Thursday, June 16, 2011
A day in the Margaret River Region of Western Australia
To celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary, in February this year, Paul and I did a children free, whirlwind five day trip to Western Australia's Margaret River region together. A Friday midday flight from Sydney to Perth, saw us arriving in Perth four hours later, just after midday Perth time. We jumped in a car and drove 3hrs south, down the South Western Hwy, to the Western Australian South West Coast. A quick stop in the coastal town of Bunbury for a late lunch, we then took the Bussell Hwy down to the Margaret River town, arriving there by 4pm on Day One.
There are two roads you can use to access this area of the South West Coast, either the Bussell Hwy or Caves Rd, both are sprinkled with vineyards, olive groves, breweries and places to dine & stay. We chose to enter the area on the Bussell Hwy and leave three days later via the more coastal and scenic Caves Rd.
We arrived at our accommodation at Margarets Beach Resort at Gnarabup, right on the coast, located about ten minutes drive further south of the Margaret River town. Lovely self contained apartments, reasonably priced, well located to access both the coast and all this area has on offer, with a lovely restaurant on site Gnarabar Restaurant.
Rising earlier than anticipated on Day Two (due to a phone call from our children, who neglected to realise that WA is three hours behind Sydney/NSW time, so when they call us at 8.30am, it is still 5.30am in WA ...I'll say no more on that!) we discovered a hidden treasure! After a ten minute walk from our apartment to breathtaking Gnarabup Bay and an early morning swim, we found a lovely spot to breakfast at White Elephant Beach Cafe.
Unbelievable location right on the pristine beach, it was hard to believe that just 24hours before, we were sitting at Sydney airport waiting to board our plane and now we were here, enjoying a delicious breakfast as we gazed at the aqua blue sea, on the other side of Australia!
Vegetarian Feast of Poached Eggs served with a Polenta cake, avocado & mushrooms $16
Scrambled Eggs on toasted Ciabiatta with Roasted tomatoes $12
Next, as we headed in to explore the Margaret River town, we saw a sign pointing us to the Margaret River Farmers' Market, Saturday 8am -12pm with over forty stalls displaying their passion for local produce!
Needless to say we detoured and enjoyed tasting and buying some lovely local produce; woodfired breads & local blueberries.
Next stop was in to the Margaret River town, browsing the shops and a visit to the Margaret River Bakery, a great place to stop for breakfast, lunch or for some freshly baked produce.
Although we had come to the Margaret River region to celebrate and enjoy the fresh local produce, both food and wine, that we had heard so much about. We were equally impressed and somewhat astounded, at the beauty of this stretch of coastline, its incredible beaches and National parks. We opted to delay the wineries for now and instead enjoy the sunshine and saltwater, by spending the rest of the day discovering and swimming on the amazing coast. These three coastal spots below were five minutes drive apart from one another!
Surfers Point (which was also a beautiful spot later at sunset)
Margaret River Mouth.
Must Margaret River was our early dinner destination, a lovely vibrant restaurant and wine bar in the main street of the Margaret River town.
We enjoyed a glass of local wine with
Angel Hair Pasta tossed with Blue Manna Crab
with Tomato, Chilli, Basil, Cream & 34deg South Olive Oil $23/$39
Pan Fried Potato Gnocchi tossed with Truss Tomatoes, Ringwood Goat Blanc, Fried Sage and 10yr old Balsamic $18/$32
A drive by Surfers Point to see the sunset concluded Day Two, we had already exceeded all our expectations of this region and we had only just begun!
There'll be lots more to read & see, in next month's post, including all we got up to on Day Three & Four of our delightful time in WA South West.