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  • Writer's pictureHelen Avaient

10 wine free things to see and do in Margaret River, Western Australia

Updated: Jan 15, 2023

Mention the Margaret River region of South West Western Australia and people will tell you about the plethora of wineries and breweries in the area. Sadly, I cannot drink wine. Yet there is so much to see and do in this area that does not involve wineries and is well worth visiting. I spend a lovely few days in Margaret River and enjoyed these ten great venues, in no particular order.

1. Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse

the clear blue sky looks down on the Cape Leewin light house, white and tall. The Australian flag flutters in the breeze and the few single storey buildings show how this is one of the tallest lighthouses in Australia

This is where the Southern and Indian Oceans meet at the furthest Southwest point of Australia. To the south is Antarctica and to the west is Africa.

The southern ocean and the indian ocean meet off the coast of Western Australia. A sign lets visitors know the southern ocean is to the left and the indian ocean to the right as you look out over the waters.

I took a tour of the lighthouse, which included a 176 step climb up and then 176 climb back down.

the circular stairs inside the lighthouse curve and hug the walls. Made of metal they contrast with the bricks of the walls

Our guide does this around four times a day! She is a lot younger and fitter than me. Fortunately, I was not the only one in our group of seven that had to stop and catch their breath halfway up. Speaking of breath, the climb was definitely worth it, the views were absolutely breathtaking.

At 56m (183ft) above sea level this is the tallest lighthouse in Western Australia and the third tallest in Australia. The land formations in this area are composed of granitic gneiss. The lightkeepers cottages were built with locally mined limestone.

This area is a marine sanctuary, and if you look closely, you may see the New Zealand fur seal here, as well as rock parrots and fairy penguins. In winter to mid spring each year the Humpback Whale can be seem migrating past here from their feeding in the south to their breeding and calving further north. The Southern Right Whale also visits the bays here.

Back on the ground, it is worth visiting the old Lightkeepers cottage that is now an interpretive centre. Here you can read how the children of the keepers spent their time (board games, reading books and CB radios).

There is an excellent display of photographs. Also, there are videos of people chatting to you in the photo frames. They seem so lifelike.

photographs on a wall depict people from bygone days. some of them are animated and tell tales

The lighthouse was built in 1895, a time when Western Australia was making riches from the gold. This helped to fund these buildings.

A lovely homage to the keepers of the light is on one of the walls. Every lighthouse keeper over the years is mentioned here.

on the wall is a list of all the lighthouse keepers that have worked at the Cape Leewin lighthouse

All lighthouses have different ranges, depending on the reefs and hazards in the area.

For those interested in the Leeuwin lighthouse technical details:

Range – 26 Nautical miles

Height of structure – 30 metres

Elevation of light – 56 metres

Leeuwin Road, Augusta WA

2. Cape Lavender tea rooms

Purple cushions, pens, products and plants are a giveaway that this is a lavender centred (scented) business. I met owner Bev Ainsworth who has been running Cape Lavender for over 21 years. Bev loves coming to work and interacting with both staff and customers. Bev said that all the lavender products for sale here are made on site, as is all the food. I opted for the lavender Devonshire tea for a late morning snack. The lavender tea was smooth, not sweet and not bitter, The lavender scone (sugar free) was deliciously complimented by lavender jam and fresh cream. The presentation was superb. You can choose to sit inside, on the enclosed verandah, or outside on the lush grass below some lovely shade trees.

2 Canal Rocks Road, Yallingup WA

3. Yahava Coffee

The smell of roasting coffee almost makes you taste the beans. Blending and roasting beans from all over the world on site daily, all coffee is used within the week. There are 12 standard coffees here, with specials during the year.

Yahava have coffee tastings as wineries have wine tastings. Sample several different blends of coffee and then you can buy your own to take home or drink a full-sized coffee at their on-site café. Also on offer are barista courses that you can take. Their safari coffee experience takes around 90 minutes. Bookings are essential. You learn a lot about different coffee brewing methods and get to roast some coffee of your own blending.

Coffee mugs, parts, kits, and almost anything coffee related can be purchased here as well.

the Yahava coffee tasting room has banners hanging from the ceiling with details of the different roast blends, on the floor are long tables that people stand at to sample the coffee, and large bags of coffee stand ready to be roasted

2 Andrews Way, Margaret River WA

4. Cowraramup

Named after the Aboriginal for the purple crowned lorikeet Cowara and up, which means “place of”, it is often referred to as Cow Town. In the main street there are forty-two cow and calf statues in the main street.

black and white cow statutes peer out from trees along the main street

In 2010 CowParade was held in Margaret River with over 100 life-size fiberglass cows being painted by local artists and exhibited in the area. At the end of the event, the cows were auctioned off, with proceeds going to charity. CowParade has been held in more than 50 cities around the world.

On 12 July 2014, 1,352, people dressed up as cows in Cowaramup, and entered the Guiness Book of Records. People dressed as Fresian (Holstein) cows and stayed in a purpose-built temporary pen for five minutes. (You can still buy cow onesies from various shops in town). Most businesses carry on a cow related theme or name.

cow statues stand in front of shops that are painted in black and white, like the cows.

5. Candy Cow

The amazing smell of heated sugars are the first delicious smell that greets you as you enter this shop. Any sweet tooth can be catered for here. Lollies (candy), chocolate, fudge, honeycomb are some of the mouthwatering treats that young and old alike are buying. You can watch golden honeycomb being made on weekends or admire their life-sized cow statue. They do stock a small range of sugar free lollies.

the cow statue in the lolly shop is painted in rows of three stripes, then little lollies lined up, another three stripes, more lollies, all repeating across the whole cow.

6 & 7. Two Cracks Coffee and Temper Temper chocolate shop

Two cracks is a micro batch coffee roastery and café. The coffee here is sourced from ethical and sustainable farms, mostly from micro lots and community driven co-ops. That alone would make me want to drink it. The taste was perfect.

Temper Temper make their chocolate here. The attention to details makes for a smooth delicious mouthful of perfection. Taste tests are available.

8. Margaret River Chocolate Company

Whilst on the subject of chocolate, it is worth a stopover at the chocolate company. Free samples are given out to shoppers.

white, milk and dark chocolate samples in small cups are available for visitors to taste. lined up in a row, people can take them and eat.

White, dairy and dark chocolate – take your pick or sample all three. The quokka shaped chocolates are very popular. As are their delectable truffles.

The grounds outside are well maintained. The manicured lawns invite you to sit and spend some time here.

Margaret River Chocolate Factory lawns are manicured and ideal to sit on to enjoy a picnic. Tall trees offer welcome shade on a warm day

415 Harman's Mill Rd, Metricup WA

9. The Colony Concept

The best outlook of my visit had to be at The Colony Concept. This view just sums up an Australian bush billabong. It is beautiful under the shady gum trees.

a billabong under the shade of tall gum trees at The Colony Concept bee store

Inside is just as impressive. The words Harvesting Natures Nectar proudly declare that this is nature at its best – Honey. There is a café here where you can sit and watch that gorgeous billabong. Perhaps you want to purchase some of their honey products that are all made here.

The sign on the wall of the bee show says Harvesting Natures Nectare. Lots of honey and bee related items are stacked neatly on shelves below for sale

Take time to step into the honey room. This is a fun way to educate both young and old. There are live bees here (well protected from customers) to gain an insight into how a hive works. Comfortable seating allows you to watch a video about bees and also the walls are painted with great information.

62 Harman's Mill Road, Metricup WA

10. Margaret River Dairy Company

Another painted cow greets visitors.

the painted cow statue at the Margaret River Dairy Company has a teal blue background and painted iwth large flowers in yellows, pinks, blues and oranges.

I like the hygienic way they serve the cheese samples here. I have lost count of the amount of places I have visited that offer samples, only to watch people reuse the same toothpick. Ewww. There is a selection of local cheeses to choose from, and hampers are also available if you forgot to bring your own crackers.

8063 Bussell Hwy, Metricup WA

All of these venues are close enough to each other to be done leisurely in a day or two, as I did. It is wonderful that Margaret River has so many things to see and do that are not alcohol related.

Happy Travels!

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