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Magnificent Margaret River
 
margaret riverA truly diverse state, the possibilities in Western Australia are endless, with stunning beaches, vast desert landscapes, rugged landforms and sweeping countryside everywhere you look. One of the spectacles is none other than the stunning Margaret River. Most famous for its sweeping vineyards, fantastic surfing beaches, caves and forests, there truly is something here for everyone.

One of the best ways to enjoy this fantastic spot is by embarking on a driving holiday in either a hire car or campervan. This will allow you to take your time to explore the surrounding regions, and then base yourself wherever you like for as long as you please.

The drive to the Margaret from Perth encompasses fantastic scenery of stunning landscapes and monumental structures. The easiest route from the airport is along the Roe highway which takes you via Mandurah and through the towns of Bunbury and Busselton. The alternative route can be taken from the city along the Kwinana Freeway but it means that you skip the charming towns that make this region so unique. However, either way you are guaranteed an enjoyable journey.

The seasons here are distinct and are envisaged with colour and diversity. This means that the Margaret River can be enjoyed all year round. Autumn brings misty mornings and popular afternoon walks; winter means cosy nights by the fire; spring is perfect for picnics, wildflowers and outdoor play and summer of course brings lazy days by the sea and endless sunny days.

When it comes to accommodation here, you truly will be spoilt for choice. The Sandy Bay Holiday Park in Busselton is a popular choice as it is very close to the famous Underwater Observatory and also the town's two kilometre jetty which is a tourist attraction in itself. Bunbury Village Holiday Park is much closer to Perth with close proximity to some of the more popular surfing beaches, and is ideal for families. However, whichever one you choose, you are guaranteed to be able to enjoy all the wonder and beauty of the Margaret River.

This region is also famous for its vineyards, with over 200 dotted throughout the region. They are home to some of Australiaís finest wines why simply must be sampled. There are a number of fantastic restaurants attached to the ninety or so wineries, and you have a large choice of great food and wines right on your doorstep. Avid wine lovers will love the Shiraz and Chardonnay selections home grown in the Margaret River. Visit in November and you will experience the Margaret River Wine Region Festival, a fine example of the wine culture that is prominent here.

The river isn't the only body of water here that draws in the tourists. The waves of this region are some of the best in the world, meaning that visitors flock here in the thousands during the summer months. There are over 130 kilometres of surfing beaches here, so you can be guaranteed a wave to yourself. For those who prefer a quiet ocean dip, Hamelin Bay offers a great mix of swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving and is just as perfect for the avid sunbather. For all those outdoor adventure enthusiasts out there, why not throw in some fishing, canoeing, kayaking, golf, cycling, bowling and tennis? Donít forget all the water sports, bush walking trails and spectacular caving as well. There truly is something for everyone who is looking for some adventure and outdoor enjoyment, whether it be extremely physical or more of the laid back kind. Nature lovers flock to this region from August to November when over 2500 wildflowers burst into full bloom and display rich colours that canít be described in words. Western Australia is known for its radiant and prolific wildflowers transforming arid landscapes into pictures of beauty. This is an artist's dream! This region is also home to Australiaís tallest lighthouse, which is located at Cape Leeuwin where the Southern and Indian Oceans meet. Standing a proud 56 metres above sea level, it has a powerful light that shines for almost fifty kilometres. The famous Cape to Cape Track begins here and takes seven days to complete, weaving through each coastline along some of the states most stunning natural scenery. The great news is that it is segmented, which means you can enjoy the parts of it that you want to, instead of doing the whole lot.

The Margaret River region is diverse with rural life, international wineries and world renowned adventure sports around every corner. These all combine to make a popular and relaxing holiday destination. Surfers, farmers and winemakers all have the right idea making their home in this hidden paradise, although with more and more tourists visiting every year it is hardly hidden. Now it is your turn to discover its treasures.

Christine Barton




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