The quaint coastal resort town of Margaret River is located in the Augusta-Margaret River Shire, 283kms from Perth in the South-West Region of Western Australia.
It is Western Australia’s premium wine-growing region thanks in part to the rich agricultural soils. With wine comes food and Margaret River attracts foodies and chefs from around the world with their culinary delights.
Brief History of Margaret River
Margaret River was gazetted in 1913 as part of the State’s Group Settlement Scheme. The town lies on the banks of Margaret River near the Indian Ocean. The town was believed to be named by John Bussell (one of the first settlers in the area) in honour of Margaret Wyche, a family friend from England. John Bussell was also founder of Busselton. More history of Margaret River.
Things You May Not Know About Margaret River
When Margaret River became a town there was only three houses built in the area.
In 1876, Alfred Bussell’s sixteen year old daughter, Grace Bussell and Aboriginal stockman, Sam Isaacs , rode their horses into the raging surf to save passengers and crew on the stricken ship, S.S. Georgette.
During the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, the M.C.Davies Co. became the biggest timber producer in the colony, producing over 30% of all Australian timber exports, making timber Western Australia’s second largest export, behind wool.
The London streets of Pall Mall, Piccadilly and Regent were paved with M.C. Davies karri blocks from Boranup Forest.
A police officer who was posted at Karridale in the early 1900’s was so loathed by the locals that they would write nasty notes about him and then gum (stick) them to the trunks of the Jarrah and Karri trees. Ironically the policeman’s name was Constable Love!
From 1900 to 1914 approximately 17 million railway sleepers were cut from forests in the Augusta-Margaret River region.
In 1924 the Busselton to Margaret River section of the State Railway was declared open for traffic. It was closed in 1957 by the State Government because it became unprofitable to continue running. In 2003 the cost of reinstating the rail line as far as Margaret River was estimated at $140 million.
In the 1930’s the last Quokka was seen in the area.
Hidden below the surface of the Margaret River region is an extensive underground system of over 350 Margaret River caves.
In 1961, Western Australia’s worst bushfire destroyed the Old Karridale townsite, leaving only a solitary brick chimney still standing from the sawmill.
Margaret River is the largest wine producing region in Western Australia. There are over 700 hectacres of vines planted and 28 producing wineries. A large variety of grapes are now grown in the region including, Rhine Riesling, Semillion, Chardonnay, Verdelho, Traminer, Sauvigon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Margaret River is the host of two premier surfing events , Margaret River Pro and the Margaret River Classic. Both events are held at Prevelly Park and attract national and international surfers.
Where To Hang Your Hat ?
One of the hardest things to find in Margaret River is accommodation, especially at peak season. The easiest way to find the best accommodation which will suit you, is to visit the Margaret River Visitors Centre. They have a great questionnaire page helping you find what you really want.
Where To Pitch A Tent?
Margaret River and the surrounding areas have some brilliant camping sites including Alexandra Bridge, Boranup Forest, Canebreak Pool, Conto Field Camping, Point Road, Sues Bridge and Warner Glen Recreation Site (Chapman Pool). These sites are situated in national parks and state forests and charge a small fee via an honour box.
There is usually no bookings required but, Western Australia’s Department of Environment and Conservation have recently set up a camp booking website. You can check it out here DEC – South West Camp Booking.
Where to Hang Ten?
Margaret River has some of the best surfing locations in the world. From Yallingup in the South to Cape Leeuwin in the North there are over 75 top breaks. Two premier surfing events are held here each year. Check out more about surfing at Margaret River.