Western Australia's Margaret River enjoys a Mediterranean climate, and while it's an easy drive just 3½ hours south of Perth, it's worlds away from city stress. It's between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin and the town's focus is on wine, food and surfing.
The Margaret River trickles through some of the world's most prestigious temperate forest. Ferns, palms and jarrah trees provide beautiful scenery and shade.
It's a place that stimulates the five senses. There are vineyards, olive groves, galleries and many secret locations known only to locals.
Lifestyle Margaret River is run by two local women who know the ins-and-outs of the area and enjoy taking visitors around in a 1955 Bentley S1 Saloon. With them you'll meet people you would not normally meet and it's a good idea to ask them for restaurant recommendations.
The ladies who run Lifestyle Margaret River know the region intimately and can arrange tours for everyone's tastes.
We visited Gary Bennett who grew up in rural Western Australia. He and David Paris, a surfing mate, set up Jah Roc Furniture around 12 years ago. Gary's years on the farm taught him to be resourceful. He made gates from tree branches and wire and a bench from a dead tree butt.
Gary still uses 'found objects' in his furniture making. He has made furniture from bits and pieces of demolished bridges, warehouses, wool stores and fallen trees. Everything is function and original and has been exhibited in the United States, Japan and Italy.
A wine visit is almost a necessity, so we stopped at Voyager Estate. Their oldest vines date to 1978, planted just 10 years after the first vines were planted in the area. It has been expanded and developed as a showcase for the local area. There are beautiful gardens for visitors to enjoy and a cellar door for tastings and purchases. The elegant dining room, which serves lunch everyday, has been called the best winery restaurant in the south-west. They also serve afternoon tea.