Home to galleries and gourmet restaurants, Margaret River is a much-loved holiday resort and a popular spot for surfers. This pretty town lies in the state’s south west, about a 3.5-hour drive south of Perth, making it a favorite weekend escape from the city. Surfers flock here for the consistent big-wave breaks, as well as more than 40 surf spots sprinkled along the coast.
Tourists love the region’s beautiful scenery, with tall timber forests and sparkling white-sand beaches. The area is also noted for its impressive limestone caves, such as Lake Cave, Jewel Cave, and Mammoth Cave, with glittering stalactites and prehistoric fossils. Other popular things to do include rock climbing, mountain biking, fishing, kayaking, and whale watching tours.
Margaret River’s coast to the west of the town is a renowned surfing location, with worldwide fame for its surf breaks including, but not limited to, Main Break, The Box, and Rivadog. Colloquially, the area is referred to as Margs. The surrounding area is the Margaret River Wine Region and is known for its wine production and tourism, attracting an estimated 500,000 visitors annually. In earlier days the area was better known for hardwood timber and agricultural production.
The town is named after the river, which is presumed to be named after Margaret Whicher, cousin of John Garrett Bussell (founder of Busselton) in 1831. The name is first shown on a map of the region published in 1839. Before British settlement the area was inhabited by the Noongar people. The first British settlers arrived as early as 1850, with timber logging commencing in around 1870. By 1910, the town had a hotel which also operated as a post office.