Maragaret River and Southwest Australia

Nov 15th, 2013, 03:27 PM
  #1  
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Posts: 140
Maragaret River and Southwest Australia

My husband and I are traveling to Perth and Southwest Australia in late November and have 2 weeks to explore the region. We arrive in Perth after a long travel situation and will be spending 3 nights in Fremantle to recover and tour that area. We will then be heading south by car to the Margaret River region and on to Albany. I know these areas are not that far apart, but we'd like to spend a few nights in various places in this SW region. We will have 8 nights and prefer to spend a minimum of 2 to 3 in each place. We have narrowed down a few things we want to do. Whale watching tour out of either Dunsborough, Augusta or Albany, Surf lessons at Rivermouth in River, Treetop walk near Wadpole, visit some vineyards, and do some walking. We are in our fifties and like to get a lot of exercise in during the day, so we can have a nice dinner at night guilt free. We like to base ourselves in a nice location that is within walking distance to some good restaurants so we don't have to worry about driving at night. I would like to mix it up with different types of lodging, maybe beach, forest or vineyard, town, etc. I have found it hard to decide which towns to stay in. We don't need to stay anywhere luxurious, just as long as it is clean and comfortable. No more that $150 per night and would prefer less than that. Any suggestions on where to lay our heads at night would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Roadster is offline  
Nov 15th, 2013, 04:12 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,988
Hi Roadster - welcome to my part of the world!

Two weeks will fly by here in WA.

Margaret River is a three hour drive from Perth. The most direct route to Albany (via the Albany Hwy) is a five hour drive from Perth. From Margaret River it's 380 km to Albany, just under five hours.

Many people underestimate the size of WA and the travel time needed to get from point to point. WA is massive.

Margaret River is a region - it extends from Dunsborough to Augusta and there's absolutely loads to see and do in between.

It's easy enough to visit Busselton and Dunsborough on the drive from Perth to MR if you get an early start. You can incorporate Walpole and the tree top walk into your drive from MR to Denmark/Albany if you plan well. Denmark, Pemberton and Albany all make great bases and all offer various walking opportunities. Denmark and Albany are only 40 minutes apart.

I'd suggest you spend several nights in the MR region - as you'd like to be within walking distance of restaurants, the town of MR would suit you perfectly. The wineries and other attractions are well scattered throughout the region, so I suggest you plot your course somewhat in advance, particularly if there's specific things you'd like to fit in.

You can download a map here:

http://www.margaretriver.com/welcome

Pemberton is a very small town, and the best of it is in the surrounding areas. Denmark is a nice little town with several restaurants on offer. There is accommodation close to town that might suit you. Albany is considerably larger and finding accommodation within walking distance of the town center should be easy.

I don't know where you're from, but do be aware that it gets quite hot here - we've already had several 98F degree days, and it's not yet officially summer. You'll want to bring sunhats and sunblock and for walking, I highly recommend a fly net. The flies are pretty awful here at the moment.

I love the SW of WA and have made many visits, most centered on walking and wine.

I've posted several trip reports here on Fodor's that might help get you started, a few of them are outlined below in no particular order. They tend to include a lot of details on walking, accommodation and wineries.

Happy to help as specific questions pop up.

http://www.fodors.com/community/aust...aret-river.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/aust...-slideshow.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/aust...-road-trip.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/aust...rk-getaway.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/aust...-australia.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/aust...rip-report.cfm
Melnq8 is online now  
Nov 18th, 2013, 04:50 PM
  #3  
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Thank you so much for the helpful information. You have made it so much easier for me to figure out what I need to do!
Roadster is offline  
Nov 19th, 2013, 04:38 PM
  #4  
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I am still having trouble deciding. I was ready to commit to a 3 night stay near the town of Margaret River, but now I am wondering whether I should spend a night or 2 near the Cape Naturaliste Peninsula before heading towards MR. Since I have 8 nights in this region, I can spread them out. But then again, it looks like they are not that far apart to do day drives and get back to an MR base. We can then proceed to Augusta and Albany. Thanks again for all of your links. They have been most helpful.
Roadster is offline  
Nov 19th, 2013, 05:06 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Although the region is spread out, you can access it fairly easily from one base. I personally wouldn't switch accommodation, I'd just drive from place to place or perhaps spend a few nights up north (Yallingup) and a few nights down south (Augusta).

The town of Margaret River is pretty much mid-way between Yallingup and Augusta, so more central. No need to stay right in town, as there's plenty of nice accommodation in the surrounding area.

If you're interested in Cape Naturaliste, Yallingup is a good option. There's plenty to see and do right there in/around Yallingup - the lighthouse, wineries, an olive grove with tasting and cafe, coffee roasters, and a personal favorite of mine, Yallingup wood fired bread.

You really can't go wrong.
Melnq8 is online now  
Nov 22nd, 2013, 01:53 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 10,302
Melnq8 has given lots of advice. I've just jumped in to recommend the Little Creatures brewery in Fremantle. It's a nice place for a drink and a pub style meal. If you would like to try a beer but aren't sure which one, you can taste a couple before purchasing.

There are lovely wineries in the Margaret River area. We liked lots of them! Have a great trip!
cathies is online now  

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