Inbetween the Capes

Inbetween the Capes

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A dream location for holidaymakers who puton’t fancy the schlep abroad, Margaret River uses the traveler’s holy trinity: fine redwine, terrific food and a bewitching shoreline. One of just 7 Australian areas with an eco accreditation, it’s difficult not to fall in love with WA’s coolest location.

There’s a lot to love about Perth’s preferred beachside town. Built on a strong bedrock of old-school farming and big-wave surfing, Margaret River’s cool, ocean-loving culture feeds a emotional food scene that’s natural, biodynamic and makes it oh-so-easy to have a sustainable vacation. Music celebrations and browse contests collect the town together and fill the beds of its numerous eco-certified retreats. There are yoga classes bountiful, permaculture workshops and natural tasting sessions in lots of vineyards. But “Margs”, as residents passionately call it, provides rather a bit more.

A coupleof years ago, Margaret River endedupbeing WA’s veryfirst qualified Eco location, one of just 7 Australian areas now identified for a neighborhood’s cumulative efforts to foster regional sustainability. An whole town pulling together for the world is a huge tourist drawcard anywhere you takeatrip, however when you aspect in that Margaret River likewise backs onto one of the most bewitching shorelines in the west (with waves and dive areas to boot), it all amounts to a quite strong elixir.

The experience coast

There’s a grittiness amongst residents that comes from individuals going versus the grain and sculpting out services they think in. You’ll discover them actually allover around Margs, on spots of regrowed farmland turned into biodynamic food gardens, down on the waves mentor grommets to browse, bottling their natural whitewine and strolling and talking about wild foods on standard Wadandi lands.

It’s what continues to motivate all these amazing businessowners that ignites my interest, so while there are far more indulgent methods I might be costs my time around Margaret River, I strap on my treking shoes and head outdoors.

Squeezed scenically inbetween lapis-blue coves and a seaside fringe of aromatic peppermint trees, the Cape to Cape Track is a west coast classic. This rugged roam takes 7 days to walking, following windswept ridgelines and friable limestone cliffs from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin, 135km away. Hiking this shoreline exposes what most travelers missouton: deep gorges where trick freshwater springs circulation, spiritual, Indigenous red sand blowouts and peaceful, remote coves where you can strip off in privacy and dive under crashing waves.

Walking the Cape to Cape

I touch the cool stone of the historic Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and turn south through a sea of blooming pink pimeleas. The spring heat has me continuously looking seaward, however there are plenty of diversions: red-tailed tropicbirds roosting on Sugarloaf Rock, a steely guard of helmeted websurfers braving the break at Three Bears and a tricky latte and body browsing session at Yallingup at dawn on day 2.

I collect mini, coloured shells at Moses Rock and fill my water bottles with sweet spring water high above Canal Rocks. With a mask and snorkel in hand, I shoot for the sea, plunging into the uncommon pocket of calm where Canal Rocks holds back the swell in Ngari Capes Marine Park. Nestled inbetween twin ridgelines of rock that stretch far out to sea, I float above flowering soft corals and chase darting, lively fish. The water is cold by tropical requirements however I discover the ideal remedy lateron, transporting out onto superheated rock pieces and sunning myself crisp onceagain nextto fishfilled rock swimmingpools.

Back on the path, there are bobtails and tiger snakes, boggy heathlands and grunty spots of soft sand to trudge through. But I see breachingb humpback whales and brush my fingers over trailside wildflowers, and remain in all-to-myself sandy coves to watch the sunset.

Riding waves

After 3 days on the path, I reach Cowaramup’s impossibly blue bay. I stopbriefly, signingupwith observers looking seaward as big-wave internetusers brave the heaving, durable North Point break. Deep inside Cowaramup’s safeguarded curl of tricoloured shoreline, gentler waves beckon novices to take their veryfirst topples in the soft swell. Just 20km from Margaret River, the scene here is all about the waves, even if it’s your veryfirst day and you’re lined up with all the other prospective grommets down on the sand.

Known for its best-day-ever waves, Margaret River gets its browsing cred from one rugged, rough shoreline. Great tendrils of billion-year-old rock and reef snag the sea as it rolls in throughout the Indian Ocean, fuelling 75 various browse breaks that work in all kinds of wind. Local riders have their favourites and I’m assisted through the finest by my own WA-grown websurfer, professionalphotographer David Bristow. From the remote Three Bears and the difficult Rabbits, to Super Tubes (for edgy YouTube clips) and the constant Car Parks, there are waves for all phases and for all kinds of websurfers too.

The amazing sweep of sand at Gracetown dealswith off into Cowaramup Bay, where waves deal more range than nearly anywhere on the coast. Gracetown collects a crowd however that offers my ticket out too, so I shake off my shoes and stick out my thumb. It takes another 4 days of treking before you can call yourself a genuine Cape to Caper, however the sunset radiance signals it’s time for me to retreat to some cool, stone yard for a glass of Margaret River red.

Perfect provisioning

There are enough wineries in Margaret River to construct an whole journey around. It may be one of the world’s youngest, most geographically separated winegrowing areas, however Margaret River is home to more five-star-rated wineries than anywhere else in the nation. Proving onceagain that quality exceeds amount, its wineries produce a quarter of Australia’s premium vinos. Dozens of prominent estates plant their roots here, however it’s the natural and biodynamic vintners that continue to turn heads. Those who discover their method to McHenry Hohnen, Voyager, Stormflower and Blind Corner wineries won’t leave empty-handed.

Some, like the accredited biodynamic Burnside Organic Farm, haveactually branched out to deal more than simply redwine tastings, with veggie gardens, avoca

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