15 September 2020
15 September 2020
Looking for a break from city life? Set your GPS due-south of Perth and in a few hours you’ll find the Margaret River region, where family-owned wineries, lakeside glamping spots and ocean-adjacent bush tracks made for meandering await.
Back to basics
Switch gears with a stay on a 320-acre organic olive farm – the perfect backdrop for a slow-paced break in nature. Home to six luxury safari-style bungalows, Olio Bello may be a working olive farm but this isn’t your average farm stay. The bungalows feature teak cabinetry, luxury linen, raised verandas and reverse cycle heating and cooling. An onsite tasting room and alfresco café means guests can fully appreciate the farm’s produce.
“It’s all about getting back to basics,” says Olio Bello director Dr Garry Garside. “There are not many places like this in the world, where award-winning olive oil, organic gourmet produce and beauty products are all coming directly from the same place you’re staying.”
Windows Estate fans know they have to be quick to secure a drop of the latest vintage. Certified organic since December 2019, the tiny, family-owned winery attracts a strong following of chardonnay and sauvignon blanc lovers, who recognise the value the small producer brings to the table.
Run by local husband-and-wife team Chris and Jo Davies, the Yallingup property is rich in ironstone, quartz and clay, and will one day be handed down to the couple’s children, Violette and Lucas. The minimalist cellar door mirrors the couple’s approach to winemaking.
“We’re not driven by market trends and don’t follow the crowd,” says Jo. “Instead … we forge our own path. I think there’s an honesty and openness with this that people appreciate. Being a small owner-operator, we’ve maintained a commitment to quality at all times. Our wines each tell a story of the year that was on our farm.”.
Olives make themselves useful in more ways than one in these parts. At Vasse Virgin, olive oil is the key ingredient within a range of cult skincare products born from humble origins.
Years ago, local couple Louis and Edwina Scherini searched for natural products to relieve their children’s eczema. When they came up short, they made their own. Two decades later, the Vasse Virgin factory store is now found at the end of an unsealed, tree-lined driveway in Wilyabrup. Hosting hands-on workshops and masterclasses, the store’s premium soaps and balms are enduring favourites with locals and visitors alike.
Named one of Australia’s best multi-day walks by Australian Geographic, the Cape to Cape Track combines two of Western Australia’s biggest drawcards: wildflowers and head-turning views of the deep blue sea. With so much to take in, this is a trail you’ll want to savour. Whether you tackle the whole track or simply scout out the highlights, blockbuster views are assured around every corner.
By Jo Stewart