One of the many things I miss since coming to Australia is driving and Ash hasn’t drove since passing her test, over a year ago. A trip to Margaret river was next on our ‘things to do’ so we decided to rent a car. After shopping around we went with Bayswater car rentals and before you know it we had the keys for a Toyota Corolla. The roads were pretty easy to drive. Unlike in the UK, keep left unless overtaking doesn’t really apply. Over here drivers tend to just pick a lane and stick to it.
Our first stop of the journey was Bunbury. We walked along the coastline at Wyalup Rocky Point and watched big waves coming in and crashing into the rocks. We followed a short coastal walk near the lighthouse and enjoyed the views from the top of Marlston Hill lookout tower.
Next stop was Busselton where I saw the longest jetty I’ve ever seen. At the end of the jetty is an underwater observatory where you can see a variety of fish and coral. Unfortunately that day it was closed due to weather conditions.
We finally arrived at our accommodation, The Margaret River Beach Resort. We were pleasantly surprised, we had a nice view of the ocean and a spa bath. That night we went for a short walk along the beach and watched some surfers. We had dinner at the onsite restaurant called Gnarabar which served really nice food. With satisfied stomachs and armed with a complimentary bottle of red we chilled in our spa bath before passing out.
The following morning it was business time! We had prebooked a wine tour with bushtucker tours which cost us $90 each. There was about 15 of us all together from various parts of the globe.
The first winery we stopped at was Adinfern estate, a lovely winery. It was still morning and we were having wine for breakfast! We were given a few wine tasting tips before we tucked in. I never even knew that you could get sparkling red wine, the one we tantalised our taste buds with was amazing. It was called Shepards Fanfare (red) and was described as a deep ruby shade with rich sweet red fruit aromas. The luscious palate will enjoy rich flavours of plums and toffee, complimented by the gentle bubbles. Another favourite of ours was a fortified wine called Ruby Forte described as a port-styled wine which has rich cherry aromas and even richer Turkish Delight and raspberry flavours. The ideal late night after dinner treat.
Next stop was Brookwood Estate. They again had very nice wines and tasty dukkah. We treated ourselves to a bottle of red best served chilled called Mellow Rouge for $20. A fun 70/30 blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon that oozes juicy raspberry, blackcurrant and strawberry flavours. The palate is rounded and approachable with soft tannins and a balanced sweet finish.
By this point we had tasted a fair share of wines so needed to line our stomachs. Lunch was all prepared by our tour guide, Silvano and it was a wonderful spread. There was plenty to eat including kangaroo meat, olives, sun dried tomato’s, stuffed peppers, selection of breads and locally sourced food. One of the guys was lucky enough to taste a big juicy grub, unfortunately there was only one.
Our third stop was another winery called Tassell Park, followed by Cowaramup Brewery where we had a selection of beer and ales. Cheese tasting was next at Margaret River Cheese company.
Our final alcohol consuming stop was The Grove, a must on anyone’s trip to Margaret River. We were greeted by a grumpy guy with a grey handlebar moustache who turned out to be the highlight of the trip. He had a very dry, sarcastic sense of humour and wasn’t afraid of offending anyone. Some of the group didn’t quite know how to take him but he certainly made me laugh. He poured us a selection of tasty liqueurs and ports then finished us off with a cocktail.
We all jumped back on the bus and after a hard day of drinking we were all very merry so Silvano took advantage of the fact and played some classic songs to sing along to. Our last port of call was Margaret River Chocolate Factory where we made sure we ate plenty of samples. It was a really fun day and would recommend the bushtucker tour as there are many to choose from. Back at the resort me and Ash chilled by the beach and watched the sunset before making a nice pasta dish washed down with wine.
The following day we had to drive although we still managed to visit some more wineries for tastings although this time we had to spit most of them out. We went to Xanadu and Leeuwin Estate. We broke up the drive back by taking a longer scenic route with plenty of stops on the way. We went to Cape Naturale, Castle Rock, Dunsburough, Busselton and caught the sunset at Rockingham with a glimpse of Penguin Island before returning to Perth.