Margaret River is one of the surfing capitals of the world, but having never surfed I didn’t fancy getting taken out by the humongous waves and feeling like I was tumbling around in a washing machine! It is however renowned for its wine production and and vineyards as well, so wine tours, dairy farms and breweries were at the top of our list.
The drive from Perth to Margaret River through “the outback” was very pleasant. It is a small town around three hours south of Perth, and I was on full alert throughout the journey for wild kangaroos springing out into the middle of the road. We have a 4×4 equipped with a roo bar, however it is small, pathetic, and more like a rabbit bar so if we did hit a kangaroo it wouldn’t really help matters.
It didn’t take us long before we booked ourselves on a wine tour. We found ‘Margies Wine Tour’ online which included transport to a variety of breweries, wineries and a dairy farm, all for a reasonable price. We were picked up at 11 a.m from our hostel and drove to our first winery. We had a lovely tour guide who played us I Shot the Sheriff by Bob Marley on loop for the duration of the bus drive. Catchy, but annoying after the seventh or eighth time.
The drinking commenced around 11.30 a.m and went on till around 4 p.m. We had tasters of beers, wines, and whatever else was on offer. Each winery we visited somebody talked to us about Chardonnays, Sauvignons, Semions (we could not stop laughing at this), dry wines, sweet wines, there was so much to take in when you’re half cut. I was drunk by lunch. But the tour cost $95 and I was getting my moneys worth. We were taken to a dairy farm where we got to try a variety of cheeses and chutneys which was just delightful. This was followed by more beer tasting and lunch. We were taken to a brewery and served a selection of breads, cold cuts, cheeses, olives, the list goes on. We were stuffed. In true tourist fashion we got the driver to drop us at the Settlers Tavern afterwards for a few more. This is pretty much the only pub Margaret River has to offer, but it is a great little spot. It serves lovely food and has a great atmosphere with live bands on a weekend.
Shockingly, aside from the drinking aspect Margaret River does have more to offer. We explored Mammoth Cave, a magnificent limestone cave located in Leeuwin-Naturalist Park. We relaxed on a variety of beautiful beaches, snorkelled with some fishies, had countless barbecues and last but not least we visited Sunflowers Animal Farm. It had lambs and kids and pigs and horses and chickens and chicks and parrots and lamas and alpacas. (Which just happens to be the inspiration for this blog title). It was so lovely to be able to feed the animals and know they weren’t caged up like in a zoo. They seemed so free and happy and I would advise anyone to take a trip there. Plus the staff are lovely and they let me feed a piglet it’s milk.