Perth is such a vibrant, adorable city. But at times, you’d also want an isolation, free from city’s electrified fast-paced life. To escape from the noise and hustle bustle, only a three hour drive down South, you’re already in a Mediterranean-style region, which has fairly average temperatures that you won’t stiff frozen on Winters neither melt on Summers. And to lure you more…your bedroom windows open up to a view of a vineyard or a mountain or to that gorgeous beach down from the hill in the mornings welcoming fresh seabreeze?
We must be talking about Margaret River Valley.
Driving towards Margaret River, around 3 hours from Perth CBD is already a majestic experience. There are many stopovers you could do like the Fudge Factory in Fremantle, Simmos Ice cream in Mandurah, shop for some few bottles of emu oil near Harvey, and stop and take few snaps of Harvey area too. Its famous for fabulous fresh juices distributed all throughout Australia, in fact, even in the Philippines. As in P.I. we can find cartons of milk and juices from different fruits, named Harvey, and yes thats from Harvey, WA.
They say Margaret River is a vintner’s paradise. Indeed. This wine region had already collected countless accolades for its reputation for quality distinctive wines. Though there are so many wineries there, we only have got to visit a few. MR wine region boasts Providore, The Voyager Estate, The Leeuwin Estate, Xanadu, Fraser, and some more than 100 wineries in their renowned niche. Perhaps the perfect combination of soil, weather conditions, and other necessary factors made it the ideal region for growing grapes to produce the powerful and intense taste for premium wines.
Feel for a celebration tonight? Choose Red or White, you have these all for you: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Shiraz, Merlot, Chenin blanc and Verdelho, all within your reach in MR. As others even compares it to Bordeaux, France to have almost similar growing conditions but in a dry vintage.
Aside from the Crystal caves in MR (where we didn’t go to, we’re not so adventurers), here are my suggested things to do in Margaret River for a weekend getaway, for example. :
1. Providore Winery. We did have a round of wine tasting, and the news is : I’m not a wine drinker, so anybody sharing a bottle with me is the luckiest, he’d have all of it for himself. So you have guessed what happened to me after sampling the wines. I’ve already went for the sweet-style, Rose-something called.
The cafe is a must try. They also have this little shop which sells organic spices, I personally love the thyme and garlic olive oil and tarragon vinaigrette.
But because there are more than a hundred winery in MR, surely the others are equally-fabulous. Just make sure you’d visit more than 3 (probably 5?) producers, else you’ll miss the meaning of your holidays.
2. The Margaret River Chocolate Company. Time for a sugar-rush. Don’t forget to get samplers first. I love the freckles and Macadamia clusters, oh heavenly! It’s first class of its kind but you might not expect something same as made by a French chocolatier but fantastic enough to belong to almost same scale. A perfect place to stop for gifts or to take something back home. We didn’t buy chocolate bars anymore, actually its a bit expensive here. There’s a cafe too to taste hot choco or coffee and try the desserts. Chocolate lovers would be so happy to be locked up inside.
3. Gnarabup Beach at Prevelly Park. Breathtaking views from Ocean View Road. The turquoise azure waters will surely lure you to swim. Though cautions are observed at certain times of the year for sharks, where it wasn’t the first time when recently, certain surfers were attacked by sharks. I might not have convinced you enough to swim here so let’s continue with the photos.
4. Stay at apartments or villas or Bed and Breakfast. If you’d stay in hotels, you’ll miss the country-themed feel. I guess the last idea is the best option amongst those. Though we haven’t tried that and opted for an apartment, country-side people are often the friendliest. So especially if your hosts are there, they could always suggest itineraries for you, usually the off-beaten track. As travellers know, the more the spot is heavily-trodden with tourists, usually the more expensive. Plus they offer home away from home atmosphere.
And in your tours, take many photos. And it would be surprising if I did suppress the call for it.
These prestigious wine producers have not only prepared their cellar doors but offers delightful lunches and guided tours as well. Rose gardens and the vineyard itself is also open for you to take few snaps and catch amazing views.
5. Margaret River Cheese Factory. I was left craving for Greek Feta Cheese after seeing several cheeses there especially the Feta Cheese in olive oil and sundried tomatoes, yum! Note : A news in 2013 that it was burnt down? Sad. Hope there are restorations going on.
And perhaps, finally at your last night, grab the chance to dine at Wino’s. Wino’s fine dining is one of the most popular in MR. It might be safe to reserve before going there for dinner.
And don’t forget to drop by Margaret River visitor centre.
Truth be told, when I’m in Margaret River, I actually feel like classy, elegantly extraordinaire because I’m telling you, it felt like a far region of France or something. There could be more things to explore but we didn’t have that much time in our hand, although we’ve been there twice on different seasons.
In your turn, savour it and enjoy!