Pleasant, well-heeled area
Inland 100 km south of Bunbury. When you’ve made your pile in Perth, this is where you retire to live the good life. Margaret River, and the surrounding eponymous county, is a pleasant well-heeled region with plenty of fine wineries, gourmet resturants, some great coastal scenery, a combination of fine surfing and nearby safe sandcastle-building beaches, and some interesting caves. The town prides itself on being something of a cultural centre. Much of this is rather more crafty than arty, with an emphasis on pottery.
Unsurprisingly, the area is popular for villa holidays.
A spot that undeniably lives up to its enormous reputation is the Leeuwin Estate (www.leeuwinestate.com.au), which many consider the finest and most picturesque winery in the entire country. This is south-west of town, well signposted off Caves Road at Gnarawary Road. Here they even have a recommendable restaurant, $$ (www.leeuwinestate.com.au/visit/restaurant), so you can try out their wine in ideal circumstances.
About 35 km north of Margaret River at Dunsborough, there’s the excellent Happ’s Vineyard, which is renowned for producing some of the best red wines in the region. Just south-west of here are the Yallingup Caves. However, the other worthwhile caves are all towards the coast just south-east of Margaret River. Look out for Mammoth Cave, mammoth-sized with mammoth bones, and Lake Cave, where a curious formation hangs suspended above the subterranean lake.