Three hours south of Perth you’ll find the beautiful winery and surf mecca of Margaret River. Wave-chaser Karina Kold explored the rolling breaks and hidden vineyards of this Western Australian gem and wrote a little guide to her favourite places for The Girl Outdoors. Because surfing + wine: an excellent idea.
I went surfing with Margaret River Surf School’s awesome instructor, Jarrad, who showed me how to find MR’s best spots. Each day we’d meet at Redgate Beach and drive to a different spot, but my absolute favourite break was Huzza, on Salters Road in Gracetown. It’s a reef break with nice long wave, perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers to practise popping up and turning. The conditions make it a popular spot for families and gangs of friends – it was so good to see lots of girls out there in the water riding their surfboards with big smiles on their faces.
Cape Mentelle do something pretty magical with their beautiful vineyard – putting on films under the stars in a pop-up outdoor cinema. Included in your ticket are big beanbags and blankets, and when we visited we bought a bottle of merlot, some local produced dark chocolate and big tubs of popcorn. Yum! Watching a film outdoors in twilight surrounded by tall trees waving in the breeze is an incredible experience, made even more special when you get to see the sun set a rich orange over bright green rows of vines.
The Bakery on Margaret River town’s main street is a gourmet’s delight. A groaning counter of home baked bread, croissants, cinnamon rolls and cakes greets you in a cosy space decorated with second-hand materials and an eye for cute detail. I feasted on fresh avocado, eggs on toast, freshly pressed orange juice and strong coffee with hot steamed milk after sunrise surf – heaven.
One afternoon we drove up to the northern part of the Margaret River to a little beach house café by Bunkers Bay. Bunkers Beach House does great ice coffees and salads, but the real reason to come here for lunch is the incredible view from the squashy sofas in the outdoor lounge – it’s like something from a painting. Turquoise ocean meets clean, white sand soft as flour. You’ll be powerless to resist taking a swim.
Close by Bunkers Bay is a charming little white lighthouse, built with local limestone. This is Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, and from the top you’ll get a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean and beautiful, untouched coastline. A short walking trails from the lighthouse leads you to a platform above the cliffs which is ideal for spotting whales during their annual migratory periods from September to December. So bring binoculars!