Why it’s time for you to create your own South West adventure
Here in the West, we all know how great it is spending some time “Down South” and you’ve probably made quite a few road trips over the years with family and friends: enjoying time in the surf or on the sand, visiting the caves, forests, wineries and plethora of other tourist attractions and activities whilst camping, caravanning or pampering yourself at a luxury resort.
Now Great Western Coach Tours is giving you the opportunity to join them, to focus on you and create your own South West adventure; allowing you time to take a deep dive and truly experience the very essence of this special region connecting with its unique history and amazing people.
Every aspect of your adventure is taken care of so you can completely relax and not have to think about a thing except perhaps enjoying another glass of wine over a leisurely lunch, which flavour of nougat or ice cream you prefer or what to choose for your dinner entrée.
More time to discover…….
08:30: Join the tour at the Passenger Transport Centre, Summers Street, East Perth and meet your fellow passengers and your tour hosts.
10:00: Travelling south along the Kwinana Freeway and Forrrest Highway, we whisk you away from Perth suburbia and soon we are enjoying a morning cuppa (own expense) at the delightfully quirky Crooked Carrot; a definite favourite with passing travellers and the local community. You’ll be sorely tempted by the cake and savoury selection. Of course the carrot cake comes highly recommended!
12:00: We continue south skirting the City of Bunbury and Busselton joining up with Bussell Highway which leads us into the gently undulating and soothing countryside of the Margaret River Region. What better way to start your Margaret River adventure: relaxing on the verandah of the rustic, family-run Brookwood Estate winery, taking in sweeping vineyard views while you dine on a platter laden with scrumptuous local produce accompanied by a guided paired tasting of wines; expertly crafted by second-generation winemaker, Bronnley Cahill.
14:00: After our leisurely lunch we explore the nearby charming settlement of Cowaramup which you could be forgiven for thinking was named after the dairy herds of black-and-white Friesian cows which inhabit the area. Some can even be found roaming the streets and grazing in the local park. Be sure to visit Mukau for quality and unusual gifts, the Candy Cow (if you have a sweet tooth) or the Gourmet Food Merchant for delicious locally-made condiments, jams and honey.
15:00: We arrive at our accommodation located close to the river and within easy walking distance of the Margaret River main street. Time to unpack, settle in and enjoy some home-baked afternoon tea; lovingly prepared by our hostess Debbie. The remainder of the afternoon is yours to explore your surrounds and the township of Margaret River.
18:00: A short stroll brings us to our dinner venue. If you missed out on a trip to Italy in 2020, tonight, as you enter La Scarpetta Trattoria, you will be transported there by the ambiance, the music and (most importantly) the fresh pasta and sauces prepared by Italian chefs using local Margaret River ingredients. Buon appetito!
19:45: Return to your accommodation and round out the day with a complimentary port.
Chat with your fellow passengers or retire to the comfort of your room. (LD)
09:30: After a substantial breakfast, your adventure continues as we head off to explore and experience the local area. Early risers can take a stroll by the river.
09:45: A short drive brings us to Witchcliffe and the Margaret River Candle Company where we meet local artisan, Kirsten Jackson, who hand crafts and sells beautiful candles in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Her gallery also sells locally-made gifts and ingenuous, recycled timber products.
10:45: We explore further south along the aptly-named Caves Road (there are over 100 limestone caves beneath the surface of the ridge which runs between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin) and reach Boranup where you will be wowed by the magnificent stands of towering, regrowth karri forest. We wend our way up to the Forest Lookout for views across the trees and towards the coast. Enjoy morning tea and a short stroll amongst the karris.
12:00 From Boranup we venture across country to Rosa Glen, a Group Settlement in the 1920’s, and home to the Berry Farm, known for its homemade jams, preserves, sauces, vinegars, syrups and other gourmet creations as well as an amazing range of sparkling fruit wines, dessert wines, fortified wines, liqueurs and ciders available for you to sample and taste. After tasting, a light lunch awaits at the award-winning Cottage Café, a restored settlers cottage, built around 1925 for the original owners of the property, the Vinall family. Relax in the cottage garden which dates back to the late 1940’s and be on the lookout for the little wrens, finches and honeyeaters who are also regular visitors.
14:10 Close by, in neighbouring Rosa Brook, is the family-run, award-winning Brown Hill Estate winery where all the fruit is grown on the estate’s vineyard, hand-picked and hand-sorted to produce some excellent wines consistent with the Margaret River region. Wine tasting takes place within the winery itself; immersing you in the wine-making process as you taste the selected wines from the vineyard’s three different ranges produced by the Bailey family.
15:15 Feeling happy and relaxed, we return to our “home away from home” to sample the delights of Debbie’s afternoon tea and refresh before dinner.
16:50 Tonight we are the guests of the Margaret River District Club, a short walk from our accommodation. We join local members for Happy Hour (drinks at own expense) then enjoy dinner in the Club Restaurant.
19:15 Return to your accommodation (BLD)
08:45: After breakfast, this morning we head off to the coast to check out the waves at Prevelly and experience the ocean views and bracing breezes at Surfers’ Point
09:30: We drive down to the Margaret River mouth where we drop off members of our group who are joining the canoeing or mountain bike optional tours (additional cost)
10:00 For those who prefer a more gentle adventure, we retrace our steps to a viewpoint where you can look out across the river mouth before driving north to a magical spot known to the local Wadandi people as Mokidup and used by them continuously as a summer camping ground for many thousands of years. This is also the site of Ellensbrook, home to members of the pioneer Bussell family between1857-1917. We take a guided tour of this recently-restored, heritage property and immerse ourselves in its unique, shared history. Enjoy morning tea in tranquil surroundings.
12:00 Our next destination is the Melting Pot, the rural studio of talented hot glass artisan, Gerry Reilly, who has been working with hot glass for over twenty years. You will see a demonstration of his craftsmanship and have the opportunity to purchase “off the shelf” items on display.
13:00 Back in the Margaret River township, you can choose where to have lunch (own expense) and how to spend your afternoon. You might like a pizza lunch in the lively surrounds of the Margaret River Brewhouse, an enterprise started by three guys, Ils, Undies and Browny, and their partners back in 2016. From the Brewhouse, you could take a short walk down to Rotary Park on the banks of the river. Wander along one of the many guided walk trails within the park or cross the pedestrian bridge and visit the Old Settlement (opens at 1330), which takes you back to how the Margaret River region was at the time of Group Settlement in the 1920s. (Small entry fee). Canoeists and cyclists can have a well-earned rest break.
16:15 This evening you will learn about Wadandi culture: our private experience starts near Ngilgi Cave with a short guided bushwalk identifying traditional medicine plants and learning local Noongar knowledge about the region. Next, we venture into Ngilgi Cave where the good spirit Ngilgi dwells to hear Josh relate the Dreaming legends with his unique way of storytelling. Here, deep inside the Earth, Josh delivers a mesmerising didgeridoo performance in the stillness of the cave.
19:00 Dinner at the nearby Blue Manna Bistro where the portions are generous, the menu caters for pescatarians, vegetarians and carnivores alike and the staff are friendly. Enjoy!
21:00 Return to your accommodation (BD)
09:15: After breakfast, we bid a fond farewell to our Margaret River accommodation and hosts
09:30: You are in for a rare treat this morning as we participate in an exclusive wine and nougat experience at Bettanays Estate: amaze your taste buds with the pairings of selected wines and different flavoured nougats, devour a delicious brunch, take a tour of the vineyard, see the nougat-making process and take home your special gift pack.
11:30 Time for you to put your creative talents to the test as you participate in a guided workshop and craft your very own olive oil and honey lip balm at Vasse Virgin. Amazing olive oil products for sale here too!!
13:15 We couldn’t leave the Margaret River Region without taking you to witness the spectacular seascape views at Canal Rocks. Over the millenia, the relentless, surging Indian Ocean has chiselled out a narrow channel between the granite coastal rocks. Venture out on the narrow timber walkway for awesome views of the rushing ocean beneath.
14:00 We reach our final destination in the Margaret River region: the Happs Winery Cellar Door and Pottery which is set in native bushland and picturesque gardens, lovingly created and tended by Ros Happs. Here nature, wine, art, pottery and a delicious grazing platter combine to create a triumphant ending to your Margaret River Adventure. Cheers!
15:15 Filled with happy memories and food, we take to the highway for the homeward trip
18:30 Return to the Passenger Transport Centre, Summers Street, East Perth (BL)
A small group tour delving deep into the beauty and true essence of the Margaret River region. Partnering with passionate local winemakers and artisans, our carefully-crafted 4-day/3-night itinerary combines 4-star accommodation with the region’s beautiful coastal and inland scenery plus amazing, exclusive experiences and free time and options to add your own personal touch. You can completely unwind, relax and enjoy the adventure.
Comfortable, casual clothing. For outdoor, day-time activities: Closed, flat/low-heeled walking shoes, brimmed hat. Remember: Evenings can be cool “Down South” so dress appropriately.
Sunscreen, water bottle, camera to capture the memories plus a sense of humour, fun and adventure.
Departs : Tuesday 08:30 am. – Public Transport Centre, Summers Street, East Perth
(Limited triple and quad options available. Price on application)
Wandering out Yonder on the Margaret River trail