Australia's Margaret River is Paradise Found

Written by | Travel

It’s quite likely you’ve never heard of Margaret River. If you have, chances are a.) You’re Australian b.) You’re a wine aficionado, or c.) You’re a surfer.

Margaret River

My Canadian fried Diana told me that me that Margaret River (or Marge, as it is called by many of the locals), is the prettiest beach she’s ever visited (And she’s seen quite a few), so I just had to have a look for myself.

I live in Los Angeles, and I’d like to tell you that it’s so easy to get there. It’s not, but it is worthwhile, despite being quite a trek. First you face a 15-hour plane ride from LA to Sydney, then another 5 hours’ journey from Sydney to Perth, and then you hop in a car for another three hour ride. Yup: it’s probably one of the farthest trips you can take from Los Angeles. But I did it no less than three times, because it’s simply spellbinding.

Margaret River

My last visit was perhaps the most memorable. I went with one of my best friends in Australia, Will, who was both an avid surfer and a hiker. Marge has 75 breaks along its 130-kilometer stretch. Will and I would wake up early in the morning and he’d escort me to some of the best spots, detailing the merits of each along the way. (Who knew that wave behavior is quite a preoccupation among surfers). While Will’s favorite part of Marge is the waves that come ashore, I like it for a different reason. I am not a fan of big crowds, and a lot of times, I had Marge all to myself. It’s not overrun by tourists, souvenir shops, million dollar homes, yachts or parties. It’s just you and nature – and for me, that’s a dream come true.

In the middle of the day, we would either venture into town to shop for organic vegetables for dinner, check out some wineries or go on wild hiking trails through the lush forest. There is one particular forest we hiked where I felt like we were on the set of Avatar. The trees had very thin trunks but its limbs seem to go as far as your eyes can see, blotting out the sky altogether.

Margaret River

A drive through Margaret River’s premium wine region is relaxed, authentic and unique. Here, you’ll discover 95 cellar doors where each one is unique from the next. Each of our glorious days on Margaret River concluded the same way – watching sunset along the river.

We saw some amazing fiery orange sunsets along Marge’s west-facing Indian Ocean coastline. With the dramatic orange coastal granite, white sand, huge crashing waves and unique bushes, they all add so much to the beauty and drama of a perfect sunset.

Enjoy new highlights of travel photographer Edwin Santiago’s journeys each week.

Last modified: January 17, 2018