The Margaret River region is one of the most popular wine regions in the world, but what many people don’t know is that it offers dozens upon dozens of pristine beaches all along the 130 kilometre stretch of coastline. Some of these beaches are more famous than others, but none of them are what you would call “busy” or “crowded”.
If you want to perch up and spend a whole day lounging on a quiet beach during the Australian summer then you need to head to the Margaret River region, pronto. Here are some of the top beaches in the Margaret River region to add to your list of places to visit!
Looking for even more information on the Margaret River region? Here are 10 reasons why you should visit, the best places to check out in the Margaret River region and some of my personal favorite wineries and vineyards to eat and drink at!
The best time to visit the Margaret River region
The best time to visit the Margaret River region is during the Australian summer months (December through February), but this tends to be the most popular time of year as well so accommodation prices are at its highest. Although it never gets extremely crowded in the region, I also recommend visiting during the shoulder season from September to November and March to May when things die down a little. Beach-goers might want to stick to the summer months from late November to early March as this is when the ocean is slightly warmer and more pleasant to swim in.
The winter months are extremely cold and windy so if you’re looking to hit the beaches in the Margaret River region then avoid visiting from June to August, though this might be a great time to check out its many, many world-class wineries instead. This season also tends to be good for surfing if you are an experienced surfer – however, you’ll need to pack a thicker wet suit.
How to get to Margaret River and how to get around
The Margaret Region is located 3 hours south from Perth in Western Australia. The region starts from Busselton and Dunsborough in the north down to Augusta in the south. Once you are in the area, public transport is pretty much non-existent and private tours and drivers are pricey, so the best way to get around is to self-drive. From Perth your best option is to rent a car (we have used and recommend Budget and Thrifty) to make the drive down south.
Remember, you drive on the left in Australia (the steering wheel is on the right) and the speed limit ranges anywhere from 60 to 110 KM/hour on the way down to the Margaret River region; it is important to stick to the speed limit for not only your own safety, but others’ too. Parking in town and at the various beaches listed in this guide are free.
You may need to show a valid international driver’s permit when picking up the rental car, and make sure you don’t get charged any previously undisclosed fee (like the “VRRF” fee that some rental companies like to charge).
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Alternatively, there are a limited number of buses that you can take via South West Coast Lines and you can even book online. I’ve also heard good things about this shared airport shuttle service between Perth Airport and the Margaret River region, though it appears to only operate Monday to Friday, and not on the weekends.
The best places to stay in the Margaret River region
Nightly rates for accommodation prices tend to be higher in this area, reaching as much as AUD$3-500 during the peak season for a 1 to 2 bedroom location. To get bang for your buck, make sure you stay in a convenient and picturesque town with lots of excellent cafes, restaurants and shops.
I would recommend staying in Dunsborough, Quindalup, Margaret River town, Yallingup, Eagle Bay or Bunker Bay. Here are some personal recommendations:
Whitesands in Quindalup: Perfect for couples or families with children. There are 2 classic beach cottages available – this 1 bed, 1 bath with a king bed, kitchen, BBQ area and lounge, or this 2 bed, 1 bath with a queen bed and king (or 2 singles), full kitchen, BBQ area and lounge. Elaine is a superhost and her properties are always immaculate, and Whitesands is almost always fully booked during the peak season and holidays, so click here to see availability and current rates.
Spindrift in Quindalup: Perfect for families or friends traveling together. This 3 bedroom, 2 bath house features its own outdoor garden and deck and full kitchen. Just a few minutes away from Dunsborough town by car or you can walk to Quindalup beach. Click here to see availability and rates – John’s house is almost always fully booked during the peak season so get in touch early.
Lakeside glamping at Olio Bello in Cowaramup: Perfect if you’re looking for something a little different. Olio Bello offers 6 stunning glamping tents about 10 minutes away from Margaret River town. The tents are luxurious and incredibly spacious, and are fantastic for couples looking to retreat into nature and experience some serious peace and quiet. Their on-site restaurant serves handmade pasta, but is only open for lunch at the moment. Click here to see rates and availability at Olio Bello!
Looking for something else? Click here to find the best deals on accommodation in the Margaret River region!
The best beaches in the Margaret River region
If you only have 2 or 3 days in the Margaret River region you’ll want to make sure that you check out a handful of these beaches during your stay. Make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen as Australian sun exposure is no joke!
1. Meelup Beach
The majority of locals and visitors alike agree that Meelup is one of the best Margaret River region beaches, and it’s not hard to see why – it offers fine white sand, crystal clear water and is protected from wind and waves.
If you are traveling with children, this is the perfect beach to take them to, plus there is plenty of free parking and canoes available for rent if you’re feeling adventurous.
2. Point Picquet
Located nearby Meelup Beach, Point Picquet is another beautiful bay with perfectly turquoise-coloured water. The white-sand beach only fills in during the peak season, otherwise it is a rocky outcrop that you can swim at.
This is a great swimming spot to check out and doesn’t tend to get as busy as Meelup, or you can share it with the stingrays that occasionally visit this part of the coast.
3. Old Dunsborough Beach
The Old Dunsborough foreshore is a family favorite as it’s perfect for young children who aren’t confident swimmers yet. The bay is calm and sheltered from the elements, and there is a netted pontoon for swimmers.
There’s plenty of parking and occasionally there are also food and coffee trucks out so that you can get your fill of caffeine and pastries.
4. Dunsborough Beach
Dunsborough Beach at the end of Dunn Bay Road is a convenient long sandy stretch of white-sand beach that is perfect for anyone staying in and around Dunsborough town. There are also barbecue facilities if you want to make a day of it, or stroll up the road to the Pour House for a pint of beer and Tas’s Bakery for a classic meat pie or custard donut.
5. Eagle Bay Beach
Eagle Bay Beach located near the headland of Cape Naturaliste is yet another glimmering white-sand coastline and one of the best Margaret River region beaches.
Located at the end of a largely residential area, the beach is quiet with little to no rocks, though occasionally can experience some seaweed build-up.
6. Castle Rock Beach
I am partial to Castle Rock Beach and think it’s up there with some of the best beaches in the Margaret River region – it’s only a 5-minute drive from my boyfriend’s childhood home which means we have spent our fair share of time here. The beach is sheltered with translucent water and the iconic “Castle Rock” on the right hand side. Families love to take canoes and kayaks out and you might see a friendly dolphin or two out on the horizon.
7. Injidup Beach
Injidup Beach is a favourite among locals who live in the area. Its sloping sand dunes are picturesque and the beach itself is pretty much never, ever crowded or overrun with people. Head to the other side of the outcrop and you’ll also find the Injidup natural spa, a rock pool that has become popular for a sheltered dip away from the crashing waves.
8. Smiths Beach
Smiths Beach is a long sandy stretch popular with local surfers who love the reef break off the shore. It remains relatively protected from the southerly wind that tends to come in during summer afternoons, and offers several quiet swimming spots up and down the pristine coastline.
9. Yallingup Beach
Around from the headland near Smiths Beach is Yallingup Beach, yet another popular surf beach that offers no less than half a dozen surf breaks including Rabbits, Razors, Boogers, Shallows, Dry Toast and so on. Don’t ask me how surfers come up with names for surf breaks!
We love the sheltered lagoon surrounded by shallow reef – the perfect spot for a refreshing dip. You can also snorkle around the reef – the last time we were here the reef was visited by 5 to 6 dolphins chasing a school of fish!
10. Bunker Bay Beach
Bunker Bay is a fantastic place to grab brunch followed by a dip in the ocean. The long stretch of beach is a great place to soak up the sunshine and is considered one of the top beaches in the Margaret River region. Bunker Bay Cafe is an iconic beach cafe that serves up delicious coffee and lunch – the perfect lazy afternoon spot for anyone vacationing in the Margaret River region.
Ready to book your Margaret River region getaway? Click here to find the best deals on accommodation in the Margaret River region!
In addition to these beaches in the Margaret River region there are also many, many secret beaches that you can access on foot along the Cape to Cape track. If you have more time in the region then I encourage you to get off the beaten track and venture beyond the obvious!
Beach etiquette in the Margaret River region
Beach days are an integral part of Australian lifestyle and culture. It’s important to be respectful of others when you’re at the beach so that everyone can enjoy this amazing resource.
- Leave no trace – take any trash away with you or put it in the designated bins.
- Wear reef-safe sunscreen whenever possible.
- Don’t feed the wildlife.
- Keep the noise down and leave your speakers at home.
- Don’t light fires on the beach – there are strict bans within Australia and you will receive a hefty fine.
- Don’t fly drones near and above people, and definitely not near the wildlife (especially whales and dolphins) as you could disturb their natural behaviour.
- Some beaches have yellow and red flags, in which case you must swim between the flags under the supervision of the lifeguard on duty.
So, what do you reckon? Sold on venturing over to the Margaret River region for outstanding food & wine, beautiful beaches and world-class surf? Leave a comment below and let me know if you’ve ever been to this part of the world! Looking for more Australia travel tips and destination guides? Click here!
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