While Margaret River is a famous wine region and while it may seem from my other Margaret River post on wineries that all I did was load up on wine while I was there, there are actually other options like breweries and gourmet food places that you can add to your winery-hopping, so you don’t get too overly boozed up on wine!
Beer breweries obviously aren’t as common as the wineries, but they do make a nice break if your taste buds have had enough of red and whites and just want something refreshing. Similarly, the gourmet food places are additional options to consider stocking up for your own picnics. Here are some of the other places that we visited below. Once again, it’s not an exhaustive list and a highly subjective one based on my own experience and recommendations. Do share your list if you’ve visited Margaret River before!
Osmington Road, Margaret River
It was closed on Good Friday when we wanted to grab some grub, but thankfully open the next day when we returned. We headed over after lunch at The Berry Farm and it was packed with people. Full from lunch, we ordered some draft beer – I had a small Kolsch which was pretty refreshing while S had an India Pale Ale and we sat at the outdoor seats to imbibe. The brewery is by a lake and very kid friendly, with a playground and a guy on stilts blowing huge bubbles to entertain the kids – not sure if this is a regular thing or something special for that busy weekend though! There were helicopter rides available as well, which the kids abandoned the bubbles for to go wave frantically at the helo taking off.
3517 Caves Road, Wilyabrup
This is a pretty fancy looking brewery which actually overlooks a lake on the other side, but it was so crowded when we arrived that it had a waiting list an hour long, so we decided to go somewhere else. Pity though, looked like a nice place and was recommended by friends as well. According to the website they do a lot of German style beers and serve up German nosh as well… for next time perhaps!
Puzey Road, Wilyabrup
Instead of Duckstein, we had lunch here at Bootleg Brewery instead – with beers for S and I, and a beef pie for S from which I filched chips :P. I had the 3-time award winning Prohibition Pils while S had the 6-time award winning dark Raging Bull beer. Pretty good stuff, and we did want to try all the other beers so we bought a mixed 6-pack back to indulge in over the next 2 nights. You can buy cartons through their website if you’re so inclined!
Pretty nice grounds which you can get a birds eye view from the 3rd level of the building – it’s by a pond and as most of these places go, lots of grassy space which people were just lounging around on, including a live musician for entertainment. You can look at the brewery rooms from the 2nd level, as well as find out a little more about how they make the beer.
MARGARET RIVER CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Corner of Harman’s Mill Road and Tom Cullity Drive
So famous that it even has a branch in Perth City nowadays, this was recommended by practically everyone I talked to as a place to go visit in Margaret River. It’s a shop just filled with chocolates that you can purchase, and there’s a little cafe in the back where you can enjoy some chocolatey goodness and other snacks. It was really, really crowded when we were there, so S and I stuck to buying our chocolate souvenirs and got out of the place. The chocolate really is quite decent though not very cheap – I bought some standard bars back for the family and colleagues, while S got some cute Easter-themed chocs for his family.
448 Tom Cullity Drive, Wilyabrup
Right next to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory, you can access it by an internal road leading from the chocolate factory’s carpark if you’re coming from there! Providore is also the home of Coward and Black winery, but most of its little store is a pretty high end grocery, that stocks gourmet condiments like homemade olive oils, jams and other fancy spreads.
What it’s also famous for are the Sambarino chocolate liquors which are absolutely delectable and you have to taste if you love chocolate. There are 4 in total – my favorite was the dark chocolate one which I bought for A$25, though the hazelnut, macchiato and mint were also pretty good if you like that sort of thing.
MILLER’S ICE CREAM
314 Wirring Rd, Cowaramup
After a whole lot of wine, beer and gourmet food in 2 intense days, I decided that we needed something quite different and headed over to Miller’s Ice Cream farm just before it closed. It’s a little farm area which serves up home-made ice cream – I was so full that I could only stomach a single moo portion and went for their newly-award winning Peanut Butter with Salted Caramel and Chocolate Swirls, an awesome mix if you like all 3 things! S had a double moo portion of Dark Chocolate Sorbet (which was pretty damn awesome) and Strawberry Custard.
There’s space to sit both indoors and outdoors in this farm, and there’s a large playground including fake cows to milk to entertain the kiddies.
Things to Note:
WHERE TO GO: Check out this very comprehensive map here on margaretriver.com that shows you all the attractions in Margaret River, and the detailed visitor guide is very useful as well. I marked out the breweries that I recommended above in BLUE and the other gourmet food in GREEN on this map or for those who prefer digital, here’s a google map for you.
HOW TO GET AROUND: I’d highly recommend self driving so you can do your own thing, but it’s best if you’re in a group and someone remains mostly sober (the ‘skipper’ as the many reminders posted up at the various wineries say) because the police are also out in force, especially during public holidays – we spotted several speed traps and others with breathalyzers! Another option is to hire a driver to take you around instead so you don’t have to worry about drink driving.
CLOSING TIME: Most things start closing around 4-5pm, and as most things in Australia, things get real quiet at night, so make plans for that. The main Margaret River town does have a couple of restaurants that you can eat at in the evening (we had Mexican on Good Friday, where almost EVERYTHING is closed), and there are some restaurants listed in the Margaret River map that are open at night.
More Margaret River Posts you should check out: