After a journey surrounded by premium wineries, extraordinary architecture and amazing vistas of undulating vineyards, it is the lush forest, the river and the surf breaks that add an extra dimension to Margaret River.
On your approach to town, down by the river a picturesque forest and park with fabulous walks is a great place to stretch your legs. After crossing the river the town appears, sweeping up its one long street lined with cafes, gourmet and curiosity shops, boutiques, galleries and more.
During the day the town is bustling and at night town comes alive with a totally different scene of fantastic foodie restaurants, wine bars and pubs with live music. Decadent food, premium produce, internationally renowned wine, surfing, art and a love for nature combine to be the soul of the town and some of the main Margaret River attractions. Stunning walking and cycling tracks meander along the river or through the surrounding forest to the vineyards and farms. The world-famous Margaret River surf is only 10 minutes from the centre of town.
A range of quality accommodation is available ranging from backpackers, bed and breakfasts, apartments, luxury lodges, manors and hotels.
Great restaurants, bars and live music combine to offer some of the best nightlife in the region.
Our Top 5 Things to Do in Margaret River
1. Stocking up on fresh local produce at the Farmers Markets on a Saturday morning
2. Watching the sunset over the Indian Ocean at Surfer’s Point in Prevelly – only 10 minutes’ drive away
3. Lake and Mammoth Caves – see highly decorative limestone and crystal formations only 20 minutes’ drive from town
4. Tasting yummy stuff – there are heaps of cellar doors, winery restaurants, breweries and providores nearby
5. Walking the gorgeous National and State forest trails which are super close to town
Just a short drive from Margaret River is the towering Boranup Karri Forest, home to the third largest tree species in the world.
History of Margaret River
Noongar people lived in natural balance in the area for at least 50,000 years. Artefacts and remains dating back to around the same time have been found in the Devil’s Lair cave, located just out of Margaret River.
Early pioneers, the Bussell family lived at Ellensbrook House in 1857 then moved to Wallcliffe House in 1865. Wallcliffe House was the principle residence of Wallcliffe Estate covering land between Cowaramup and the Donnelly River.
Margaret River town was gazetted in 1913 and the 1920’s Group Settlement Scheme caused a swell in the population and development. Dairy farming was well established around the 1930’s and began to thrive in later years.
There are legends of surfers visiting from the 1920’s, however surfing didn’t rise to eminence until about 1961. Margaret River really got on the map in 1969 when the Australian National Titles were held. Surfers then flocked to the region and with the emergence of the wine industry there was an abundance of casual employment to sustain them (but they’d only turn up if the sea breeze was in!!).
During the 1960’s Dr. Gladstones identified the area as a potential premium wine region. Then in 1967 cardiologist Dr. Cullity planted the first commercial vineyard at Vasse Felix. Hot on the heels were Moss Wood, Cape Mentelle, Cullens and Sandalford wineries that opened prior to 1972. Twenty more wineries opened in the 1970’s with twenty more in the 1980’s, and the industry just kept growing from there.
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