Growing up just outside of the Margaret River region was a blessing. Now that I live in the city, heading back down that way doesn’t happen as much as I would like it to. As such, I have to take the opportunity whenever I can, even if isn’t peak season.
LOOK 1: Boohoo coat | Asha playpsuit | Marco D’Alessi flats | Zara bag | Ebay Sunglasses
LOOK 2: Dotti jacket | Asha dress | Converse shoes | Zara bag | Ebay Sunglasses
SHOP MY LOOKS
Recently, I picked up a gorgeous new Holden Astra to test drive for two weeks. After years of driving cars 10+ years old, it was an absolute joy to sit in a brand new car with all the mod cons. No joke, my car doesn’t even have electric windows. Yet here I am, driving a car that even has automated headlights and windscreen wipers. It was just begging to be taken on drive longer than the post office run!
Finally, I had an excuse to go on a road trip…
… and what better excuse to get myself back down to my home town (and beyond) to explore?! The 2 hour trip back to Bunbury was one of the most enjoyable I have ever made. I popped the cruise control on, cranked my Spotify playlist, turned up the seat warmer, opened the sunroof and sang at the top of my lungs the whole way down. I will add: none of this (except for the music and singing) is possible in my own car. After stopping off in Bunbury for the night, my dad, Jenny and I had a very rainy drive down to the beautiful Margaret River region.
In summer, the Margaret River region is abuzz with out-of-towners. The beaches are pristine and the swell world class. The south west boasts some of the world’s most stunning beaches, so it is no wonder we all love travelling south while the sun is shining!
But, the region isn’t just a summer destination (like Santorini or Eos, for example). Unlike European summer party towns, Margaret River and surrounds don’t shut down for the winter season. When the temperature drops and the rain sets in, there is a whole other side of Margaret River to discover. Obviously a leisurely swim and a beer in the sunshine at one of the breweries is out of the question, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some equally relaxing alternatives.
There are so many wonderful things to do in the South West of Australia in winter!
CABIN FEVER FESTIVAL
Although almost over for this year, the Cabin Fever festival is something not to be missed should you be in the region. Over the course of 2 weeks, wineries, breweries, restaurants and producers band together to put on a series of free and ticketed events. The festival aims to bring people out of hibernation during the winter months, and if last weekend was anything to go by, they definitely succeeded!
While we were down south, we managed to catch the free Howard Park x Cambray Cheese collab event ‘Fondue By The Fire’. Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like – delicious, melty cheese, award winning wines (that you could buy straight from the cellar door and open on the premises), and a warm, cosy cellar door. It was the perfect way to liven up what would have otherwise been a standard wine tasting!
If you missed this year, I have a good feeling the festival will be a yearly occurrence from here on in.
This is a free activity the whole family can enjoy! The cooler, wetter weather is the perfect breeding ground for field mushrooms, and the Margaret River region has plenty of space for them to grow. If you know someone who owns land down that way, or you are staying on a farm stay property, you can spend a few hours scouring for that night’s dinner. If you don’t, please don’t trespass. Keep your mushroom hunting to public areas and bushland. Just make sure you brush up on your mushroom knowledge before you head out so that you know what you are picking!
LUNCH AT EAGLE BAY BREWERY
I can no longer head down south without stopping in to see the team at Eagle Bay Brewery. It is a ritual I can’t see myself breaking. Not only are Margie, Adrian and the team some of the nicest people you will meet, but their space is pretty spectacular too. On a clear summers day, you can sit out on the terrace – fresh brew in hand – and see right out over sweeping farmland to the ocean. The views alone make EBB worth a visit.
But the view isn’t the only thing the brewery has going for them. Their range of beers covers everything from an easy drinking pale ale to a black IPA (which will blow your head off – in a very pleasant way); they even have their own Eagle Bay wines for sale if beer isn’t your thing. If you stick around for lunch, their crowd pleasing menu showcases the goodies they grow in their organic garden, as well as the best local fare. My pick? The beer plate (complete with chicken wings) and the roast pumpkin and beetroot salad.
Despite the rain last weekend, the restaurant was cranking. The wood fire was roaring inside, and all the kids were running around on the grass outside! Even though the brewery is best enjoyed in summer, it is still definitely a gem come winter time.
The South West of WA is well known for its red wine – in particular, a big, bold shiraz. Doing some winery hopping in winter may require an umbrella and a lack of concern about the state of your hair, but it really is the best time to visit the cellar doors. Most of the bigger name wineries have wood fires to cosy up to, and if they don’t, there is nothing a good glass of red can’t fix. With all the rain, the grounds are always very photo worthy as they are as green as green can be. Plus, there are always less visitors in winter, so you won’t have to battle crowds to get a spot at the counter.
GO WHALE WATCHING
Unfortunately I didn’t have time for whale watching this time around, but it is on my agenda for next migration! Every winter the humpbacks and southern wright whales swim down the coast in a spectacular display. It may not be the right weather to enjoy swimming in the ocean, but it is perfect to enjoy the whales swimming in the ocean!
STOP IN TO LOCAL GALLERIES AND SHOW ROOMS
Margaret River and surrounds is home to an exceptional number of talented creatives. Living in a slower paced area seems to breed creativity as there definitely is no shortage of amazing work. You can escape the rain and stop in at more well known galleries, or off a beaten track to a little stand alone store. There are art pieces, photography (the famed Christian Fletcher has a store in Dunsborough), wood work, candles, jewellery and all sorts of craft pieces for sale.
P.S. If you enjoy my travel content, I would love if you could head on over here and vote for me (Monique)!