Life Before and After Cape to Cape MTB | Here’s Our Pick of Things To Do.

Stunning beaches, world-renowned wineries, a thriving gourmet food scene, and an abundance of natural attractions are just some of what makes Margaret River special. Whether you’re staying a few extra days before or after the race or bringing your partner and family along, there’s plenty to see and do in this beautiful part of Western Australia. Here are some of our top picks.


Swim and surf at Gnarabup Beach

A short 10-minute drive out of town you’ll find the pristine white sands and deep blue waters of Gnarabup Beach. Enjoy a walk, swim, paddleboard, canoe, surf or snorkel at this beautiful beach. You can also take a boat out or go fishing on the jetty. Grab a coffee from popular beachfront cafe White Elephant and wander to Surfers Point to watch surfers take on huge waves at this reputed surf spot, which hosts the Margaret River Pro Surf Championships each year.

Margaret River locals are absolute chargers, we’ve seen huge surf and massive waves ridden during our visits to Gnarabup Beach and Surfers Point.

Start a ride at The Hairy Marron

Want to hire a bike, find the best local trails, grab a pre-ride coffee or get your bike serviced? The good folk at bike-cafe The Hairy Marron have you covered. Park your bike out front, grab a seat and a light feed on the front deck and plan your day. It’s an easy ride through the forest to the Ten Mile Brook Trail, The Creek Trails and a network of others from The Hairy Marron’s location on the banks of the Margaret River.

Breaky, brew and a mud map to the trails at their doorstep. The Hairy Marron is a beaut place to start or finish a walk or ride.
Cup ‘o muddy heart starter to get the legs turning, and fresh gingerbread to keep them pumping.
Can’t beat a map with greasy fingerprints fresh out of the workshop, this is local advice as good as it gets.


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Taste world-class wine

A trip to Margaret River wouldn’t be complete without a visit to some of its world-class wineries. The region, which is home to more than 95 cellar doors, produces a whopping 25 per cent of Australia’s premium wines. If you’re short on time, it’s hard to go past Leeuwin Estate, whose sprawling grounds riders pass through as part of the Cape to Cape circuit. One of Margaret River’s founding wineries, Leeuwin Estate’s history dates back to 1972. Today, the family-owned business is known for its premium wines and award-winning restaurant, cellar door and art gallery.

Leeuwin Estate is one of the oldest in the region, and the grounds are beautiful. The wine, also very good. 😉 Oh, there’s art, too! Aren’t we fancy mountain bikers.

For something a little different, the Goon Tycoons (yes, that’s really the name of this winery) are focused on less familiar styles. This small-batch winemaker is always on the hunt for small grow operations sligning unique grapes to partner with to create a unique drop.

Finally, Mr Barval is always a safe bet — in the past, they’ve even hosted the start and finish for the Boranup stage. Specialising in classic Margaret River varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, they have a range of locally made cheese on offer at the cellar door and rotating art exhibitions to check out. Grab a picnic blanket, find a spot on the grass and enjoy some of the regions finest wares.

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Visit Sugarloaf Rock

Take a drive north of Margaret River along this spectacular part of the wild west coast to Sugarloaf Rock. This dramatic granite rock formation has been shaped by the sea and sits just off the coast near Cape Naturaliste in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. Visit Sugarloaf Rock for an out-of-this-world sunrise or sunset and the most Instagram-worthy of shots.

The west has a wild coastline, catching the sight of places like this is stunning.

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Ride, wine and dine

What better way to take in the wine and gourmet produce that Margaret River is famous for than by bike? Margaret River Mountain Bike Tours offers visitors just that. Their Ultimate Ride to Wine and Dine tour is one of their most popular and is a leisurely way to spend a day. These small-group, six-hour tours take visitors through the scenic Boranup Forest before arriving at local winery Leeuwin Estate, where you’ll be taken on a behind-the-scenes tour and enjoy wine tasting and delicious lunch.

Margaret River MTB Tours put on a fabulous experience, ride from the winery around the forest and back again. Hire an e-bike too, yehoo!
Wine to dine, bike style.
Leeuwin Estate at its best, fine local produce and delicious wines to match.

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Go on an Aboriginal cultural tour

Learn about the rich Aboriginal history of the Margaret River region with a cultural tour or experience led by Wadandi man Josh Whiteland of Koomal Dreaming.

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Brunch beachside at White Elephant Cafe

Perched on the shores of beautiful Gnarabup Beach, White Elephant is one of our favourite cafes to fuel up pre-or-post race during Cape to Cape. The vibe here is casual and friendly with wholesome food, great coffee and smoothies with a view. Dogs are welcome here too.

Brew with a view!


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Spelunk ancient limestone caves

Looking for something a little different to do? Margaret River is home to amazing limestone caves thought to date back a million years. Four of the caves are open to the public to visit. Explore the crystal-encrusted Jewel Cave, the state’s largest show cave. See ancient animal fossils at Mammoth Cave. Learn the Aboriginal stories and history of Ngilgi Cave and head deep underground to see the sunken forest and lake of the stunning Lake Cave.

We had a fantastic time underground at the Ngilgi Caves, truly marvellous to look at and fascinating to hear the explanations behind the formations.
No wonder the region is famous for its caves, we were blown away by the size and beauty of them once we headed below the surface.

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Sink beers in wine country

Colonial Brewing Co. was one of the first breweries to open in the Margaret River region back in 2004. Enjoy a few craft brews in the sun at the brewery’s outdoor beer garden, catch up with fellow riders, and grab some tasty beers to go from their bottle shop.

Great beers, top atmosphere, brilliant.

But Colonial isn’t the only place to do some 375ml curls in the sunshine, and there are great breweries speckled throughout the Margaret River region. We’re partial to Cheeky Monkey’s Cider, whatever limited release they’re cooking at The Beer Farm and the waterfront beer garden at Black Brewing is hard to beat — as an added bonus Dune Distilling Co is housed in the same building, how good!

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Get lost at Amaze’n

Amaze’n is the place to head for some family fun. Just south of town, it features a giant hedge maze, an 18-hole mini-golf course, giant puzzles and games, a playground and five hectares of botanical gardens. Grab some lunch from the cafe on-site or pack a picnic to share in the gardens.

Get lost, and found again. Or lost forever…

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Learn how to paddleboard or surf

Love the water and want a fun way to explore the region? Suitable for all skill levels, try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding on a guided tour. Margaret River Stand Up Paddle offers two-hour tours that include a lesson in the picturesque surrounds of the Blackwood River National Park. Already a seasoned paddleboarder? You can also hire paddleboards for a DIY adventure.

If riding waves is a bit more your style, but you’re not quite ready to take on the venue for the Margaret River Pro, surf schools at Yallingup Beach and Redgate Beach will get you set up and paddling out in no time.

The sheltered waters of Gnarabup Beach are popular with the SUP crowds, and the local company can provide you with all the gear and guidance you’ll need to stand on water like a pro.

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Sip spirits at in the sunshine

Taste some locally crafted spirits at the Margaret River Distilling Co., the makers of Ginversity Gin and Limeburners, Dugite and Tiger Snake Whiskies. Grab a table out on the distillery deck among the trees and enjoy a few drinks and a feed. If you’re a gin lover, book into one of their distilling or blending classes to make your very own gin.

A refreshing break from beer and wine (do we talk about beer and wine too much?), a locally distilled gin and tonic is right in town.

There’s also West Winds Distillery in Cowaramup. Starting in the early 2010s West Winds is an OG in WA Gin and sources its ingredients directly from local growers and the region’s Traditional Custodians. Having now expanded into Whiskey and Vodka, no doubt you’ll be able to find something to wet your whistle.

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Take in the view from Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse

Built in 1895, the historic Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse is set on the most south-westerly tip of Australia where the Southern and Indian Oceans meet. Do a tour or grab a coffee from the lighthouse cafe and take in the stunning view.

Dramatic, tall and full of stories, the lighthouse is hard to ignore and worth learning more about.

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Produced in partnership with Cape to Cape and Western Australia #ExperienceExtraOrdinary
Cape to Cape, Australia’s largest, longest-running and most popular four-day MTB stage race held from 22nd – 25th October 2020. Based in Margaret River Western Australia, this iconic riding experience includes access to stunning private trails, vineyard visits, brewery finishes and some of the warmest hospitality the region has to offer.
Starting at Cape Leeuwin lighthouse and finishing four days later at the fabulous Margaret River Distillery, the course makes its way through a network of trails along the coast, through National Parks, forest, farmlands, mountain bike parks, and bush before finishing back at Margaret River.
Roughly 205km and 2,500m of climbing in total, each day’s riding is between 37km and 72km and has its own special terrain and environment to keep things interesting with a mix of fast flowing single trail, farm tracks, groomed downhill trails and fire trails – many through private land that can only be ridden while racing the Cape to Cape.
There’s nothing too technical and it’s ridable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness and MTB skills. Check out the course overview.

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