Nine Things to do on the Weekend in Margaret River
MARGARET RIVER, WESTERN AUSTRALIA- After living in Margaret River for three months, I can’t say I even scratched the surface of all the amazing things to do in the Cape-to-Cape region. With virtually every outdoor activity imaginable available at your fingertips, you can spend weeks exploring hiking trails, hidden surf spots, and scenic overlooks. But if you’re just there for a few days, here are a few of my favorite things to do.
Rock Climbing at Wilyabrup. Not for the faint of heart, there are bolts set into the cliffs at Wilyabrup for anyone keen on rock climbing. There are three faces—nursery, intermediate, and advanced—and all offer stunning views of the Indian Ocean as you climb the face. It’s free for groups under five, though you need your own equipment and a healthy knowledge of rock climbing.
Watch the sunset at Surfer’s Point. Situated at the edge of the Prevelly Beach parking lot is a tiered grassy knoll where the locals gather to watch the sunset almost every night, though it will be particularly crowded on Sunday evenings. Grab a six-pack and make a few friends to watch the greatest show on Earth.
See a live band play at Settler’s Tavern. Almost every weekend there’s live music at the Tav, which is pretty much the only pub in town. Get yourself a ticket and throw back a couple of stubbies while mingling with the local crowd.
$5 Yoga at the Community Center. Tucked up Tunbridge Street, behind the Target is the local community center. Odds are, your body is hurting from a tumble or two you took while surfing, or is sore from hiking, and a short yoga class is often in order to straighten yourself out. Only $5, it’s a worthwhile chance to meet new people and set your mind and body right.
Go Whale Watching (for free). Sure, you can pay $100 to go out with a charter boat and be guaranteed to see whales, but you can just as easily spot them off the coast with a dose of patience and a keen set of eyes (or binoculars). While you can spot them off the coast near Margaret River, your chances increase if you head down south towards Augusta from June to September or north to Dunsborough from September to December. You can see Southern Right Whales, Humpback Whales, and Blue Whales have even been known to swim past!
Hike a portion of the Cape-to-Cape Trail. Spanning almost 120 miles from Cape Leeuwin in the South to Cape Naturaliste in the North, the entire trail would take you well over a week to hike from start to finish. Fortunately, it’s accessible from various points along the way, and you can hike for just the afternoon, taking in the wondrous beauty. My personal favorite track is right around Wilyabrup—though you really can’t go wrong with whatever section you choose. Just make sure you turn around to get back to your car in time before it gets dark!
Go stargazing on the beach. Located four hours from the largest big city, there is very little light pollution in Margaret River. Take advantage of the fact, and head to the beach on a clear night to stargaze. There’s nothing like it in the world.
Explore the vineyards at sunset. A trip to Margaret River wouldn’t be complete without exploring the delicious wine the region has to offer. The ideal time to tour is in the late afternoon, before the tasting rooms close but while you can still enjoy the glorious golden hour as the sun sets over the coast and casts a warm, magical glow over the vineyards themselves. While there really are no vineyards not worth visiting, my personal favorites are Lenton Brae, Adinfern Estate, Killerby Wines, and Xanadu Wines.
Visit Boranup Forest. Even if you just drive through, don’t pass up the opportunity to lay your eyes on the fairy forest that is Boranup. The greenery is unlike anything else you’ll find in the Cape to Cape Region; towering karri trees soar 150 feet above the ground and cover the forest with a leafy, ethereal glow that will make you want to hug a tree.
Catch a Surf. No trip to Margaret River would be complete without renting a surfboard and catching a few waves. Known as one of the top destinations in the world for big-wave surfers, the waves at Prevelly and Gas Bay are usually manageable enough for beginner to intermediate level surfers, and conveniently located right near the surf shop at Margaret’s Beach Resort.
One of the most magical things about Margaret River is the people that live there. The locals have all grown up in an enclave of natural perfection, and have a healthy, vigorous respect for the land. They work hard, but they also play hard—paddle-boarding, surfing, hiking, free diving, boating, kayaking—the focus here is on quality-of-life. Take the opportunity to get to know the people that were raised here as well as the ones that have moved to make new lives for themselves among the easy-going crowd. Above all—be respectful to the land and the people that live in it., it’s their home. Treat them and like you would want to be treated, and you just might gain a profound appreciation for living in harmony with the world around you.