The Ultimate Margaret River Itinerary: 3 and 5 Day Adventurer’s Guide

Just 3 hours drive south from our hometown of Perth, the iconic Margaret River region is host to some of Australia’s most pristine coastlines, hidden coves and rock pools, award winning wineries, delicious local produce and world class waves for surfers. There’s so much to explore in this vibrant corner of Australia’s south west region and these 3 and 5 day Margaret River Itinerary options will ensure you cover the best of what this region has to offer no matter how much time you have!

Thank you to My Holiday and Tourism Western Australia for sponsoring this article. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with planning your trip to the Margaret River region, My Holiday can take care of it all with their curated holiday packages. 

3 Day Margaret River Itinerary

Day 1: Perth – Margaret River Region (The Start of Your 3 Day Margaret River Itinerary)

This itinerary begins in Western Australia’s coastal capital of Perth, filled with gorgeous beaches, a vibrant cafe scene and a laid back atmosphere. If you have a few days, we highly recommend spending some time exploring the city!

The drive down to Margaret River will take 3 – 3.5 hours, depending on traffic, along sealed and well maintained roads.

If you have time, we recommend a stop in at Bunbury Farmers Market on your way down to Margaret River. Just off the main highway, it is laid out like the IKEA of farmers markets. Pick up some delicious snacks for a sunset picnic once you arrive.

On the afternoon of your arrival bring your picnic and head to the grand Sugarloaf Rock lookout or Canal Rocks to catch an iconic Western Australian sunset over the ocean.

Accommodation

Smiths Beach Resort: Located on the beautiful and calm waters of Smith’s beach, Smiths Beach Resort has a range of accommodation options to suit families, friends and couples. Choose from their villas and beach houses for a romantic couples retreat or luxurious family getaway or opt for their beach shacks, ideal for a barefoot escape. With modern rooms, heated swimming pools, tennis court and beachfront access, centrally located between Yallingup and Margaret River town this is the perfect place to base yourself while you explore the region.

Smith Beach Resort Accommodation - Margaret River Itinerary
Smiths Beach Resort Accommodation
Smiths Beach Resort

Day 2: Taste your way through the Wine Region

There are literally hundreds of wineries to choose from in the Margaret River region which is known for its award winning chardonnays and cab savs. Even if you’re not a wine connoisseur we highly recommend visiting a couple while you’re in the region, most tastings will only cost you $10 a person and it’s a great way to learn a little more about wine in a beautiful setting.

After sampling our fair share of the wineries here, our picks of the bunch are:

  • Voyager Estate – a stunning colonial style cellar door, try their Estate Tour where you get an immersive behind the scenes look at their vineyard and wine making process, tasting straight from the barrel!
  • Vasse Felix – one of the original wineries in the region
  • Pierro – boutique family owned winery
  • Aravina Estate – beautiful gardens and a surf museum
  • Amelia Park – the most stunning cellar door experience

Our favourite brewery for lunch is Black Brewing, a stunning venue on Caves Road set amongst rolling vineyards. They serve up a huge range of beers brewed in the venue and a delicious lunch menu with an asian twist. Other great breweries in the region include Colonial Brewing and Beer Farm.

Tour at Margaret River Winery 1
Take a tour through one of Margaret River’s Wineries
Tour at Margaret River Winery 2

While you can tour the wineries yourself, we definitely advise jumping on an organised full day wine tour where they will drive you in a small group to a range of different wineries and local produce providers and you don’t have to worry about how many tastings you’ve had! We have hopped on an All About Margaret River tour and had a really memorable day out, meeting passionate locals and trying a whole variety of different wines.

Day 3: Uncovering the Coast (The Last Day of Your 3 Day Margaret River Itinerary)

The Margaret River region is famous for its expansive white sand beaches and secluded, crystal clear rock pools.

Spend this day of your Margaret River itinerary exploring some of the best spots along the coast, here are some of our favourite spots to pitch your umbrella or take a dip:

Injidup Spa

Probably the most instagrammed spot in this area, the Injidup Spa are natural rock pools where waves cascade over the rock pool edge, creating a bubble bath effect. Despite their exposure, this place actually does live up to the hype. Head here early as it can get busy during summer, there’s a carpark at the top of the 10 minute rocky walk down to the pools. Spend some time soaking in the rock pools and getting a natural back massage under the flowing water. This is a must visit spot on your Margaret River itinerary!

The Aquarium

Another secluded spot for a protected swim, the aquarium is a stunning lagoon with sparkling turquoise water, situated between Yallingup and Margaret River. It’s a 10 minute walk down a marked but rocky trail from the carpark to get here but it’s well worth it for a dive into the refreshing pools.

Injidup Spa Experience
Injidup Spa
The Aquarium
The Aquarium

Gracetown Beach

One of our favourite beaches close to Margaret River, this is a lovely protected spot to put up your umbrella and relax for the day. The Gracetown General Store just up the road serves some banging pies, rolls and coffee.

Prevelly Beach

Another picturesque beach is Prevelly Beach, nearby to the famous Margaret River surf break. Luckily, there’s no big waves in this protected cove so it’s the ideal spot to go for a leisurely dip. The White Elephant Cafe here is a relaxed spot to grab some coffee, brunch or lunch with a view.

Smiths Beach

If you’re staying at Smiths Beach Resort this long white sand beach is right at your doorstep. Protected from waves and wind at one end of the beach, while the other end offers waves for surfers and you can even take beginner surfing lessons here if you want to give it a go!

Yallingup Lagoon

At the base of Yallingup Hill is Yallingup Lagoon, a calm swimming spot surrounded by fringing reef. This is a great spot to bring a snorkel or pitch your umbrella for the day. 

Yallingup Lagoon 1
Overlooking view of Yallingup Lagoon
Yallingup Lagoon 2

TIP: It is common for beaches along this coastline to become windy in the afternoon during summer, so aim to head to the beaches in the morning if you can.

After spending the day exploring the beaches this marks the end of your 3 day Margaret River itinerary! Make the 3 hour drive back to Perth in the afternoon having enjoyed the highlights of this stunning region.

5 Day Margaret River Itinerary

Day 1-3: As Above

Follow the 3 day Margaret River Itinerary outlined above for the first days of your trip before continuing on to day 4 and 5.

Day 4: Uncovering Margaret River

It’s time to explore a little deeper into the Margaret River region with some adventurous activities. Margaret River is known for its white sand beaches but is also home to lush natural forest and intricate cave systems. 

Here’s our top ways to explore this side of the region:

Mountain Biking 

Around Margaret River in the dense forest there is a large range of trails made for mountain biking. You can hire bikes for a half or full day from The Hairy Marron, located at the base of Margaret River township, and right by the start of many biking trails. They will give you a map and suggestions based on your abilities, so it’s suitable for all levels.

Canoe along Margaret River

Hopping in a canoe and paddling along the water of Margaret River is the perfect way to experience the clear waters, unique forests and native wildlife of the region. We recommend jumping on the Margaret River Canoe Tour with Bush Tucker Tours, where you will get a bush tucker lunch and a guided experience but if you’re happy to go it alone you can also hire canoes and kayaks directly at the Margaret River mouth from Margaret River Kayaks and Canoes

Visit the Caves

If you’re not afraid of venturing underground then a visit to the Margaret River caves is well worthwhile! Jewel Cave is the largest show cave in Western Australia and has some stunning chambers to explore, however you will need to do a guided tour here that takes around 1 hour. If you want to do a self guided cave tour then Mammoth Cave is our pick, you are given a headset on entry to explore at your own pace. 

Day 5: Discovering the Dunsborough Region (Last Day of your 5 Day Margaret River itinerary)

Check out of your accommodation for the final day of your Margaret River itinerary and make the drive along Caves Road to the Dunsborough region.

Meelup Farmhouse

Our favourite breakfast spot in the whole south west region is Meelup Farmhouse. They have nailed the vibes here with their bohemian open plan interior, beautiful gardens and adorable farm animals (including Highland cows!) serving up delicious breakfast and lunch.

TIP: Meelup Farmhouse is not open on Wednesdays so keep this in mind when planning a visit here.

Meelup Beach / Castle Rock

Just down the road from the farmhouse, this part of the coastline is known for its calm, sparkling blue waters and picturesque rocky outcrops and is the perfect spot for a morning or afternoon dip. Drive along the coast here to find your own little private beach in one of the many sandy coves.

Meelup Beach 1
Meelup Beach
Meelup Beach 2

Eagle Bay Brewing Co

Back up the road from Meelup Beach is Eagle Bay Brewing. Set on top of rolling green hills with casual dining and their own tasty local beers, this is arguably the perfect spot to round out your Margaret River itinerary. We recommend the fish and chips here, and our pick of the beers is their Kolsch.

And that’s a wrap on your 5 day Margaret River itinerary! Make the 3 hour drive back to Perth from Dunsborough to finish your time exploring the beautiful south west of Australia. 

Common Questions

How to get to the Margaret River Region

We recommend flying into Perth airport and hiring a car before making your way down to the Margaret River region. The drive will take 3 – 3.5 hours, depending on traffic, along sealed and well maintained roads. Drive with caution if you will be arriving at dusk, dawn or when dark as this is when wildlife such as kangaroos are most active.

There are also select domestic flights available into the town of Busselton south of Perth, where you can hire a car on arrival. Flying into Busselton will reduce your drive to the Margaret River region to around 1 hour.

What Time to Visit the Margaret River Region

The most popular time to visit Margaret River is during Australian summer (December – February) where days are sunny and hot, the ideal time for swimming. This is the peak period and will be busy with school holiday crowds, so make sure to book in advance if you visit during this time. Shoulder months of March and April can also be beautiful, with fewer crowds and milder days making it a perfect time for exploring. 

What To Pack for a Trip to the Margaret River Region

Here’s our packing list for a trip to Margaret River during summer:

  • Shorts 
  • T-shirts 
  • A nice outfit for breweries / wineries
  • A wind proof warm jacket
  • Jeans / pants 
  • Tracksuit pants
  • Hat
  • Thongs
  • Exercise gear for hiking
  • Socks + underwear
  • Hiking shoes / running shoes
  • Beach towel
  • Beach umbrella
  • Snorkel (and fins optional)

How long to visit Margaret River Region

We suggest a minimum of 3 days to explore the Margaret River Region. This amount of time will make the drive down worthwhile, and allow you to have a taste of what this area has to offer. If you are able to, we recommend 5 days to be able to really see all sides of the region, from the ocean to the wineries, cafes and restaurants and all the natural beauty in between. 

Have even more time up your sleeve to explore Western Australia’s south west? Check out our Perth to Esperance Itinerary which takes you to Esperance’s world famous beaches, the forests of Denmark and the best of the Margaret River region.

Share this article:

– read more –

Related stories