- Encounters with locals
- Beach / Seaside Resort
- Nature Reserve / Wildlife Observation / Safari
- Water Sports
- Off the beaten track
The surfing Mecca of the west coast, Margaret River was an unmissable spot for us. Every year, Drug Aware Surf Pro takes place there, bringing together the world champions. Unfortunately, we weren't there for this occasion, but the town has plenty of other attractions: not only its sublime coastal environment (the photos speak for themselves), but also its wine-producing and fine eating venues.
You can therefore visit a confectioner who produces nougat and test excellent restaurants serving fresh seafood. A special mention goes out to Gnarabar, a classy establishment with a good quality/price balance at the edge of the ocean. Finally, less known , Margaret River has numerous grottoes around it, notably in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. The most famous is Mammoth Cave which contains fossils that are more than 35,000 years old.
Apart from the kangaroos and the eucalyptus trees, the region of Margaret River reminds me of south-western France: forests, vineyards, delicious food, beautiful sandy beaches and great waves to surf.
I went to Margaret River by the Cave Road: a beautiful road that links Yallingup with Augusta. Under the large karris (a kind of eucalyptus), you'll see kangaroos in the fields, vineyards and art galleries at the different stops along the way. The main purpose of my trip to Margaret was to watch a surfing competition: the Drug Aware at Surfer's Point (one of the most renowned spots in Western Australia), which is held each year. Warning! You must be a confirmed surfer to tame these monstrous breakers! All the great names of surfing were there: Taj Burrow, Kelly Slater, John John Florence. Blazing sunshine, turquoise blue water and waves were all united for the festivities. I was able to cool off under the festival tents. At the end of the day, I was treated to an autograph session in a surf shop in Margaret River and then in Dunsborough. It was an unforgettable day.
I liked the cool attitude of Margaret, or "Margs" for the locals: a small high street with surf shops, cafés, restaurants, etc. However, I had imagined that the town was located directly on the beach, but in fact it is situated 9 km inland. I had to take the bus to get to the festival. Far from the madness of Perth, this place is a little haven of peace. Here you see the Australian way of life as I had imagined it: the locals living at the pace of the ocean and the waves and the myth of the long-haired, blond Australian surfer - oh, yes, I came across plenty of them! Laid-back and wearing flip-flops all year round! All the children I saw in Dunsborough were on skateboards! This region is a paradise for board sports! Each beach here is wilder and more beautiful than the last. I surfed the waves at the Other Side of the Moon, in Cape Naturaliste near Dunsborough, on a beautiful beach between granite rocks. There was a very strong current and waves of one metre fifty. To get there, you need a 4WD for the sandy roads and then you have to walk a little.
If you're in the area, I strongly recommend Dunsborough too. I also recommend Yallingup and finally Grace Town and Cape Naturaliste (especially at sunset). If you love surfing and want a sports holiday, Margaret River and its region is the place to go during your trip to Australia.