Even the most seasoned traveller can’t help but be awestruck by the natural beauty of Augusta. A mecca for adventure, windsurfing, snorkelling and whale watching are some of the town’s main attractions. Families will find no shortage of activities to keep kids entertained, with fantastic fishing, swimming and caving adventures available.
It’s not for the faint-hearted, but the fit and adventurous will love a visit to Moondyne Cave. After suiting up in overalls, gloves, hard hat and head torch, you’ll be ready for three hours of underground adventure, weaving between stalagmites and stalactites, and crawling through holes – led by a capable tour guide, of course.
Be dwarfed by trees
A leisurely 25-minute drive south of Margaret River along Caves Road will place you deep in the Boranup Forest, full of towering karri trees (the third-largest tree species in the world). Look up and you’ll be mesmerised as pale-barked regrowth trees reach for the sky, standing more than 60m tall. Take in the view at the Karri Lookout on the eastern side of Caves Road, and be sure to take Boranup Drive through stunning forest and past picnic areas, walking trails and campsites. For some fun with the kids, pop into the nearby Boranup Maze.
The Blackwood River is an ideal getaway from the summer beach crowds, and home to wild dolphins, giant sea eagles, and kingfishers. With a boat, you can ski, wake-board, kayak, fish, or visit Molloy Island. The best spots for a dip are between Rosa Brook Road and Sues Bridge, and Chapman Pool. The further upriver you go, the fewer the powerboats.
Fantastic sheltered fishing spots abound. In the Blackwood River, you can catch black bream and big yellowfin whiting. Hardy Inlet is also ideal, and the offshore reef at Flinders Bay attracts attracts tailor, dhufish and snapper. For salmon, hit Boranup Beach (accessible by 4WD) between March and May. If heading out to sea, launch off Augusta Boat Harbour. TIP You can buy any gear you need at the outdoor sports shops in town.
Bring your binoculars – Flinders Bay is the first port of call on the winter migration for 35,000 humpback, southern right, minke and rare blue whales. Southern right whales often calve in the shallows of the bay. Groups of humpback males court females through breaching, spy-hopping, lob-tailing and tail-slapping acrobatics. You might even see the southern right and humpback whales frolicking together – Cape Leeuwin lighthouse is a fabulous vantage point. See them up close on a whale-watching tour, departing the harbour throughout the season.
Kitesurfing and windsurfing
Augusta and its surrounds are great for windsurfing and kitesurfing, with most beaches and waterways easily reached with a load of gear. Pros head to Deepdene Beach or Flinders Bay (Stormies) for a powerful swell, or Foul Bay (Chookies) for more seclusion. If you’re a beginner, the mouth of the Augusta River is your best bet for some safe water play. From Colour Patch car park, head across the cut in the estuary (swim or deep-water walk) – a popular spot for practising jumps is about a kilometre to the east.
EcoAdventures Margaret River was the world’s first guided electric quad bike tour. The family-friendly trail takes in the hidden wonders of the Boranup Forest and Hamelin Bay to learn about the region’s megafauna, whale migration and Aboriginal use of flowers and trees.