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Exploring the magical Margaret River region with Tourism Western Australia & Jetstar

The iconic Busselton Jetty.

Infinity Holidays Marketing Manager, Clea Harbison, was recently treated to a trip to Western Australia on Jetstar’s new direct Sydney to Busselton-Margaret River flight. Here, she recaps a wonderful week exploring the gorgeous coastline from Busselton (Undalup) to Yallingup including Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and the Cape to CapeTrack, with an incredible group of agents.

Operating three days a week, Jetstar’s new five-hour flight opens up the Margaret River region to more east coast travellers, making it easier and more convenient to explore the region without a 3hr drive from Perth.

In celebration, a group of agents and partners were treated to a trip to experience the pristine beaches, premium food and wine, and the gorgeous coastline along the Cape to Cape track from Busselton to Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse along the Cape to Cape track.

The group started the week in Sydney, boarding the Monday morning Jetstar service to Busselton. A comfortable 5 hours later, and they were disembarking in Western Australia and ready for their adventure.

A quick check-in and explore of the new Hilton Garden Inn, Busselton, and the group were off to the Busselton Jetty for an afternoon train ride to the end of the incredible 1800m long jetty.

The heritage listed Busselton Jetty is the longest timber jetty in the Southern Hemisphere, and an electric train runs the entire length, giving visitors a relaxing and 360 degree view of Geographe Bay. At the jetty’s end, the group were treated to a tour of the Underwater Observatory, an awe-inspiring descent below the ocean’s surface to view one of Australia’s greatest artificial reefs.

Louise Leatherbarrow (Travel Advantage), Nicole Blackwood (1000 Mile Travel Group), Chiara Dichiera (our hostess with the most-est, Tourism Western Australia), Clea Harbison (Infinity Holidays), Chloe Antilla (Sylvania Travel and Cruise), Lynne Michel (Sabra Travel) and Alice Stuart (Helloworld Travel Cootamundra) about to board the Busselton Jetty train.

The group enjoyed dinner at Inara Busselton, boasting a delicious and extensive menu of authentic Levantine Middle Eastern cuisine by chef Daniel Johnson, before a relaxing evening in the beautifully appointed rooms at Hilton Garden Inn Busselton.

On Tuesday, the group enjoyed breakfast at The Goose Beach Bar and Kitchen (a convenient walk across the road from their accommodation) before a morning exploring the coastline with local guides through South West Eco Discoveries. The knowledgable tour owners and operators (and brothers!) Mick and Ryan, were wonderful hosts – quick to answer every question and share their local knowledge.

The group enjoying their South West Eco Discoveries Tour.

Lunch at family owned and operated Wild Hops Brewing Company in Yallingup Hills left the group satiated and stuffed – the abundant local produce, impeccably presented, combined with the brewery tasting paddles left most of the group grateful for a quiet bus ride to their next destination!

Vasse Virgin, a local company producing all-natural handmade skin and body care centred around Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the finest quality natural ingredients was the next stop for the group. A tour of the production line, and samples of their range of beautiful body and beauty products was a real treat!

Last stop for the day was a gorgeous boutique and certified organic winery, Windows Estate. The small, family-owned and operated winery focuses on the sustainable production of exceptional wines, using traditional wine making methods to handcraft wines of elegance and distinction. The group were treated to a tasting, and an insight to the intricacies of the wine world.

Joanne Davies, Windows Estate owner (with husband and viticulturist Chris Davies)
Image credit: Timothy M Campbell © TMC 2017

The group checked in to their accommodation for the next two nights at Pullman Bunker Bay Resort and Spa, and were given a tour of the hotel’s impressive facilities before dinner at the onsite restaurant, The Other Side of The Moon.

Wednesday morning the group were out the door and off to breakfast at the renowned Lamont’s Smiths Beach restaurant at Smiths Beach Resort.

The perfect place for a South West culinary adventure, the restaurant offers a casual but stylish setting and is fast developing a reputation as one of the best dining experiences in the region. Lisa Fletcher of Smiths Beach Resort then treated the group to an exclusive tour of the resort, showing off the impressive offering of rooms and villas, and even a peek into one of their beachfront beach house options. Offering a luxury accommodation option for those intrepid walkers on the world-renowned Cape to Cape Track – trust us when we say, if we had the privilege of staying at Smiths Beach Resort, only getting up close to the impressive scenery would be enticing us to leave the gorgeous views from the rooms!

With views like these, you’d be forgiven for never wanting to leave your apartment at Smiths Beach Resort!

The group then visited one of the five founding wineries of the Margaret River region – Leeuwin Estate. With wines ranking with the finest in the world and regularly appearing in the Wine Spectator’s annual top 100 wines, the family owned and operated winery has the unique experience of an onsite art gallery with an impressive collection of contemporary Australian art from its labels, and an award-winning restaurant.

Our lucky group were treated to a 3.5 hour Ultimate Seasonal Experience including a tour of the art gallery, wine tasting, and 3 course lunch.

Wine tasting followed by a 3-course lunch at Leeuwin Estate.

Rounding off a morning of indulgence with a bit of culture, the group were transferred to the incredible Ngilgi Cave for a magical 90 minute Koomal Dreaming private Didgeridoo Cave Tour with Josh Whiteland.

For over 50,000 years, the Wadandi and Bibbulman people of the Busselton, Dunsborough and Margaret River areas of Australia’s South West have walked this ancient land. Through the Koomal Dreaming tour, Wadandi custodian Josh ‘Koomal’ Whiteland introduces visitors to the world’s oldest living culture with his authentic, personal interpretation. A focused, heart-opening tour with powerful Aboriginal learnings.

Exhausted but on top of the world after a busy day, the group visited the impressive Southcamp Dunsborough for the evening. Boasting 18 cosy cabins and 2 boutique apartments, a brewhouse bar and beer garden, cafe and continental supermarket, Southcamp offers the perfect base for friends, families and groups to stay, play and explore the region.

Thursday morning and with it – a huge storm! Wind and rain lashed the Cape and the group bunkered down in the breakfast room at Pullman Bunker Bay. Nothing like strong coffee, warm breakfast and fresh baked goods to get the group cosy as they watched the action unfold.

Luckily, the clouds parted just in time for the group to explore the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and historic lighthouse keepers’ cottages. Climbing the lighthouse (one of the smallest, thanks in part to its position, high on the Cape) was exciting, and a group picture from the top was a must!

The group taking in the view from the top of Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.

One final brewery for lunch – the group were treated to a tour of Shelter Brewing Co, back where it all began at Busselton foreshore. An impressive operation with an equally impressive menu, it was a fitting spot to share a final meal and recap on a wonderful week together in Western Australia. A quick trip back to Busselton Airport and the group said their farewells to the beautiful region before joining Jetstar for their afternoon return flight to Sydney, landing right on time at 9pm in the evening.

Memories and friendships made, and experiences worth sharing – many thanks to Tourism Western Australia and Jetstar for the opportunity!

Louise, Alice, Chloe, Chiara, Nicole, Clea and Lynne – a lucky bunch of ladies!