7-day foodie road trip through the Swan Valley and Margaret River
Taste the best of the Swan Valley and Margaret River with this hand-picked food lover’s itinerary.
By Emma Pegrum
Culinary adventures don't get much better than this one, which combines two of Western Australia’s most accessible – and most naturally breathtaking – food and wine regions. Experience incredible landscapes, world-class dining and wineries, surf and beaches between the Swan Valley and the Margaret River region. The best part? You’ll be supporting regional businesses simply by having a good time.
Leave plenty of room to fill the car with local produce from your travels – you’ll be enjoying the flavours of these two regions for weeks to come.
Day 1: Perth to the Swan Valley
- Drive time: about 20 minutes.
Whether you’re coming in from Perth Airport or leaving straight from home, start early to make a day of it. Beeline for a morning brew at Willing Coffee on the way and browse through the antique stores along the historic Guildford Road before continuing up into the Swan Valley.
Everything’s close together in the Swan Valley, making it an ideal do-it-yourself, self-drive food and wine trail. Start yours with a visit to one of the region’s founding wine families, Talijancich Wines, then head next door to The House of Honey & Meadery.
After a sunny lunch at Feral Brewing Co., stop in for a seated tasting at the region’s only certified organic winery, Harris Organic Wines, hosted by owner and winemaker Duncan Harris. Your final stop is Old Young’s Distillery, where traditional liquor-making techniques meet experimental curiosity.Show more
Day 2: Swan Valley to Bunker Bay via Dunsborough
- Drive time: Three hours to Dunsborough, 15 minutes to Bunker Bay.
Depart for Dunsborough in time for lunch at Aaron Carr’s much-lauded restaurant, Yarri. Full of delicious food, cruise out along Cape Naturaliste Road, stopping for a swim at Castle Rock Beach and Meelup Beach. Indulge in a post-lunch cocktail at the country-chic Meelup Farmhouse before continuing on to Sugarloaf Rock, the cape’s crowning jewel.
Stay: Toward the tip of Cape Naturaliste, you’ll find tonight’s accommodation: Pullman Bunker Bay. It’s everything loved about world-class resort luxury, barefoot style. For dinner, there’s Pullman’s ocean-view restaurant, or organise a private in-house dining experience in advance with chef George Cooper’s Tiller Dining for something unique.
Day 3: Bunker Bay to Margaret River via Yallingup
- Drive time: 25 minutes to Yallingup, 35 minutes to Margaret River.
After breakfast at Bunkers Beach House, drive back to Dunsborough and take the winding, tree-lined Caves Road to Yallingup. Just before reaching town, stop in at Ngilgi Cave for a quick semi-guided tour of its ancient caverns. In Yallingup, take a swim in the bay and watch surfers catch one of the region’s most historic waves. You can also stock up on woodfired sourdough and artisan cheese before commencing the day’s cellar door trail in the famed Margaret River.
First, visit two family-run spots: Wild Hop Brewing for a beer, and organic winery Blind Corner to taste and stock up on wines for the week. Loop back to Caves Road and, at the end of a nondescript gravel road, you’ll find Arimia for lunch. Here, owner Ann Spencer and chef Evan Hayter run an off-grid kitchen, serving seasonal food grown on the property. Be sure to try the trout.Show more
Day 4: Margaret River
Grab a coffee in town at Sidekick Cafe before hitting Gracetown (a 20-minute drive) for a swim and a walk along the Cape to Cape Track to South Point and beyond. Make your way back to Moonrise, visiting Olio Bello, Margaret River Chocolate Company and Margaret River Dairy Company on the way.
Spend your afternoon long lunching at Voyager Estate with chef Santiago Fernandez. If it’s on offer, marron is a must-try here.
By night, join a walking food tour with ex-journalist Kellie Tannock’s Walk Talk Taste. You’ll fill up on food, wine, cocktails and stories about the town’s history.
Day 5: Margaret River to Augusta
- Drive time: 45 minutes.
After check-out, enjoy breakfast in town at Riversmith, then jump on Caves Road heading south. Visit McHenry Hohnen for an en-route wine tasting, before arriving at the breathtaking Boranup Karri Forest and Lake Cave on foot.
Lunch today is just over halfway on your route, and is a paddock-to-plate affair at family farm Glenarty Road – think woodfired seasonal vegetables, warm sourdough, fresh lamb, gnocchi and pickled goods. It’s worth doing a vineyard tour here, too: there are pop-up tasting bars throughout the property so you can taste wines among the vines from which they’re made.
Make a late-afternoon visit to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse for one of the region’s most iconic ocean views, followed by dinner at The Colourpatch Seafood Cafe in Augusta overlooking the soothing Seine Bay. Continue your regional food education by ordering some Augusta whiting and ocean-grown abalone.Show more
Day 6: Augusta to Busselton
- Drive time: about one hour.
Cruise north along the Busselton Highway to the sleepy town of Witchcliffe (25 minutes) for a light breakfast and coffee at Yardbyrd. Continue to Cowaramup (15 minutes), visiting Colonial Brewing on the way. In Cowaramup, stock up on take-home goods at Gourmet Food Merchant and enjoy a delicious fish burger for lunch at Black Sheep Deli. Make another brewery stop on the other side of town at Beerfarm, where you will find a range of limited-edition collaboration brews to try, before heading onto Busselton for the night.
Stay: Stylish, contemporary and warm, Busselton’s Amelia Park Lodge is the ideal base. Enjoy dinner at the on-site restaurant or tavern, and head into town for drinks at Darleen’s Taphouse, The Goose or The Fire Station.
Day 7: Busselton to Perth
- Drive time: about 2.5 hours.
Enjoy a final breakfast in Busselton at Bistro Breton and a dip in Geographe Bay. You can’t leave town without taking a walk out to the end of the 1.8 kilometre-long (1.1-mile) Busselton Jetty – don’t worry, you can jump on the jetty train back. Pile into the car for one last drive back to Perth, or, if you want more, explore a neighbouring region. Southern Forests jaunt, anyone?