The 5 northern towns in the Margaret River Region

The 5 northern towns in the Margaret River Region: Busselton, Dunsborough, Yallingup, Cowaramup, & Gracetown

In part 1 of a 2-part post describing the 10 towns, we look at a few of the (many!) reasons to visit the 5 northern towns in the Margaret River Region. Busselton lies on the peaceful shores of Geographe Bay, Dunsborough is close to Cape Naturaliste and is the gateway to both the calm bay and the wild west coast, Yallingup is perched on the dramatic wind- and wave-swept west coast, Cowaramup is in central cattle country and Gracetown sits majestically on the hill above Cowaramup Bay.

In case you don’t know the region very well, this map shows you the major centers:

Map of the Margaret River Region

Busselton, Dunsborough, Yallingup, Cowaramup and Gracetown lie in the northern end of the Margaret River Wine Region.


1) Dunsborough:

A relaxed seaside town on the protected shores of beautiful Geographe Bay. The population of about 5000 swells to 3 times that number in summer, giving it a festive, holiday atmosphere. The range of activities available include cruising the local boutique shops, swimming in the calm azure waters of the Bay, hiking along the Meelup or Cape to Cape Tracks, partaking of excellent coffee and meals from any number of cafes and restaurants, or sampling the wines and beers at the local breweries and cellar doors. And lets not forget fishing in Geographe Bay, cycling the foreshore path, golfing at one of the two 18-hole courses and having a game of bowls or croquet at the Dunborough & Districts country club.


2) Busselton:

The largest city in the region (close to 40,000 residents), it is located on the stunning Geographe Bay and is home to the iconic 1.8 km long Busselton Jetty. It is the events capital of Western Australia, hosting numerous sporting, musical and cultural events each year, such as Southbound, Ironman, The Jetty Swim and the Forest Car Rally.

Busselton is a relaxed seaside city and has playgrounds to occupy the kids, a stunning foreshore to wander along, as well as several historical buildings that take you back to early settlement times. There are many kilometers of flat paths along the scenic coast for a leisurely bike ride or stroll; stop off anywhere along its length for a swim or to simply relax by the beautiful bay. The cycle way between Busselton and Dunsborough is a flat, leisurely 25 km one-way ride and if you include lunch at either end, it makes for a lovely day out.

Busselton is an excellent family destination, having kilometers of calm, shallow water and white sand beaches for the kids to enjoy.


3) Yallingup:

Best known as a world-class surfing destination (and the hometown of Taj Burrows), this small, scenic seaside town site is perched on the hills above the beach and overlooks the Indian Ocean. It’s a special place to watch the sunset, swim in the protected Yallingup Lagoon, or to take a stroll along the windswept, rugged coastline on the Cape to Cape Track, where wildflowers abound and whales can be spotted in season.

Dolphins are often seen surfing the waves and showing off their skills to the human surfers! Heading south along the coast from Yallingup town are many beaches that you should explore at your leisure.


4) Cowaramup:

This small, inland town site is definitely worth a visit. Quirky, life-sized cow statues line the streets, and a series of boutique shops and small cafes will keep you amused for an hour or two. Almost everything is cow themed, which makes sense since it’s in the middle of cattle country. See if you can find the ‘rump on a stump’, aka ‘roast on a post’ while you’re there! Fun fact: Cowaramup holds the world record for most people dressed up as cows (1352) at one time.


5) Gracetown:

Is home of the some of the best surfing in Australia at Cowaramup Bay. Depending on conditions, the waves attract long boarders, paddle boarders and short boarders. A popular thing to do is to sit on the shore at North Point and watch the surfers tackle the waves, then meander off to one of the nearby breweries or cellar doors for a refreshing drink and a bite to eat. Gracetown used to be a quiet, out-of-the-way hamlet with a series of shacks, but today there are many beautiful homes with amazing coastal views.


There is a little something for everyone in the 5 northern towns of the Margaret River Region. These are just a few of the highlights, there are many more for you to discover!