Number 1 on the our list comes from the land down under. When most people think of Australia they usually think of the East coast with the big cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. On the west coast of Australia people typically think of the city of Perth in the South but there is so much more to the west coast yet to be discovered by the masses. It sits on the Cape of Mentelle on the South Western tip of Australia about 60 miles from the city of Bunbury.
The area was once known for its thriving agriculture and hardwood timber exports but in the last 50 years it has become a hotbed for wineries. With over 200 wineries in the area it has produced world-class varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blends. One of the must-visit wineries in Margaret River is the Cape Mentelle Winery which has been around since the 1970’s (one of the oldest) and has won many national and international awards since it opened. The Brookland Valley Winery has won tons of awards and has established itself as one of the area’s premier wineries in the last 30 years. A very popular brand in Australia known for it’s world class Chardonnay is the Leeuwin Estates Winery. Not only do they create fantastic wines but they also have a great outdoor alfresco concert series that has become Australia’s premier social business event.
Margaret River sits just 9 miles from the Indian Ocean and some of the best surfing in Australia. With over 80 miles of coastline and 75 breaks to choose from these beaches attract surfers from all over the world. Surf spots like Left Hand, the Boneyards, Three Bears, Rabbit Hill, Guillotine and many others are perfect for beginners to Elite. If surfing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other outdoor activities to choose from. There is scuba diving at the HMAS Swann dive site, an artificial reef that was created by purposefully sinking the ship in 1997. Margaret River is one of the best places to whale watch in Australia. Nearly 35,000 whales make this annual migratory trip. From June to Early December you can see Humpback, Minke, Blue Whales, and Southern Right Whales all make their migration from Antarctica to Australia.
For those that prefer to stay on dry land, try exploring one of the more than 150 caves in the region. The caves were formed out of limestone over 1 million years ago and lay just beneath the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge. Some of the most popular caves include Mammoth, Jewel, Lake and Ngilgi. They range from easy, wheel chair accessible entrances to others that require a hard hat and repelling equipment to get into.
One can not make a trip to the other side of the world and not see the the beaches of Margaret River. There are few places on this earth that have crystal clear aqua blue waters, world class waves for surfing, calm waters perfect for kids to play and swim as well as snorkeling, abundant sea life and the softest sugar sand you will ever see. Margaret River and the surrounding area is that place.