"A cheap skates guide to the Margaret River Region" Top 5 Page for this destination Margaret River by sirgaw
Margaret River Travel Guide: 311 reviews and 713 photos
Note: Underlined = tip below
In our previous trip to rural Western Australia, we had considered a trip to Margaret River (MR), but as it was Easter time and the famous surf carnival would have been in full swing, we decided to bypass and return on another occasion. This trip we allowed ourselves a 6 day mini-holiday and I'm grateful to family members in Perth who provided us with so much great advise on the what to do/see while in MR - thanks guys.
I'd been warned that MR is an expensive destination and when checking the internet accommodation guide that warning was quite evident, however we really lucked in on a great spot and, for MR, reasonable prices - Riverglen Chalets. We really believe that our choice of accommodation made the whole MR experience really great and I can't speak highly enough of that business.
We arrived in MR mid afternoon and after checking into Riverglen Chalets and getting to know our home for the next 5 days, travelled to the nearby supermarket for supplies for our breakfasts, some lunches and snacks and one dinner to be done on the BBQ at our chalet - off course we bought more than we should have and also checked out some of the eateries and their prices. After a bit of a veg out and watching the TV news, we headed off to the Settlers Tavern for a noisy dinner. That hotel is quite famous for its huge servings. Early to bed after the early start for the day when we waded into the Indian Ocean at 8am (see Bunbury pages).
Thursday was our late sleep in and after a slow start, we headed off to the Eagles Heritage and Raptor Centre and saw the magnificent eagles and other raptors close up. Although MR is touted as a surfing and beach destination, in reality the closest beach to the town is about 8 kilometres away. We journeyed to one of the beaches at Prevelly Park and then towards the Margaret River mouth. There was plenty of action in the water as surfers were catching waves even on a quiet Thursday. We could see just how busy it would be at the weekends. We returned to Riverglen Chalets, watched the TV news (I'm a TV news junkie) and then went into town for cheap eats. After a bit of a wander checking out the prices of restaurants (expensive) we found the Green Planet cafe and ate vegetarian. Returned to our chalet for supermarket bought fruit and dessert followed by coffee while watching a DVD.
Friday: After an expedition to the Berry Farm (see tourist traps) we journeyed down the highway to Augusta (see Augusta pages) and after enjoying the lighthouse returned towards MR along Caves Road - and a magnificent drive it is through Karri forests. We also visited Hamelyn Bay, where we met up with a group of Swiss tourists. Returned to our chalet and it was my turn to be chef for the evening - steak, sausages, sliced potatoes, onion, tomato and capsicum all cooked on the BBQ - and plenty of left over sausages for the next days lunch. It was a beggars feast and a fraction of what we would have paid in one of the restaurants. After dessert and coffee another chalet supplied DVD.
Saturday we took in the market at Cowaramup and on the return trip I stopped mid highway for a BS photo (not sure where that will be put - LOL). Then all those yummy sausages at our chalet for lunch. Before we journeyed back into "town" we stopped off at the Rotary Park and met "Kate." We then drove a short distance and visited the Melting Pot Glass Studio, followed by the Margaret River Gallery. We'd seen a sign "Devonshire Tea" and Lady Gaw had gone weak at the knees at the thought of scones, jam etc. Sadly she was disappointed as the MR Bakery was already closing down - suppose after early starts, they too need their time off.
We had an early curry dinner at the Wild Thyme cafe and returned to our chalet with the promise of a walk while it was still daylight. I stopped to give the chalets "Guest Relations Manager" (large and friendly black dog) a pat while Lady Gaw stopped to talk to a trio of Malaysian tourists - they'd seen the sign 'Vacancy' and had hoped to get accom for the night. We tried to contact the manager, but they seemed to be out - like the people in the bakery, the chalet manager and staff needed 'time out.' We suggested the Malaysians try other accom places and left for our walk before the sun set.
It was a half hour walk and we returned to our chalet for dessert and coffee with the TV set providing the entertainment. About 9pm I went outside for a smoke and saw the headlights of a car and wondered if there was a problem. It was the Malaysians who told us they'd tried everywhere in town for accommodation - even the caravan park - and were very tired after driving from Perth and not used to the long distance driving that Western Australia is infamous for. To cap it all off, were almost out of petrol and all the service stations in the town had closed down. We managed to find the after hours emergency phone number for the chalet and got through to a messaging service. We decided that the trio needed at least coffee to try and stay awake and even then in our heads we were both making plans to offer our spare room and one of the couches and sort it all out in the morning with the manager - the trio were really stuck and I just couldn't send them away. I had even thought of contacting the local police in the hope that they could come up with a way around the problem. After a second phone call to the emergency after hours service, the manager finally returned my call. I quickly explained the problem and found out that she and her husband had been out for dinner with the owner of the chalets. Five minutes later we were relieved to get the Malaysians off our hands and back to the TV set - it was after 10.30pm and all we wanted was to 'hit the hay.'
Sunday. Nervously I opened the door of the chalet for my first smoke for the day and wondered if there would be a welcoming committee of Malaysians - luckily no! After another late start, we headed back firstly to Augusta and the bakery and then back onto Caves Road and a visit to the wonders of Jewel Cave. It had been suggested that as we only had time to do one cave, Jewel was the perfect choice. We were grateful for that advise and enjoyed the experience. We then travelled back along spectacular Caves Road and visited Caveworks and also got to see the entrance to Lake Cave deep down in a 'hole in the ground.' Time was running away again, so after another dose of TV news a return to Settlers Tavern and another noisy meal.
While checked out of the chalet, the manager presented us with a bottle of local wine as a way of thanking us for what we'd done for the Malaysians (should have been at least a case - LOL) and we drove back towards Perth, but first a riotous stop at famous Gnomesville (read my Burekup page for details).
Although we're not really wine drinkers, we'd return to Margaret River as we really enjoyed the town and the district.
Located at the entrance to Lake Cave is a very interesting and informative display called Caveworks and is ideal for... more travel advice
I must admit that my wife and I love birds and when we heard about the Eagles Heritage and Raptor Centre, that was... more travel advice
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