What To Do On A Day Trip From Perth To Margaret River In 2024
Wondering what to do on a day trip from Perth to Margaret River? As one of Western Australia’s most-loved wine regions and surf towns, Margaret River packs a punch for beautiful wineries, fantastic restaurants, and a popular place to visit for day-trippers from Perth. I spent a few months working on the Marget River vineyards as a backpacker and can’t wait to go back sometime soon!
In the meantime, British expat Fran Cormack, is sharing his day trip from Perth to Margaret River guide with you, so you’ll be able to head straight for the best places to visit. Originally from Halifax in the UK, Fran spent eight years living in Sydney before moving to Perth over a year ago. He’s shared his move to Australia on our popular British Expats Share Where They Live In Australia post when he was living in Sydney.
Margaret River is one of those special places in the world that gives you a warm embrace each time you visit. Hugging the rugged South West Australian coastline, it is a surfers paradise with Prevelly Beach and Gnarabup Beach to choose from.
If staying dry is more your thing, venture a little further inland, across the majestic Caves Road, and you have over 200 of the world’s best wineries to explore. The region covers a geographical area of 100kms, north to south, with picturesque villages such as Augusta in the south, and Yallingup in the north. The town itself, named after the river, sits a short drive from the coast, and has everything you’d need to explore for a day trip from Perth or a weekend away.
How To Get To Margaret River
The Margaret River region is an easy two and half hour drive south of Perth. If flying into Perth airport, pick up a rental car and you will soon be on your way. There are plans to start interstate flights from Melbourne straight into the nearby Busselton airport at the time of writing. This will open up the region to visitors from Victoria.
Best Time To Visit Margaret River
Being in the South West of Australia, the Spring and Summer months (Sept to Feb) is the best time of year to visit Margaret River. The sun will be shining and the vineyards will be in full bloom. That said, if rugging up and coming home to a real fire, and a glass of red wine is your thing, Autumn and Winter can produce some very special days.
Tip! Being in such close proximity to Perth, and with international travel off the cards for now, it feels as though everyone is taking advantage of exploring day trips from Perth and Margaret River is no exception. If you have a special Margaret River restaurant in mind, I would recommend booking ahead.
Perth To Margaret River Day Trip Tour
Prefer to do a Perth to Margaret River tour instead? Discover why many locals love visiting this little gem by exploring some of its best-kept secrets with a local. Take it easy and don’t worry about having to spend time planning your trip and let someone else do the driving for once.
You’ll visit insanely beautiful bays, charming towns and of course enjoy a wine tasting session and enjoy the stunning coastal views from the moment you’re picked up in Perth and taken home again after this full-day trip from Perth.
Here are some of the highlights for this exceptional Margaret River tour from Perth
Shop for local produce in the quirky town of Cowaramup
Explore the bustling main street, boutique shops and local produce stores in Margaret River
Sample award-winning wines at the picturesque River Township
Watch surfers ride the mega waves at Surfers Point
Enjoy cheese and wine while admiring sea views at Meelup Beach
Where To Stop On The Way From Perth To Margaret River
There are a few places to stop on the way to Margaret River from Perth. If you’re spending a weekend in Margaret River, you can always take a day trip to some of the following places.
The Crooked Carrot Cafe For Coffee
The three-hour drive from Perth to Margaret River is relatively short and hassle-free as most people drive straight there before hitting up their favourite coffee spots and restaurants. If you need to break it up, especially if you’re travelling to Margaret River with kids, I would highly recommend stopping by the Crooked Carrot in Myalup for a coffee and a cake. It’s about the halfway point between Perth and Margaret River, serving up fresh food in a quirky cafe.
You can’t miss a stop off at the Busselton Jetty on the way down to Margaret River. It’s about 40-minute drive from Margaret River or 2h30m from Perth. This stunning jetty is the longest timer-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere at 1,841 metres long. Opened in 1865 it is still open thanks to a local not-for-profit organisation. Make sure you stop off to check it out on the way from Perth to Margaret River.
Visit Meelup Beach & Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse
Head north from Margaret River to the beautiful Meelup Beach which is a 45-minute drive on Caves Road. Located near Dunsborough, don’t miss out on this gorgeous beach, perfect for a snorkel and picnic, and unsurprisingly a locals favourite.
Head slightly up the road to the beautiful Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, built in 1904 and climb the 59 steps to the top. You can go on a guided tour when you get to the lighthouse to learn insights and facts about this amazing place.
Check Out The Best Margaret River Breakfast Spots
Looking for the best Margaret River breakfast? Fear not! I have been to so many cafes and restaurants in the area, I’m going to share my favourites with you. If you like to start the day with a pastry and a coffee, check out the Margaret River Bakery. You will not be disappointed!
If you’re like me and would prefer to find the best Margaret River breakfast views by the ocean, I love to take the “two-stop” approach. What is this, you ask? Go to two places for breakfast and experience the best coffee in Margaret River and of course the best eggs bennie!
I start the day at White Elephant Cafe in Gnarabup which is my all-time favourite spot for my first strong latte of the day. I love looking out to the ocean while sipping my coffee and feel relaxed, centred, and ready for anything. I then embark on a short walk along the beach from the White Elephant Cafe aka “The Elie” and I head to the Sea Garden Cafe for some of the best eggs benedict in Margaret River! Put it on your Margaret River day trip list, a dish that needs to be tasted to be believed.
Things To Do In Margaret River: Morning Activities
Explore the impressive Mammoth Cave in Margaret River
With your lungs full of invigorating sea air, and a full stomach from breakfast, it is time to walk some of it off. Here are some of the options I would consider for things to do in Margaret River Western Australia.
Visit The Margaret River Caves
Visit the magnificent Jewel Cave
Explore the impressive limestone caves that line Caves Road in Margaret River, Just a 15-minute drive from town. Formed over 1 million years ago, there are over 100 caves to either explore self-guided or with a tour. While Mammoth Cave is one of the most popular Margaret River caves to visit, I recommend booking your entry and self-guided audio tour here.
Another cave you shouldn’t miss out on is the Lake Cave in Margaret River. Go on a 30 minute guided tour through this incredible giant sinkhole, to the floor of a sunken forest. You’ll enter a beautiful lake immersed within the beautiful cave, you’ll definitely want to do a quick tour to learn all about this fascinating place.
And lastly, you must visit Australia’s largest show cave called Jewel Cave.
Home to one of the largest stalactites in any Australian tourist cave, it’s an unbelievably impressive cave you have to put on your list to visit. Take a guided tour and learn about this incredible place.
Explore The Famous Margaret River Wineries
You can’t visit the South Western Australian town without visiting the famous Margaret River wineries. With over 200 vineyards, Margaret River produces more than 25 percent of Australia’s premium wine! With so many to choose from, the best way to visit the wineries in Margaret River is to go on a tour so you can do loads of wine tasting and not worry about driving.
Join a full day tour to three wineries, with lunch at a brewery, as well as a visit to a local cheese and chocolate factory. This is a fantastic opportunity to support multiple local businesses within the Margaret River region during your stay.
Check Out The Margaret River Boutique Shops
You might like to spend the morning browsing the boutique shops on the Margaret River high street. A multi-million dollar upgrade of the main strip has recently been completed, offering greater pedestrian facilities and an incorporated bike lane.
Don’t Miss Whale Watching In Augusta!
If you’re planning a day trip from Perth to Margaret River between May to August, you must stop by Augusta for a luxury whale watching cruise. On this five-star whale watching experience, expect to see humpback whales, dolphins, seal lions and migratory birds all on a beautiful luxury catamaran.
Discover The Best Margaret River Restaurants For Lunch
Leeuwin Estate Margaret River
When it comes to lunch options in Margaret River, you are spoiled for choice. Whether you call at the Margaret River bakery for some pastries, and then to Margaret River Woodfired Bread to make fresh sandwiches, or decide to be a little more decadent, you won’t be left either hungry, or disappointed.
If you had to visit one restaurant located in a winery, I would head to Leeuwin Estate on Stevens Road. Currently, number 7 in the top 50 restaurants in Western Australia, once you have eaten here, you will know why. There is a three-course seasonal menu available, but of course, like me, you would prefer the six-course tasting menu. With matching wines? Oh, go on then. Sit upstairs above the art gallery, which is well worth a visit, and you could easily spend the entire day here.
What To Do In Margaret River After Lunch
Berry Farm scones and Hamelin Bay.
After a six course tasting meal at Leeuwin Estate you probably want a nap in the afternoon. My advice is to resist, and head for a cafeine fix to liven up.
Commonage Coffee Co
Commonage Coffee Co is a welcome, recent addition to the coffee scene. In a region dominated by world-class wines, knowing where to get a good coffee is essential for your designated driver. Located in Yallingup, this family-run business is going from strength to strength. And I can certainly vouch for the quality of the coffee they are pumping out.
Get Up Close To Sting Rays At Hamelin Bay
Hamelin Bay is a must visit whilst down in the region. A 30 minute drive south, park up the car, take off your shoes, and have a wander along the beach. You will know where to head by the number of people clustering around a certain area. Hamelin Bay is home to the famous stingrays. Just don’t get too close as their tails give off a heck of a sting!
Try The Exceptional Scones And Cakes At Berry Farm
Right now, food may be the last thing on your mind, but no trip to Margaret River is complete without trying the famous scones and cream from Berry Farm. Go on, you know you want to! And if you head into the shop next door, you can pick up a jar of their delicious jam, and many other preserves, to take home with you.
Check Out Margaret River Distilling Co’s Award Winning Gins
It will always be “5 o’clock somewhere” so call in at the Margaret River Distilling Co. for a tasting flight of either their award-winning gins or their Limeburner whisky!
Margaret River Evening Cocktail & Tapas Walking Tour
If you end up deciding to stay the night and you’re not that familiar with the town, you must go on an evening cocktail and tapas walking tour in Margaret River. Let a local show you some of the best Margaret River restaurants and indulge in different cuisines from multiple places around the town. Expect drinks and dinner included in this fun Margaret River tour you’ll love!
Best Margaret River Accommodation
If you’re wondering where to stay in Margaret River, look no further! These are my top picks!
Holiday Park:Big4 Taunton Farm is a large, family freindly campsite offering a range of pitches to suit everyone from the motorhome owner, to those wanting to just pitch a tent. There are plenty of BBQs for use, a large clean communal kitchen, and a petting zoo for the kids.
Mid-Range:Margaret River Resort is less than a 10 minute walk to the town centre and offers a swimming pool, sauna and tennis court, with a bar and restaurant on site.
Luxury: Stay at Chandeliers on Abbey for the ultimate luxury chalet stay. There are three spa chalets, nestled on a hill in the middle of a quiet wooded area. Park the car up and walk down the hill for a wine tasting at Skigh Wines. Even the designated driver gets to sample the excellent sauvignon blanc.
What To Do On A Day Trip From Perth To Margaret River 2021