The Margaret River region, just three-and-a-half hours from Perth, features some of Australia's finest wineries, offering tastings, lunches and cellar door sales. It's also bursting with natural charm, host to wonderful beaches and some great walking opportunities through the region's picturesque farmland and vineyards. And, it's all relatively untouched by tourism, especially compared to the country's ever-popular east coast destinations. You'll take some time out with the gourmet food producers and farmers' markets of its quiet towns before getting a real sense of wilderness on its Indian Ocean coast. Pass through dense karri forests and marvel at stunning cliff-fringed vistas as your hire car provides plenty of opportunity for exploration.
Day 1: Depart UKEnjoy included airport lounge access before boarding your flight to Australia's west coast.
Days 2-3: Perth
On arrival in Perth, Australia's sunniest state capital, transfer to the Terrace Hotel. The latest addition to the city's collection of boutique accommodation, it's renowned for its wonderful food and wine – a taste of things to come. You'll then have a full day to explore, with the famous Aussie love of all things outdoors reflected in Perth's many beaches and parks, including the enormous expanse of Kings Park, located right in the heart of the city, and the beautiful Botanical Gardens. In the evening we recommend dining at the Greenhouse, a superb new restaurant in the city centre, where young local chef Matt Stone offers up an imaginative menu of Australian and Asian-inspired cuisine.
Stay: The Alex Hotel (Standard) or The Tribe (Deluxe)
Day 4: Margaret River region
Collect your hire car and head down the coast to the Margaret River region, stopping along the way at Fremantle. This Perth suburb is renowned for its creative vibrancy and superb coffee, which can be found along the town's main shopping street – the 'Cappuccino Strip'. You'll then continue along the coast to pass through Rockingham, where you can swim with dolphins, and Dunsborough, known for its burgeoning art scene, finally arriving at Margaret River. Once known as a chilled-out surfing town, it's now one of Australia's premier wine and food destinations. Although the region produces less than 1% of all Australian wine, a quarter of the country's premium wine come from Margaret River; there's more than 220 vineyards, and 100 cellar doors to choose from.
Stay: Seashells, Yallingup (Superior) or Cape Lodge (Deluxe)
Days 5-6: Margaret River region
Spend the next two days exploring the region's wineries, food producers, outback and beaches either at your own pace or on one of our recommended excursions. If you're staying at Cape Lodge, we've included a curated tour, beginning with a leisurely kayak paddle down the Margaret River and coffee on the beach. Travelling by luxury 4WD, you'll then pause at an ancient waterhole, your guide pointing out freshwater crayfish as you taste local honey and listen to stories of the region's Aboriginal heritage. Then, it's time for an included lunch at one of the region's premier wineries, paired – of course – with a guided tasting. End the day with a 4WD adventure and walk on an exclusive, government-licensed track. You'll be brought up to the Wilyabrup Cliffs for spectacular views over the Indian Ocean, spotting everything from kangaroos and eagles to dolphins, whales and sharks.
Stay: Seashells, Yallingup (Superior) or Cape Lodge (Deluxe)
Day 7: Pemberton and Manjimup
Depart Margaret River and continue down the coast to Pemberton, a charming rural town surrounded by towering karri, jarrah and marri trees. It's an ideal base for bush walking, kayaking, and fishing. For lunch we recommend stopping at Foragers, a wonderful farm-based cooking school and restaurant that showcases the best of local produce across inventive menus. In the afternoon why not pay a visit to the Wine and Truffle Co. in nearby Manjimup? Help Sunny the truffle dog sniff out some of these incredibly valuable fungi and indulge with some of the products on offer in the farm shop.
Stay: Best Western Pemberton (Standard) or Karri Valley Resort (Superior)
Days 8-9: Denmark
Travelling south once more, you'll reach Karma Chalets near William Bay. This national park is home to Elephant Rocks and Greens Pool – both perfect for swimming and snorkelling – while the Valley of Giants Tree Top Walk in nearby Walpole is another great option. It's a walkway suspended 40 metres above the forest floor, offering incredible views of the canopy of the giant tingle forest. You'll have the chance to admire the diverse foliage and abundant birdlife from a unique vantage point. There's also plenty of opportunity for keen cyclists too. The Munda Biddi Trail is one of the longest off-road cycling routes in the world, stretching all the way from Perth to Albany and passing through some of south-west Australia's most beautiful coastal landscapes and forests. Lastly, if your tastebuds are feeling left out, head to Australia's first licensed chocolate lounge – the Denmark Chocolate Company – or the beautiful Forest Hill Winery. It's home to the oldest vines in this part of Western Australia and is just moments from your hotel.
Days 10-11: Albany
Your last stop in this small yet spectacular corner of Australia is Albany, the first European settlement in Western Australia. It's also a great base for whale-watching tours between June and October as some 30,000 humpback whales pass through the region each year. Albany, of course, also has some wonderful food and wine, with fresh fish and oysters being particular culinary highlights. For a hands-on experience, a fishing trip presents the chance to catch your own supper while a pilgrimage to the Albany Farmers' Market will see you learning about – and tasting – the region's diverse produce.
Stay: Ibis Styles Albany (Standard) or The Beach House at Bayside (Superior)
Day 12: Perth
After breakfast, wind your way leisurely back to Perth where you'll spend a final night.
Stay: The Alex Hotel (Stand...
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