Margaret River Gourmet Escape

Direct flights from Melbourne to Margaret River via Jetstar from March 2020. Photo: Margaret River Gourmet Escape ( Elements Margaret River).

The day has finally arrived when Victorians can officially look forward to direct flights three times a week to Margaret River.

Exploring one of Western Australia’s most diverse destinations just got a whole heap easier thanks to Jetstar’s new direct flights between Melbourne and the Margaret River region.

From March 25 2020, Jetstar begins three direct services between Tullamarine Airport and the Busselton-Margaret River Airport, making it possible for visitors from the Australia’s east coast to travel non-stop to one of Australia’s premium wine regions – either for a short or long break. Great value flights direct to the western hotspot and great value Margaret River car rentals are available so you can hit the road.

Margaret River No.1 for Lonely Planet

Named by Lonely Planet as the No.1 destination to visit in 2019 on its Best in Asia Pacific list, Margaret River is the only premium wine region in Australia where visitors can hop from award-winning wineries, breweries and restaurants, to stunning beaches, tall-timber forests, world-class surf breaks and ancient caves.

Food and wine lovers can visit more than 85 cellar doors with many offering restaurants with vineyard and ocean views; taste the artisanal creations of the region’s boutique breweries and distilleries; or tour the local farmers markets and providores.

Cheese, chocolates, craft beer & more…

The region is home to many of WA’s top producers and suppliers of cheese, chocolate, olive oil, craft beer, spirits, seafood and world-class chefs who draw their inspiration from local fresh produce and the stunning landscapes.

Beyond the great food and wine, there’s the picturesque walk trails, ancient caves and pristine beaches, alongside a thriving art scene, ancient stories from traditional owners, kid-friendly attractions and an underwater playground at the longest timber piled jetty in the southern hemisphere – Busselton Jetty.

Top accommodation options

Accommodation options in the region range from chalets and villas to farm stays and B&Bs; caravan parks and camping to family-friendly hotels and resorts; or luxury retreats like Cape Lodge and Smith’s Beach Resort, and glamping to secluded private property getaways.

Travellers wishing to extend their Margaret River region adventure can head further south to discover the raw, dramatic coastline and historic stories of Albany, tall tingle trees at Walpole; travel a little further inland to find cooler climate wines, fresh local marron and black truffles at Pemberton and Manjimup; or, head north to go swimming with dolphins at Bunbury.

Visits can be timed to coincide with one of the region’s lively annual events including the internationally renowned Western Australian Gourmet Escape (November), Margaret River Pro (May) and Cape to Cape (October), or cosy up in the cooler months for vibrant events including Cabin Fever Festival (July) andCinefestOz Film Festival (August).

The new direct flights will operate Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, departing  Tullamarine Airport at 8.00am AEST and arriving at Busselton-Margaret River Airport at 9.05am WST; then returning to Melbourne at 9.40am WST.

Flights are now on sale through Jetstar.com. For more information on WA’s Margaret River region, visit westernaustralia.com

10 ideas for Margaret River

One… Enjoy a long lunch of fresh local produce prepared by award winning chefs at one of the region’s many vineyard based restaurants such as Vasse Felix, Cullen Wines, Leeuwin Estate, Wills Domain and Amelia Park.

Two… Give surfing or stand up paddle boarding a go. Sheltered beaches, bays and epic swells are dotted along the coast.

Three… Browse the beautiful boutiques and galleries of Dunsborough and Margaret River. There’s homewares, florists, clothing stores, great cafes and plenty of beautiful souvenirs.

Four… Stock up on local chocolate, cheese, olives, olive oil, nougat, bread and venison at local providores or the weekly farmers market, then picnic or camp amongst the karri trees in Boranup Forest.

Five… Head underground and explore the ancient limestone cave formations. Join an underground tour at Lake, Jewel, Mammoth or Ngilgi Caves.

Six… Climb the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, Australia’s tallest mainland lighthouse, and see where the Southern Ocean and Indian Ocean meet. There’s also theCape Naturaliste Lighthouse, which has undergone a major upgrade and offers panoramic ocean views from a new observation platform, landscaped lawns, a nautical-themed playground and Lightkeeper’s Inn Café.

Seven… Jump on a charter boat and watch the whales frolic in Geographe Bay between June and November. There are several whale watching tours operating in the Margaret River region, departing from Dunsborough and Augusta.

Eight… Learn about the Margaret River region on an Aboriginal cultural tour with a traditional owner from Koomal Dreaming and Cape Cultural Tours.

Nine… Sample some of the best local brews, spirits and ciders such as Black Brewing Co, The Beer Farm, Cheeky Monkey, Eagle Bay Brewery and Wild Hop Brewing Co. Or, make your own gin at Margaret River Distilling Co’s Giniversity.

Ten… Since the region is famous for its wine, of course you must taste the region’s premium drops on a winery tour. The region produces around 20 per cent of Australia’s premium wine, and there’s more than 80 cellar doors. Make sure you elect a designated driver, or better yet, join one of the many tours available.

 

Scott Podmore

Award-winning writer, editor, photographer, videographer and owner of October Grey Media. Specialising in travel, music and lifestyle content. Content strategist and bestselling author of books including Icons of Australian Music: Jimmy Barnes, 101 Great Websites To Save You $$$, and global smash Conversations With Mediums. Follow on Twitter & instragram #scottpodmore

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