Eat, play, stay in Margaret River

Alexandra CaseyThe West Australian
Margaret River Brew House.
Camera IconMargaret River Brew House. Credit: Supplied

Margaret River is my second home, and has been ever since I was little. I’m drawn to the coastal landscapes, lush forests and relaxed lifestyle.

Everything just seems a little slower and a more peaceful — well, excluding Christmas time, when you’re trying to score a parking spot at Coles. I’m constantly on the road, beach hopping with friends, exploring Boranup Forest, reading books by the ocean or enjoying the serenity at the grandies’ holiday house. And when I’m not, I’m eating.


Breakfast: Margaret River Bakery

One of my favourite brekkie or morning tea stops in the region is the European-inspired Margaret River Bakery.

I love stopping by for a coffee and croissant with mum on our morning walk. We either grab and go, or snag a spot on the outdoor patio to watch the world go by.

The bakery is known for its delicious breakfasts, delightful assortment of cakes and pastries, and tasty lunch options. Personally, I can’t go past the cinnamon scrolls and roasted veggie panini.

Lunch: The Margaret River Brew House

A trip to Margaret River without dining here, would be, well, just not a trip to Margs.

It’s a family-friendly spot for lunch or dinner with indoor and outdoor seating. There’s lots of local produce and refreshing cold beer tapped straight from the brewery.

Everyone who knows me is aware that I am quite partial to a pizza. And the Brew House sure knows how to excel in this field – I’m a sucker for the Sopressa Salami.

Although I don’t stray far from the woodfired pizza when dining here, the rest of the family says that “anything” from the “Brew Pub” is insane. Whether the pork tacos (my sisters’ favourite) or the red duck leg curry (my mum’s go-to), you are sure to find something that tickles your fancy.

The Brew House is an excellent spot for lunch or dinner, only a short walk from the centre of town. And there’s live music every Friday and Sunday from 4.30 till 7pm.

Dinner: The Common Bistro

Perched in the beautiful Prevelly area, and only a short stroll to the sea, The Common is a great place to park up after a day spent surfing, walking the Cape to Cape or wine tasting. I visit The Common with family for a bite in the restaurant and sometimes a competitive game of pool.

I can’t go past the beef burger, although the fish tacos are also pretty sensational. The woodfired pizzas look pretty good too.

There’s always something happening at The Common, with happy hour from 5-6pm, Wednesday $20 burger and a bevy nights, and wine and jazz nights.

The Hairy Marron.
Camera IconThe Hairy Marron. Credit: Supplied


The Hairy Marron

The Hairy Marron is a bike hire shop conveniently situated on the banks of the Margaret River.

It has a selection of bikes, right up to high-end Giant bikes, and also has new bikes for sale.

The helpful cyclists behind the desk are really accommodating and give us lots of local trail knowledge and guidance.

The tracks

There’s no need to strap up the bikes behind the car to search for a great track. A number of trails are easily accessible by bike directly from the shop, and suitable for all abilities.

We are given a map at the Hairy Marron which uses a colour-coding system to label the rides with their respective level of difficulty. Most are rated as intermediate (blue on the map), some are beginner (green) and the rest are advanced (black).

Most are about a metre wide, on flat or sometimes slightly bumpy terrain, with a handful of jumps and inclines.

The experience

It’s pouring with rain and I’m not at all keen on the prospect of riding through the mud while absolutely drenched — but I can assure you that my day spent navigating the bush trails of Margaret River on a mountain bike turned out to be quite good fun.

We soldier through the torrential rain, explore the town on our two wheels, and head into the beautiful bushland and karri forest to experience the network of trails. The bush tracks are stunning and make up for the below-average weather. We are surrounded by towering trees, endless lush greenery and the joyful chirping of birds.

We make our way back to the town for lunch and enjoy a sandwich at the bakery, by which point the rain has thankfully subsided.

We return to the tracks once more and after a few bumps and near stacks, mum and I find ourselves lagging behind the rest of the family. We then proceeded to get slightly lost and find ourselves going in circles. And dad, nowhere to be seen, was the one with the map!

After briefly considering the prospect of being lost for days and having to a forgo our comfortable accommodation for a bed of leaves, we find a road and make our way back to the Hairy Marron to return the bikes and warm up with locally roasted coffee.

A day of adrenaline, a healthy dose of ‘fear’ and old-fashioned fun in nature. I couldn’t recommend it more.

The pricing

The adult hardtail bikes begin at $39 for four hours and $59 for a full day. Dual suspension bikes start at $59 for four hours and increase from there. E-bikes, suitable for tracks and fire roads, are

Download the free Margaret River Find the Fun App for information on the bike tracks, maps and descriptions. The app works without requiring internet, which is helpful.

Riverglen chalet.
Camera IconRiverglen chalet. Credit: Alexandra Casey/Supplied


Riverglen Chalets

Nestled among towering trees and just a short stroll from town, Riverglen Chalets in Carters Road is full of rustic charm.

I stay in a two-bedroom chalet for a little family escape and it’s a home away from home.

Ideal for a nature-break, the 15 charming self-contained timber chalets are set amid 2.8ha of bushland, and have a pot belly fire to warm visitors through winter, and a barbecue on a private veranda.

The property also has a games room with board games, darts, table tennis, movies (some good ones, too) and books.

Whether you prefer to keep toasty by the fire with a wine in hand, or want to dust off your hiking shoes and navigate bush tracks, the chalets are the perfect base.

The days

We spend our days going for walks, riding bikes, exploring the town and indulging in some of Australia’s best food and wine.

We take a short stroll — about 15 minutes or a two-minute drive — to town for our morning coffee and treat from the bakery. And we browse the windows of the homeware and fashion stores.

We spend our days exploring the rugged coast and watching the waves and the surfers navigating them.

Hiring a bike from the Hairy Marron is a great way to get around town and check out the maze of winding bush tracks.

Margaret River Distilling Co’s Giniversity is right next door, so when we pop in for a tasting and a delicious meal, we don’t need to organise a designated driver.

It’s a tiny tread to town for my sister to browse the aisles of surf shops, close enough to the best surf breaks for my brother to get a wave or two and surrounded as we are by nature, giving my parents and me a “green” fix.

We complete our days with a movie from the games room. We sit together, munching on popcorn and choccies, covered with a doona. It’s a peaceful and satisfying end to another beautiful day in the South West.

And the whole family loves it — which isn’t something I can say too often.

The pricing

A one-bedroom chalet starts from $215 a night for a four- night booking. To book a single night is $245.

Two-bedroom chalets prices range from $320 to $355 a night, depending on the length of the stay.

Spa chalets, and three and four-bedroom chalets are more.

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