve as a safe and fun place to visit for those travelling alone and with kids.

The finely-kept conifer hedge mazes are large, with the giant mage being particularly big, are well-manicured and confusing, with the younger ones always enjoying the fun of losing themselves inside the winding outdoor corridors and discovering something new along the way.

There are also built-in challenges – such as finding each of the different-shaped benches dotted throughout the maze – along the way, which keeps it from being just an aimless wander through the different pathways.

The disorientation all pays off in the end as, after reaching the elevated middle tower, you’ll have a great view overlooking the rest of the hedges before attempting to make your way out the other side.

The finely-kept conifer hedge mazes are large, with the giant mage being particularly big, are well-manicured and confusing, with the younger ones always enjoying the fun of losing themselves inside the winding outdoor corridors and discovering something new along the way.

While the highlight of the attraction is the maze itself, are also numerous other activities to take part in while at Amaze’n including a range of ground puzzles to amuse and confuse, plenty of beautiful gardens to wander through and enjoy, playgrounds for the kids to burn off some energy while you relax with a coffee, a range of other games, and even a relatively newly opened mini golf course located amongst the picturesque surrounds.

It’s enough on offer to spend several hours here (depending on how adept you are at navigating the maze!) and enough to allow families to both get their value for money and make it worth the short trip out from Margaret River.

A tip of the hat must also be given to the attraction’s excellent cafe, which unlike the standard fare at most similar attractions actually provides some quality dining options (although the overall choice is rather limited).

Barbecue lunches are also an option as there’s a dedicated BBQ facility, with on-site lunches also being catered for as well. Friendly local staff and the chance to grab some decent-quality handmade souvenirs cap off the experience, and only serve to add to the pleasant overall atmosphere.

One of the more individual days out you’re likely to have in a while – after all, not too many people have done a maze before – Amaze’n makes for one of the region’s most enjoyable and family-friendly attractions.

The Top 10 Things to do in Margaret River, WA - The Horse Resort

8. The Horse Resort

Location: Osmington Road, Margaret River, WA

All that rolling countryside to be found in the Margaret River region doesn’t just look good – it also provides the perfect opportunity for inland exploration as well, and there are few more enjoyable and back-to-basics approaches for sightseeing than on horseback.

Local trail riding facility The Horse Resort offers exactly that, and it’s a satisfying way to deviate from the standard guided tour experience while still seeing some of the best nature that Margaret River has to offer.

Set out over an expansive 500-acre property, The Horse Resort allows visitors of all ability levels – and almost all ages – to participate in some good old-fashioned riding that makes for an ideal family day out, with the horses at the Resort being universally calm, disciplined and well-trained.

The staff at the facility are patient and friendly, and always willing to explain the nuances of horse riding to both the first-timers and children and will highlight all the necessary techniques such as turning, braking, stopping and accelerating before setting off on the ride.

A variety of different trail rides is available to choose from which scale in difficulty, with beginner rides typically starting off in the large enclosed paddock area allowing participants to get their bearings before heading out into the expansive natural forest which surrounds it.

It’s a great way to see the inner part of Margaret River without flocks of fellow tourists maintaining an aura of peace and quiet throughout. You’ll learn all sorts of interesting tidbits about the local area from your friendly horse guides.

The forest is an attraction in itself, home to numerous kinds of native Aussie wildlife – except to see more than a few kangaroos during your ride – as well as all the impressive flora that comes with a bush environment.

It’s truly a great way to see the inner part of Margaret River without being disturbed by flocks of fellow tourists and maintaining an aura of peace and quiet throughout, and during the journey, you’ll learn all sorts of interesting tidbits about the local area from your friendly horse guides.

Rides typically last around 2 hours, which will tend to be just enough before the novice rider starts to get a bit saddle-sore.

Located just a short 10-minute drive to the north-east of Margaret River town, the entrance to the facility sits along Osmington Road and is fairly discrete; plus, rides take place at varying locations throughout the year, so it’s best to get in touch with the staff before making the drive out. With children as young as 5 able to participate in the fun, it’s an experience nearly everyone can – and should – get to enjoy.

The Top 10 Things to do in Margaret River, WA - Eagles Heritage Wildlife Centre

9. Eagles Heritage Wildlife Centre

Location: 341 Boodjidup Rd, Margaret River, WA

This charming little wildlife facility is home to the country’s largest collection of birds of prey and serves as a haven for both breeding and the rehabilitation of injured birds before they recover and are released back into the wild.

All kinds of these massive birds can be found here, from hawks and falcons to owls and eagles, and seeing the sheer scale of each of them when viewed from up close rather than high in the air can be as intimidating as it is impressive!

Set amongst beautiful natural bushland surrounds, Eagles Heritage Wildlife Centre is a place of both entertainment and education, with a 1-kilometre walking track that takes visitors on a journey to see the enclosures housing the various species firsthand which can be done in around half an hour.

In terms of highlights of a visit to the wildlife centre, the twice-daily flight shows held at 11:00 am and 1:30 pm are absolute musts, as they show Black Kites hitting in flight, providing the chance to see them in action while learning about their diets, habitats and behaviours.

The knowledge and attitudes of the staff here are substantial, and their passion for their work and conservation efforts is obvious and truly shines through during the display. Afterwards, audience members are welcome to have their photo taken with the Kites perched on their arm – definitely a nice touch, and one of the only places in Australia where you’ll get the chance to do so.

This charming little wildlife facility is home to the country’s largest collection of birds of prey and serves as a haven for both breeding and the rehabilitation of injured birds before they recover and are released into the wild. The passion for their work and conservation efforts shines through here.

In addition, if you’ve never seen them in person before, the undoubted stars of the parks’ proverbial show for you will no doubt be the Wedge Tailed Eagles, the world’s largest bird of prey, whose staggering size is hard to believe when seen in close proximity.

While it’s small, quiet and nothing fancy – reflective of its nature as a non-profit rehabilitation-focused facility – Eagles Heritage Wildlife Centre is well worth the visit regardless of if you’re a particular fan of birds or not.

Its moderate $17 entry fee is more than reasonable, with funds going directly towards the maintenance and running of the centre, and with its location, just a 10-minute drive south of the centre of Margaret River, the short trip is a small price to pay.

Time your visit to coincide with the free-flight displays – and temper your expectations of any kind of a big zoo – and you’ll no doubt have a great time here.

The Top 10 Things to do in Margaret River, WA - Private Tasting

10. Private Tasting

Culinary culture plays a key part in what makes Margaret River tick, and this is more than adequately reflected in the array of great restaurants that call the region home. The dining scene incorporates the best in worldwide, modern food trends.