The Margaret River region in Western Australia is world-renowned for its delectable wine and food. The region produces less than 3 per cent of Australia’s wine, but accounts for more than a fifth of its premium wine according to Tourism Australia. There are more than 120 wineries to explore and most of them will allow you to wander around to admire the beautiful grounds and taste their finest wine. Many also serve lunch and dinner so make sure you brace yourself for a day of gluttony! When there are so many vineyards to choose from, how do you narrow it down? Here are some wineries that I truly loved and would recommend to get your fill of delicious Australian wine and food. First things first…
How to get to the Margaret River region
The Margaret Region is located 3 hours away from Perth in Western Australia. The entire region starts from Busselton and Dunsborough in the north down to Augusta in the south. From Perth your best option is to rent a car to make the drive down south (remember, you drive on the left in Australia – the steering wheel is on the right); alternatively, there are a limited number of buses that you can take via South West Coast Lines.
Looking for the best prices for rental car companies around the world? Click here to book your rental car ahead of your trip. Bookings can be cancelled or amended if your plans change!
If you don’t want to self-drive, get in touch with DBM Drivers, a locally owned wine tour and airport transfer business. Their rates are extremely reasonable compared to other companies, and were very reliable when we used them for a one-way airport transfer. One-way airport transfers are $400 for up to 7 people. Rates accurate as of December 2017.
Is it possible to do a day trip to the Margaret River region from Perth? Yes, but be prepared for a long day of traveling. If you are planning on drinking, you’re better off spending a few nights in the region and exploring its pristine beaches, checking out the caves and Boranup Karri Forest, climbing the lighthouse at Cape Naturaliste or going whale watching along the coast.
How to get around the Margaret River region
Have a car? Great! Step 1: Find yourself a partner who understands your love of wine and is willing to miss out so that you can guzzle down that glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Alternatively, find a mate who is wiling to be designated driver! In Australia, it is an offence to drive while your blood alcohol concentration is 0.05 or above but there are exceptions where a 0 blood alcohol concentration applies. For more details click here.
If no one wants to be left out of the winery fun, then you will need to organize a tour and driver. The good news is that there are plenty of tour operators who offer vineyard tours! Here is a list of winery tours, or get in touch with DBM Drivers – full day wine tours are $350-400 for up to 7 people.
There is no public transportation in this area, so you’ll have to organize some sort of private transportation by yourself.
Looking for other things to do and see in the Margaret River region? Click here for 9 visually stunning places you must visit in the Margaret River region!
Which wineries should I visit in the Margaret River region?
There are more than a hundred wineries to choose from, and there’s just no way you can visit each and every one (unless there is, in which case I commend your tenacity!). These 10 are tried-and-tested and worth your time and money.
1. Vasse Felix
Vasse Felix is considered one of the top wineries in Australia and offers everything from wine tasting to the full dining experience. Their cuisine is a modern take on classic Australian dishes and the wine is delectable. My fave? The classic dry white.
Barnyard is one of the tastiest lunch spots that will keep you coming back time and time again for their handmade pasta and gourmet wine. The prawn pork chorizo ravioli or baked gnocchi = to die for. They are also open for breakfast on Saturday/Sunday if you’re looking to line your stomach before your wine tour.
Aravina has a stunning garden, 180 acres of which about a third is under vine, and for some reason, a beautiful vintage sports car and motorcycle collection! Surf fanatics should also check out the surf gallery here for a display of local surf memorabilia. If you’re a fan of sparkling wine, try their sparkling chenin blanc.
Margaret River weather: don’t forget, Australia’s summer season runs from December to February! The Margaret River region can be very cold during the winter months from June to August.
Voyager Estate is probably the most beautiful winery you will ever see in your life. The beautiful estate is covered with rose gardens and lush vineyards. Don’t be surprised when you see rows and rows of vine, each with a bright red or crisp white rose bush at the end of the row. Apparently, roses are able to show signs of pests and disease more quickly than vines, therefore acting as a warning system. There is a small fee for tastings, but the fee is redeemable against product.
Flutes is an award-winning winery with a view overlooking Wilyabrup Brook. Come here for a delicious meal and try the Brookland Valley Sauvignon Blanc.
Click here for a selection of accommodation options in the Margaret River region! Tip: stay in Dunsborough, Yallingup or Margaret River (town)! Need some flexibility? Double check the cancellation policy – most places offer free cancellation.
6. Wills Domain
Wills Domain is a family-owned winery and has an incredibly relaxed yet elegant atmosphere. It offers fine dining with seasonal produce from the region and has won awards for its Shiraz and Cabernet Merlot. It’s also a perfect coffee spot, and even offers the perfect photo spot that frames the vineyard perfectly.
7. Amelia Park
Amelia Park is one of the best places to go for a fine dining experience in the Margaret River region. Its dining room is exquisite and is the perfect place for special occasions. Its cellar door is just adjacent to the restaurant and offers wine flights paired with cheese and charcuterie plates.
Leeuwin Estate is one of the most well known wineries from the Margaret River region, and is famous for its award-winning Chardonnay. In addition to an on-site restaurant and tasting facilities, it also hosts concerts from time to time with artists such as Diana Krall, Sting and James Taylor.
Come here for the wine, stay for the scones and the incredible view! Watershed Wines has a large cafe with an extensive menu, so it’s a great option for a hearty lunch. The view of the vineyard from their outdoor terrace is also to die for!
10. Windows Estate
Windows Estate is a small family-owned boutique winery in Yallingup. The last time we visited, there was no restaurant but the tasting facilities are fantastic – they offer a range of both reds and whites including Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and more.
Ready to get your wine on? Click here for a selection of accommodation options in the Margaret River region! Tip: stay in Dunsborough, Yallingup or Margaret River (town)!
If you’re a longtime reader you’ll know that I’m all about handing out bonus recommendations, so here we go! You’ll love Gabriel Chocolate and Bettenay’s if you have a sweet tooth or are looking for some great edible souvenirs for friends & family back home. Gabriel Chocolate is Western Australia’s first bean-to-bar chocolate makers and Bettenay’s offers an amazing selection of handmade nougat bars.
These 10 wineries only scratch the surface of fantastic vineyards to visit in the Margaret River region, but it’s a great place to start if you’re short on time!
Have you visited the Margaret River region? What are your tips to travelers visiting the area and what are some of your favourite wineries?
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This article was first published in July 2017 and updated to add 5 more wineries in June 2018
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