Our first day out of Perth we are heading south to Margaret River to sample some of the dozens of varieties of wines that are made in this area. It is the main wine growing region on the West coast, similar to the Hunter Valley wine region on the east coast.
As you enter the region, signs start popping up at every turn off the main road listing the wineries in each direction. There are dozens to choose from –from mainstream large scale producers to boutique wines and organics. We have decided to drive ourselves around, but there are a number of organized bus tours that will shuttle you from one winery to another, and most include lunch as well.
The landscape here is breathtaking, vines as far as you can see in either direction, and beautiful restaurants and cellar doors at each of the wineries. It’s a great place to stop for lunch as most of the larger wineries have a restaurant overlooking their properties. Even if you don’t have time for a sit down meal, there are lots of samples of breads and cheeses along the way to help the wine go down.
One of the highlights of the day is a stop at the Margaret River Chocolate Company. Chocolate and sweets of every kind imaginable are piled high on tables, and a large glass window across the back gives you a peak into the factory where all of the chocolate is handmade. They have free samples of dark, milk, and white chocolate – I don’t hesitate at trying each of them.
As the wineries close their doors for the day, we head to the coast to catch our first west coast sunset. We are just in time to see the action take place, and watch a few surfers brave the cold in the last bit of daylight on the Margaret River.
South Western Australia has several renowned surf spots, but this time of year you would need a 5 ml wetsuit and a lot of courage to get into the water! Still, that hasn’t stopped the dozen or so brave surfers in the water today. Watching the sunset on the west coast is stunning, and perhaps our most beautiful sunset yet in Australia. With the sun setting, the last bit of warmth has left us for the day, time to curl up by a fireplace somewhere with a bottle of wine and wait for its return tomorrow.