STRETCHING SOME 100KM FROM NORTH TO SOUTH AND FLANKED BY OCEAN ON THREE SIDES, MARGARET RIVER IN SOUTH-WEST AUSTRALIA IS AS PICTURESQUE AS TOWNS COME
A three-hour car ride from Perth, Margaret River is home to only 10,000 residents. But during the yearly November weekend of the Gourmet Village held on the grounds of Leeuwin Estate, the population quadruples.
The region’s wines, particularly cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay, have an international reputation for their quality and consistency, often benchmarked against bordeaux. Ancient loam soils and cool winds deliver the ideal conditions for premium viticulture. There are 187 wineries, including the stunning Fraser Gallop Estate built from the ground up by Silicon Valley magnate Nigel Gallop 20 years ago, which now has a lake, a Palladian-style mansion and astoundingly large lemons.
Regional food specialities and artisan providers have also added to the town’s menu of attractions. Head to the newly opened Yarri Restaurant + Bar, a collaboration between the co‑founders of Snake + Herring Wines and Aaron Carr, named Chef Of The Year by The West Australian Good Food Guide in 2015. The cuisine at Yarri, the Aboriginal word for the blackbutt tree native to the south-west, takes inspiration from the six seasons of the Nyoongar calendar.
Ocean & Bush
If you enjoy a walk in the rural woods or a dip in the turquoise water of the Indian Ocean, then the Margaret River region is also the perfect destination for you. Stay at Pullman Bunker Bay Resort for quick beach access via boardwalks or check into Empire Retreat and Spa for a secluded haven built around a farmhouse.