There were moments during my weekend in the Margaret River when my jaw would literally drop at the beauty of the scenery.
Put it on your bucket list. In pen.
I can’t believe I tried to talk DD out of driving down from Perth. We only had three days for the trip, I thought we should be sensible and just explore Perth and Freemantle. But DD had his heart set on Margaret River. So I shrugged my shoulders and settled in for the seven-hour return car trip.
And, you know what? The weekend felt like the so much longer than two short days and was completely worth it. We loved every moment. Even the car trip didn’t seem too arduous, as we took turns playing favourite songs from youTube. (At one point I threatened to play DD every one of my favourite Split Enz songs … it’s a looooooong list … fortunately I decided to spare him.)
We flew into Perth on Friday night and stayed in Freemantle. Brekkie the next morning was at the Cafe Isthmus, which had a great view of Rottnest Island and its annual Channel Swim, flanked by hundreds of boats. We scoffed yummy Huevos Rancheros and a serve of warm, freshly baked madelines with lemon curd. Mmmmmm.
Then we hit the road for Margaret River, meandering down the coast, with a stop at Busselton for a takeaway hamburger and a marvel at the fabulous pier that goes forever out to sea. It’s the longest wooden pier in the world, stretching 2km into the ocean. I’d forgotten sunscreen and a hat so we decided walking along it in the midday sun wouldn’t be wise. Sad face.
Onwards to Margaret River for a little wine tasting. Our stand-out favourite cellar door was Sandalford, where a lovely staffer called Miffi talked us through the list. DD fell in love with the Wine of the Month, which was on sale with a $10 discount per bottle, so he bought a case.
Miffi also sent us to Moses Rock for a surf. The beach was stunning, but pretty wild, so we only went in to our knees and still got totally drenched! Plus, DD was pretty crook (scene of the surf puke – though he was philosophical about the incident, saying if you were going to cough so hard you chundered, the surf was the place to do it … he might not have said “chundered” …).
Then we headed to Bunbury for the night. Bunbury is quite the way from Margaret River, but it was really hard to find affordable accommodation on short notice. We didn’t love our brief time in Bunbury. Dinner was a blow-out: salt and pepper squid should NOT be drizzled with satay sauce and served on a bed of mushy rice. Although our takeaway brekkie the next day at Benesse – two coffees and half an enormous mango, mint and white chocolate muffin each – was pretty delish. Next time we’ll bunk in Dunsborough. But more about that in a moment.
On day two we decided to head for the Cape Naturaliste headland. Again, I
suggested being sensible and heading to somewhere closer to Perth, but DD talked me into an adventure.
Wow. It was totally incredible. The beaches looked like they should have been in a tropical tourist brochure. The water was crystal clear and stunningly turquoise. So, so beautiful. Two of my favourite beaches were Eagle Bay and Castle Rock.
We shared a ploughman’s board for lunch at the Eagle Bay Brewery – pate, terrine, pickles and cheese with chunks of yummy fresh bread.
Dunsborough was a revelation too. Such a pretty town, filled with fancy boutiques, cafes, bars and restaurants and an Airstream coffee van. I could happily base myself there for a week and have a swim at ever single beach on the Margaret River peninsula.
All too soon it was time to head to Perth, via Simmo’s ice-cream factory for a giant scoop of caramel macadamia, licked sitting on grass that felt too soft and looked too green to be true.
I would 200% recommend a visit to Margaret River. We can’t wait to find an excuse to head back there. Preferably after my finances have improved, so we can have a more foodie experience.
Here are my happy snaps …