Early the next Saturday morning, after a hearty organic breakfast, courtesy of Burnside Organic Farm we set out for the local market, where we could get our hands on some fresh produce. By the time we got to the Margaret River Farmers’ Market at around 10am, the place was a hive of activity.
Every fortnight, on a Saturday, the local producers gather together to showcase their organic goods. Visitors and locals walk around and get to sample these fabulous goods and then perhaps buy them. The markets feature food and wine stalls manned by the producers themselves and is the perfect place to buy the South West’s freshest produce and wine, form several local boutique wineries.
Walking around, we noticed that the market had a great variety of foods. The goods on display were organic foods such as olive oil, lamb, beef, advocados, vegetables and citrus fruit in season, Yallingup Woodfired bread, goat sausages and honey. We also noticed, free range eggs, chicken chorizo and organic pizza’s on offer. Several smaller vineyards conducted tastings at this farmer’s market. We walked around and had a great time sampling, the honey mead, solar dried fruits and freshly made tempeh. For dog owners, there was also a business where a guy was selling his homemade dog biscuits.
The Margaret River Farmers’ Market is on between 8am to 12pm at the historic old hospital site, which is on the corner of Tunbridge and Farrelly Streets.
Margaret River Farmers’ Market
Ciki says hi to David – Form our previous post, we mentioned that, he and his wife own and run their own business known as Lady Marmalade Margaret River. Lady Marmalade Margaret River produces an exciting range of home made freshly baked cakes (available whole or by the slice) and delectable sweet treats and are sold at the local Farmer’s market. They also produce Craythorne Country House range of traditional fruit cakes and jams, relishes, pickles and chutneys which showcase the diversity and quality of locally grown produce.
kids at the BBQ
music and entertainment.. a wee toddler dances to the sweet sounds of the guitar
I LIKE this ice-cream! Two fat cows rock!
massive organically grown garlic
organic pizza and roasted nuts
going organic has never been this fun!
Margaret River, WA, 6285
Tel: +61 8 9757 9095
Contact: Katrina Lombardo, Market Coordinator
After the farmer’s market and just a short stroll into town, we stopped by the Margaret River Visitor Centre Wine Tourism Showroom to collect some brochures and information, before we headed on to The Larder (the place form which we had one of our terrific lunch baskets, from the day before). The Wine Tourism Showroom at the Margaret River Visitor Centre is the ideal place to familiarise one’s self with the local wineries. There are interactive points around the showroom that provides interesting information on the wine heritage of the region. The Margaret River Visitor Centre has more than 270,000 visitors annually and is a good place to pick up souvenirs and other Margaret River memorabilia.
Margaret River Visitor Centre Wine Tourism Showroom
interactive points around the showroom that provides interesting information on the wine heritage of the regionAdd: Margaret River Visitor Centre
100 Bussell Highway
Margaret River, WA, 6285
Tel: +61 8 9780 5911
Contact: Cory Gale, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Just directly opposite the Margaret River Visitor Centre Wine Tourism Showroom is “The Larder”. The Larder is Margaret River’s premier speciality gourmet retailer and a great place to buy some delectable items of a picnic basket – a real paradise for fine food lovers. The owner, Andrea, offers a combination of services to her customers that incorporates a cooking school, boutique caterers and also a gourmet deli. With a huge focus on quality as well as diversity, the Larder provides an overwhelming choice of fine foods from around the region.
Upon entering the store there was an amazing smell of delicious spices and cooking. Andreas actually had a curry on the boil – no wonder it smelt so familiar, could have been a curry from home. We soon found out that Andreas is a huge fan of Asian food and cooking. The kitchen out the back was filled with pots of curried beef being prepared for a private order. The fridges and freezers had a wide range of prepared meals, soups and cheeses. Fantastic home cooked meals at very reasonable prices as well as an extensive range of local and sourced gourmet items. We chatted with her as she prepared this big pot of curry and found her entrepreneurial spirit a real inspiration.
Margaret River’s premier speciality gourmet retailer
the lovely Andrea Illot
curry on the boil!Add:
1130 The Larder
The Larder – Town Map G6
Shop 2, 99 Bussell Highway
Margaret River, WA, 6285
Tel: +61 8 9758 8990
Contact: Andrea Illot, Owner
Located directly opposite the Margaret River Visitor Centre
We then headed out to lunch at the Colonial Brewery. The Margaret River region is synonymous with wine. But here comes an alternative to the great wine lake of the south west. I am talking about beer, of course. Locally brewed, no less. Colonial beer is the winner of numerous national and international awards and their brewery is founded on the belief that beer making is one of the cornerstones of a great civilisation. Each brew is created according to the company’s motto, festina lente – hasten slowly.. and boy, do the beers taste fab! If I blindfolded you, you’d probably mistake them for one of the big labels in the industry. They were that good.
Location wise, the Brewery is less than 10 minutes from the Margaret River Town on Osmington Road. Behind a faux colonial-style corrugated iron exterior is an ultra-modern establishment with a distinctly industrial and yet relaxed vibe. Once you enter the place, you will see a laid back yet modern dining area that opens out into a fabulous playground for the kids to entertain themselves on whilst parents sit back and relax. Out the back is a huge beer garden, which can seat up to 350 people, and inside you can watch the fine ales brewing while you tuck into beer-friendly fare like beer battered fish. We had some terrific sticky buffalo wings, pizzas and lamb chops – perfect beer food. There are also hearty seared porterhouse steak sandwich with grilled mushrooms and caramelised onions to choose from and for the kids, there are hot dogs, nuggets and burgers, together with an array of sweet sensations, including freshly baked cakes and ice cream. From its origins in Margaret River, Colonial has expanded to selected venues where its all-natural ingredients and distinct taste have earned it the tag of Australia’s freshest beer.
a massive bar and modern dining area
beer is served in order of intensity -they recommend you drink it from light to dark!
sticky buffalo wings and spare ribs
Richard Moroney, General Manager
playground for the kids to play softball and other high energy games
Out the back is a huge beer garden, which can seat up to 350 peopleAdd: Colonial Brewery
Margaret River, WA, 6285
Tel: +61 8 9758 8177
Contact: Richard Moroney, General Manager
After lunch we headed out for a Sunset Kangaroo Safari with Neil McLeod. We didn’t know what to expect at first, but in the end, we had a fantastic time with Neil. He collected us from town and chatted with us about where we were from, as he gave us a brief history on WA. He drove us out to his land, a few miles from Margaret River town. We were then transferred to Neil’s trusty 1962 Four Wheel Drive Bedford Truck, which brought us into a Kangaroo safari world, which was essentially over sprawling land that was owned by Neil himself.
Neil gave us some amazing insights and history of the Margaret River area and the kangaroo’s themselves were the highlight of the trip, as we saw many. Neil also organized a lovely tea for us, by a creek, and gave us a demonstration of how tea should be made with a billy! Here we sat and chatted and enjoyed a cake that his wife baked. We had great time on this kangaroo safari tour and we definitely recommend this to anyone visiting the Margaret River area.
1962 Four Wheel Drive Bedford Truck
Neil’s sprawling land
Neil makes a fire
Cakes courtesy of Neil’s wife
This is how you make tea, in a billy!
Sunset Kangaroo Safari with Neil McLeod
Kangaroo’s in the wild!Info: The Sunset Kangaroo Safari with Neil McLeod
Departs from Margaret River Visitor Centre car park at rear of building
Tel: +61 8 9757 2747
Contact: Neil McLeod, Owner operator
That night, we had dinner at MUST. To say that Must Margaret River is wine centric, is almost an understatement. Bottles of wine snake around the walls and large suspended wine racks create divisions in a warm and moody space. On one side, a bar laden with every type of high quality wine and spirit imaginable and the other, a bistro true to its roots – timeless, classic and comfortable. Chef Russell Blaikie oversees the menu development and Chef Rick Houston leads the kitchen team. A selection of Must’s signature dishes are present with local produce driving the menu and daily specials. Many dishes are designed for sharing with a long communal table the centre piece of the Bistro.
The kitchen can be seen through a refrigerated meat aging cellar, where cuts are hung before they are drawn down and portioned for service. Dry aged beef, single farm sourced from Paul Omeehan’s Butterfield property at the foot of the Stirling Ranges is a key feature. This aging process allows the meat to become more flavoursome, tender and moist and takes us back to a very traditional way of aging beef. Must is wonderful for meat lovers and I thoroughly enjoyed the steaks they served us here. We highly recommend this place for dinner if you are in Margaret River. Must is open from 12 noon til late – lunch and dinner, seven nights a week.
Must Margaret River
you must go, to must!
tasty liver pate
Our waiter has interests in extraterrestrials!
Fab wines from Margaret River to complement the meal
Steak done medium rare.. All the beef at MUST is aged – this aging process allows the meat to become more flavoursome, tender and moist and is a rather traditional way of aging beef.
Aged beef cuts proudly displayed in front of the kitchen
creme bruleeAdd: Must Margaret River 107 Bussell Highway
Margaret River, WA, 6285
Tel: +61 8 9758 8877
Fax: +61 8 9758 8899
Contact: Samantha Gowdie, Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Early the next morning, we checked out of Burnside Organic Farm and head on out to look for a lighthouse. We arrive at Cape Leeuwin and after a terrific breakfast at Leeuwin Lighthouse Cafe we head out the the lighthouse to see just how high it actually goes. We were met by Peter, the Lighthouse supervisor and our guide for the morning, and as we climbed the rickety stairs to the top, he began telling us the lighthouse’s story.
The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is located on the most extreme Southern Westerly point of Australia on a small knoll in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park , Western Australia. The lighthouse was built between 1895-1896 by the construction firm of John Wishart and M.C.Davies after they successfully won the tender. It was to become Western Australia’s eleventh lighthouse. The long overdue lighthouse took nearly 15 years to eventuate from its initial conception. This was due mainly to the lack of government funding for the project and the arguments relating to the building location. Various locations, such as St. Alouarn Island, were nominated but it was the government that eventually decided on the Cape Leeuwin site which overlooks both the Indian and Southern Oceans. The reason for this location was mainly because it was close to the Quarry Bay mine which would supply the Tamala limestone for both the lighthouse and cottages.
The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse tower is 36m high, has seven floors and 186 steps. The original light, was built 56m above sea level with a range of 25 nautical miles. The light was a kerosene wick lamp, which revolved in a mercury bath. It was later upgraded to a vapourised kerosene light in 1925. The lighthouse lights were manually operated until 1982, when it was converted to electricity. The light flashes every 7.5 seconds.
Also playing a major role during the early years of the lighthouse was the waterwheel and wooden channel were built in 1895 to bring fresh spring water to the lighthouse keepers’ cottages. The water also came in handy for the stonemasons during construction. Today, the waterwheel, which had been exposed to the minerals and salts of the area, is encrusted with layers of limestome and is virtually frozen in rock. In 1978 both the lighthouse and cottages were connected to the Augusta town water supply. The lighthouse is operated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and also operates as one of the main meteorological stations in Australia.
Leeuwin Lighthouse Cafe
Best sandwiches ever!
we head out the the lighthouse to see just how high it actually goes
We were met by Peter, the Lighthouse supervisor and our guide for the morning
Nice view but look at how thick the stone walls are! The lighthouse is made of stacked up solid stone cuts.
Why does it look like a tratoria at the top?
A tiny motor is all it takes to turn the lights on the tower
The spectacular view from the top of the lighthouse
The wind is so strong, I can hardly keep my eyes open and @tykeonabike has to hold on for life! @alilfatmonkey is safe behind his shades!
The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse tower is 36m high, has seven floors and 186 steps. It gleams in the sunlight! Breathtakingly beautiful
Northern man looks at Southern woman
Fresh water drains out to oceanAdd 1: Leeuwin Lighthouse Cafe
Augusta, WA, 6290
Tel: +61 8 9758 0905
Contact: Karen White, Owner
Located in a heritage listed cottage, Leeuwin Lighthouse Cafe enjoys views over the Indian and Southern Oceans. The local staff really know how to make you feel welcome when visiting the pride and joy of Augusta in the south of the Margaret River region. Add 2:
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
Augusta, WA, 6290
Tel: +61 8 9758 1920
Contact: Paul Sofilas, Lighthouse Supervisor
After we had scaled great heights, it was time to go down into the heart of the earth. Along the spine of the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge and beneath soaring Karri forest lie more than 150 caves. These caves belong to a series of complex and fragile Karst systems which are landscapes formed by the rapid drainage of water underground. Karst systems are characterised most often by caves, dolines (large holes), blind valleys, sinking streams and springs. The main road that travels along the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge is aptly named Caves Road. Jewel Cave is one of the show caves we had the pleasure of visiting. It was pretty, but a little to sterile for me. I prefer to get down and dirty with hardcore caving actually. Little did we know, that we would get a chance to get our hands dirty (in a very different sort of cave, from the Jewel show cave) and do some real adventure caving, the very next day.
Anyway, during the tour we found out that Jewel Cave was recently awarded the gold medal for ‘Tourist Attractions’ and silver medal for ‘Ecotourism’ at the 2011 WA Tourism Awards. Jewel Cave is also the largest show cave in the State. Sinking to a depth of 42 metres the dazzling formations and intricate work of mother nature was a pretty awesome sight. We took some photos but due to the lack of light, they just turned out OK. Here are some photos for you to enjoy.
welcome to jewel cave
a short briefing session before the descent into madness, I mean, into the cave
stalactites and stalagmites
The remains of a tasmanian tiger – just in case you thought it was fictitious.. NO!
Of course, you know the difference between a stalactite and a stalagmite.. They occur in limestone caves. The stalactite is above, and hangs downward like an icicle; the stalagmite is below and sticks up. They grow in pairs, the slightly acidic water dissolves some of the limestone, carrying it downward. When the water evaporates, the limestone appears to have flowed downward. Some of the water does not evaporate until it has fallen through the air, and landed on the floor, the remaining limestone building the stalagmite. Sometimes the stalactite is missing, as they sometimes break off and fall; you will often see their pieces on the floor. Or human visitors may break them off, and take them away (tsk tsk!). Often, the stalactite and stalagmite will connect, and become a column.
If you ever forget which is which, just sing this rhyme to yourself – “Stalactites – hang on TIGHT, and stalagmites MIGHT reach stalactites one day!” (and that’s why I always got an “A” for Science.. seriously:P)
Jewel Cave Preservation Centre
Augusta, WA, 6285
Tel: +61 8 9757 7411
Contact: Jayme Hatcher, Attractions Manager
After Jewel cave, we drive to our next accommodation called Vintages. The award‐winning Vintages Accommodation is located right in the heart of the Margaret River township. Glenys and the team ensure that the service, cleanliness and room standards are amazing. This place was absolutely brilliant as it had zippy wifi and even a great little video shop where you could rent tapes (for free) to watch in the evenings. Vintages is the perfect base from which to explore the many retail outlets and diverse restaurants in the Margaret River shopping strip.
I want this car!Add:
Cnr Wilmott Ave and Le Souef St
Margaret River, WA, 6285
Tel: +61 8 9758 8333
Fax: +61 8 9758 8344
Page 9 of 14
Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association
Contact: Glenys Buchholz, Owner/Manager
Later that night, a short 20 minute stroll brought us to our dinner venue. Nathalie’s Cuisine, the restaurant, was so charming! Talk about rustic dining, with a French‐Vietnamese Fusion twist, and old‐fashioned country ambiance. Nathalie’s Cuisine is BYO alcohol. Too bad that in our haste, we forgot to pick up a bottle from town. Anyway, the lovely lady herself, Chef Nathalie, creates all her inspired meals using as much local and organic produce as possible and also caters for vegetarian and gluten free customers. Nathalie we learned, was born in Phom Pen Cambodia to French parents. Her mother a Parisian, along with her Vietnamese nanny would soon be pivotal in influencing her culinary senses towards a world of Vietnamese and French Cuisine. Later, living in Paris, her grandmother would deepen her knowledge of classic French cuisine including food courses, fine produce and the marriage of fine wines with good food. After enjoying a classic western buffet roast dinner featuring delectable oven roasted meats and vegetables, we were taken on a grand tour of the quaint and rustic home/restaurant, with Nathalie.
The original guest house offering five of Bridgefield’s eight accommodations. In her pioneering Australia coach house tradition, Bridgefield’s original Guest House provides lodgings of a charming country house, with log fires, ceiling fans and big brass beds, yet with the modern conveniences of individual reverse-cycle air-conditioning, electric blankets, and en-suites. Her five guest bedrooms each accommodating a couple, as well as relaxing lounge and sitting rooms, make the original Guest House the perfect house for a restful escape from the rigours of modernity, or for a small wedding party seeking to capture a piece of a gentler age.
Three of the four queen rooms in her original Guest House have their own covered courtyard in which to enjoy some private time in fresh air, perhaps before joining travelling companions or embarking on a wine tour. Each also has ensuite, private tea- and coffee-making facilities, and is equipped with bar refrigerator. The Boudoir with Slipper Bath is in the style of a French boudoir. It is an intimate room, with a French antique double bed and rich fabrics – tres tres romantic! I would stay here anytime I tell you!
Ah.. but there were more surprises in store for us. Entering into a second house, via the back, we are ushered into the car garage. Well, not just any garage. This one housed the breathtakingly sleek , black, vintage Jag. The Bridgefield Chauffeur-Driven Jaguar to be precise.
Apparently, these vintage beauties are all for hire, especially for weddings and grand events. The Boadicea, a 1950 Mark V Drophead Saloon is gleaming silver and black, with white-walled tyres, and rich cream leather and polished wood interior. This luxury car comfortably seats three adult passengers. In identical colours and finish is Bess, a 1969 420G Saloon comfortably seating up to four adult passengers. This Bridgefield Chauffeur-Driven Jaguar operates from Bridgefield, on the corner of Higgins Street and Bussell Highway, Margaret River. Nathalie tells us we can hire it anytime. We nod.. in silence.. and promise to do so on our next trip, or when @alilfatmonkey decides to tie the knot. Which ever one comes first;)
Nathalie’s Cuisine – quaint and oh so pretty!
our classic western buffet roast dinner
Bridgefield’s original Guest House feels like a charming country house, with log fires, ceiling fans and big brass beds, yet with the modern conveniences
I wanted to jump on this bed and fall right asleep !
Cumi is reflected in Jag glory
the breathtakingly sleek , black, vintage Jag..
The Bridgefield Chauffeur-Driven Jaguar to be precise!
Add: Nathalie’s Cuisine
73 Bussell Highway
Margaret River, WA, 6285
Tel: +61 8 9757 9234
Contact: Nathalie Black, Owner operator
We have come to the end of Day 3 and 4. Our next instalment sees Cumi going off on his bike tour with Dirty Tours. And I get to enjoy a spa, Margaret River style. Stay tuned!
The Story Thus Far: