margaret river

Backpacking Margaret River – The Ultimate Experience

Margaret River a Guest post by Russell Calvert:

We love to welcome new guest bloggers to the site and are really pleased to introduce Russell Calvert who is going to share his favourite experiences of the Margaret River areas.

Russell lives in in Australia and runs Bush To Ocean Road Tours, a small tour company that does private Great Ocean Road tours along the Australian South-East coast.

Thank you for all your effort here, I hope our readers enjoy the post and pics as much as I did.

In case you didn’t know Margret River is located way down the bottom of WA but looks and sounds like it is well worth a visit.

(If it was down to me I would probably have got lost in the hedge maze for a few hours as well)

Over to Russell

Vineyards, beaches, forests: that’s Margaret River, and let’s not forget the laid-back and friendly lifestyle.

This small town of around 2,000 locals is sweetly nestled between its forest sights and exquisite vineyards numbering into the 80s. Attracting tourists from around the world, and from around Australia, this is a landscape the locals cherish, and one you’ll never regret seeing. Whether you travel the Margaret River region by car or by foot, this location will leave you spellbound.

Margaret River Region
Margaret River Region. Photo Credit: The Margaret River Discovery Co.

Backpacking around Margaret River has been a popular pursuit for decades. Luring the lone traveller or a small group, this region is known for its distinct, yet mild Mediterranean-like climate. Outside of winter, when most of the rainfall occurs, Margaret River is more likely to offer the foot traveller glorious sunny days – particularly in the shoulder seasons. Autumn, though slightly cooler, will also offer the arts and wine connoisseur inspiring events to tame your palette.

For what to see and do in the region, there are endless options for the backpacker. Here are a few of them:

Getting back to Mother Nature

Those who backpack, do so for a handful of reasons. Budget might be one aspect, but a common thread among those who prefer this alternate travel are the need to soak in the sights.

The Margaret River Region offers no shortage of scenic hotspots so diverse, that you’ll be tempted to return in years to come. Just north of Margaret River is the Ludlow tuart forest, a one of a kind in the world – literally.

Just south, is the Boranup karri forest.

Karri Forest

Boranup Karri Forest. Photo Credit: Aire River Images

Margaret River is also surrounded by seascapes so stunning, they will rival any other you have seen. Numerous walk trails, bike trails and lookouts – most easily accessible – are on standby. Couple this with the dozens of camping locations and retreats, the backpacker will fast become the kid in the candy store.

During spring, try the Ambergate Nature Reserve and Walk Trail for all the wildflowers in bloom. Along the walk, no doubt you’ll stumble upon the array of wildlife, including the Western Grey Kangaroo. If you go in Autumn, you may be lucky enough to spot a Tawny Frogmouth in a tree canopy above.

Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park

This national park deserves its own section. It offers an abundance in sights, wildlife, ocean views, lagoons and ancient rock formations. Boranup karri forest is found at the southern end of the park, so enjoy the two pleasures back-to-back by staying at one of the camping grounds.

Walking Cape to Cape Margaret River

Walking Cape to Cape. Photo Credit: The Margaret River Discovery Co.

Short walks within the national park can take the backpacker along limestone tracks to some amazing views. For the intrepid explorer, a 135 km hike leaving from Dunsborough’s Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin, Augusta will take you around 5 days to complete.

The Caves…oh, the Caves.

National parks, wildflower and wildlife. You’ve done the trek with Mother Nature, but you really desire more from your trip. From abseiling down into one of the 150 limestone caves to a self-guided tour, these caving expeditions will have you marvelling at your own evolution.

Lake Cave Margaret River

Lake Cave. Photo Credit: Australian Traveller

You have several caves to choose from. The most popular are the ancient Mammoth Caves, where you can even view a 50,000 year old ‘zygomaturus’ jawbone; the Lake Cave, where you walk along a platform suspended over clear waters; and the Jewel Cave, which houses the ‘Frozen Waterfall.’

Don’t Forget the Coastal Features!

There have never been more pristine beaches in one area to choose from, than in the region of Margaret River. Explore either the more isolated locations when doing the Cape-to-Cape trek, such as Three Bears (only accessible on foot and by 4WD), or visit the more dramatic scenery of Wyadup Rocks and Canal Rocks.

Canal Rocks Margaret River

Canal Rocks. Photo Credit: Stuart Westmore Photography

Overall, there are over 100 kilometres of coastline with beaches to rival Hawaii and the Mediterranean, showcasing surf, white sands, massive chunks of granite and lagoons. All you have to do is choose the beaches right for you, map out your journey and enjoy the backpacking trip of a lifetime. The list of possibilities for shoreline splendour, and national park nature, are endless.

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