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TAKE ME HOME

16 | Summer 2019/20

Play the blues FIND YOUR PERFECT SUMMER IN THE MARGARET RIVER REGION

EVENTS THIS SUMMER

In this issue

• • • •

25 years of the Busselton Jetty Swim Meet your local cellar door stars Cheers to summer with refreshing wines Celebrate the festive season in style

INCLUDED IN THE

Your Margaret River Region magazine

margaretriver.com

Your pull-out guide to what’s on this summer 2019/20 1 | SUMMER


Celebrating 10 years of Aravina in 2020

27th December 2019 - 5th January 2020

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MSUMMER arg aret River’s Premier Food and Wine Destination 2019/20 | margaretriver.com


Award Winning Wines

Innovative Dining

Spectacular Weddings

Pizza & Riviera Bar

WA Surf & car Gallery

Live Music all Summer

stunning Gardens

O

1 5 m n ly inu tes fr o

m Bu M a r s s e lt o n gar et R i v er Air por t

European Playground

open daily 10a m - 5pm 61 thornton road | yallingup Western Australia www.aravinaestate.com (08) 9750 1111


magazine

Editor’s Letter

The MRBTA acknowledges the Aboriginal people of Western Australia as the traditional custodians of this land, and we pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

SUMMER IS THE time of year when the Margaret River region literally basks in golden sunlight and welcomes holidaying visitors with open arms. Those long, lazy days spent on the beach at Meelup, jumping off the jetty at Gnarabup or riding in the ancient marri and jarrah forests are what holiday memories are made of for many of us. It seemed appropriate, therefore, to include a story this time around about the long hot summers enjoyed in the Margaret River region of local personalities – see if you have memories to match theirs. With Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Australia Day all taking place in the next few weeks, we’ve put together a special mini mag called Celebrate. You’ll find ideas about how to spend the festive season in the region, delicious seafood to feast on and iconic events like the Leeuwin Concert series to look forward to. Balmy evenings mean the popular outdoor cinema at Cape Mentelle is back on the cards and other outdoor activities, like snorkelling, diving, exploring art and sculpture trails and glamping are all high on many visitors’ must-do list. We’ve put together a handy how-to barbecue guide, including top spots to enjoy the delights of food cooked on the grill as well as the region’s best craft beer venues. If restocking your fridge with local wines is on the agenda, don’t miss Fergal’s suggestions for crisp whites, refreshing roses and some sparkling stunners to see in 2020. It’s a busy time of year for annual events, including the 25th Busselton Jetty Swim, the Augusta River Festival and Emergence Creative Festival all happening in the next few months. You’ll need a holiday to recover after all that activity – better book a return visit asap. I wish you and your family a safe and happy festive season – see you in 2020.

Gabi

PUBLISHED BY PREMIUM PUBLISHERS 26 John Street, Northbridge Perth WA 6003 | Ph (08) 9328 1388 EDITOR Gabi Mills gabi@premiumpublishers.com.au ART DIRECTOR Cally Browning cally@barecreative.com.au SALES MANAGER Natalie du Preez natalie@premiumpublishers.com.au PHOTOGRAPHIC Tim Campbell (timcampbellphoto.com) Russell Ord Photography, Elements Margaret River COVER IMAGE By Uge Tan, Aquabumps CONTRIBUTORS Dianne Bortoletto, Cassandra Charlick, Danielle Costley, Tom de Souza, Brooke Evans-Butler, Fergal Gleeson, Mia Lacy, Joanne Marriott, Jennifer Morton, Lizzy Pepper, Janine Pittaway. ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES natalie@premiumpublishers.com.au EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES gabi@premiumpublishers.com.au PRINTED BY VANGUARD PRESS

All rights reserved. No material published in this magazine may be reproduced in whole or part without prior written authority. Every endeavour is made to ensure information contained is correct at time of going to print. ©2019 YOUR MARGARET RIVER REGION MAGAZINE is published quarterly by Premium Publishers on behalf of the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association. Visit premiumpublishers.com.au

Cover image by Aquabumps

Share pics, videos and thoughts during your stay via our social media. We’ll repost our favourites! The Margaret River Region

@margaretriver

@MargaretRiver #margaretriver

Plan and book your holiday with Your Margaret River Region local experts. Find us at the Busselton, Dunsborough, and Margaret River visitor centres. email welcome @margaretriver.com or call (08) 9780 5911, seven days a week!

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PREMIUM PUBLISHERS FINALISTS

Mumbrella Travel Publication of the Year


WHAT YOUR MARGARET RIVER REGION GOT UP TO IN

Spring

“Can never get enough of driving down this road to a view like this (Yallingup)” By Craig Jodrell (@craigjodrell)

“So the day has come and gone. I’ve survived turning 30. This year has gone too quick. So lucky to have had your support through out all the challenges, accomplishments, good days and bad days . . .” By @shainabostin

“If you’ve ever visited the @busseltonjettyofficial you wouldn't be surprised that they picked up WA’s best Major Tourism Attraction and Gold for the EcoTourism category at the @tourismcouncilwa Awards.” By @shotbyloky

“Lunch at Bootleg Brewery” By @shelbythekelpie

We'd love to share your instagram pics! Take a pic, make sure you use #margaretriver by February 1 2020 for your chance to see it featured in the next issue.

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Contents

SUMMER 2019/20

Eat & Drink

32

14 Eat & Drink news 18 Hop to it 22 Cooking on gas 26 Colour me happy 28 Udderly delicious 32 Degustations to savour

Wine & Wineries 38 Summer time, summer wine 42 Learnt it on the grapevine 48 A warm welcome for all 52 Small is beautiful 56 The perfect partnership

Nature & Environment 76 A beacon reborn

Art & Wellbeing 96 Tricks and treats 98 Movies stars

78 Spotting wildllife

100 Local Hero - Sandra Hill

80 Carry on glamping

102 Holidaying in style

Active & Adventure

104 Art for the people 106 Big ideas, big issues

84 Swimming towards a milestone

108 Jewels in the forest

88 Dive right in

112 Rediscover Margaret River

92 Legends of the cape

C

e rat b e el

60 Celebrate in harmony 62 Drink in the view 66 Catch of the day 68 High days and holidays 70 Augusta River Festival 72 Celebrate in style

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P E RT H

CA P E NAT U R A L I S T LIGHTHOUSE

Busselton Busselton Jetty Jetty Swim Swim

E AG L E BAY

p84

DU NS B O R O U G H

Ngilgi Cave

BU S S E LT O N

YA L L I NGU P

Yalls Festival at Caves House

VA S S E

p8

W I L DW O O D R D

CA R BU N U P RIVER

SE

HW

PICK UP YOUR MAP AT THE VISITOR CENTRE!

Y

BU

SS

EL

L H WY

VA S

GRACETOWN

GE O GRAPHE WINE REGION

C OWA R A M U P M A R GA R E T R I V E R WINE REGION

M A R GA R E T RIVER

P R E V E L LY PA R K

Summer time, summer wine

NA N N U P

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CAV E S R D

WITCHCLIFFE

Mammoth Cave Lake Cave Giants Cave

BROCKMAN HWY

KARRIDALE

HAMELIN BAY

Jewel Cave

Augusta River Festival

AU GU S TA

p70

CA P E L E E U W I N LIGHTHOUSE

The MARGARET RIVER REGION


FIND THE LATEST EVENT LISTINGS AT MARGARETRIVER.COM/EVENTS

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Ivey Promos – image Mitch Lowe

Summer highlights How to spend summer in your Margaret River region

Yalls Summer Fest, Caves House

DECEMBER SUMMER BEGINS AT YALLS

Caves House Hotel is hosting its second year of the summer music festival, Yalls Summer Fest, in the local surf town Yallingup. With an epic Triple J line-up, including headlining acts by Northeast Party House and Lime Cordiale, as well as indie pop/rock performances by Ivey, Approachable Members of Your Local Community and Seaside, this is set to be one of the best gigs of the summer. Held in their heritage-listed gardens, just a stone’s throw away from the famous Yallingup surf breaks, the festival also includes local acts Brayden Sibbald and DJ, Get Down Club. Fans will be keen to hear new music from Northeast Party House, who have fast become one of Australia’s favourite festival acts. With their new single Magnify and new album out later this year, their performance couldn’t come at a better time. Event manager Jayne Pendal says the coheadlining act Lime Cordiale, are also a perfect fit for the local surfing town, with the brothers often showcasing their love for the ocean, community, sustainability and good times. “We chose a line-up that would attract

both local and travelling festival goers, while still encompassing that Yallingup vibe.” The line-up is a mix of indie pop/rock, all Triple J favourites, sure to satisfy the taste and enjoyment of this generation. Last year’s event was a sold-out show, and Caves House Hotel predicts the same will occur for the 2019 festival. // Yalls Summer Fest, Caves House Hotel, December 7, from 3pm, visit oztix.com.au

JANUARY CHANGE AND GROW THROUGH ART

Metamorphosis is the title of Ingrid and Josh Windram’s upcoming exhibition at JahRoc


Metamorphosis - Ingrid Windram, Under the Kimberley Blue

Open 7 days Full Menu All Day

Gallery, opening just after Christmas on December 27. It's about a transformational journey at a time in life that was met with great challenges. From a young age, Josh Windram was an outgoing, fun, life-of-the-party person. For a number of years, he worked as a talented framer for his family’s framing and art gallery business. Josh’s personality naturally led him to more good times and, ultimately,

Metamorphosis - Ingrid Windram, Yellow Trails Along the River

substance abuse. Hitting rock bottom Josh realised he had to get out of the dark place that he was in, and made the decision to change. He was introduced to art as a way of therapy and a way for him to release his unresolved issues and pain without having to talk about them. For Josh, his transformational journey began when he realised how healing it was putting paint to canvas, and this cathartic process helped to reveal his path forward as an artist. It was a bonus when the public started embracing his work. Josh’s abstract paintings are textural, and often luminous, with a strong sense of home represented in each piece. Meanwhile, Josh’s mother Ingrid has forged a strong career as a professional artist. In 1992, she moved to the Kimberley region of WA where she immersed herself in its vibrant and vastly inspirational landscape. Her work reflects the essence of her surroundings, however during this period of darkness the influence of her son’s addiction facilitated the metamorphism and emerged as a theraputic process. In her mind, she waited for the storm to pass, never giving up hope. Ingrid now spends her time between Perth and the Margaret River region where she shares her art studio with son Josh. //Metamorphosis, JahRoc Galleries, Dec 27 until January 17. Visit jahroc.com.au

Best Regional Hospitality Venue Best Live Entertainment Venue Best Regional Casual Pub Dining Best Pub Restaurant List Best GOURMET Listing ofTRAVELLER wa Wines 2019 TOP 50Best PLACES DRINK WineTOList WA WINE 2019 2019 wa 20192019 WA’sbest Bestwine Steaklist Sandwich wa’s best steak sandwich 2019

Margaret River’s Home of Live Music

9757 2398 | settlerstavern.com 114 Bussell Hwy, Margaret River

HALL OF FAME

HALL OF FAME

11.30am – 9.00pm


Summer highlights

Martine Perrett: Gungurrunga Ngawa

LOST VOICES AND DREAMSCAPES

Martine Perret has become well-known for her extraordinary aerial photography, capturing the innate beauty in landscapes and searing colours of the Australian bush. In her latest exhibition at the Margaret River Gallery she wanted to focus on something altogether harder to pin down. “I wanted to do more than aerial views, I wanted to tell a bigger story; to draw attention to the need to preserve at risk Indigenous languages in Western Australia’s Goldfields,” says Martine about her exhibition, Ngala Wongga. “So, I also chose to document some of the last remaining speakers of this region, in a way that expressed their physical and cultural connections to their land.” Over 18 months, Martine drove some 25,000kms between Margaret River and Kalgoorlie, Norseman, Laverton and Wiluna, working with Indigenous elders, photographing them and recording their voices. “Over that time - on the land, in the skies and on the road - my ambition grew and a wider project emerged: Ngala Wongga (Come Talk).” The resulting exhibition was installed at the Kalgoorlie Goldfields Arts Centre in 2016, and now visitors to the Margaret River Gallery will have a chance to see this extraordinary body of work from December 7 to 16. Landscape painters Christopher Lees and Chris Bellamy and sculpture artists Ian

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Thwaites (wood) and Maria Chatzinikolaki (ceramics) are part of a new exhibition at Margaret River Gallery in late December. Dreamscapes explores the imagery of the landscape be it subconscious or intentional, which comes to fruition from the artists mind as a response, to the Australian landscape. The offbeat compositions, colours and shapes, brings these dream type landscapes and forms home to us ; we know them , we feel them but sense something is not quite as it should be. This exhibition challenges the viewer to see the artists’ ability to use the landscape and forms from the landscape as they may appear in a dream. It is beautiful, exquisite, you may have been there, you feel you know it; the question arrives . . . what is real and what is not? //Dreamscapes opens at the Margaret River Gallery, 4,1 Charles West Avenue, Margaret River, on December 29 with Brendon Darby, artist and musician, as special guest. The exhibition runs until January 18.

SEE IN 2020 WITH COLD CHISEL

There’s nothing more Australian than hot sun, warm waves and Cold Chisel. The band’s classic songs like Khe Sanh, Flame Trees, Bow River, My Baby, Cheap Wine, Saturday Night and You Got Nothing I Want have become the soundtrack to many summers. Since their

Cold Chisel

legendary Last Stand way back in 1983, Cold Chisel has reformed for just four national tours, but they almost always played indoors and those gigs didn’t happen over the holidays. Now, for the first time ever, this legendary Australian band will be playing some very special outdoor shows in Australia for BY THE C, including Fremantle and Busselton. You’ve never seen anything like it before and you’ll never see anything like it again. It’s called the Blood Moon Tour 2020 - named after a rare lunar eclipse where the sun, earth and moon all briefly align before returning to their own orbits. //Cold Chisel By The C, Busselton, January 1. Visit ticketmaster.com.au

Dont miss . . . Next Level Monkey Biz have recently added a bouldering and a brand new zip-line course to their venue, consisting of four new zip-lines just for kids. According to the owners, kids were becoming frustrated because they didn’t weight enough to maximise the fun on the existing ziplines, so now they have been given one, just for them. Even more reason to head to this super fun activity park for a day this summer . . . //Find them on 1710 Caves Road, Dunsborough - and visit nextlevelmonkeybiz. com.au. There’s a new seven-day Cape to Cape +


Walk into Luxury

Next Level Monkey Business

South Coast Walk, created in response to demand for a luxury small group walk combining the existing Cape to Cape and Bibbulmun Track options. “We are thrilled to confirm the launch of a new seven-day experience taking in the best of WA’s south west,” says Nikki King, managing director of Walk Into Luxury. The walk includes Walk into Luxury’s four-day Cape to Cape Walk – a Great Walk of Australia Walk into Luxury’s, the three-day South Coast Walk based at Parry Beach, and one night at beachfront Smiths Beach Resort in between the two walks. Transfers from Perth-Albany, AlbanyMargaret River, and back to Perth are included as well as all food, wine, guides and all the gear that’s required (per each walk’s inclusions list). //Visit walkintoluxury.com.au for info.

Walk Talk Taste, the new foodie walking tour in town, is adding a new way of tasting the region to its roster. Their new Saturday evening cocktail and tapas trail experience kicked off in late October and the friendly team are taking bookings now. The season and places are strictly limited, so get your friends together to secure your preferred date (max 10 guests per tour). Starting around 5.30, they’ve curated a unique experience which serves up some of the region’s best local produce and artisanal talents as a series of cocktails and bites. “Just like our brunch tour, we’ve chosen only the produce and venues we love, walking from place to place in the twilight of a Margaret River summer evening,” says owner Kellie Tannock. “Over four hours, you’ll experience downtown Margaret River as never before, meeting the drivers behind our world-class food and beverage scene, learning some secrets and taking the odd secret pathway on route.” //Visit walktalktaste.com to book your spot.

NATURE’S RICH CANVAS

Payet Gallery will host a Christmas exhibitionBoodjidup – featuring the works of Emily Jackson, a printmaker from Margaret River, and Johnathon Thwaites, a sculptor from Perth. From vastly different backgrounds their work is similarly divergent but both inspired by the beauty of nature. Emily’s work

family! Fun for the whole

The ultimate mix of triathlon and adventure racing, there is an event for everyone! LONG COURSE X-ADVENTURE

1,500m swim / 12km trail run / 20km MTB

SHORT COURSE X-ADVENTURE

700m swim / 6km trail run / 11km MTB

KIDS X-ADVENTURE

200m swim / 2.5km trail run / 4km MTB

GROMS X-ADVENTURE 800m trail run / 1200m bike

AQUATHLON-X

1km swim / 5km trail run

Individual and relay teams DUNSBOROUGH L

A

K E

S

4 - 5 APRIL 2020

margaretriver.com

SUMMER 2019/20 11 WA. | DUNSBOROUGH,

WWW.XADVENTURE.COM.AU


Summer highlights

and happening around us rather than by dates on the calendar.

Dead Letter Circus

is vibrant, colourful and exudes a positive ambience. Jonathan’s work, meanwhile, is simple, quiet and meditative and reflects the peaceful introspective moments of experience. // Payet Gallery, 611 Boodjidup Rd, Margaret River, opening celebration December 28, 4 to 6.30pm, exhibition from December 28 to January 16. Visit payetgallery.com.au

FEBRUARY MUSIC STARS HEAD TO SUGARLOAF

After the successful Here Comes The Sun Festival, the same team bring music lovers Sugarloaf Rock – an all-day fiesta of great food, great wine, and the best musical talent in Australia. Named after the infamous rock formation, Sugarloaf Rock is one of the most photographed coastal landforms in the region. But the name will now be forever synonymous with some of the biggest names in rock throughout Australia and the world. Grinspoon, Wolfmother, Dead Letter Circus and Stonefield bring the big guns to this line-up in the great outdoors. //Sugarloaf Rock, 3 Oceans Winery, Metricup, February 8 from 1pm. Visit sugarloafrock.com.au

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CHEERS TO BEERS

After hosting the biggest and most successful South West Craft Beer Festival in 2019, the gang are back for more on February 15 at Signal Park, right on the sparkling waters of the Busselton foreshore. It’s the perfect opportunity to see the best of what the South West brewers have to offer, with a record number of breweries and cideries bringing their ales, pales and everything in between for all to sample. Frothie lovers will rejoice at the incredible range of 130+ brews to try from 25 craft breweries and cideries, including some delicious special, small batch and new release brews. For those not so into beer, you’re be well taken care of, with a selection of wines from one of the best wine producing regions in the world. Throw in some gourmet bites and tunes from local live acts and DJs and you’ve got one awesome day out. //Get your tickets now at swbeerfest.com.au.

MARCH CHANGING SEASONS

In the south west of WA, the Noongar calendar consists of six different seasons in a yearly cycle. Each of these six seasons represents and explains the recurring changes we see annually. The Noongar seasons can be long or short, and are indicated by what is changing

BIRAK – December/January Birak is known as first summer or “Season of Young”. The rains ease up and the warm weather really starts to take hold, becoming hot and dry. Birak is characterised by arid easterly or north easterly winds in the mornings and a coastal sea breeze in the afternoon. This was the fire season, a time to burn. The Wadandi people would burn the country in mosaic patterns for several reasons including fuel reduction, increasing the grazing pastures for some animals to aid in seed germination for many of the plants, and for ease of mobility across the bushland. Yorla (Paperbarks) and Moodja (Christmas Trees) are flowering at this time. The Wanajet (Peppy Flowers) have fallen, letting us know the Gabbi (rains) are easing up. The Nala Ngankga (our sun) shines hotter and Biritj (days) are longer. Djinda (stars) look like Kala Djedal (fire coals) in the Morroo (dark skies). BUNURU – February/March Bunuru is the hottest time of the year with little to no rain. It is also known as second summer or “Season of Adolescence.” Hot easterly winds continue with a cooling sea breeze most afternoons if you are close to the coast. Therefore, traditionally this was, and still is, a great time for living and fishing by the coast, rivers, and estuaries. Freshwater foods and seafood made up a major part of the diet during this time of year. Bunuru is also a time of the white flowers – with lots of white flowering gums including Jarrah, Marri, and Ghost Gums in full bloom. //The Undalup Association are holding a Bunuru Festival on March 14, Rifle Butts Park, Margaret River .


HOLIDAY IN WA WITH QUALITY TOURISM ACCREDITED BUSINESS When you holiday in WA, book with businesses displaying the Quality Tourism Accredited Businesses logo and you’ll get a quality assured operator wherever you go. From hotels and guided tours to shops and services, you can expect quality, reliability and great customer service. The Quality Tourism Accredited Business logo indicates that a tourism business has met nationally endorsed industry standards and is committed to providing quality products and services. By booking with Quality Tourism Accredited Businesses, you’ll be supporting genuine tourism businesses and local communities. You’ll be helping local businesses stay in business and creating more jobs for Western Australians. You can do even more to support local businesses and jobs by booking direct with Quality Tourism Accredited Businesses, rather than through online holiday booking platforms, which are largely based overseas. When you use an online booking platform, up to a quarter of the fee leaves WA as commission, which affects how much tourism businesses can offer. By booking direct, you can be assured you are supporting local businesses and communities. //To book your holiday in WA, go to holidayinwa.com.au

Planning Ahead TWO WORLD CLASS EVENTS FOR 2020

Summer holidays are a good time to start planning your adventures for 2020. X-Adventure Dunsborough is the ultimate mix of triathlon and adventure racing. The course format features an ocean swim, trailrun and mountain bike ride. But it’s not just for big kids. There’s a kids race that makes for a super-fun off-road triathlon for kids aged Under 14. Indulge in nature and soak up the camaraderie with your competitors. Not forgetting the experience your kids will have and the lifelong memories they get to keep. Do it solo or team up with your friends to be part of the fun of X-Adventure 2020. If the off-road disciplines sound like too much then get some friends together and take on the Margaret River Ultra Marathon in May. The ‘Margs Ultra’ will take you on an incredible journey through forests, trails, beaches and bluffs on the beautiful Cape to Cape coastline in South West WA. You’ll run past famous surf breaks, iconic wineries and quaint coastal villages in a journey as magical as it is beautiful. Tackle the race solo and run the full 80 kilometre or team up with a group of friends and complete the course in a relay team of up to 5 people. Head to the respective event websites for more info: //X-Adventure, April 4 to 5, visit XAdventure.com.au. Margaret River Ultra Marathon, May 9, visit MargareRiverUltra.com.au

OPEN EVERYDAY FOR EVERYONE 11am - 5pm ph:08 97553554

eaglebaybrewing.com.au


Eat & Drink

EAT & DRINK NEWS

from around the region

Big win for

WA Boutique Wine Show & Blackwood Valley Wine Show wins for local producers

Xanadu

By DANIELLE COSTLEY

THERE WAS A record number of entries in this year’s WA Boutique Wine Show and Blackwood Valley Wine Show, which was open to boutique producers with an annual crush less than 250-tonnes. This year also marked the inaugural WA Single Vineyard Wine Show, open to all wineries across the state, regardless of size. There was a strong contingent from the Margaret River region, with Willespie’s 2019 Verdelho and the Driftwood Estate single vineyard 2018 Chardonnay both winning silver medals. Margaret River’s Latitude 34 won the trophy for most successful Blackwood Valley exhibitor. Its barrelfermented 2018 Raison D’etre Blanc Doux Semillon was superbly balanced with a crisp acidity and well-deserving of its Silver medal. As one of the judges on this show, it was wonderful to see a growing number of alternate varieties emerging in WA and to taste such a high standard of wines.

By FERGAL GLEESON

M

argaret River region winery Xanadu was recently announced as winner of Best Wine of Show at the Wine Show of Western Australia, for its 2017 DJL Cabernet Sauvignon. It was also awarded the trophy for Best Red Wine of Show. Value hunters should note that this wine retails for just $25. There were plenty of other Margaret River region winners including: Evans & Tate - Best Chardonnay for the 2017 Redbrook Estate Chardonnay ($40), Brash Vineyard – Best Sauvignon Blanc 2019 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc ($23). Windance Esate – Best Shiraz, 2018 Shiraz ($29), Nocturne Wines – Best Red Blend, 2018

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Cabernet Merlot ($35), Vinaceous Wines – Best Other Red- 2017 Voodoo Moon Malbec ($22); and Fishbone Wines – Best Older Red Wine2015 Fishbone Joseph River Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($55) Singaporean Master of Wine Ying Hsien Tan joined chief judge Tasmanian winemaker Samantha Connew and her team for the 42nd Wine Show of WA. “As expected, chardonnay and cabernet brackets were very strong but it was pleasing to see a depth and diversity in the riesling and shiraz classes with the 2018 shiraz in particular showing a lovely purity of fruit,” Ms Connew said.

“As we have seen at other shows over the last five years, the red blend classes were very strong with Bordeaux blends shining the light,” she noted. “From a single varietal point of view outside of the traditional strong quartet of cabernet, shiraz, chardonnay and riesling, malbec was a stand out for reds.” As well as international judge Ying Tan, judges included WA winemaker Damian Hutton, and Margaret River winemakers Kate Morgan, Ben Rector, Brendan Carr and Severine Logan. The Wine Show of Western Australia has grown from only six classes in 1978 to 39 classes and 23 trophies including the prestigious Trophy for Best Wine of Show.


REST, RELAX, RECONNECT Romantic, secluded couples’ retreat in self-contained chalets with candlelit sky-view spas, kingsized beds and tranquil forest outlooks, on 240 acres of natural beauty.

Arimia in top five for Regional Restaurant of the Year By GABI MILLS

THE WILYABRUP WINERY and restaurant has made a big splash on the national foodie stage with a top five place in the Good Food Guide 2020’s top regional restaurants of the year. Recognising head chef Evan Hayter’s brilliant flavour combinations and dedication to sustainability, judges were blown away by their ‘estate-raised, wood-fired lunch party.” Feasting on ‘pickled and roasted beets, napped with sweet, mellow cow’s milk curd’, the ranking is sure to do no harm when it comes to introducing a national audience to this biodynamic, off-the-grid restaurant hitting well above its weight. Congrats to the team! Arimia, 242 Quininup Road, Margaret River. Visit arimia.com.au.

SUNDOWNERS RETURN TO GOANNA CAFE During January, head to Goanna Cafe for family-friendly Sundowner Sessions with live music, and cool down out of town. Now in their third year these popular weekend events offer up share plates, local wine and tap beer; there’s a happy hour from 5 til 6pm on Saturdays, and $8 pints. Goanna Cafe, 278 Hayes Road, Dunsborough, Sundowner Sessions, January 7, 10, 17 and 24, 5 to 6pm. Visit goannacafe.com.au

231 Yelverton Road, Yelverton Margaret River Wine Region Phone (08) 9755 7110 or email reception@forestrise.com.au

R E ST, R E ST, R E LRAX, E L AX, R ECO R ECO N NEC NNEC T T Romantic, Romantic, secluded, secluded, self contained self contained chalets chalets with candlelit with candlelit sky-view sky-view spas, Kingsize spas, Kingsize

double double beds and bedstranquil and tranquil forestforest outlooks, outlooks, on on 240 acres 240 acres of natural of natural beauty. beauty.

231 Yelverton 231 Yelverton Road,Road, Yelverton Yelverton Margaret Margaret RiverRiver WineWine Region Region Phone Phone (08) 9755 (08) 9755 71107110 or or emailemail reception@forestrise.com.au reception@forestrise.com.au

WWWW . FW O .RFEOS RT ER SI S TE R .I CS O E .MC .OAM U. A U


Eat & Drink

EAT & DRINK NEWS

New experiences on offer at Leeuwin Estate

L

eeuwin Estate has launched two brand new experiences: The Connoisseur Tour & Tasting and The Ultimate Ride to Wine and Dine. These experiences are designed to further engage visitors to the Estate by offering two new experiences for wine lovers and cyclist enthusiasts alike. The Connoisseur Tour begins with an intimate walk through the vineyard and the red wine Barrel Hall, before guests sample wines from current vintage barrels, visit the Estate’s Art Gallery for more tastings, and finish off with a cheese course. The Ultimate Ride to Wine and Dine will take guests on a leisurely two-hour cycle through the magical world-renowned Boranup Forest, before arriving at Leeuwin Estate, followed by a behind-the-scenes tour, a tutored wine tasting and perfectly matched canapés. This tour finishes with a two-course lunch from the seasonal restaurant menu. To find out more, visit leeuwinestate.com.au

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Stop press: The WA Good Food Guide

star venues have been announced . . .

I

t’s time to plan your Margaret River region getaway, especially if you fancy a good feed. The WA Good Food Guide featured many local restaurants in the top 50 - 2. Wills Domain 5.Voyager Estate 7. Leeuwin Estate 9.Vasse Felix 16.Yarri 20. Aravina Estate 32. Cullen Wines 42. Xanadu 47. Wise Wine Voyager Estate, which ranked fifth in the WAbased poll, has carved a solid niche for itself as ‘one of the great culinary and wine experiences in WA,’ says the guide.

“The menu changes often and each course is small, but noteworthy. Marron with kimchi dumpling and quail with Iberico ham and Jerusalem artichoke are standouts." Chef Santiago Fernandez’s degustation menu is one of life’s must-do experiences. Just make sure you leave enough time to explore Voyager’s beautiful grounds too - and work your way through the rest of the Good Food Guide too. Voyager Estate, Stevens Road, Margaret River. Visit voyagerestate.com.au


JahRoc Galleries is a must see destination for all furniture and ar t admirers. Situated in the hear t of Margaret River, it is the largest contemporar y galler y in the South West showcasing a diverse range of Fine Furniture, Fine Ar t, Jeweller y, Glass, Ceramic and Sculpture. It is home to their own line of award winning designer JahRoc Furniture (est 1987). JahRoc use local specialty timbers to hand craft their bespoke heirloom furniture. Visit JahRoc Galleries and f ind out why all that do, leave inspired.

OFFICIAL: SETTLERS TAVERN IS THE BEST PLACE TO DRINK WINE IN OZ SETTLERS TAVERN HAS just won the people’s vote award in the national Young Gun of Wine ‘Wineslinger’ awards, for the best place to drink wine in Australia Settlers had already been placed in the top 50 places to drink wine in Australia, as voted by the nation’s top 100 gurus of wine and hospitality (winemakers, sommeliers and journalists), but then it was up to the public to decide on their favourite venue, out of the list. Rory Kent, founder of Young Gun of Wine founder was full of praise for the venue. “With the ‘People’s Choice’, it’s so exciting to see that Settlers Tavern has won the hearts,

minds and votes of the wine-loving public, as they’re such a unique destination – a place that is so fun and laid-back, but with such a seriously deep wine offering,” he said. “You can get a parma, see a band and drink some of the finest wine from around the world, or discover a new local micro-producer. “They’re a great pin-up for this award. Makes you want to jump on a plane and get to Margaret River just for Settlers Tavern – and on that, following Harvest Newrybar’s win last year, it’s great to see another regional location take the People’s Choice home,” Kent said.

Open daily 10am-5pm 83 Bussell Highway, Margaret River Ph. (08) 9758 7200 E. info@jahroc.com.au

www.jahroc.com.au


Eat & Drink

Hop to it CRAFTY DRINKS Follow the new 135km Craft Beer Trail and discover brews from The Brewhouse, Eagle Bay Brewing Co. and Wild Hop Brewery (this page) and Black Brewing Co, Bootleg Brewery and Cheeky Monkey (opposite) .

DISCOVERING THE MARGARET RIVER REGION’S BEER HAS NEVER BEEN SO MUCH FUN. WITH THE HIGHEST CONCENTRATION OF MICROBREWERIES IN THE STATE, BEER LOVERS ARE SPOILT FOR CHOICE IF A TIPPLE OF HANDCRAFTED ALE IS WHAT YOU FANCY.

S

BY DANIELLE COSTLEY.

pend a day or two quenching your thirst on the new 135km Craft Beer Trail, where you will discover a Saison, Stout, Kolsch, Lager or Pale Ale around every bend in the road as you weave your way from Busselton to Margaret River.

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OCCY’S FOOD AND BREWS If you’ve been to Dunsborough, you’ll be aware that Occy’s is in the heart of the town, and seems to be a permanently popular fixture for many. It’s got a dog-friendly beer garden, serves up huge plates of pub food and with an ever-changing 18

beer offering under the watchful eye of owner brewer and beer master Bill, it’s hard to think of a more convivial place to spend a few hours on a summer’s day. Bill’s beer, brewed on his cattle farm, is


made with filtered rainwater, and is preservative and finings-free.

THE GROVE BREWERY AND DISTILLERY Head brewer Doug Whiteside is the brains behind the development and production of The Grove’s ales and is constantly engaged in creating new tastes and flavours. His love of craft beer, especially in the field of real ale has led to the company’s latest range of four brews. Try the rounded, red House Ale (like an American pale ale) or the intriguingly-named Gangster Stout, redolent with roasted malts, coffee and chocolate overtones. There's an IPA and a 'boring' beer too - all worth trying.

ale house produces small batches of seasonal beers on an ever-changing tap list. There’s usually a traditional Czech pilsener or pale ale to be enjoyed whilst sitting on the shady deck overlooking the brewhouse and distant hopyard. The food is woodfired, with seasonal produce such as roasted and smoked meats, or tuck into a brewer’s bun.

EAGLE BAY BREWING CO This picturesque farm produces an impressive range of craft beers, including a Kolsch, Pale Ale, Cacao Stout and a beer-wine hybrid called Sparkling Cider Ale. Purchase a two-litre growler filled with your beer of choice – and take it home. The menu features a selection of share

WILD HOP Set in the rolling Yallingup Hills, this charming

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Cellar Door featuring

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Playground • Gardens Art • Food • Coffee • Cake Drinks all day 1172 Wildwood Rd, Yallingup Siding Ph 9755 2000

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Eat & Drink plates, as well as more substantial fare such as sticky beef shin with Chinese omelette.

CHEEKY MONKEY Let the kids cut loose in the playground while you sit lakeside in this country style beer hall with a tasting paddle of your favourite selections. Try the Session Ale, Pale Ale, stout or cider with a generous serving of beer battered fish and chips, grass-fed beef burgers, or Korean gochujang pork ribs with thick rice noodles.

BOOTLEG BREWERY The region’s oldest brewery, Bootleg Brewery, is the perfect place to visit for an introduction to some of Margaret River’s multiple awardwinning ales, such as the Raging Bull or the Tom’s Amber Australian ale. It specialises in some seriously delicious craft beers, with creative small batch releases such as the Flaming Youth, with a hint of coriander and sea salt. The food is equally impressive, with smokey wings, nachos, beef short ribs, burritos and meaty burgers.

BLACK BREWING CO Sipping a pint of craft beer overlooking a lake and basking in the summer sunshine is what you can expect from this brewery, located at Caves Road Collective. An interesting selection of ales can be tasted here, such as the Bao Bao Milk Stout and a farmhouse Saison.

THE BEER FARM The usual suspects can be found on tap at this rustic brew house, but it is also very clever at handcrafting small batch releases such as the Berlinner Weisse made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes, or a barrel aged American Barley Wine.

COWARAMUP BREWING CO Book in for an immersive brewing tour, ending

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South West Craft Beer festival

with six-beers matched to food. There’s a Bavarian-style Hefeweizen, a German-origin noble hop Pilsener, and a fruity Lightsign Summer Ale.

COLONIAL BREWING CO There is space aplenty at this sun-drenched brewery, with a playground and live music on weekends. The ales range from a classic draught and IPA to a South West Sour featuring pale, wheat and Munich malts with hops from both hemispheres.

MARGARET RIVER BREWHOUSE This boutique brewery is ensconced by towering forest. Its Inji Pale Ale is a local favourite, as is the Bastard Brown ale with its burnt biscuit and toffee malts. The food offering is impressive, whether it’s squid salad, fish and chips, pizzas, or pork tacos.

The South West beer festival is happening again at the Busselton foreshore on February 15 from 11am to 6pm. Taste the latest brews from Rocky Ridge, Eagle Bay and Wild Hop, among others. Also the Margaret River Region Craft Beer Trail guide can be downloaded at trailsway. com.au/trails/craft-beer-trail-margaretriver for further info. There’s handy app too so go forth and explore. STOP PRESS: Margaret River Brewhouse have recently launched their new packaged product range and it’s yours to take home. To be one of the first to enjoy a taste of this award-winning beer from home, pop into the venue and order over the counter. Popular core range beverages Red IPA, Pale, Kolsh and Megsy Ginger BeerStockist are the first lines to be available in cans. Head over to the website for further packages beer releases and stockist lists so you can continue to enjoy a taste of Margaret River long after the holiday is over.


COOKING ON GAS A

ustralians love a barbecue, the whole ritual of barbecuing a meal forms part of our national pride, it’s built into the very fabric of Australian society, and let’s face it, food just tastes better when cooked on the barbecue. Australians may not have invented the modern barbecue but we can take credit for famously making it an intrinsic part of our culture. Even Australia’s international tourism campaign in the 1980s featured Paul Hogan who invited Americans to visit ‘down under’, throwing another shrimp on the barbie for them. Visitors too can join in and enjoy their own barbecue in one of the many picnic spots from Busselton to Augusta that has barbecues available for use, from picturesque seaside spots to natural forest surrounds. There are a few things you need to make your barbecue experience a success. Let’s start with equipment.

EQUIPMENT

Metal tongs (long-handled ones are ideal). Metal spatula (a BBQ tool is the best). Platters for the cooked food. Plates and include extra to put the cooked food

Nothing smells like summer more than the mouth-watering wafts from a barbeque. Dianne Bortoletto unpacks everything you need to know to enjoy a barbie this summer.

on if you don’t have a platter. If using disposable plates, opt for paper ones and recycle when you’re finished. Sharp knife – you might have to cut sausages if they are still joined or poke them so they don’t split. Chopping board – not always essential but always handy to have. Serving utensils for meat and salad such as tongs and spoons. Cutlery, if using disposable cutlery, opt for bamboo rather than plastic. Baking paper can be handy to clean the barbecue. Paper towels or serviettes. OPTIONAL: Tablecloth and a rug to sit on (handy if the picnic tables provides are being used.) I always bring a tea towel or two. Drinks A bag for rubbish

WHAT TO COOK OK, now you’re equipped for your barbecue, what to cook? You are seriously spoilt for choice in the margaretriver.com

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Eat & Drink

CHARRED BABY COS WITH AIOLI, PARMESAN CHEESE AND A SQUEEZE OF LEMON IS DELICIOUS.

SOME LIKE IT HOT Amelia Park Restaurant's head chef Blair Allen (left), shares his top barbecuing tips and suggests which cuts of meat work best on the grill.

Margaret River region. A great first stop would be to the Margaret River Farmers’ Market held every Saturday morning at the Education Campus. Some local producers to look out for include Amelia Park lamb and beef, Arkady Lamb, Geo Organics Beef, Forest Grange Beef and Jindong Pork.You might like to also pick up some vegetables for the barbecue. If you can’t get to the Farmers’ Market, shop at the local butcher or local IGA independent supermarkets. Known for his skills cooking over flames, I chatted with owner and chef at Amelia Park Restaurant, Blair Allen, to asked him about his favourite cuts of meat and how he likes to barbecue them. “I prefer to barbecue lamb cuts like forequarter chops until they’re crispy, charred and well done. Lamb cutlets are more delicate

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and also more expensive, so I get the barbecue super hot and get as much colour as possible on them while keeping them pink in the middle,” Blair says. “Beef cuts like rump and T-bone are great for grilling but oyster blade is sometimes the forgotten cut that has both amazing flavour and tenderness, perfect for grilling and easier on the wallet. Oyster blade with the bone in is sometimes called ‘y-bone’, and it’s amazing on the barbie. “I only ever buy whole free range chickens so when I barbecue a chook, it’s either on the spit or splayed out in half over the coals. Choose any marinade you like and it’s hard to get it wrong. “Venison would be fine to barbecue as long as you get the barbecue very hot and keep the meat rare/medium rare in the middle.

“Salt and oil the meat before grilling and turn the meat as needed. Don’t worry too much about rules for grilling - sometimes I get my fire too hot so I need to keep the meat moving to avoid it burning. “If barbecuing fish, I tend to leave it whole and wrap it in foil with butter, herbs and lemon to keep it moist. “Marron is great on the barbecue too. Cut it in half, cook it shell side down with a knob of butter in the head and cook it slightly underdone.” Blair said that some vegetables are surprisingly delicious when barbecued. “The vegetables that work well for grilling are corn, capsicum, marinated eggplant, asparagus, mushrooms, broccoli that’s been blanched briefly beforehand but most


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surprisingly cos lettuce or baby gem is delicious with a little char on it. Charred baby cos with aioli, Parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon is delicious. Cook corn for a long time with the husk on turning occasionally, lovely. Burn the skins on red capsicums over high heat and the peel off the skin once they cool down, simply delicious.” Another option is just to keep it super simple with some quality sausages, a few sliced onions, some good bread and a slather of tomato sauce.

PARKS WITH BARBECUES Busselton Foreshore – a fabulous bayside view with the iconic jetty jutting 1.8 kilometres out to sea. There are three playgrounds including the incredible shipwreck adventure playground, a skate park and parkland with trees for shade.

Rotary Park Margaret River – a bush and riverside setting, you’ll quickly forget that you’re just a hop from town. There are plenty of walking trails and across the footbridge over the Margaret River are the original settlers buildings. 10 Mile Brook Dam – a large dam surrounded by bush and walking trails 8km from Margaret River town. Take note – it’s a 10-minute walk to the dam from the car park. Flinders Bay Augusta – just south of Augusta, Flinders Bay is at the mouth of the Blackwood River and along with resident pelicans, there's a great kids playground. It’s dog friendly too.

HOW TO CLEAN A BBQ – AUSSIE STYLE It’s always a good idea to clean a public barbecue before using it, and here’s a

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WINE CLUB ADMIN@SWINGS.COM.AU Meelup Beach – this popular and very pretty protected bay is like a postcard it’s so beautiful and serene. The grassy hill is dotted with trees offering shady spots. Lions Park Cowaramup – lush grass, shady trees and a kids playground complete with resident cow sculptures in the heart of Cow-town. It feels like going on an adventure to Chapman Pool, part of the Blackwood River. A stunning natural bush setting along a calm section of river. Surfers Point – a favourite spot for locals to watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean and an ideal place for surf lovers to watch the worldclass waves at Main Break, Southside and The Box. Rifflebutts Reserve – nestled below Surfers Point, this dog-friendly reserve has a great kids playground, sculpture artworks and a lush lawn.

traditional way to do it. Equipment: Metal spatula suitable for barbecue. Beer Paper towel (optional) Method: Heat the barbecue on high heat and let it get very hot. Once hot, pour beer onto it and as it bubbles and splatters, simultaneously scrape the barbeque of any left over fat or residue and push it to the sides. Wipe the edge of the spatula with paper towel and repeat until there’s no residue left. Remember to sip the beer in between pours. Cheers.

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Situated on a secluded beach in the heart of the Margaret River wine region, Injidup Spa Retreat features 10 luxurious villas, each with a private plunge pool and stunning ocean views.

31 Cape Clairault Road, Yallingup 6282, WA 24

(08) 9750 1300 | stay@injidupsparetreat.net.au | www.injidupsparetreat.com.au

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Perth’s multi-award winning day spas extends it’s exquisite offerings to the Margaret River wine region with Bodhi J @ Injidup Spa Retreat. An eco-luxe spa experience, with the most breathtaking views.

Perth | Highgate 08 9466 8260 • The Westin | Perth 08 6559 1818 • Wembley 08 9387 5152 Injidup | Yallingup 08 9750 130 • Wellbeing Studio @

Qantas International Transit Lounge T3 Perth Airport

www.bodhij.com.au


Eat & Drink

Colour me happy Augusta has welcomed the new Colourpatch Cafe to the shores of the Blackwood River after much anticipation. Joanne Marriott learns about the transformation and what it means for the community.

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here’s an air of excitement as the finishing touches are added to the new Colourpatch Cafe in time for the official opening. Pendant lights are being hung from the ceiling, framed prints mounted on the wall and pot plants and furniture all carefully positioned. The cafe has been transformed over the last six months, with owners Stephen and Carol Wall at the helm. “When I look back now, I can’t quite believe we’ve done it,” says Carol. Since acquiring the property in 2015, they’ve been planning a renovation, but it was only in April this year that the lease expired and they were able to make their dream a reality. “We always thought the position was worthy

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of something really fabulous. It’s quite unique because of the river frontage and then we’ve got the Southern Ocean just around the corner - it’s pretty spectacular.” The modern weatherboard construction is all clean lines and nautical shades. Cream parasols catch the breeze on the deck, sunlight streams into the airy interior and wooden tables are ready to welcome their first guests with fresh seafood and a glass of local wine. A panorama of the Blackwood River unfolds through the wall of windows. Little details - the portholes, brass light fittings, the pelican painting, fish art, navigation charts - all invite curiosity and reflect the owners’ passion for boating.

“We love to be on the water, cruising or fishing,” says Carol. “We’ve been coming to Augusta for 35 years and have spent a lot of time here with our kids. We’d take the little dinghy out on the river and go fishing. It’s a lovely place for family holidays.” The star of the show, which assumes pride of place in the new cafe, is Nomad. The beautiful wooden yacht has been lovingly restored and re-purposed as the bar. Against a backdrop of mirrors and wine bottles, the exposed hull with ornate brass lettering looks perfectly at home. “We always wanted to put in something interesting, something fun,” explains Carol. “Our architect Andrew Boyne, took up the challenge and found Nomad lingering in a Maylands boatyard.”


The boat was built in Albany in the 1960s, by retired farmer Jim Thompson. “He wanted to build a racing boat,” explains builder Geoff Longwood, who’s been tasked with the Colourpatch transformation. “It took him seven years and by the time he got it finished and finally raced it, technology had advanced so much that he came last. He never raced it again.” Nomad made its way to a family in Bunbury and then finally ended up in Perth. Keith Leech, a local boat builder and carpenter, spent six months restoring the boat under a tarp in a light industrial yard in Augusta. “The hull had to be stripped and resurfaced,” says Carol “and the deck was redone to look like a teak deck with the black corking and then varnished to be the top of the bar”. Lifting the boat into position was one of the first and most exciting tasks to be completed. “We lifted it in,” recalls Geoff, “and then we built the walls and the floor around it.” It was a major milestone for the project and crowds gathered to watch the big event. “When it came to move the boat, I said to Steve we’ll just pick it up on the back of truck and crane it into position, and we’ll be done by morning tea. It took us all day,” he laughs. Geoff and the team have worked tirelessly over the last six months to see the project through to completion, driven by a collective sense of pride and commitment. “As a builder, you’re constantly trying to

coordinate everyone to work in unison together,” says Geoff, “and because almost all the tradies have been local guys, everyone has been keen to see the job done well, given their relationship with the area. I feel privileged to have been entrusted with this project and I think it will become something of an icon for the town.” Augusta has long been considered a sleepy little coastal town with a laid back lifestyle, a place to unwind and enjoy the simple life. “It’s going through a really beautiful growth phase at the moment,” says Geoff, “with the new $32million marina, the Ocean Grown Abalone, great local wineries and the Leeuwin Lighthouse precinct. Now the Colourpatch Cafe marks a major new development for the town.” Carol and Stephen wanted to create something for the local community. “We both felt it was important to give the town something nice, something it can be proud of and something that people can come and use as their own.” The Colourpatch transformation has been captured on film by Travis Morrison of Cinemaze Films. “I’m really excited that we’ve been able to capture some great video footage of this project,” says Geoff. “That didn’t exist in the past, and hopefully it’ll be something that future generations can look back on as a little piece of Augusta’s history.”. The Colourpatch Cafe, Bar and Takeaway, 98 Albany Terrace, Augusta.Visit thecolourpatchaugusta.com

designs in nature

jewellery designed and handmade in Margaret River Open daily 10am - 4pm 611 Boodjidup Road 08 9757 6885 info@payetgallery.com.au www.payetgallery.com.au


Eat & Drink

Udderly delicious

STRAIGHT FROM THE FREEZER, CASSANDRA CHARLICK HAS PULLED TOGETHER TOP FLAVOUR PICKS FROM SOME OF THE BEST-LOVED ICE CREAM PRODUCERS.

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w

hen the temperature rises it can only mean one thing: ice-cream time. I scream, you scream we all scream for ice-cream. The region is home to several artisans who specialise in the creamy stuff so there are no shortage of options when it comes to sweet pickings. First up it’s Millers. With a milk bar based on the main street in Margaret River and an icecream shop on their dairy farm in Cowaramup, Paul and Trish and Miller know their stuff. Pavlova - Pavlova made its debut to our ice cream cabinets last summer. It was such a hit we have decided to make this a regular summer treat. Think deliciously creamy vanilla and passionfruit ice cream with crushed meringue and raspberries. Mascarpone & Fig – A Millers classic. Creamy mascarpone ice cream blended with our homemade fig preserve. This one holds a very special place in our hearts as it's a Gold Medal winner and is also very popular. Salted Caramel - Just an all-time favourite. Creamy caramel ice cream with a thick swirl of


art | food | wine

salted caramel sauce. Just yum. Further north and Dunsborough bound? Then Simmo's is the stop for you. Founded by the Simpson family, it's still family-owned and run after 27 years. Friday afternoons are filled with taste testing the week's experiments. Currently in the pipeline are some new flavours for a vegan range which will hopefully be released later in the summer. Current trials in the shop are Salted Caramel Popcorn and Black

Forest Cherry.Yes please. Creamy Choc Vegan - Vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free but definitely DELICIOUS. Can you believe it? We have finally created a wonderful creamy, decadent, crazily delicious chocolate dairy-free ice cream super low in calories and sugar because we use stevia instead of refined sugar. It actually tastes damn good. Matso’s Ginger Beer - The ever-popular ginger beer born out of WA’s Kimberley and now

GALLERY Open 10am daily

(closed Tuesdays) T 08 9756 6371 www.thestudiogallery.com.au

BISTRO

Lunch Thursday - Monday Dinner Saturday T 08 9756 6164 W www.thestudiobistro.com.au 7 Marrinup Drive, Yallingup, 6282


Eat & Drink COLD COMFORT Gelato Buonissimo serves up authentic Italian gelati (above) with interesting ingredients. Right and oppotiste, Two Fat Cows.

shared across the country – a perfect summer antidote, it has long been Australia’s favourite alcoholic ginger beer and takes you to Broome from the first sip. Simmo's use true blue Matso’s Ginger Beer to create a light refreshing sorbet to set the scene for an afternoon in the sun. Caramel Milk - Inspired by the recent craze over the Cadbury Cara Milk chocolate bar, we’ve created a rich white chocolate ice cream with a hint of crème brulée flavour that will instantly take you back to your childhood experience of eating condensed milk straight out of the can. Silky smooth and so more-ish. A day out on the Busselton jetty wouldn't be complete without something to cool down

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afterwards. Head into town and hit up Gelato Buonissimo. Andy and Anita Smith have been crafting exquisite gelato and sorbetto for six years here. A family-run business with strong Italian ties, you’ll be right at home if you want to order in the native language of gelato. Due pallina di gelato, per favore! Roasted Macadamia and Local Jarrah Honey Gelato -We like to use fresh local ingredients as much as possible, we use honey bought from the local Busselton Farmers Market as well as seasonal fruit to make our other sorbets. This is a really popular flavour combo in our shop. Lemon Sorbetto (Limone) -This is a staple in our freezer; it’s refreshing, sharp and fresh. It’s


also dairy-free and is perfect on a hot summer's day. The lemons come from our son-in-law's family farm in Bridgetown, where they have an amazing tree that produces all year round. They provide out-of-this-world fresh flavour. Dark Chocolate Fondant (Cioccolato Fondente) - This dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan

treat is one of the most decadent chocolate treats you will ever eat. High in cacao and using Lindt couverture, it is one of the most sophisticated flavours in the freezer, and pairs perfectly with lemon sorbet (a classic Italian combo) or our newest flavour for this summer, crunchy salted caramel gelato. We think it’ll be a summer hit.

SIMMO'S USES TRUE BLUE MATSO'S GINGER BEERTO CREATE A LIGHT REFRESHING SORBET

Two Fat Cows Sharon Penfold grew up in the Margaret River area, raised a family in Cowaramup, and has always worked in farming. “I moved on from being plant manager at the Margaret River Dairy Company, and after the owners of Two Fat Cows, a commercial customer of the dairy, moved on, I could see it was a fantastic product and was excited to continue to develop the brand.” These days, Sharon is as good as her word, developing new flavours and ensuring she and the team keep producing a consistently delicious collection of ice creams. “Winning this year’s Grand Champion Ice Cream at the Perth Royal Show Dairy awards was a high point,” she says, as Two Fat Cows won two gold and six silver medals for their fantastic ice creams.

Everything’s cooler south of the border. Cellar Door | Open Daily | 10am to 5pm BYO picnic + wine by the glass stellabella.com.au || 9758 8611 205 Rosa Brook Road, Margaret River


Eat & Drink

Degustations

to savour If you’re short on time but keen nevertheless to enjoy some of the region’s best produce, opt for the degustation menu. By DANIELLE COSTLEY.

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his is a region renowned for its worldclass wines, but its abundance of fresh produce has also led to a new wave of dining experiences that will cause any gourmand to salivate. There is fine dining at Voyager Estate, casual beachside meals at Bunkers Beach House, a degustation feast at Xanadu and a wine-led chef ’s menu at Vasse Felix – and that’s just for starters. Enter the meticulous grounds of Voyager Estate and immerse yourself in a fine dining degustation where food plating is an art – and the flavours are both sophisticated and intriguing. Follow the colours of your palate in this sensory revelation, where each course unveils itself with so many delicious layers and textures. Choose from a four- or seven-course menu and relish every mouth-watering morsel as Michelinstarred chef Santi Fernandez introduces you to cuisine that reflects the different homelands of his incredibly talented team of chefs, inspired by local ingredients and the Estate’s wines.

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The dishes all have a story to tell, such as the sustainably-grown Mottainai lamb that's reared on carrots and olives to create a perfect balance of tenderness and umami. The lamb is roasted and smoked, and served with roasted baby carrots, black olive oil, vadouvan carrot purée

and lamb jus. This is a harmonious match with a glass of the Voyager 2012 Chardonnay. A leisurely lunch at casual seaside eatery, Bunkers Beach House, is good for the soul. Everything on this menu is sustainably sourced, whether it’s the daily catch from the Indian


Ocean or the vegetables from Millbrook kitchen garden. Overseen by highly renowned chef Guy Jeffreys, this is a destination where you can easily wile away an afternoon on some of the best produce the region has to offer. The ‘kitchen’s choice’ share menu changes daily but

can include a smoked fish paté, Amberjack dry-aged carpaccio with a selection of foraged dune vegetables such as sea blite, beach mustard, dune spinach and pigface, or a traditional dish from Brittany featuring chilli-baked scallops with a creamy Yallingup sourdough bread sauce;

FEAST FOR THE SENSES Voyager Estate's astonishingly delicious degustation menu has rightly won many plaudits, left and above. Ben Day's menu at Aravina Estate (top left) makes use of top quality local ingredients.

D E E L B NO CLAIRAULT THIRD H

Savour our award-winning wines and seasonal menu nestled between native bushland and old vines.

Cellar Door & Café Open daily 10am - 5pm 3277 Caves Road , Wilyabrup www.clairaultstreicker.com.au


Eat & Drink CHEF BRENDAN PRATT'S FOUR-COURSE TASTING MENU AT VASSE FELIX IS INNOVATIVE, TEXTURAL AND BURSTING WITH FLAVOUR.

KITCHEN STARS AT WORK There are some culinary superstars at work in the Margaret River region, including Brendan Pratt at Vasse Felix, Ben Day, below, Aravina Estate and Guy Jeffreys at Bunkers Beach House (opposite).

barbecued sardine-stuffed grape leaves; and roasted nannygai with seaweed, bacon butter and grilled lettuce. Each dish can be paired with wines from Deep Woods or Evans & Tate. Indulge in regional, modern cuisine with a strong Japanese and Korean influence at Vasse Felix restaurant. Chef Brendan Pratt’s fourcourse tasting menu is innovative, textural and bursting with flavour. Created from locally sourced, seasonal produce, the dishes change daily as the ingredients become available. The kingfish wing with smoked eel and mushroom XO, paired with a glass of the Heytesbury chardonnay is a symbiotic experience. There is a depth of flavour and intensity in the food that expertly captures the flavour profiles of the Vasse Felix wines, which are the inspiration behind

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VOYAGER ESTATE? this meticulously curated cuisine. The view overlooking the organic vines and Willyabrup Creek only enhances the dining experience. Aravina Estate is offering a private dining degustation created by executive chef, Ben Day. This ‘Feed Me’ menu is a selection of the chef ’s favourite dishes that have been inspired by seasonal produce. The block 4 Chenin Blanc is paired with roasted Pemberton marron with a sprinkling of native ingredients such as macadamia, quandong, saltbush and lemon myrtle. The fish with mussels in a shellfish sauce with gold zucchini, peas and bottarga will excite pescatarians, while the macadamia ice cream with sunrise lime, blood orange and honey is a seamless finish to this five-course gastronomic experience. Xanadu Winery’s eight-course degustation, known as the ‘Xanadu Fest’, has been crafted by chef Melissa Kokoti and features an abundance of fresh, local produce that is prepared with her own creative flair. Let the chefs be your guide as you taste your way through some of their favourite dishes. This could involve starting with a parfait, terrine and pickles; followed by smoked salmon with spring peas, oyster cream, lemon and prawn cracker; Amelia Park lamb served with parsnip, buckwheat and pickled fig; and finishing with a white chocolate cremeaux with blood orange,

rosewater and pistachio ice cream. If room permits, choose the house selection of cheeses with lavosh (wafer thin, of course). Never before has this region been filled with such an incredible food offering. Embark on this foodie voyage of discovery with an empty stomach and be prepared to loosen your belt.

FROM THE LAND FOR THE LAND


FOOD & DRINK

EAGLE BAY OLIVES A GOURMET EXPERIENCE WITH A FOCUS ON OLIVE OIL AND OLIVES Premium extra virgin olive oil. A wide selection of table olives, naturally processed. Tapenades, pesto, dukkah, dressings and jams, all preservative free. Unique giftware including olive wood boards and kitchen utensils. Picnic boxes to enjoy in our shady gardens. Sunday until sold out. Open 10.30-5.00 10.30 - 5.00every everyFriday, Friday,Saturday Saturday&and Sunday Also Monday public holidays. Check our Facebook page for the latest news. Check our Facebook page for the latest news.

521 Cape Naturaliste Road, Eagle Bay WA Ph (08) 9755 3188 eaglebayolives.com.au

SEE. SMELL. TASTE. EXPERIENCE. Visit our Cellar Door for a wine tasting experience like no other. Guided tastings and Wine Sensory Garden Tours with the winemaker. Stay a little longer, bring you own picnic and relax in our gardens. 200 Chapman Hill East Rd, Busselton. Ph 08 9753 1394 wine@whicherridge.com.au To make a booking visit whicherridge.com.au whicherridgewines

CAFE BORANUP

KARRIDALE TAVERN COUNTRY ATMOSPHERE IN THE FOREST 10am-4pm Weekdays. 8am-4pm Weekends. Great coffee. Home baked scones and cakes. Augusta Abalone and Whiting. Variety of vegetarian and GF options. Breakfast and Lunch Menu.

FRIENDLY COUNTRY TAVERN AND RESTAURANT Serving meals all day 11am - 9pm Local beer and wine.

Lunch • Dinner • Bar • Snacks. Next to Boranup Gallery. 7981 Caves Road, Forest Grove WA 6286 Ph 08 9757 7279 | www.cafeboranup.com

BOOK LOCAL

BLUE OCEAN FISH & CHIPS AUGUSTA Come eat where the two oceans meet in the spectacular location of Augusta. Experience the taste of our mouth-watering local fish, grilled or fried with yummy gluten-free chips. Variety seafood products, combo packs, selection of kids’ packs, burgers, drinks and ice creams available. Blue Ocean is located in the centre of town.

Open 7 days a week Lunch 11.30am ~ 2.00pm • Dinner 5.00pm ~ 8.00pm Tel: 08 9758 1748 • 73 Blackwood Avenue, Augusta

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Bussell Hwy, Karridale, WA Ph 08 9758 5523

AUTHENTIC ITALIAN GELATO AND SORBETTI Authentic Italian gelato and sorbetti made in-store by owner Andy using natural ingredients. Dairy and gluten-free flavours available. FOR OPENING HOURS PLEASE CHECK FACEBOOK AND GOOGLE 32 Queen Street, Busselton WA Ph 08 9751 1477 / gelatobuonissimo / gelatobuonissimobusselton


FOOD & DRINK

97555 555 cheekymonkey.com.au

Soak up the sunshine at Simmos. • Over 60 udderlicious ice cream flavours created from local full-cream milk. • Vegan options available. • Picnic & BBQ area. Adventure Playground. • 18 hole mini-golf – get a group going. • Barista coffee and toasted paninis. • Wonderful waffles and sensational sundaes. We’re open every day 10am to 5pm. 161 Commonage Road, Dunsborough.

BOOK LOCAL

TA S T I N G S D A I LY 10.30AM TO 4.30PM 3 5 1 8 C AV E S R O A D, W I LYA B R U P 9750 4000 I w w w.rober toatley.com.au

5 STAR WINERY JAMES HALLIDAY - AUSTRALIAN WINE COMPANION 2019

RobertOatleyWines

robertoatleywines

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Wine & wineries

Summer time,

summer wine

Fergal Gleeson suggests the perfect wines for those long, lazy summer days. At the beach, by the pool, on a sun lounger – this summer you’ll want a wine that’s crisp and refreshing.

Sparkling

ARAVINA ESTATE 2018 A COLLECTION SPARKLING CHENIN BLANC

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A beautiful methode traditionelle from Aravina made from chenin blanc. It’s lively and fresh, courtesy of the high quality fruit with green apple flavours coming though. This impressed at a recent lunch I hosted. Great alternative to Champagne for your next celebration. Aravina Estate is a well-known tourist destination near Yallingup, and apart from the cellar door there is a restaurant, sports car gallery, a kitchen garden and the West Australian Surf Gallery. Also try their Limited Release range. Visit aravinaestate.com

CLAIRAULT STREICKER 2015 BLANC DE BLANCS

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Clairault Streicker’s methode traditionelle sparkling is made from 100%-chardonnay, picked early to retain acid freshness. This has lovely brioche flavours from 30 months spent on lees, far longer than most Australian sparkling wine. It’s rounder and softer than Champagne but a delight nevertheless. Clairault Streicker’s range of wines achieved excellent results in the 2020 Halliday Wine Companion and they have consistent medal success at wine shows. Cellar door open daily, tours and café on site. Visit clairaultstreickerwines.com.au


Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon

HOUGHTON RESERVE SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019

15

$

FRASER GALLOP PARTERRE SEMILLON SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018

Houghton is one of WA's most iconic wineries, founded by three British army officers in 1836. They’ve just released a new Reserve Range which includes a cabernet, shiraz, chardonnay and a sauvignon blanc.The Reserves sit above the Houghton Stripe range and are priced at a modest $15. The sauvignon blanc has a tropical nose with a little spice. The wine is bright, refreshing and nicely weighted. It’s a lovely summer wine that is very moreish. Also look out for their Wisdom Range sourced from single regions including Margaret River cabernet and Pemberton pinot noir and chardonnay. Visit houghton-wines.com.au

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$

WINDOWS ESTATE PETIT LOT SEMILLON SAUVIGNON BLANC 2018

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Windows is a small family-owned winery which make wines that are distinctive and considered. They hold a 5-Star Halliday rating and will be certified organic from December 2019. The philosophy is that great wines are made in the vineyard and they try to do things differently to the larger commercial wineries. There’s a liveliness and vibrancy to this wine that forces you to take notice. The citrus flavours that shine through are added to thanks to a sensitive use of oak. Red lovers look out for the 2017 Violette, 2017 Syrah and 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon. Part of the Small Family Wine Trail. Cellar Door open daily offering many wine tasting experiences. Visit windowsestate.com

Chardonnay

ROBERT OATLEY VINEYARDS FINISTERRE CHARDONNAY 2017,

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JUNIPER ESTATE AQUITAINE BLANC 2017

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One of the small band of sauvignon semillons that are barrel-aged (in this case for 10 months). The oak provides richness and depth adding to the intense lemon and lime flavours. Chardonnay lovers will appreciate the complexity and age worthiness but there’s plenty of fun to be had now. Just don’t over chill. Juniper Estate is one of the region’s oldest wineries. Its partner Aquitaine Rouge is also delicious. The Juniper Cellar Door won the 2019 award for Best Large Cellar Door in Margaret River from Gourmet Traveller Wine. It is open daily. Visit juniperestate.com.au

Winemaker Clive Otto has designed a sophisticated SSB that’s a cut above the norm. The varietals are blended in almost equal amounts, wild fermented and aged in new and used oak barrels. The oak enhances rather than distracts in a wine where the fruit soars above the winemaking elements. It’s a style of wine inspired by great white Bordeaux that takes SSB to the levels of barrel fermented chardonnay. The other wines in the Parterre range – cabernet and chardonnay are also exceptional. Cellar door open daily. Weekend tours start at 10am. Keep an eye on the website as they hold regular events. Visit frasergallopestate.com.au

Finisterre Chardonnay is a complex wine with white peach flavours and a persistent finish. It’s a finer and more sculpted version than their Signature chardonnay and I’d recommend upgrading to Finisterre for a few dollars more. New oak will integrate more with time. Robert Oatley was the owner of the Sydney to Hobart winning Wild Oats raising yachts as well as the founder of the famous Rosemount Estate. Robert Oatley Vineyards has offerings from other regions including McLaren Vale for Shiraz and the Yarra Valley for Pinot but holds a strong tilt to Western Australia. Cellar door open daily. Venue also hosts weddings and events. Visit robertoatley.com.au

HOWARD PARK CHARDONNAY 2018

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Howard Park’s highly awarded winemaker Janice McDonald does a lot of things very well - a suite of beautiful cabernets, the impressive method traditionelle ‘Jeté’ range and Great Southern rieslings to name a few. But I think she does chardonnay best of all. The 2018 Chardonnay is absolutely delicious with great length and balance. There’s a roll call of flavours - nectarine, grapefruit, nuts and wholemeal, it’s oh so alive. Bullseye! A variety of tasting options are available including their “Icon Wine” tasting and prebooking options for larger groups. Visit howardparkwines.com.au margaretriver.com

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Wine & Wineries

MOSS WOOD CHARDONNAY 2018

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Here’s a luxuriant and satisfying chardonnay from Moss Wood. Margaret River chardonnay of this quality is a force to be reckoned with. Lashings of peach, toasty oak, wholemeal and nut flavours. But the fruit is of such quality and bell clear that it pulls all the parts together. Their 2017 chardonnay was voted Australia’s best by the Halliday Companion. 2018 should also be a contender. Moss Wood is one of the Margaret River region’s oldest wineries with their first plantings made 50 years ago. Their range of reds includes three impressive cabernets, a merlot and pinot noir as well as very good semillon and an SBS.Visits to Moss Wood are by appointment. Visit mosswood.com.au

XANADU RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2017

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Another cracking chardonnay from Xanadu. The 2017 Reserve comes from the best of the Lagan vineyard. This will appeal to those who like chablis-style whites as it’s linear and intense with oyster shell characters. The grapefruit flavour and acid freshness override the oak making for an exceptionally vibrant wine. The Xanadu Stevens Road 2017 is an interesting comparison, receiving the same winemaking approach but is fractionally riper. Founded in 1977, Xanadu’s Cellar Door and acclaimed restaurant are open daily (Top 50 West Australian Food Guide 2017 & 2018 and a Chef Hat, Australian Good Food Guide 2019). Visit xanaduwines.com

FLOWSTONE WINES GEWÜRZTRAMINER 2016

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Alternative Whites

CAPE GRACE CHENIN BLANC 2019,

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Cape Grace craft a crisp and dry chenin, which makes for beautiful summer drinking with seafood and salads. Lovers of Clare Valley riesling and Hunter semillon will get this style immediately. Cape Grace also make a method traditionelle sparkling chenin and a delicious cane-cut chenin dessert wine. This is a versatile grape! Cape Grace are a highly-awarded familyowned winery (three trophies and 175 medals). Their range spans sparkling, white, rosé, red wines. Part of the Small Family Wine Trail. Cellar Door open daily.Variety of wine experiences on offer. Look out for the 2014 Museum Release Cabernet Sauvignon.Very special! Visit capegracewines.com.au

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If you think all white wines taste the same you haven’t met Gewürztraminer. The Flowstone 2016 is an excellent rendition from Stuart Pym capturing the varietals Turkish delight and rosewater flavours but with a clean and dry finish. Plantings of Gewürztraminer in the region are scarce so this a rarity. Stuart has had a stellar career as winemaker at Voyager Estate, Devils Lair and Stella Bella Wines before starting Flowstone Wines. Halliday Wine Companion 2020 rated one of Stuart’s sauvignon blancs the best in Australia. The cabernets and chardonnays are also noteworthy. Cellar Door visits can be arranged by appointment. Visit flowstonewines.com

WINES OF MERRITT CHENIN BLANC 2018

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Nick and Sarah James-Martin make small batch, natural-style wines from single vineyard sites. The range includes sauvignon blanc, vermentino, cabernet franc and a chenin blanc. Production is tiny. The commonality is the focus on building texture in the wines through time on skins, wild fermentation and ageing in old barrels. The chenin is a good example. It’s a wine with a chalky, dryness and lots of complexity though the fruit is not overshadowed. There’s no fining or filtration. There’s a cloudiness towards the end of the bottle. Take a walk on the wild side. Visit winesofmerritt.com.au


Rosé

CAPE MENTELLE ROSÉ 2018

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Cape Mentelle is one of the region’s founding and leading wineries. A high quality range from the everyday to ultra-premium wines is shaped by French winemaker Frederique Perrin and her team. Cape Mentelle rosé is vibrant and concentrated, tasting of strawberries. The acid is not overdone and there’s a lovely depth to the fruit which is predominantly shiraz 65% and grenache 15%. It’s clean and fresh, and is guaranteed to disappear quickly at your next lunch. The cellar door is open daily with a variety of options of tastings and private tours. Upcoming events at the winery include Cape Mentelle at the Movies - outdoor cinema nights from December 13 until March 2020. Visit capementelle.com.au

(the) rosé is vibrant and concentrated, tasting of strawberries

CULLEN WINES DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT 2019

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“Life is a dance!!! A dance between the sun and the moon,” says the back label. Winemaker Vanya Cullen probably allowed herself a dance when she was voted Australian Winemaker of the Year 2020 by the Halliday Companion. ‘Dancing’ is her rosé, a multi varietal, natural wine that is distinctive in texture and flavour. Cullen Wines was one of the region’s first wineries, is certified biodynamic and carbon neutral. But as Vanya says, making great wine is most important of all. The cellar door is open daily. There are private winery tour options, accommodation and a two chef hatted restaurant on site. Visit cullenwines.com.au

CALNEGGIA FAMILY VINEYARDS ROSÉ 2019

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There’s a lovely balance to this wine made from 100% shiraz fruit. It finishes dry with a bright acid that gets the saliva racing. Nice job from experienced winemaker Brian Fletcher. The Calneggia family have been involved in wine in the Margaret River region for over 25 years. Their labels include Rosabrook, Bunkers, Calneggia, Bramble Lane and Brian Fletcher Signature wines. Visit cfvwine.com.au

MCHENRY HOHNEN ROCK ROAD ROSÉ 2019

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Rosé is the quintessential summer drink. It’s not hard to see why with this lovely tempranillo rosé from McHenry Hohnen, which is dry and savoury. Tempranillo is less fruit-forward than more commonly used shiraz rosés. Still, Rocky Road Rosé is unashamedly fun. For a more cerebral summer wine there’s Laterite Hills Chardonnay, a distinctive barrel-fermented white. McHenry Hohnen farm biologically and organically. They hold a 5-star Halliday rating. Cellar door open daily. Visit mchenryhohnen.com.au margaretriver.com

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Wine & Wineries

WE LEARNT IT ON THE For schoolkids in Margaret River, there will always be someone who knows a winemaker. It’s in the DNA of the town as Cassandra Charlick finds out. 42

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An incredible trail running journey along the beautiful Cape to Cape coastline.

9 MAY 2020

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nglish, maths, physical education, social studies, geography, science, music, art . . . the list goes on. All kids will be familiar with a school timetable filled with these fun (or not-so fun) subjects and if you are lucky enough to be a parent, likely you will also be just as familiar with those homework notes. It’s understandable that you might feel like you need a glass of cab sav to get through it all, and you aren’t even being marked on your efforts. How would it be then, if that bottle of Margaret River wine was part of the homework? For many kids that grow up in Margs – and their parents - that isn’t a pipe dream, it’s reality. You’d be hard-pressed to find one child in the region who isn’t privy to an inside view of the wine industry growing up; winemakers, viticulturalists, marketers, cellar door staff and even accountants are necessary to get that grape into the bottle and onto your dinner table. Even if there is no direct link in the family, as long as they go to school in town they will be out in the vines at some point. Peter Wright is the farm manager at the Margaret River High School and says that every single child in the school gets out among the vines throughout their schooling. “From year seven, the kids will at some point be out helping me here,” he says. “They have one term in year seven, one semester in year eight and then it’s an elective from there onwards. If they are really into it they can finish with a certificate two in rural operations in year 11/12.”

NATURE PLAY Kids in the Margaret River region are encouraged to learn about and be hands-on when it comes to local viticulture.

Today it’s all about shoot thinning and desuckering the vines for some year eight students. “They do everything year round. If I’m up here working, then they are here with me. Pruning, picking, canopy management.You name it!” So what’s the hardest challenge managing kids in a vineyard? “It’s hard to keep up with them.They are always in competition with each other so I have to get them to slow down and make sure they do things right. If it's up to them it’s all about who can prune/pick/ pluck the fastest.” Peter has been holding the fort and developing things on the school farm since he joined the school five years ago. With a background in dairy farming, it’s thanks to a few extra pros in the wine and vine world that have helped along the way. Charlotte Newton teaches at the South Regional Tafe at the Margaret River Educational Campus and works closely with Peter. Those vines produce the juicy semillion, sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon that go into the bottles of her winemaking and viticulture students. “The certificate three in Wine Industry Operations is really popular, I get a lot of students, about 12 to 14 every year” she says. “I also teach a diploma of viticulture which is so popular I have to turn kids away each year. I love teaching, it’s such a joy to inspire the next

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Wine & Wineries IT'S SUCH A JOY TO TEACH THE NEXT GENERATION GOING INTO THE WINE INDUSTRY. generation going into the wine industry.” It’s no wonder that it’s a popular subject. “It’s a pretty good lifestyle if you are a young school leaver.You start early, finish at 3pm and are working outside in our beautiful climate. It’s a nice lifestyle compared with working away in the mines. There are opportunities to grow and to learn more and more, like moving into supervising role or vineyard management role. “Obviously if you have a parent in the industry, you see it first-hand but with other students, I think you’ve got to think about life in a small town; what are your opportunities for work? It’s a huge part of what we do in the region so it’s a great option to study that. The kids here are lucky as they are exposed to the industry growing up and opportunities for a career in it. City kids who aren’t exposed to it growing up, don’t know it exists. These kids are fortunate to know about it and have it as an option.” And what about wine education at home? “I think it’s such a healthy way to bring up kids,” says Charlotte. “Kids in Margs have an exposure and respect for wine. Winemakers' children will pour the bottle in the right way and smell the wine. They respect it and are curious about the beauty of it.” Charlotte teaches winemaking, but is also a winemaker by profession. She currently has her new label in the pipeline. “My kids helped me bottle my wine. They

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FROM LITTLE THINGS, BIG THINGS GROW are going to remember that forever,” she says. “They have a respect for the beautiful premium product we make here in Margaret River. It means that young people’s general knowledge of wine is quite high. They have sophisticated palates as they have absorbed so much as they grow up here.” So, toying with a move to Margaret River, but still trying to justify it? Just think of the kids. “They are ahead of the game compared to other people. Growing up in a wine region, you can’t get a better start in the world of world,” says Charlotte.

Joanne Marriott discovers how kids these days are learning the lessons of the land and paving the way for future winemaking generations. “That red brick house,” says Catherine Edwards, her arm outstretched, pointing to a little homestead nestled in the vines. “That’s where we lived with Mum and Dad - all four kids sharing a room.” She laughs. “We are quite a tight knit family.” Catherine’s grandparents bought Ashbrook Estate back in 1975. “All the rock picking, stick picking and


clearing for the vineyard, was done by my dad and my uncle. Every pine post was banged in by hand.” There’s a quiet affection and sense of pride for this vineyard that underpins her passion for winemaking and sustainability. It seems rooted in her childhood memories and the hard work invested by her parents and grandparents over the years. “It was from the veranda of that same house that the first vintage was sold in 1979, and cars apparently lined up all the way down the driveway,” explains Catherine. Tall gum trees now frame the driveway, tracing a winding course up to this beautifully secluded vineyard in the Wilyabrup Valley. They were planted when Catherine was just three years old. “Growing up here, we were exposed to everything that went on - a lot of work on the vineyard because we do everything by hand.” She remembers a day out with the pruning team in the vines. “They used pneumatic pruners, and my sister, who was only about four at the time, decided she would give it a go. After pruning several vines quite successfully, she cut the

IN SAFE HANDS Belinda Howse teaches agriculture at Margaret River Senior High School.

Holiday in WA When you holiday in WA, book with Quality Tourism Accredited Businesses and you’ll get a quality assured operator wherever you go. From hotels and guided tours to shops and services, you can expect quality, reliability and great customer service.

To book your holiday with Quality Tourism Accredited Businesses, visit margaretriver.com | SUMMER 2019/20 45 www.holidayinwa.com.au


Wine & Wineries HANDS-ON LEARNING Top from left, Ashbroo Estate early vintages, Wil and Vivi pick grapes on their parent's vineyard. Below, Catherine Kingsley and the team at Ashbrook Estate. Opposite, sheep shearing at Margaret River Senior High School.

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air hose to the compressor and that put an end to pruning for the day.” Back in the winery, Catherine shows me a black and white photograph on the wall. Her Dad, Brian, is standing in one of the tanks in his underwear, happily bucketing out grapes into a basket press. Next to it is a picture of her mum, Carol, washing buckets. “That’s one job we did get to do,” says Catherine. “We’d hand-pick into square buckets. The picker wrote their number on in chalk, so that all had to be rubbed off and the bucket sent back. That was one of the fun jobs,” she smiles. These childhood experiences have shaped

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her connection with the land and her strong connection with her family. “I think just the experience of living here, the tie that you have to it, it’s very hard to leave” she says reflectively. “I remember leaving to go to boarding school - it was very emotional.” Her eyes swell with tears. “I’ll never forget that day driving out down the avenue of trees, thinking I’m never going to be back here full-time again.” After five years of boarding school, three years of university and seven years of working in Perth, Catherine felt it was time to return home. She now lives with her husband, Kingsley, in her grandparents’ house,

along with her two children, Vivi (three) and Will (six). They run the winery as a team, together with her parents and her brother Richard. “We see ourselves as custodians of the land and we look after it as best we can while we’re here. Now having children of my own, that’s even more important.” Catherine’s children are now learning the same lessons on the vineyard that she experienced when she was growing up. “They love helping - shovelling the stalks into bins or taking the pressed skins out to the cows with Grandad on the tractor. I’m so glad that they get to have the same upbringing I did, and even better - they get their own rooms.” Many school children in the Margaret River region have friends and family members working in the wine industry. The family stories and lessons of the land permeate the local culture. Whether cycling to school through the vines, witnessing the work that goes into the land or consuming fresh local farm produce, the kids here know they’re in a pretty special part of the world. “A lot of towns don’t have vineyards like we do - it’s just a part of being local, a part of knowing who you are I guess,” says one of the children at Margaret River Senior High School. The school has its own 18-hectare farm and all students get to study agriculture and help with farm operations. Belinda Howse started teaching agriculture here in 2015. “I came here initially in 2001 as the cooking teacher, but always thought the farm needed its own teacher.” It turned out to be her

dream job. She developed the curriculum as a continuous program so that every term, students learn something different. “The year sevens start with vegetable gardens and horticulture, the year eights learn about poultry and bees, year nines study sheep and pastures, and year tens cover cattle and plant production. Everyone helps with pruning and picking in the vineyard and a theme of sustainability weaves through the whole curriculum. “The kids love it over here,” says Belinda. Her classes fill up quickly. “There’s always more kids that want to do it than we can fit into the timetable.” In the new farm sheds, wool is heaped into baskets from yesterday’s sheep shearing. Next to the mobile classroom, garden beds burst with garlic, rosemary, radishes and watermelons. The year sevens have planted flowers to attract native bees and have been making bee hotels. Broody chickens patrol outside their caravan home. Eggs are collected and packaged in the processing room, where Belinda also plans to start making jams and preserves. She’s installed a wood-fired pizza oven here too. “We’ve only used it twice this year, with the fresh produce from the garden.” She’s buzzing with ideas for new projects and lessons. It’s easy to see why her classes are so popular and will sow seeds of inspiration for the next generation. To find out more about local winery families, listen to Episode Power of the Wine Unearthed podcast - The Power and the Passion of Winemaking Families visit margaretriver.com/wine-unearthed/

THIRD H VASSE FELIX

MARGARET RIVER

EST. 1967

MARGARET RIVER’S FOUNDING WINE ESTATE TASTING BAR • WINE LOUNGE • RESTAURANT • THE VAULT • ART GALLERY • TOURS Open Daily 10AM - 5PM Caves Road (Cnr Tom Cullity Drive), Cowaramup WA 6284 Phone 9756 5000 Restaurant Reservations 9756 5050


Wine & Wineries

A warm welcome for all A brilliant cellar door experience can make the difference between you wanting to buy everything in the shop to walking away empty handed. Mia Lacy speaks to some of the region’s cellar door stars.

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hey are possessed of charm, abundant wine knowledge (which they give of generously), and boundless patience. They are the cellar door faces you’ll meet in the Margaret River region, and the business of visiting many wineries can often be as much about the person serving you as the wines you’re tasting. Rachel Gleghorn can usually be found behind the door at Howard Park, chatting to visitors in a glorious space with the most incredible view of vineyards and native karri trees. It’s a long, long way from London. “Wine brought me here,” she jokes. “There were some West Australian wines appearing on restaurant lists in London which seemed really expressive, fresh and energetic. And I liked the idea of moving to a wine region by the sea. When you live in a frenetic city like London, those places seem pretty captivating.” When I remark on the location of the cellar door,

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Rachel says it supports the unique sense of place. “We are based in Wilyabrup so there are lots of other great producers a stone’s throw away. I love the sense of wine community here. We can all recommend particular local producers who have different styles our guests might be looking for.” Over at Fraser Gallop Estate, cellar door personality Peter De Cuyper agrees the sense of community in Margaret River was a major draw card. “I had the privilege of experiencing many different parts of the world before choosing to live here 12 years ago. I could wax lyrical about the unspoilt scenery, the fine weather, the exquisite wine - all of which are truly superlative - but here you are embraced whole-heartedly for who you are, which is a very rare thing indeed.” Peter calls his role more of a vocation than a career. “If we work out why we enjoy a particular wine - as we all have a slightly different

perspective on what might appeal - then decide on what occasion or with what food might the wine be best appreciated. My ethos is to communicate my approach to wine and share my experience. I engage with people of all ages, which keeps me young at heart.” For Trevor Keeley, no words are sweeter to hear than ‘We were recommended to come to Happs’. His entire approach to cellar door is based strongly on customer focus so visitors depart as ambassadors for Happs Wines. “What I absolutely love is you never know who is going to walk through the door, or what they may be looking for. I’ve learnt it is important to be non-judgemental, but there’s a need to quickly assess what the customer would like to achieve from their visit. What is their level of interest, are they here to learn or are they just wanting to have a fun tasting session with friends? I establish what customers are looking for, then do my best to provide that outcome.”


PLEASED TO MEET YOU Below, Clairault Streicker's Ulrika Larsson, Fraser Gallop's Peter De Cuyper and Howard Park's Rachel Gleghorn.

HIDDEN IN THE HEART OF THE REGION, A DREAM HAS GROWN ... • Totally unirrigated vines, planted by the Berson family 22 years ago • Award-winning Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines • Best Small cellar door, Margaret River 2019 Gourmet Traveller • New release wines: 2018 Pinot Noir, 2019 Rosé

Contact: Judith Berson, T: 0417 954 655 E: wine@victorypointwines.com Cellar door: 92 Holben Road, Cowaramup, WA Hours: Thursday - Sunday, 11am ~ 4pm and by appointment


Wine & Wineries Ulrika Larsson became cellar door manager at Clairault Streicker Wines in 2012. Growing up in Sweden in a family of engineers, working in the Australian wine industry wasn’t exactly on the cards. However she met the love of her life after coming to Australia on what was meant to be a gap year. Her new father-in-law was a winemaker and it was during one of many late nights ‘studying’ wine with him she recalls him saying “the wine industry needs young, vibrant women like you!” She remembers the moment that cemented her wine future. “I tried the Streicker Ironstone Chardonnay for the first time in a blind tasting back in 2011 and for me it was perfection in a bottle. I knew then to which producer my path would take me!” Ulrika says working in cellar door combines the things she loves the most – wine, food and talking. “I thrive on seeing visitors leave happy knowing I have made a big impact on their holiday,” she smiles. Larry Schoppe had a long view of establishing a winery in New Zealand when he enrolled

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BIG PERSONALITIES Right, Happs' cellar door star, Trevor Keeley with Morris Dancing friends Opposite, Mongrel Creek's Larry Schoppe.


amaze’n

MARGARET RIVER MAZE, GARDENS, MINI GOLF & CAFE

MARGARET RIVER

Tel: 08 9758 7439 Giant Hedge Margaret River Maze, 18 Hole Mini Golf and 5 ha Botanical gardens, 4km south of Margaret River

in a viticulture course. Working one vintage in Margaret River put paid to that idea, and the family purchased a property near Dunsborough which became Mongrel Creek Vineyard. He credits most people who come to his cellar door with enough intelligence and taste to try the wines and work out for themselves what they are tasting and whether or not they like it.

“I never tell visitors what I think they should be tasting - in fact I talk about anything other than the wines. I enjoy just being myself. I treat visitors as I would my family or friends, and because of this I have made a lot of friends through cellar door over the years. My motto is No Pretense - No Bullsh*t and that’s what people get at Mongrel Creek.”

More mazes, games and puzzles amongst the gardens | Unusual WA native plants, attracting abundant birds and wildlife | BBQ’s, picnic ground, playground | Amazen café overlooking Amazen gardens and lake for breakfast and lunches | Wheelchair accessible paths

9978 Bussell Highway, Margaret River findus@amazenmargaretriver.com.au

www.amazenmargaretriver.com.au


Wine & Wineries

SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL

ERFUL WINES O ARE PRODUCING TRULY WOND WH S RIE NE WI ER ALL SM NY MA THERE ARE L GLEESON? SIDE AND TRY SOME, SAYS FERGA LD WI E TH ON LK WA A E TAK T NO WHY

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ou’ve visited some of the famous cellar doors.You’re thinking ‘where can I go that I haven’t tried?’ It’s a question that’s frequently asked at visitor centres by wine lovers in search of high quality but ‘off the beaten track’ wineries. Here are five of the best.

Whicher Ridge Whicher Ridge is a small family-owned winery in Geographe that has caught the eye of wine critics. There’s a 5-Star Rating from the Halliday Companion and a 2019 Gourmet Traveller Star Cellar Door Award. Cathy Howard and husband Neil have impressive experience in the wine industry with Cathy having worked at Orlando, St Hallett and Watershed Wines, and Neil at Taltarni, Blue Pyrenees and Sandalford. The desire was clearly there to do their own thing, and after scouring the region for the perfect site they planted grapes. Whicher Ridge released its first wines over 10 years ago. Their cellar door has the only wine sensory garden in Australia. Inspired by a garden in Napa Valley, it is designed with two sections for each grape variety, a descriptor bed and an affinity bed. The descriptor beds are planted out with fruiting plants, herbs and flowering plants which have aromas and flavours comparable to the

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wine variety. The affinity beds are planted with seasonal vegetables to give suggestions to visitors as to what flavours and textures will match particular wines. You’ll meet Cathy in person at the cellar door along with her friendly dog, Polly, a black kelpie.Visitors can choose from a number of wine tasting experiences including self-guided or guided tastings and garden tours and a tasting with the winemaker. You can wander through the garden with or without a glass of wine in hand.You’re also welcome to bring a picnic or play a game of pétanque. With the warmer months now here, Cathy recommends the Whitetail Sparkling Chardonnay, The Jetty Sauvignon Blanc Semillon and the Whicher Ridge Elevage Sauvignon Blanc. Not one but two rosés have just arrived too. More at whicherridge.com.au

Firetail Wines Visitors to the Firetail cellar door are greeted by the owners, Rob Glass and Jessica Worrall. The couple came to the Margaret River region in 2006, taking over a property planted with vines which were nearly 30 years old at that time. Their plan was to open a small boutique cellar door selling high quality wines. It’s mission accomplished as they have collected a slew of gold medals at wine shows and they’ve rated

very highly in the Halliday Australian Cabernet Challenge. The wines are made by the highlyregarded Bruce Dukes and Peter Stanlake, but the couple are firmly in control from the vineyard right through to the finished wine. There’s a strong sustainability ethos at Firetail where they avoid the use of pesticides. The resident flock of guinea fowl wander the property from sunrise to sunset, feeding on insects and other pests. There is nothing they like better than an aerial chase of a grasshopper


SMALL BUT

apparently. TheyFORMED are trialling the further PERFECTLY WhicherofRidge (left) andand fertiliser runoff has reduction herbicides (below) reduced through better also Jarvis been Estate dramatically are perfect examples of vineyard practices. wineries doing it their own way.are treated to tastings of all their Visitor wines including a vertical tasting to two vintages of cabernet sauvignon. The range covers everything from the Margaret River region classics to a methode traditionelle sparkling and dessert wine.You’ll hear from Jessica and Rob about how the wines are made and why they chose to make them. The cellar door, next to The Berry Farm, is the only retail location for Firetail Wines. Rob’s recommendations for summer are the 2015 Firetail Sparkling Chardonnay, where the bottled wine spends an impressive 30 months on lees (yeast) before being disgorged. The 2018 Firetail Sauvignon Blanc, made in the style of

GOANNA a sancerre with a partial barrel ferment and batonnage in barrel for six weeks and the 2019 Firetail Rosé, made from their merlot grapes. The Halliday Wine Companion says “the wine quality is exemplary and the prices almost old fashioned.” Who are we to argue? More at firetail.com.au

Jarvis Estate Matt and Jackie Jarvis always wanted to work in wine and felt the Margaret River region would


Wine & Wineries

be a great place to bring up their family and have a healthy outdoors lifestyle. Matt planted the vineyard himself in 1998 and has gradually transitioned from working as a bank manager to now spending all his time at Jarvis Estate. He hasn’t looked back, enjoying the variety of work in running a family-owned winery, alternating between the vineyard, the winery, sales and management. Jarvis Estate offers the full range of the region’s famous wine varietals. The red wine range includes cabernet sauvignon, merlot, shiraz, malbec and a highly regarded cabernet franc. Their award-winning white wine varieties include estate-grown chardonnay, semillon and sauvignon blanc. They are a true ‘estate’; all grapes are grown, fermented and bottled entirely on the property, believing this makes for better wines. Apart from the regional classics, they also make an Italian-inspired limoncello and a fortified wine. You’ll meet Matt or Jackie at the cellar door who will take you through their range. A visit includes a winery tour and barrel tasting.You will probably also meet AJ and Ella, their dogs. Matt particularly recommends their dry rosé or the 2019 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc for a warm summer day. Visit jarvisestate.com.au

FAMILY AFFAIR Craig Cotterell and Maria Bergstrom and their three children love the lifestyle that goes with running their vineyard, Jilyara. Opposite, Evoi Wines' Nigel Ludlow.

Victory Point Wines Perth-based couple Judith and Gary Berson found that they were spending an increasing amount of time in the Margaret River region, enjoying the wines from the pioneer vineyards and meeting the winemakers. Their love of wine quickly grew into a desire to be involved in the industry and they decided to make their mark in Margaret River. They searched for the right site to make premium wines, looking for the right soil structure, slope and aspect. Twenty two years ago they found “the valley” on Holben Road, Cowaramup. They made the brave decision to plant the vineyards without irrigation. “We believe the theory of making the vines work hard to achieve intensely flavoured fruit,” Judith says.“Without irrigation, the vine’s tap root digs deep initially to find the water source. It’s a long slow process but the vines are now well established and can cope with the changing climate.” Clare and Keith Mugford of Moss Wood agreed to consult to the Bersons and have helped create another great Margaret River region vineyard. The first couple of vintages of wine were made at Moss Wood by Keith and his team, before production became too big for their facility. The wines are now made by Mark Messenger from Juniper Estate. Victory Point holds a 5-star rating from the

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Halliday Wine Companion and has collected many medals at international wine shows. The cellar door has a spectacular view over the whole vineyard, so you can taste the wines and see exactly where they’ve come from. Current and older vintages are open for tasting and sale. Large format bottles of rosé and cabernet sauvignon and some new varietal wines are also available only from the cellar door. With summer here Judith recommends their crisp 2019 rosé served as an aperitif, matched with savoury hors d’oeuvres especially anchoïade. The 2016 Chardonnay matches brilliantly with the “bounty from the sea – dhufish, crayfish, and abalone”. Don’t over chill their chardonnay, she warns. For red wine lovers, Judith points to the medium-bodied 2018 Cabernet Franc, great with paella dishes or

barbecued lamb and Middle Eastern salads. Visit vicotorypointwines.com

Evoi Wines Marlborough winemaker Nigel Ludlow fell in love with the Margaret River region the first time he drove into Dunsborough. “I was blown away by the beauty of everything; the land, the beaches, the vineyards, the rugged coastline, the weather…” he recalls. His first vintage came from two barrels of chardonnay made in his garage, and Evoi Wines was created to harness his passion do things his own way. Evoi is now a Halliday 5-star rated winery, where James Halliday notes. “The quality has been exceptional.” “I think Margaret River is the most beautiful wine region in the world,” Nigel says. “Most


importantly, due to the positioning in the south west with the cooling oceans and incredible soils we have the perfect environment to grow grapes. Add to that the scenery and boundless other attractions of the region, and you have a winning formula. Other regions I’ve worked in have some beautiful attributes but not the whole package that we have here in the south west.” The most important thing he has learnt from operating as a flying winemaker in Hungary, Spain and South Africa is that winemaking is not done by recipe. Winemaking is an art. “My main moto is “taste, taste, taste”,” Nigel says. “I know each tank intimately and every winemaking process is accompanied with a sample. I call this passion.” You’ll be met by Nigel at the cellar door and be led around the winery, tasting the yet-to-be released wines. It is a real cellar door, attached to a real winery. There’s a kids’ playground, a pétanque pitch, and Evoi offer picnic sets to pair with your favourite wine. The cellar door is next to the vineyard on a beautiful expanse of lawn overlooking a picturesque lake. There are also two cabins on the property for short stays. “The Bakenal range are our “go-to” summer wines”, he says. A white, a red, and a rosé ($16). “The Evoi SBS is a great Margaret River classic. This has a slight twist with 10% wild ferment in barrel blended back to give more layers of complexity. And then there’s the Reserve Chardonnay but I’ll stop there, otherwise I’ll list my whole range!” he jokes. Visit evoiwines.com

Jilyara For more than 20 years, the Cotterells have been growing grapes for some of the region’s

premium producers. However, this year Craig Cotterell and partner Maria Bergstrom have decided to release wines under their own Jilyara label for the first time. The winery’s icon is the golden bee and the name ‘Jilyara’ is derived from ‘Djilyaro’, meaning ‘bees’ in the local Indigenous Noongar language. The bees live in four hives at the corners of their vineyard, supporting the healthy ecosystem surrounding the vineyard. It’s no surprise then that their importance is recognised by the winery. “We have grown grapes for a long time, supplying some of the region’s top wineries,” Maria tells me. “However, the dream has always been to see the process from beginning to end. It’s really lovely to see the product of hard work in the vineyard showing in a beautiful bottle of wine. “It’s terrifying at times too,” she says, of their transition to making wine. “Maybe that’s one reason it’s taken this long for us to take that next step. However, it’s also incredibly exciting and fun. Our strength is to grow quality fruit in a clean and sustainable manner, avoiding shortcuts. We pay attention to detail, which is possible since Craig and I do most of the work, with a few people helping out when required. We don’t have a cellar door at this stage, but we welcome visits by appointment.” The family love the outdoor life and are often found outside among the vines.When Maria is asked to pick her favourites for summer, she’s stumped. “That’s a tough one!” Maria laughs. “They’re all scrumptious – a warm summer afternoon calls for a chilled Honeycomb Corner Sauvignon Blanc or Heath Road Chardonnay, while a cabernet or malbec would go down well with a BBQ.” Visit jilyara.com.au

Handcrafted pottery and ceramic art by Master Potter Ian Beniston QUEENS EXHIBITOR Opening Hours Visit www.senseipots.com.au Studio Gallery 17 Huntington Court, Quedjinup (08) 9756 6666 info@senseipots.com.au


Wine & Wineries

The perfect partnership THE PAIRING OF WINE AND ART IS FOUND THROUGHOUT A NUMBER OF WINERIES IN MARGARET RIVER, AS CASSANDRA CHARLICK DISCOVERS.

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here are some things in life that are worth taking the time to savour. While a glass of perfectly aged chardonnay is a delight for the tastebuds, it’s the eyes that get to soak up the majesty of a beautiful artwork hanging on the wall. The partnership of wine and art is no new revelation. Those Grecian pottery etchings? Yep, Bacchus with his drop of choice. Did those French impressionists gather round and sip water together? Not likely. Chances are you might have even attempted your own masterpiece with a little help from the bottle. In fact, a study by Austrian scientists in

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2017 confirmed that wine does in fact increase creativity with almost half of history’s greatest writers having been privy to a tipple to get the juices flowing.* The south west of WA is a hub of creativity and you’re in for a treat when it comes to a union of two of life’s greatest pleasures. Our first stop is a union of three artistic endeavours. Wine, dance and sculpture come together at Howard Park’s third natural art installation; a collaboration between the winery and botanical stylist Cherise Woodhams from De La Terre, along with the support of the West


ARTFULLY DONE Opposite, Fi Wilkie's colourful work adorns Haywood Wine Co's bottles. Artists at work at Evans & Tate (Image by Paris Hawken). This page, Howard Park's incredible artistic collaboration with WA Ballet. Bottom and opposite, Windows Estate labels by Trilby Glen.

AWARDED 21 TROPHIES & 46 GOLD MEDALS IN 2019 CABERNET OF THE YEAR

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Australian Ballet. Sip and and savour a glass of wine as you gaze upwards at the installation, hanging from as high as seven metres in the cellar door. Where does ballet come into things? You’ll have to see it with your own eyes, but the winery has strong ties in the world of dance,

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Halliday – 99 points – 2018 and 2020

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with a former professional ballet principal dancer and soloist on its staff. It’s a fair swap: pointe shoes for pinot noir. Pop over Caves Road to the Flor Marché cellar door and indulge in a collab of a different kind. Bill Meiklejohn has been creating his

CELLAR DOOR OPEN 7 DAYS 889 COMMONAGE ROAD, YALLINGUP WA 6282

DEEPWOODS.WINE


Wine & Wineries

WORLD CLASS COLLECTIONS Left, Vasse Felix's art collection is world-renowened. Below, Leeuwin Estate's Art Series collection of labels are created by local artists, many of whom have work hanging in the estate's gallery.

whimsical pottery on site since the early 90s but the advent of the cellar door here two summers ago brought new life to both his work and the visitors that come to watch him create his art. “There is a long history of art and wine in this region and we have created an experience opportunity which combines both of these artisan crafts,” says Flor Marché’s winemaker and owner, Elizabeth Reed. Drive a little further north and you’ll soon hit Evans and Tate, a winery by name but also home to a creative hub of artists that have their studio and gallery space there. It's the perfect way to explore creativity: taste some wine at the cellar door and then potter on to watch the artists at work. Chloe Wilder creates stunning pieces filled with colour that pops, Jolene Hewison whips up whimsical ceramics and Carmen Griffen’s nautical-themed pieces are inspired by the local coastline. The union of wine and art doesn’t just stop at the cellar door however. Several collaborations between winemaker and artist have led to bottle art with real heart. Check out the labels on Windows Estate, created by talented artist Trilby Glen. To help support the artist’s two children who have cystic fibrosis, Windows is also producing postcards with the artwork from the labels with all profits going to Conquer

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Cystic Fibrosis, a 100% volunteer-run charity that was chosen by Trilby. Another winery to look out for is Haywood Estate. Every label is a little bit different and shares the artwork of local artists such as Fi Wilkie. ‘Nature Play’, their 2017 Sauvignon Blanc is named after her brightly colourful piece which is all about life on the artist’s farm. Finally, don’t miss two of Margaret River’s founding wineries who also happen to have some of the state’s most important art collections. Leeuwin Estate’s Art Series wine is bound to be in the cellar of any wine aficionado. Take the chance to see the label art up close and personal at their art gallery downstairs from the cellar door. There aren’t going to be many other occasions in

life you can sip your cab sav and take a peek at the bottle artwork on the wall at the same time. Vasse Felix is another of the region's oldest wineries and home to a seasonal program of exhibition from the celebrated Holmes à Court Collection. The collection started in the early 1960s and grew from the family’s interest in Australian and Indigenous art. It’s evolved into an internationally renowned collection that documents many pieces of Australian cultural significance and consists of more than 4,000 registered artworks. A fitting finale to a day of artistry for all the senses. * www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/ drinking-wine-beer-makes-you-more-creativeaustralian-study-mathias-benedek-a7883826.html


Eat Drink & Be Merry The best events and venues this festive season in the Margaret River Region


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Leeuwin’s Concert Series has been a highlight for the region’s music-lovers for many years. Janine Pittaway learns more.

Celebrate in harmony

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hree generations of Horgan family women have worked in harmony to deliver one of Australia’s most loved annual concert events. Tricia Horgan, her daughter Simone, and Simone’s daughter Lucy each have their own special memories of the Leeuwin Concert Series. And 2020 will mark the event’s 35th anniversary, consistently delivering the perfectly balance of music, food, wine and nature. The outdoor concert held in the stunning grounds of Leeuwin Estate runs like a well-oiled machine and there’s a waiting list for tickets each year before the musical talent is even announced. According to Lucy Davis, Leeuwin Estate’s marketing and events coordinator and thirdgeneration concert organiser, tickets generally sell out to their mailing list within a week of announcement. It’s become an annual pilgrimage for people from Perth and beyond who eagerly anticipate the concert’s talent and date announce and book their weekend down south for a late afternoon

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and evening of music by some of the world’s best-known performers, picnicking on the sprawling lawn or living it up in the black tie VIP marquees of the beautiful Leeuwin Estate, cracking a bottle of their signature wine and soaking up the atmosphere with friends. Joint chief executive and second-generation concert organiser Simone described the concert’s inception on the Margaret River region’s Wine Unearthed podcast. “The winery overlooks a meadow, and it’s surrounded by a really majestic forest of karri trees. It’s a natural amphitheatre, and quite spectacular, so it lends itself to outdoor concerts. “Dad set about writing to various orchestras, opera companies, and ballet companies within Western Australia, and back at that time, the idea seemed so crazy that he didn’t really get a positive response. “Then the London Philharmonic Orchestra were being brought to Western Australia by the Festival of Perth and they were looking at some sponsorship funding to underwrite the tour so

STARS UNDER THE SKIES The annual Leeuwin Concert Series has been a mainstay of the Margaret River region's social calendar for 35 years, attracting musical star from all over the world.

they came to dad and he said yes if they would come and perform down at the winery and, to everyone’s surprise, they said yes. “Outdoor concerts back then in 1985 really didn’t happen, let alone by one of the world’s most incredible orchestras,” Simone said. “That then just launched a tradition and we’ve done them for 35 years now.We’ve had a number of international orchestras, Sting and Ray Charles, Tom Jones, James Taylor and the whole atmosphere is really alive, but uniquely Margaret River.” The concerts have classical roots, and the London Philharmonic was followed by the Berlin and Royal Danish Orchestras. The concerts have evolved over time to include contemporary artists as well, sometimes backed by an orchestra. The setting works equally well for both. For Tricia Horgan, it was hard to pick a


concert highlight from the three decades, but one did stand out. “There have been many highlights but I think for all of us at Leeuwin the ability to work with Sting in 2005 to stage a charity concert that raised close to $5m for the victims of the devastating tsunami which hit Asia on Boxing Day 2004 stands alone. “No one who worked on this event was paid. Our staff volunteered as did all production companies and so many generous Margaret River residents. The WA Government matched us dollar for dollar and never flinched. Much of the food was donated and we have never fed more people - before or since - than we did at this particular concert. We were so proud of everyone, especially as many had to pick themselves up and do it all again at the two sellout events on the following Saturday and Sunday night.” Keep an eye on the Leeuwin Estate website and on MargaretRiver. com for this summer’s concert announcement.

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Drink in the view With a place as pretty at the Margaret River region, there’s no better way to while away an afternoon than with a glass of something local and Insta-perfect views. By DIANNE BORTOLETTO

ARAVINA ESTATE

GLENARTY ROAD

Stunning manicured gardens set the scene upon entry into Aravina Estate. Greeted by pink and blue hydrangeas, enter by walking across a little bridge over a creek system of cascading waterfalls and a tree fern canopy to arrive at the cellar door. Roses, camellias, agapanthus and native plants fringe the lake over which are views of rolling vines beyond. Plus, for parents there’s also a view in the other direction of a playground where the kids can play while you marvel in your surrounds. During spring and summer, live music in the gardens is also an attraction.

While on flatter terrain than some other vineyards, the views and the vibe make dogfriendly Glenarty Road worthy of a visit. The heavy wooden tables dotted under the shade of tall trees across the garden flanked by rows of vines within spitting distance and where you’re likely to see lambs and chickens roaming freely.

HAMELIN BAY WINES The deck of this dog-friendly winery is a great place to sit and bathe in the views across a pretty two and a half hectare lake, rows of vines, rolling green pastures and a remnant forest of giant karri and marri trees.

AMELIA PARK WINES The surprising views will catch your breath at Amelia Park Wines. The entrance is via heavy automatic sliding doors first into the dark barrel hall, then through another set of doors and bam, you're in through the cellar door that’s backlit with huge windows and views of tumbling hills lined with row after row of vines and the Wilyabrup Valley. Take it all in, take a seat and enjoy a wine flight with a cheese and charcuterie plate.

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CREDARO FAMILY ESTATE This dog-friendly cellar door (with free Schmackos for furry friends) on Yallingup Ridge has a lovely Tuscan-style terrace outside with sweeping views of the Wildwood Valley, green pastures, vine-lined hills with bushland beyond. It’s often visited by local kangaroos, black cockatoos and wedgetails eagles.

HAY SHED HILL WINES Situated in the Wilyabrup Valley on an elevated position, the pretty farm-style weatherboard cellar door and restaurant has a dog-friendly deck with views overlooking a few sculptures on the lawn and rolling hills and rows of vines beyond.

KNOTTING HILL VINEYARD The dog-friendly winery has a lovely deck


with views over a 5.5 hectare lake filled with marron and silver perch (that you can feed) with vineyard vistas beyond.You might even spot a marron sunbathing on the rocks.

LEEUWIN ESTATE The views driving into Leeuwin Estate are just about as impressive as the ones once you see upon arrival. Tall timber trees tower either side of the private road and once upstairs and in the cellar door, you’ll be greeted with a gorgeous vista of the terraced grounds and expansive lush lawn that hosts many famous events including the Leeuwin Concert Series and Gourmet Escape events. The backdrop to the natural amphitheatre and permanent stage is a natural forest with native karri, marri trees and bushland.

ROBERT OATLEY Home to the unmissable gold sculpture of the female form, apparently an ode to women that was installed by the winery’s former owner (and affectionately known by locals as the ‘chick on a stick’), the beautiful grounds of Robert Oatley boasts over 1,000 rose flowers in the garden and

the terrace that wraps around the old limestone building which has views over the lawn beyond to rolling vines.

STONEFISH WINE Opened just a year ago, Stonefish Wine has a brand new cellar door perched over a picturesque dam that offers views across the water to the vineyard and bushland. The dog friendly cellar door offers platters to accompany the clean fruit driven wines.

SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS The newly renovated cellar door (due to re-open in November) overlooks a large lawn area and a huge dam with rows of vines lining the hills and bushland in the background. Grab one of the supplied rugs, order a wood-fired pizza and kick back on the lawn for a casual way to spend an arvo with the added bonus that your pooch is welcome too.

VASSE FELIX One of the region’s most famous wineries and its oldest,Vasse Felix sets the benchmark for others


It's a feast for the eyes with breathtaking views of undulating hills . . .

ROOMS WITH VIEWS Robert Oakley's iconic sculpture - known as the 'chick on a stick' by locals - is well-known. Right, Amaz'n's maze makes for a great day out. Top, Vasse Felix's restaurant overloos stunning grounds.

to follow. If endless views of rolling vines from the second story restaurant wasn’t enough, there’s an outdoor sculpture garden and bushland views further beyond.

WILLS DOMAIN Winning the accolade of WA Regional Restaurant of the Year, lunching at Wills Domain is indeed a treat but there are also options to have a drink and graze on a shared charcuterie plate. It’s also a feast for the eyes with breathtaking views of undulating hills lined with vines up to a homestead perched on a far away hill and the Gunulgup Valley below.

WISE WINERY Ocean views! The only winery in the region that has a cellar door, a restaurant, a tavern and stunning ocean views in the distance over the tree tops of the old growth forest.

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AMAZE’N While technically not a winery, Amaz’n is a great choice for coffee, scones and lovely views overlooking a lake from the family friendly café. One of the biggest mazes in Australia, Amaz’n consists of five hectares of landscaped gardens around a giant 24-year-old, three-metrehigh hedged maze that has 1.5 kilometres of paths. If that weren’t enough, the kids and adults can burn off more energy on the 18-hole mini golf course, find their way out and around the many other mazes or solve outdoor puzzles and many games availables. Visit margaretriver.com for more inspiration.

the Home of Evans & Tate

TRY THESE AWARD WINNING RESERVE WINES AT OUR CELLAR DOOR .

New to the cellar door experience a selection of seasonal and regional artisan cheese from the Curd Collective. Available from mid-December .

cnr metricup & caves road, wilyabrup wa 6280

EVANSANDTATE.WINE


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Nothing says ‘summer’ and ‘special occasion’ more than a delicious seafood spread. Tom de Souza suggests ways to enjoy the bounty of the sea this festive season.

Catch of the day

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ummer may be the season for seafood but in fact, there’s an abundance of edible marine life available year-round in the Margaret River region. An embarassment of riches however is the best way to describe things in summer. A seafood platter, abalone, barbecued crayfish, fresh scallops, crispy whiting and chips. These are the kinds of food we reserve for our summer holidays and festive occations, and Margaret River is the region for them. On the northern end of the coast in Dunsborough, Blue Manna Bistro is a favourite seafood restaurant for locals and visitors. They offer fine dining in their restaurant, and their recently opened takeaway outlet means you can enjoy some of WA’s freshest seafood from the grandeur of a natural amphitheatre, says head chef Coby Cockburn. “We got asked for a lot of takeaway during our busy booked out summer nights,” says Coby. “Expanding Oceans Fresh Seafood - our public seafood supply business - and adding Blue Manna Takeaway made sense. Now we supply our

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customers with either the fresh produce at Oceans Fresh Seafood, and at the Takeaway: freshly cooked fish and chips, sushi boxes and more.” He’s got some local insight to share too, for the best spots to snag your own fresh catch.

“Some of my favourite spots down here [to enjoy seafood] would be Castle Rock or Shelly Cove. At both spots, you get to enjoy a beautiful view, the beach and also shady spots on hot summer days. “Or if you’d like us to do the work, our customers can sit back and relax at our restaurant, and enjoy their lunch or dinner under the peppermint trees with a delicious cocktail or a tasty bottle of local Margaret River wine.” As Blue Manna’s namesake suggests, their specialty is blue manna crabs, a large swimming crab endemic to the estuaries and intertidal zones around Western Australia. An all-time favourite is their Singapore-style crab, and a new addition this year is the coconut satay blue manna. Other items on their menu change every four to six weeks, says Coby, with produce depending on the season and what local commercial fisherman have caught. Oysters are also a favourite summer delicacy, and make an excellent pairing with a crisp glass of white from one of Margaret River’s world-class wineries. So much so that this year, Howard Park and Aravina Estate are both hosting festivals dedicated to this celebrated combination. In 2020, Aravina will celebrate a decade of service with their signature event, Ten Days of Summer. The festival will see Perth’s king of oysters, Jerry Fraser, shucking fresh oysters to the spectacular backdrop of the Aravina Estate: manicured gardens, expansive lawns, and undulating vines. “I love the pleasure on people’s faces when they eat oysters,” says Jerry. “It’s like taking that first plunge into the ocean. It’s clean, pristine, fresh. They taste the brine first, then they get the textures and flavours.” 2020 is also the sixth year of Howard Park winery’s Oyster and Riesling festival. On


January 13 and 14, the apex of the summer holidays, the winery grounds transform into a culinary theatre. The festival features seafood and taco stalls, DJ tunes all afternoon, and, on centre stage, the oyster bar. An oyster is as well matched with a crisp riesling, as Lennon with McCartney, strawberries and cream. It’s the juxtaposition of salty and acid flavours that make this combo especially delightful, says Howard Park cellar door manager, Emily Bromell. Throw a sultry summer afternoon in the mix and you have a venerable trio. “Oysters are salty, rich, creamy and smooth on the palate. By comparison, our signature dry rieslings are bone-dry, lean, citrusy, crisp and ‘clean’. Enjoying the two together is like squeezing a delicious lemon over seafood. They bring opposing flavours, salt and acid at their most basic, but are so complementary,” says Emily. “It’s a real display of skill at the oyster bar during the event, full of theatre. The chefs are armed with an oyster shucking knife, chain gloves for safety & skilfully twist and lever the oyster shell open all day long. Hundreds of them! Oysters and riesling is the best combination in summer, because it’s refreshing and cooling. The best treat after a dip in the ocean.” Outside of these events, we encourage you to get out there and create your own seafood experience. Purchase a licence from the Department of Fisheries and forage among the rocks for fresh abalone, fish for whiting from the beaches or jetties in Geographe Bay or Augusta, or enjoy fish and chips on the Yallingup foreshore. Summer is a season rich in outdoor opportunity, and, of course, seafood too.

Blue Manna bistro Fresh Seafood with an Asian twist in the heart of Dunsborough 08 9786 5051 1/16 Cyrillean Way, Dunsborough www.BlueMannaBistro.com.au

Blue Manna Linguine Marinara

Tuck into fresh seafood pan-seared with garlic, chilli, parsley and olive oil. Marinara Mix 2 prawns 10/20 scallop cut in half 7 clams 6 mussels 50g fish pieces 30g smoked salmon pieces 30g squid For Marinara 50ml Olive oil

1 tbsp garlic Minced 1 tbsp garlic sliced 1 tbsp chilli sliced 1 tsp anchovy paste 1 cup parsley 50g butter (must be cold) 1 cup white wine 1 tbsp powder parmesan 1 tbsp shaved parmesan for garnish 190g portion of linguine

In a heavy based frying pan heat olive oil to smoking point and then add all the garlic, chilli anchovy and seafood. Shake the pan so it flames and adds a bit of smokey flavour. Deglaze with white wine then cover so the mussels and clams steam open. Add butter and parsley when the cold butter has thickened the sauce. Add pasta and powdered Parmesan, and toss. Garnish with shaved parmesan. Marinara should have a nice pool of white wine butter sauce in the bottom of the bowl.


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High days

holidays

and

THE FESTIVE SEASON HOLDS A SPECIAL PLACE IN MANY PEOPLE’S HEARTS - LONG AND LAZY DAYS AT THE BEACH, AND FOOD AND DRINK TO CELEBRATE THE SEASON. MIA LACY TALKS TO SOME LOCALS WITH SPECIAL MEMORIES.

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f you look back at summer holidays through the prism of childhood, they’re usually upgraded to great weather, good food (often consumed with much enjoyment outdoors) and well… the weeks were just longer. For those lucky enough to grow up here in the south west, the Margaret River region – as it was and is - is imprinted in their memories.

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Summer caravanning holidays in and around Yallingup were the start of Damon Eastaugh’s long association with Margaret River. The general manager of Flying Fish Cove winery remembers catching his first waves with mates back in his early teens. “We loved surfing the breaks like South Point and Yallingup. We’d spend our days travelling to the surf spots as far as Gracetown, then back to the caravan park where we’d hang out in the games rooms eating Sunnyboys’ raspberry freezers – does anyone else remember those triangle shaped icy poles?” “We got a mini-cat and we’d sail it along the foreshores in Geographe Bay. Getting it home without flipping it over was always good,” he says. Today Damon is still surfing, but his mates

have been replaced by his son and daughter who are often at his side when he enters the water. Cultural custodian and local Wadandi man, Josh Whiteland says his family would often swap the beaches of Busselton and Dunsborough where he grew up for cooling rivers, come the long summer holidays. “We’d always camp on the Blackwood River during marron season. Between a little snare and a drop net, us kids didn’t do too bad. My Dad would put a bunch of eucalyptus leaves in the water and the marron would crawl onto them – way easier.” Josh remembers swimming upstream in the Blackwood, often with couple of mates. “There were always freshwater eels there in the little pools – we would hand feed them – they pretty much ate anything.”


Today, Josh owns Cape Cultural Tours and teaches visitors about the encircling relationships between the rivers, the sea, animals, fish and plants. “A favourite memory is camping on the beach at Kilcarnup, catching fish, wrapping them in aluminium foil and lemon then cooking them over coals on the sand. I can still taste that fish in my memory – in fact I cooked a fish just like that at Black Point the other day and it tasted the same.” A life-long passion for the Margaret River region has brought Gene Hardy full circle. “I was born in Margaret River and feel like I have an incredibly strong connection to this awesome corner of WA.” Gene is the founder of Cape to Cape Tours and says he feels privileged to operate a business showcasing the region’s outstanding natural environment. “I get such a buzz out of seeing our guests’ reactions and how much they love it.” Summer holidays were always centred around surfing. “I remember getting my first big, throaty barrel at North Point. I loved that wave and I still recall the feeling of being inside that barrel… and how good it felt to come out!” His favourite childhood memory is of going surfing on Christmas Day. “For me it wasn’t about

GOLDEN YEARS Opposite, clockwise, Damon Eastaugh pours a drop, Josh Whiteland with a big fish. Gene Hardy as a kid with a boogie board, and Keith McLeod as a boy. This page, above, Gene, Keith, and Josh.

feasting, it was all about the surf. The whole family would pack our boards and head down to wherever the waves were pumping. It was epic!” Gene says even today nothing recharges him more than getting out in the surf, especially when his daughters join him. According to Keith McLeod, owner of the Margaret River Bookshop, the main street of Margs hasn’t changed that much since he was a kid in the 1950s. “People think I’m crazy when I say that but the thing is the street is still in the same place, the bridge over the river at the bottom of the hill, same spot, the river follows the same path to the sea, the old hospital where I was born is just up there on the hill and every couple of days, I run into people I went to school with. You anchor yourself to a place without even

realising,” he says. Keith’s great grandparents arrived in 1859 and built their first home a mile upstream from Ellensbrook. Much later, his grandfather had the Margaret River Hotel built. “I remember calling in there as a kid on Christmas day to see my gran. My mum was pretty religious and we’d always come to town on Christmas morning for the church service at St Margaret’s.” Growing up on a farm near the coast, Keith was naturally drawn to the beach. “I can’t think of a better thing to do on Christmas day than bodysurf a wave at the River Mouth. And there’s something mysterious and magical about meeting people on the beach at Christmas; a nod of the head, a smile, saying 'we are the lucky ones’. margaretriver.com

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5

reasons you must attend the Augusta River Festival 2020

THE BEAUTIFUL BLACKWOOD RIVER TAKES A STARRING ROLE IN THE ANNUAL AUGUSTA RIVER FESTIVAL - HERE’S WHY YOU SHOULD HEAD THERE THIS SUMMER.

The Festival is held It is fun day out 1 against one of the world’s 2 for all ages most stunning backdrops The Augusta River Festival takes place along the Blackwood River foreshore, which is one of the most underrated and picturesque locations in the region. The calm blue waters attract kayakers, paddle boarders and recreational fishing enthusiasts all year round, and even just sitting on the grass by the riverbank will allow you to witness an array of birdlife. Pelicans, and migratory birds (Darter, Caspian Tern and even the Black Bittern) can all be spotted. Dolphins and sting-rays they are so prolific in the waterways at Colourpatch and they are often very visible from shore. When the festival c comes alive with people and markets, the location is really one of the biggest drawcards – making you wonder why the southern cape remains so untouched.

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The Augusta River Festival really is a perfect family day out. With over 70 stallholders selling local artisan retail, there is a wonderful opportunity to browse for beautiful gifts. Kids will love the rides, dress ups, live entertainment, face painting and more on offer. Teenagers and adults will be able to enjoy live music all day, and for the parents – a licensed area run by the Leeuwin Lions Club allows you to sit back and relax with a beer or glass of wine and take in the view. The River Bar occupies a great location overlooking the main stage.

all-day music line-up 3 The is A-grade The music line-up at the Augusta River Festival is always on top of its game. Last year the likes of

ARIA nominated Mama Kin,The Tommyhawks, and The Blue Child Collective took to the stage and this year the calibre of artists will be just as unique.With a range of beats from folk medleys, Caribbean reggae, layered blues and roots, and foot stomping rock – it’s within the spirit of the festival to flex your creative muscles and have a boogie.

Blackwood Regatta 4 The is serious entertainment for both participants and spectators

It’s a tradition that has been running since the events inception 25 years ago, and seems to always create a buzz of laughter and energy. Get involved or watch on from the foreshore as aluminium cans, milk cartons, and plastic bottles are transformed into racing water craft to race for the perpetual trophy.

The fireworks display is 5 a stunning closure to the event and worth staying in Augusta

The final end to the day is a stunning fireworks display over the Blackwood River.


A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT The August River Festival is the perfect family-friendly event to enjoy this summer.

Summer catering for all occasions

• Sushi platters • Rice paper roll platters • Salad platters Healthy

Fresh

Easy

Vegetarian GF vegan options available

59 Dunn Bay Road Dunsborough ph 9759 1145

www.pekopeko.com.au


Howard Park

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Celebrate

in style

TUCK IN AT ABBEY BEACH RESORT Tuck into a sumptuous Christmas Day lunch buffet at Abbey Beach Resort with your friends and family. It’s the perfect opportunity to sample produce from the local Margaret River wine region, right on the doorstep of the resort. From 12.30pm on December 25, tuck into oysters, smoked salmon, chilli mussels and king prawns from Exmouth followed by Champagne-roasted ham, turkey with all the traditional trimmings, or if you prefer, steak, crackled pork belly, duck, salmon, barramundi or leg of lamb. There’s a gorgeous selection of salads and for dessert, you’d be mad to miss the traditional plum pudding with rum or vanilla custard, cheesecakes, eclairs and other gateaux. The delicious seasonal food is accompanied by a two-hour beverage package inclusive of selected Margaret River bottled wines, premium and light tap beer, sparkling wine and post-mix soft drinks.

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Kids should also keep an eye out for Santa . . . For adults $162, children (8-14) $116, children (5-7) $5, children (1-4) $26 and those under 1 year of age are free. Contact functions@abbeybeach.com.au or 08 9755 4600 for more information and reservations. Please note the Christmas Lunch Buffet is served at the Atrium Restaurant on Christmas Day. Reflections Café lunch and dinner menu will not be available on this day. Reflections Café will be open for breakfast with an a la carte menu and a full hot breakfast buffet until 10.30am. Guests will be able to access recreational and packaged items until the café closes at 8.30pm. The Christmas Lunch Buffet is the only menu available from the Atrium Restaurant on Christmas Day. If you’d also like to see New Year’s Eve in style, the resort offers a premium buffet on December 31 too.

Burch Family Wines

If you’re in the Margaret River region over Christmas, New Years or the long, lazy days of summer, there are plenty of ways to celebrate with your family and friends.

Book a table for this special night and come in from 7.30 pm with your family and friends. The friendly team will take care of the rest and make it a great night right into 2020. You can expect to find a full freshly prepared buffet from our fine kitchen. The high-quality ingredients are complemented by a selection of Margaret River wines and varieties from around Australia. The evening will be topped off with DJ entertainment. Tickets for adults are $99, children (14-17) yrs $79, children (7-13


Pullman Bunker Bay

Passel Estate

yrs) $59, children (3-6 yrs) $39 and under 2 years of age are free. To book, email functions@ abbeybeach.com.au or call 088 9755 4600 for more information and reservations. Please note that the New Year’s Eve Buffet is the only menu available from the Atrium Restaurant on New Year’s Eve.

CHRISTMAS DAY BUFFET AT PULLMAN BUNKER BAY RESORT

Swings & Roundabouts

Celebrate Christmas Day at Pullman’s annual festive feast overlooking the glittering waters of Bunker Bay. With a decadent buffet, visit from Santa and some special sweet surprises, all you have to do is relax and enjoy the view. The buffet features traditional favourites including seafood and roast carvery station, plus a stunning dessert display from Pullman’s Michelin-star experienced French pastry chef, Romain Lassiaille. Tickets: $189 per adult, $110 per child (11 - 15 years), $70 per child (5 - 10 years), children under 4 dine free, seating times: 2.30pm to 8pm. Bookings: 08 9756 9106 or visit pullmanbunkerbayresort.com.au for full menu/T&Cs.

JAZZ IN THE VINEYARD TICKETS FOR THE 2020 LUNAR NEW YEAR Gather some friends, shake out your picnic blanket and get the new Chinese Year of the Rat off to an auspicious start with a relaxing afternoon of laid-back jazz from chanteuse Cassandra Charlick, in the stunning surrounds of Passel Estate. There will be special offers for purchasing Passel Estate wines to take away on the day, to encourage prosperity and good fortune for all the guests. Tickets are A$50 per person and include your first glass of Passel Estate wine alongside a delicious helping of Chinese style dumplings from Margaret River’s Má Là food truck to celebrate the occasion. Passel Estate Wine Club Members are entitled to two tickets at A$38 each. Numbers are limited, so contact the Tasting Room now to pre-book your tickets and avoid disappointment. Strictly no BYO alcohol. Saturday 25 January 2020, 2.00pm ~ 5.00pm Passel Estate Tasting Room and Vineyard, 655 Ellen Brook Road, Cowaramup (just off Caves Road).Visit passelestate.com for details. margaretriver.com

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e rat b e el HOWARD PARK WINES Bubbles and Blooms returns to Howard Park Wines on November 30 to mark the last day of spring and celebrate all things sparkling. While you’re entertained by live local music by Margaret River’s folk & electronic talent ASKYA, and folk, blues & roots performer James Abberley, wander the flower market stalls by local florists, or feast local street food and gelato. Best of all? The outdoor bubbles bar serving seven different kinds of sparkling and Champagne. In January, Howard Park’s signature outdoor event, Oysters & Riesling is back. Over the weekend of January 11 and 12, indulge in one of the culinary world’s most decadent pairings citrusy, crisp rieslings with salty, rich Australian oysters. Enjoy a long lazy picnic lunch while local favourites Kachina DJs spin chilled out tunes. Visit howardparkwines.com.au

Caves House

Swings & Roundabouts

CAVES HOUSE HOTEL Caves House Hotels’n annual and iconic NYE party is back this year featuring headlining artist Kira Puru, as well as supporting acts Maribelle, Askya, Paige Valentine,The Milkmen & DJ Groove Avenue. Caves House Hotel has been hosting this party for over 80 years and it never disappoints. Tickets include food, entry and entertainment are available via Oztix.com.au

SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS It’s going to be a big summer for Caves Road Yallingup winery Swings & Roundabouts. Their cellar door and restaurant have undergone a complete renovation, including a dedicated wine tasting bar,VIP tasting room, sunken fire pit, and huge feasting table set amongst the gumtrees. In February Swings will welcome members of the Australian Symphony Orchestra for Vivaldi in the Vines on Saturday 15 February from 5.30pm to 7pm as part of Fringe World. Tickets are $30 and are available through fringeworld.com. Their popular ‘Sunday sesh’ featuring local musicians returns for the summer. Visit swings.com.au

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Aravina Estate


3 OCEANS Turning up the volume will be the flagship Sugarloaf Rock Festival on 9 February, promising an all-day fiesta of great food, wine and the best musical talent in Australia. Named after one of the most photographed coastal landforms in the region, Sugarloaf Rock will take over 3 Oceans Winery when the likes of Aussie rock legends Grinspoon and Wolfmother, Dead Letter Circus, Stonefield, Abbe May, the Southern River Band, and Legs Electric hit the stage. Full show details available from sugarloafrock.com.au.

and Aperol from 27 December to 5 January. The festival features a new pizza bar, Perth’s favourite oyster shucker Jerry Fraser, two new house-brewed beers on tap, and a pop-up Aperol Garden Bar and Lounge.

There’s gorgeous live acoustic music each day from the likes of Valentine, Laine Wolf, Lily Cate, Katie White, and Ezereve while you relax on the lawn and take in this stunning location. Visit aravinaestate.com

Howard Park

ARAVINA ESTATE As if there’s not enough to celebrate in December and January, Aravina Winery is raising the bar with its “10 Days of Summer” event. Celebrating Aravina’s 10-year anniversary, there’ll be a 10-day marathon of music food, wine, beer

Swings & Roundaboutrs

Indulge in one of the culinary world's most decadent pairings riesling and oysters...

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse

The Light Between Two Oceans

Book your experience today at margaretriver.com

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Nature & Environment

LEADING LIGHTS The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse was home to lighthouse keepers until 1996, and now there's a new interpretitive centre telling their stories.

A BEACON REBORN A new visitor's experience gives insight into harsh and lonesome conditions that lighthouse keepers endured to keep the light on. By Lizzy Pepper.

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new Interpretive Centre at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse in Augusta will have opened its doors by the time you read this magazine. Housed in one of the original lighthouse keeper cottages, and spread over the four main rooms, the exhibition shares the fascinating stories of the families who once lived at the tallest lighthouse in mainland Australia through animated film, interactive technology and artefacts. The permanent exhibition space explores the stories and people associated with Cape Leeuwin from its 1895 inception through to the last lighthouse keeper’s departure in 1996, when the site became fully automated. Steering the creative was production company Gibson Group, who were part of the design team responsible for the award-winning National Anzac Centre in Albany. Project director Brett Tompkins has been involved in this project from the initial concept design right through to final installation and commissioning of the experience;

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“We became involved in this project after the MRBTA team viewed our digital work at the National Anzac Centre and approached us to assist in creating an interpretive experience inside one of the lighthouse keeper cottages.” Just like in Albany, the result is an engaging and emotional experience, transporting you back to the harsh and lonesome conditions endured by lighthouse keepers and their families. “The intention of the exhibition is to be compelling without being overly encyclopaedic to take the visitor on an emotional journey more than a factual history lesson. It is broad in appeal with stories on not only facts and figures about the lighthouse but also many personal stories about the people that lived here.” Spread across the four main rooms and enclosed verandah inside one of the three original lighthouse keepers’ cottages, you’ll learn about their daily duties and what it was like to raise children on the edge of the continent, where two oceans meet.

“I think people have a rather romanticised expectation about lighthouses, and this experience will give them some insight into what life really was like,” says Brett. “Living and working at a lighthouse was very regimented and you were on constant shift work, seven days a week. It wasn’t a very desirable job at all. Of course, life was not always grim - we have several stories from people who fondly remembering growing up at Cape Leeuwin as


children. Although, it was often a little hazardous.” Some of the interactive experiences include a touchscreen where you can practice Morse Code, a piano that’s been in service in six lighthouses around Australia that periodically bursts into song, and, for the more inquisitive, a portrait wall that comes to life as you approach. An animated film in a pitch-black room takes you on an emotional journey showing the history of the lighthouse and the treacherous coastline that still to this day brings fear and caution to passing sailors. Brett thoroughly enjoyed the project and found it a great way to get to understand the Margaret River region. “Cape Leeuwin is such an important site for the cultural and built heritage of the south west. Working with a client that not only understands this, but full heartedly embraces it has been enjoyable. Twice now I have seen whales from the shore and I’ve explored Ngilgi Cave.Your region is blessed with natural beauty and seascapes, backed up with a world class tourism infrastructure. The wine is not too shabby either!” Happily, while Brett puts the finishing touches on this project, he’ll soon begin on the concept for a similar project at Cape Naturaliste

Lighthouse. Another win for the region. Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, standing proud between two oceans has long been a drawcard to the inquisitive traveller. Now with a thoughtful new interpretive centre, the lure just got stronger. Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, Leeuwin Rd, Augusta Access the new Interpretive Centre on a fully guided lighthouse tour or buy a Heritage Pass. An onsite café provides refreshments with a lighthouse view. Ph 08 9757 7411 Visit margaretriverattractions.com.

Everything you need for a sustainable stay

eco retreat

eco store

extraordinary events

Join us online for upcoming retreats and happenings. www.margaretriverretreat.com.au


Nature & Environment

NATURAL TREASURES Opposite, Amy, the Western ringtailed possum, one of two new additions to the estate released earlier this year. Passel Estate's Conservation Sanctury (pic by Tim Campbell) and majestic bird in flight.

Spotti ng Wi ldlife

Whether you’re hiking, beaching or BBQing, you’re bound to spot some of the region’s incredible wildlife. Lizzy Pepper and Cassandra Charlick share stories about two of their favourites which happen to be endangered, black cockatoos and western ringtail possums. Bird images by SEAN BLOCKSIDGE, THE MARGARET RIVER DISCOVERY CO

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BLACK COCKATOOS Local tour operator Sean Blocksidge still gets excited every time he spies a flock of his favourite bird feasting on gumnuts or grass tree flowers; “This year has been one of the best displays of Baudin’s Black Cockatoos I’ve ever seen. The spectacle and sounds make the bush come alive when they are feeding and roosting. Our house has been surrounded almost every morning for the past few months with dozens of cockatoos feasting on marri tree nuts. Even had them on the deck drinking from our bird bath,” he says. “This is the result of the bonanza flowering of marri tree flowers two years ago producing an abundance of gumnuts this year. The most prolific flowering anyone can remember. “Unfortunately, this year there was almost

zero flowering of marri trees. A true boom and bust cycle. Something happened in the environment, probably rainfall or temperaturerelated, that created the conditions for peak flowering two years ago. What that means for next year is a bit of a worry as the cockatoos will need to find alternate food sources.” Three species of black cockatoo live in the Margaret River region; critically endangered Baudin’s and Carnaby’s white tail cockatoos, and forest-dwelling red tail cockatoos. “It’s always worth remembering even when we see a large flock of a few hundred birds, this is only a handful of their previous numbers. They used to previously flock in their thousands and people described their flocks as “blacking the skies like clouds”. “Unfortunately, they are as a species in trouble.


Passel Estate’ s m ission to protect

Numbers are reducing so fast due to habitat loss, vehicle strike, shooting and predation, they may very well go extinct in our lifetime. The hundreds of years-old trees they need to nest in have been chopped down and cleared. “That’s a horrifying realisation, especially when you consider the age of these birds. Some of them were alive when the first vines were planted in the region. They’ve seen more history and development of the Margaret River area than most people that live here. Think about that for a minute! Respect.”

JUMP ON BOARD Spot wildlife with professionals on these naturebased tours: • Southwest Eco Discoveries • The Margaret River Discovery Co • Passel Estate Wine and Nature Walk • Margaret River Exposed • Jet Adventures • McLeod Tours’ Sunset Kangaroo Safari

ANOTHER HAVEN FOR our beautiful feathered friends is Passel Estate, a small family-run winery, just 15 minutes from the centre of Margaret River’s townsite. Owners Wendy and Barry Stimpson provided sanctuary to a family (or Passel) of Western Ringtail Possums that had been displaced by the Margaret River fires that devastated their natural home in 2011. The possums quickly adapted to their new surrounds and the Stimpsons have since been focused on developing the sanctuary for the benefit not only of the Western Ringtail possum, but a whole host of local fauna, including black cockatoos and quendas. “Very few of our visitors to Passel Estate realise that Western Ringtail Possums are critically endangered” says Wendy. “There are now so few of these little creatures left alive that there is a real risk that they will become extinct within the next 20 years if we do not do more to help them. Here at Passel Estate we want to do everything we can to ensure they have a safe haven and the best possible opportunity to thrive. This has included reviving their natural habitat and building soft release enclosures, and our Tasting Room manager, Sandy Wilson, has also trained and registered as a carer.” Often rehabilitated wild animals have trouble adjusting back to life in the wild, so these new enclosures provide a gentle adjustment. “They can still retreat to the safety of the enclosure by day and while they explore their new surroundings, until eventually they build their own homes up in the trees and we can get ready to

use the enclosures for the next addition to Passel Estate.” Up until this point in time, the sanctuary hasn’t been accessible to members of the public, but change is underfoot and the team at Passel Estate are excited to be launching their first ever opportunity to share this special piece of bushland with their guests. “This summer we will be starting our guided Wine and Nature Walk here at Passel Estate. Visitors will be taken on a very personal and unique tour through the sanctuary, as well as a tasting of our award winning wine right up by the adjoining vines. It’s the ultimate treat for nature and wine lovers and they will be making a difference too - 50 percent of every booking’s proceeds will go directly towards further conservation efforts at the estate.” It is not just the local wildlife that guests will have a chance to spot in the conservation sanctuary. With the help of a loyal group of volunteers each year, the bushland has been replanted with native plants that bolster the natural ecosystem and provide food and shelter to the possums and bush corridors have been strengthened. “We have done a lot of work to eradicate invasive shrubs and weeds and now have so many wildflowers here. It is easy, during their time in the soft release enclosures, to see which are a particular possum’s favourites though,” says Wendy. Passel Estate will be taking bookings for their Wine and Nature Walk from December onwards.

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Nature & Environment

Wild Goose Camping

Carry on LOVE THE IDEA OF CAMPING BUT STILL CRAVE THE COMFORTS OF A HOTEL? THEN GLAMPING IS THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS, SAYS CASSANDRA CHARLICK.

glamping

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ho doesn’t love getting out into the great outdoors? Now is the perfect time to plan that long awaited camping trip: spring is here, the weather is warming up and the hiking trails are filled with wildflowers. But wait a minute, what about the tent? Someone better be in charge of the camping stove, and what if the heavens open and spring takes a sidestep for the odd rainy day? Never fear, there is a bridge between roughing the elements under a piece of canvas and being tucked away from the sounds of the bush in a hotel room. Enter the one stop solution: glamping. Glamping adds a touch of glamour to an outdoor expedition while holding onto the heart of a real campout with those things money can’t buy: nights under the stars, special company and an open fire. Gone are the struggles with tent pegs and cold nights thanks to the addition of creature comforts and a helping hand from the experts. The only thing you’ll need to make sure you remember is an ample supply of marshmallows. Whether your idea of luxury involves a plush doona, a bell tent or a full on bathroom in your outdoor abode, there is a sliding scale on

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Olio Bello Lakeside Camping

the glamping radar that features something for everyone. Here are some of the top options when it comes to glamping in the Margaret River region.

MILE END GLAMPING Getting back to nature doesn’t have to mean getting back to basics. Mile End Glamping is the ultimate in luxury. There are no drop toilets here, instead two 65 sqm geodesic dome tents are fully equipped with a private outdoor spa bath and BBQ deck. Inside, the bathroom comes complete with a rainfall shower that you can jump straight into your king-sized canopy bed

from. There’s also a kitchenette if you fancy whipping up a feast with the help of some gadgets and a kitchen sink. You’ll feel like you are right out amongst the action, without having to worry about the tent pegs and creepy crawlies. Each dome is surrounded with stunning views from the tent’s clear window panels.You’ll be able to watch the sun rise over paddocks and woodland from your king size bed, that is, after you fell asleep gazing at the stars from the same spot.These stilted tents are set on 144 acres of private property with a mixture of native bush and farmland.With a canopy of


Mile End Glamping

This is surely the most decadent camping trip you'll encounter

a glass of wine without the worry of getting in the car to journey home. Or for the ultimate pamper packed glamping trip, stock up on their beauty products.You’ll soon be settling down for a night under the stars after you’ve massaged and moisturised yourself into a blissful state. Boogaloo Surf & Yoga Tucked down the southern end of the cape, you might have guessed from their name that Boogaloo Surf & Yoga is a top pick for active glampers. The Augusta campsite is full of gorgeous bell tents, all ready and set up for you on arrival. All you need to do is unpack, roll out your yoga mat and get your zen on. The campsite is unpowered, so this is one for nature lovers who really want to slow things down and have a peaceful stay. All linen is included for up to 4 people, along with an esky with refreshments.You’ll be able to enjoy hot showers and toilets in a rustic sea container, and if you’d prefer to pitch your own tent that’s fine too. With a yoga and massage yurt nestled amongst the accommodation, you’ll be able to roll from your mattress to your mat in record time. If you find tranquillity amongst the froth, then grab a surfboard and hit the waves just down the road. No board? No problem. Part of what make this place so unique is the fact that you can actually build your own board during your stay. Take a workshop and learn to shape your own board and you’ll leave with more than just memories form this camping trip. Luxe bell tents, yoga classes, world class surf and fab food and wine. Who needs Bali when there’s Boogaloo on your doorstep?

WILD GOOSE CAMPING OLIO BELLO LAKESIDE CAMPING

Olio Bello Lakeside Camping

jarrah, marri, peppermint and eucalypt trees surrounding the accommodation, animal lovers and bird watchers will be in for a field day. Parrots, cockatoos, kookaburras, and of course plenty of kangaroos will be sure to keep you company. Smack bang in the middle of wine country, you’ll not be further than a 15-minute drive to a selection of options for wining and dining throughout the day. This is surely the most decadent camping trip you’ll encounter. In fact, the hardest part will be dragging yourself back to reality one it’s time to pack the car up again.

It’s not every day that you’ll be waking up with lakeside views in the middle of an olive grove. Olio Bello Lakeside Glamping however is one spot where you’ll be able to do exactly that, all from your own luxurious safari-style bungalow. With just 6 bungalows to choose from, you’ll be assured a restful stay far away from the crowds. The certified organic farm is set amongst the vines of the 320 acre property, so you’ll have plenty of space to wander and get some fresh country air. This eco-friendly glamping option is a blissful marriage of comfort and simplicity. You’ll have the luxury of your own private ensuite, kitchenette and living space including a viewing deck. Be sure to put the kettle on and bring a good book – you’ll not be wanting to waste a minute of this tranquillity. The Olio Bello café sits just a few minutes away, so you’ll be able to enjoy a long lunch and

Want to enjoy your choice of campsite, but you’d prefer someone else to sort the actual tent out? The team at Wild Goose Camping encourage everyone to disconnect from everyday life and get out into the great outdoors. Whether you are a camping pro or a first-timer, they will make camp life easy with a luxury canvas bell tent fully furnished at your choice of location. Simply pack your bags and get on the road. Once you arrive at your destination, all that you will need to do is focus on chilling out and pouring a cold drink. Each tent is lavishly spread with rugs, throw cushions, stretcher beds and mattresses, linen, lighting and even bedside tables. You’ll even have an outdoor area set up complete with chairs and tables so that you can make the most of the starlit skies and cool morning breeze. With the set up taken care of, you’ll be left to enjoy the best bits of a camping trip: relaxing, reviving and rejuvenating amongst mother nature. margaretriver.com

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STAY

BIG VALLEY CAMPSITE .

NESTLED AMONGST THE HILLS OF OUR FAMILY OWNED WORKING SHEEP FARM, JUST TEN MINUTES SOUTH EAST OF MARGARET RIVER.

Affordable Dog-Friendly Range of Quality Accommodation and Camping Sites in Busselton. Tel: 9755 4082 585 Caves Road, Busselton

The farm encompasses a beautiful secret valley secluded from the outside world by natural forest. Bring your Caravan, Motorhome or Tent to relax and enjoy the open space, amazing nights skies, friendly farm animals and the family friendly atmosphere. Pet friendly. Ph 08 9757 5020 bigvalleymargaretriver.com.au

www.fourseasonsresort.com.au

JACARANDA GUESTHOUSE

ACCOMMODATION IN THE HEART OF TOWN

Nestled by the forest in the centre of Margaret River JETTY, SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS, ALL AT YOUR FINGERTIPS! Fantastically located, is nestled amongst beautiful English style gardens where you can just relax or enjoy a bbq. Busselton’s famous jetty, beach, shops, cafe and restaurants are all within a 5 minute walk away. Has 7 guestrooms, all with own ensuite, r/c airconditioning and free wi-fi. Continental breakfast is included in the price. 30 West Street, Busselton, WA Ph 08 9751 5973 • jacarandaguesthouse1@westnet.com.au www.jacarandaguesthouse.com

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stay@margaretsforest.com.au www.margaretsforest.com.au 08 9758 7188


ARTS & ACTIVITIES

JOHN STREATER FINE FURNITURE JOHN STREATER FINE FURNITURE AND ART GALLERY John Streater Designer and Master Craftsman of contemporary bespoke hardwood furniture. Also showcasing art, jewellery, woodturning and more. A visit to our gallery will leave you truly inspired. 105 Blythe road, Yallingup Siding 6282 WA Open daily 10am to 4pm Ph 08 9755 1211 www.streaterfinefurniture.com

SUNFLOWERS ANIMAL FARM & FARMSTAY

We offer farmstay accommodation in 4 fully self contained units, sleeping between 5 and 9 people, near Margaret River in the South West of Western Australia. Sunflowers Farmstay is ideal for big groups of friends or families (max 28 people). Wander through the Animal Farm, with over 350 very friendly (mainly) farm animals, at any time during your stay. Sip local wines while admiring our stunning views: wild kangaroos grazing on rolling hills covered in beautiful wildflowers. 5561 Caves Road, near Margaret River Ph: (08) 9757 3343 • farmerjones@sunflowersfarm.com www.sunflowersfarm.com

CORYNNE’S NATURAL SKINCARE

Truly natural, chemical-free skincare made on-site in Dunsborough. Come visit our cute little shop and factory – essential oil soaps, mud masks, moisturisers, interesting gifts too. Second shop now open in Town Square, Margaret River.

Bookings are essential

PLAY A ROUND IN MARGARET RIVER Keen to combine some golf with a trip to WA’s wine country? Margaret River Golf Club is the highlight of any golf tour to the south west. There aren’t many golf courses in the region that rival Margaret River for scenic beauty and sheer golfing challenge. The 6,092 metre, par 72 course is highly regarded by golfers from all over WA and beyond. Clubs, buggies and carts are available for hire. Ph: (08) 9757 3161 •bookings@mrgolfclub.com.au E bookings@mrgolfclub.com.au 599(08) Walcliffe Road,•Margaret River Ph: 9757 3161 E golfshop@westnet.com.au margaretrivergolfclub.com.au 599 Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River margaretrivergolfclub.com.au Bookings are essential

YALLINGUP SURF SCHOOL

WESTERN AUSTRALIA’S PREMIER SURF AND LIFESTYLE ACADEMY Yallingup Surf School provides group lessons or private coaching for the absolute beginner to aspiring champions and we cater for kids, mums and dads, tourists, corporate and school groups and everyone in between. Hire available.

T: 08 9759 1419 86 Commonage Rd, Dunsborough info@soaps.net.au | soaps.net.au

Ph: 0429 881 221 info@yallingupsurfschool.com yallingupsurfschool.com

BOOK LOCAL

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Active & Adventure

SWIMMING TOWARDS A MILESTONE 2020 sees the 25th anniversary of the Busselton Jetty Swim. Brooke Evans-Butler looks into the past and the celebration of this iconic local event.

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vent coordinator Di Bruce tells me that the Busselton Jetty Swim originated back in 1996 when Busselton resident Max Higgins recognised there was a gap in open water swims in the region. “Max roped in his wife Jenny Higgins and his good friends Richard and Leanne Ford to help organise it,” she says. “There were 82 participants in that first year and the interest grew from there.” It has certainly grown, with 3,300 swimmers expected across all of the swims for the 25th anniversary. Different legs of the swim have also been added during the years, including a kids’ swim, and last year, the introduction of the One Mile Swim to Shore. “We thought the one mile swim was a good fit for the event for the people who were keen to swim around the jetty but didn’t have the confidence,” Di says. “It is half the length of the main swim, but enough to dip your toes in the water and test it and work your way up to the main swim. We also have team

swims, so you can do the swim with family and friends in a duo or a team of four.” “One of the highlights for the committee was introducing the kids' swim in 2017, so there is a leg to suit everyone,” she adds. “We endeavour to keep the event inclusive and very community minded. We accommodate for people with disabilities, and we have visuallychallenged participants. We have also tried to ensure the whole family can participate by keeping our costs down.” She says the feedback from participants has always been amazing. “In 2019 we had 764 responses to our feedback survey, and the testimonials were so positive,” she says. “Everyone loves the vibe of the event because it is very casual. Saying that, we don’t skimp on any safety but it is all about participation – we want people to give it a go, no matter your gender, your age, your ability or your disability, we encourage people to use our event as a goal.”


January and February and that is to showcase the memorabilia from the last 25 years of the swim.” The celebrations will span the entire weekend. “We will have a lot of free activities for the family to enjoy,” she says. “We have Soggy Bones Skate Exhibition, the open air photo booths to get a photo with all the props, beach games, and Aquatastic inflatables down at the beach, which is free for the public to attend all day on the Sunday.” This year’s event ambassador is also very special. “We have Dr Craig Challen - the Thai Cave diver who rescued the young boys,” Di reveals. “He was very happy to jump on board as our ambassador and he will be attending the weekend to encourage our swimmers. “We will also be recognising a lot of our milestone swimmers,” she says. “We are inviting our ex committee and ex volunteers, as well as

COMMUNITY FIRST For the past 25 years, the Busselton Jetty Swim has brought people from all over the region together, like Glenis Tate, left, and below with co-swimmers.

Di says it has been a challenge to maintain the demand for the swim because every year more and more people have wanted to participate. “It has been challenging maintaining the demand and working out our saturation point, so we have had to work very closely with surf lifesaving to determine a safe number each year to ensure everyone is safe in the water,” she says. Although there have been challenges, it is clearly a very successful and loved event, so Di is excited to celebrate the 25th anniversary. “We are going to celebrate the milestone with a big concert on Saturday night and fireworks,” she says. “The headline act is a secret that we can’t announce it yet – but it is an Australian ARIA and WAMi award-winning band. “We are also showcasing lot of local talent at the concert. “The other thing is we are having an exhibition at Railway House for four weeks over margaretriver.com

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Active & Adventure

I AM THANKFUL FOR ALL THE VOLUNTEERS OVER THE YEARS . . .

current committee and current volunteers. We cannot wait to celebrate with everyone.” Busselton local Glenis Tate has taken part in every swim since the beginning so has seen the event go through great growth. “I think there were 70 odd people in the first swim, which was mainly local participants and it has grown from there,” she says. “I have always done the solo swim and for the first couple of swims I look part in, my husband and my two daughters were walking along the jetty and cheering me on.,” she recalls. “As they got older, my husband and daughter s would take part in the team swim, and one of my daughters won’t miss it if she can help it.” As well as taking part in every Busselton Jetty Swim, Glenis has also competed in other swim events around the country. “I have a group of friends who swim three of four times a week in the bay, most of the year, and we are lucky to be able to have such pristine water to train in. We also swim in other ocean swim events – going as far as Lake Argyle and Sydney for swim events. We also did a Cocos Island swim – but the fact that we can take part in an event in our own backyard is very special. “I love the friendship and the camaraderie of the Busselton Jetty Swim,” she adds. “The organisers have done a great job of keeping a real community feel to the event. “I am thankful for all the volunteers over the years – you recognised the same faces when you got out of the water each year; they have put in a huge effort. I am also thankful I can be out there in such beautiful pristine water and I have the health to do it. Where else would you want to be on a warm weekend in February?” Wendy Tapper is another Busselton local who has participated in every Busselton Jetty Swim since the start – firstly swimming in a team and then moving onto solo swims. “I have competed in triathlons and swimming has always been my favourite part,” she says. “It is a fabulous event for our community. Max

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READY, SET, GO All levels of swimming ability are welcome at the Busselton Jetty Swim, including children and disabled participants.

Higgins had a dream and it has grown so much and inspires so many people to get out there and get swimming so I am proud to be a part of it.” Wendy has certainly shown commitment to ensure she has never missed a swim. “One year, my daughter’s hen’s night was in Perth the night before the swim and my husband Gary drove me back early in the morning so I could still make it, and my daughter’s 30th is coming up on the 5th of February and she told me she has made sure the celebrations are a week prior so we don’t miss the swim,” she laughs. Even a cancer diagnosis last year didn’t stop her. “I had to have surgery and went through chemo and radio therapy and I wanted to ensure I did the jetty swim,” Wendy says. “It was a goal to work towards and I was so glad I was able to do it. The Busselton Jetty Swim has been a really positive focus in my life.” The SunSmart Busselton Jetty Swim 25th anniversary event will be held over the weekend of the 8th/9th of February 2020, with the swim taking place on Sunday the 9th of February. For details go to busseltonjettyswim.org.au

Check out other events happening on the foreshore in Summer: Make Smoking History Festival of Busselton 1st – 31st of January 2020 The Festival of Busselton has been running since 1964, and we know 2020 will be another great event. Enjoy favourites including the annual float parade and the Pirate Competition as well as music and other family-friendly entertainment. For details visit festivalofbusselton. com.au or facebook.com/busseltonfestival/ Club Marine Geographe Bay Race Week 15th – 21st of February 2020 Enjoy the colour and atmosphere of the annual sailing regatta – the Club Marine Geographe Bay Race Week. For details go to www.gbyc.com.au For details on more events in the region, visitmargaretriver.com


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DECEMBER 13 2019 – MARCH 14 2020 3 3 1 WA L L C L I F F E R D , M A R G A R E T R I V E R V I S I T C A P E M E N T E L L E . C O M . A U F O R T I C K E T S A N D D E TA I L Smargaretriver.com |

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DIVE RIGHT IN Surrounding yourself in the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean is the place to be as the temperature rises. Cassandra Charlick pulls on her flippers to help you make the most of your trip to an underwater world. Main image by AQUABUMPS.

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T

he ocean is a constant presence during any visit to the Margaret River region. Around every corner, another stunning vista just begs you to get on the beach and feel the cool water between your toes. Another world exists below those foam-tipped waves and whether you are a first timer or an experienced pro, you’ll find the perfect place to jump right in. Unlike deep sea diving, the joy of snorkelling is that there is minimum equipment needed and it doesn’t need to be an expensive outing. Pick up a pair of snorkel and flippers from one of the local shops or hire companies, grab a pair of bathers and a towel and you’re ready to explore. First timers who are hitting up the beaches at the northern end of the capes might like to take

the advice from seasoned snorkeler and all-round water adventurer Richard Edwards from South West Boats and Bikes. “The natural cliffs around the cape create an interesting coastline and it’s a stunning area here between old Dunsborough, all the way out past Meelup,” says Richard. “The water is crystal clear with plenty of fish life to check out.” His top tip? “I’d suggest grabbing a kayak and exploring the coastline, stopping off at Castle Rock for a swim and a snorkel. We offer double kayaks and bikes to get you there if you aren’t equipped with your own” It’s understandable that for those of us who aren’t born water babies the idea of snorkelling or diving might be a bit challenging. If you


need a helping hand to get your snorkelling off to a stress-free start then call on the help of a pro. There are several guides in the region who can help, including Cam from Margaret River Adventure Co. He has over 30 years of surf rescue experience so you can breathe easy - through that snorkel of course.You’ll be whisked off via four-wheel drive to some of the top hidden locations around the Margaret River region, so even if you have been paddling for years you’ll be in for a treat on one of Cam’s guided tours. All equipment is included, as well as lifejackets for those who need a little help staying afloat. “Snorkelling is a perfect as a family outing, we have wetsuits in all sizes, and seeing the region from under the ocean provides a new

Take the Leap Méthode Traditionnelle Sparkling From Western Australia Margaret River Cellar Door 543 Miamup Road, Cowaramup Open 10am - 5pm daily

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Active & Adventure NATURAL SPA Far left, stand up paddleboarding(Red Paddle Co/South West Boats and Bikes) , snorkelling and diving are all popular pursuits, with operators lie Leeuwin Marine Charters (left and opposite) or the Margaret River Discovery Co (top pic).

appreciation of this amazing coastline and region,” says Cam. “Don’t worry if you’re not a great swimmer, I’ll be right with you as you explore under the waves.” There is certainly as much variety under the ocean as there is on the shore, he adds. “We’ll visit reef ledges with lots of fish, and swim among the sea grasses and coral platforms.

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If we are luck we’ll spy a seal or dolphin on our way. The ocean around the Margaret River region is alive with a multitude of sea life, including a massive range of fish in all shapes and sizes, as well as octopus, squid, and if you dive down near the ledge you might spy a rock lobster or two. In summer through autumn, the warm waters of the Leeuwin current bring tropical species south


from the northern regions of Western Australia including mackerel and tuna.” And where to go for those who just want to do their own thing? “Some of the better known snorkel spots would include Meelup beach, and Point Pique in the north, both with stunning water colour and clarity, and to the south of the region, Gnarabup beach would have to be the pick with easy access and safety assured. I can’t tell you the hidden ones though,” says Cam. “You’ll just have to come on a tour to find out.” Got a few days to spare? Why not see how different things really get out at sea. Snorkelling is a different type of adventure when you start offshore. David from Leeuwin Marine Charters runs snorkelling charters from his 14m boat towards the southern end of the cape. “I believe Hamelin Bay to be one of the best snorkelling places in WA,” says David. “I learned to snorkel here when I was seven years old and so did my two kids. The area has turquoise water

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and a depth of two to three meters and plenty of outcrops, ledges, caves, sponges and cold water corals filled with an abundance of a variety of different fish.” Just remember that the same principles exist below the water as above: respect the environment. Paddle out and enjoy the beauty, try not to disturb the natural ecosystem and keep these last words from Cam firmly etched in your mind: “Leave with only your memories and photos”.

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Active & Adventure

Legends of the Cape

IF YOU’RE THINKING OF TACKLING THE CAPE TO CAPE, TAKE SOME INSPIRATION FROM JASON SNELL AND TREVOR BULLEY, TWO ADVENTUROUS ATHLETES WHO COMPLETED IT IN JUST UNDER TWO DAYS. BY CASSANDRA CHARLICK.

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he Cape to Cape is a familiar trail to most West Australians. Anyone who has been on a trip down south will have likely left a few footsteps at some point on its path, though there are significantly less feet that have journeyed the entire 123km. How long does it take, you might ask? Well, the usual guidelines are six or seven days for a comfortable hike. Meet Jason Snell and Trevor Bulley. An elite endurance athlete, Jason recently ran the entire trail in 20.5 hours over the course of two days; no easy feat on two feet. Having climbed Mt Everest and swum the English Channel, he is now in training for Cape Wrath – a 400km footrace in May 2020. Motivated to complete these challenges for a fundraising cause close to his heart, I find out what drove the dynamic duo. CC: Was this the first attempt of the Cape to Cape for Jason? TB: This was Jason’s first attempt to run the Cape to Cape (C2C). All of us have spent time on the C2C trail, either hiking or bringing Mullaloo surf club cadets (our surf club brings a group of 50 surf teens each October to hike, abseil and cave in the region). However nobody has ever attempted to run it. CC: What was the highlight of the experience for you both? JS: The start and finish of a quest are always exciting time and memorable, but the highlight for me that I've taken away is the mateship and memories. TB: There were many highlights, but seeing Jason in silhouette against Leeuwin lighthouse and sharing what he had achieved over the two says will stay with me for a very long time. and knowing we had achieved what we set out to do. CC: How did your experience on the Cape to Cape change you? JS: This has just reinforced my love for the great outdoors. The surprises were swollen rivers, and a big grey roo that was not going to move for

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me. The very soft sand, sand flies and cobwebs were unexpected challenges. We also had great hospitality from Olio Bello: coffee tastes great after 135km. Challenges I did expect were the reduced daylight hours to cover the distance. TB: Although we were all familiar with the region, we had to adapt constantly, including our access points to provide food and drink for Jason. We certainly felt the logistical challenges. We were able to get to Jason at least every 12km, usually around 6km. The excellent C2C Guidebook by Jane Scott and Ray Forma was invaluable, even so, sometimes we got lost and backtracked but always found our way back. We had to be flexible; the 4WD, bicycle and running/walking team/seconds meant we had multiple options getting to Jason as required on all parts of the track. CC: If you could do it again, what would you do differently? JS: I’ve got no current plans to run it again, but will definitely walk sections with family and friends. The next WA-based challenge will be running the Bibbulmun track. TB: As a second on support, I would give more thought to sections suited for cycling, such as the Boranup forest, to cover more distance and spend more time with Jason – but still have time to drop into the many places that serve great coffee and cake along Caves Road.

JS: Cape Wrath is run over eight days over 400km with a gain of 11,200m elevation so this journey on the Cape to Cape is perfect training. CC: What is the major motivational force behind Jason’s adventures? TB: A major drive for all this has been some assistance for Mitch Cleary, the victim of an unprovoked attack in 2013 who now requires full time care. CC: What are some tips you would give to any first timers attempting the Cape to Cape, or wanting to challenge themselves in your footsteps? TB: Clear objectives, good planning, a good team, suitable training, a good cause or person who needs support and inspiration and always the right attitude. Visit margaretriver.com for more information about the Cape to Cape.

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TOURS

WINE TOURS OF DISTINCTION

GREAT RATES & SERVICE

MARGARET RIVER’S ORIGINAL AND BEST WINERY TOURS Half Day and Full Day Gourmet Wine & Dine Tours

at Bunbury, Busselton & Collie Oneway Rentals (to Perth) available

We visit a selection of the following wineries daily; Stella Bella, Leeuwin Estate, Xanadu, Voyager Estate, McHenry Hohnen, Vasse Felix, Woodland Wines and Brown Hill. Full Day tours feature six wineries and lunch at Xanadu.

Call 1800 679 880

All tours enjoy complementary vineyard platter as well as tastings of smallgoods, cheese & chocolate.

Ph: 0419 917 166 info@margaretrivertours.com www.margaretrivertours.com

To make a booking visit avis.com.au

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JESTERS FLAT

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Professionally guided HORSE RIDING TOURS, suitable for all abilities. From forest treks to beach rides, we have a horse riding adventure just for you. 1549 Rosa Brook Rd, Margaret River Ph 08 97574 562 bookings@jestersflat.com www.jestersflat.com /JestersFlat


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Art & Wellbeing

Tricks and

treats

Karnidale, the WA circus festival, transforms a rocky paddock into a magical place where performers from all over the world show off their skills. By TOM DE SOUZA.

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ot much usually happens in Karridale. A sleepy farming and fishing hamlet in the forest half-an-hour south of Margaret River, most visitors see the township as a stop on the highway; just a couple of servos and a historical pub. Definitely not the place you’d expect to find one of Western Australia’s most radical festivals of theatre. In mid-January, however, that is exactly what happens. On a large paddock halfway along Vansittart Road, the bars and restaurants and big-top tents

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and campgrounds that have lay dormant for most of the year spring to life for ‘Karnidale’, the Western Australian Circus Festival. Run by the Lunar Circus, Karnidale is a three-day celebration of all things weird and wonderful, says director and circus trainer, ‘Fatt Matt’ Matt Yates, with magic, music, acrobatics, vaudeville, comedy, street shows, cabaret shows, market stalls, and more. The most unusual aspect of this festival, however, is the opportunity to get involved. In the two weeks prior to the festival, the circus opens their campground doors to everybody and offers the chance to live, breathe, and train with the seventy international performers. “This is a one-of-its-kind in Australia,” says Matt. “The three-day weekend is all about the shows – yeah you can have a go on the trapeze and there are some circus workshops – but in the two weeks prior to the circus workshop we run our summer school, where kids and adults and aspiring circus artists come and train.” “Some come for the full two weeks and camp and just fully immerse themselves in the circus environment. “There are classes in hand balancing, unicycles, diablos, juggling, all forms of

acrobatics, all the aerial disciples. There is just loads. It’s the only place I know of where people can come along and get tuition from some of the most awesome artists and performers from around the world.” Last year, 70 performers trained nearly 200 children and adults, with up to twenty-five classes run every hour. This summer training program in Karnidale has also served as a stepping stone for many aspiring artists, says Matt, with many launching international careers from here and going on to perform at festivals like Burning Man in Texas, and Glastonbury in the UK. “People don’t just learn skills here, it’s good for networking, and they also see a lot of other aspects of the performance. They get great diverse ideas of what it is like to perform on stage, and also learn different theatrical skills and creative skills as well as performance skills,” says Matt. At the conclusion of the summer school, the Karnidale festival begins in earnest. Doors open at 5pm on Friday, January 16, with Tijuana Cartel playing from 7pm, and the show doesn’t stop until early on Monday morning, says Matt. “There is live music, there are walkabout acts, there are small shows, big shows, kid shows, adult


Tijuana Cartel

shows, late night risqué shows. There are market stalls, food galore, some of the finest bars in the south west, where we sell locally brewed beers from Bootleg Brewery and wines from local vineyard Firetails,” says Matt. “There really is something for everybody, it’s a real family event. Kids love it, adults love it, the grandparents love it. It is a very inspirational and nurturing festival.”

This year is the thirteenth year of Karnidale. Matt, a lifelong circus artist, says while he had always dreamed of building this circus festival, realising his dream was not easy. When he first bought this patch of land in 2002 it was a former blue gum plantation, and he spent three years clearing the land before the first festival. “The first festival, that was gnarly,” says Matt. “There were no trees, no grass, it had all been

ripped up. There was just gravel everywhere. We got a long line of about fifty kids, and we had a mass rock picking up session as a group event. “That year we also had this awesome Australian company called Acrobat. They had these four acrobats doing some incredible skills in just their undies - which is part of their style; kind of a punk circus. “We were outside, it was really windy, and lights were up and all the dust was coming down in the audience’s eyes. Thirteen years later, and Karnidale is now Australia’s longest continuous running circus festival. The grounds now feature a commercial kitchen, five big top tents, swathes of trees and grass, restaurants, bars, and a campground. “We’ve really built it up from there,” says Matt. “Now it’s turned into just this site of beauty, we’ve nearly got grass everywhere, the trees are growing, the venues are super, the restaurants are excellent, and Karnidale is flourishing. “It’s turned into the most awesome festival site you’ll ever see in the world.” The Karnidale Circus Festival runs from January 17 to 19 at the Lunar Circus site. Festival and summer school international training program tickets are available online at lunarcircus.com

Getting there is half the fun

Kick back, relax and explore the scenic Margaret River region on one of our luxury road coaches. Leave your car at home and enjoy WA’s stunning South West with Transwa instead. You get to unwind and enjoy the scenery while we do the driving. Our five-star road caoches are fully accessible and air conditioned, with on board entertainment, USB ports and toilet facilities. We travel between Margaret River and Perth 12 times a week, and offer a variety of concession discounts. Plan your journey by visiting transwa.wa.gov.au or call 1300 662 205.


Art & Wellbeing

MOVIE STARSI

There’s something beautiful about watching movies under the glow of the night sky. Jennifer Morton checks in with Movies at Cape Mentelle.

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t’s an early March evening and A Star Is Born is playing at Movies at Cape Mentelle. I’ve seen the movie two times already, but I jumped at the chance to see it again in the open air. I pre-booked a movie package for me me and my mother-in-law, who has not seen the movie, nor had she been to Cape Mentelle before: that part is a first for both of us. To watch a blockbuster under the stars, with the possibility of wine, is a special treat indeed. The seasonal outdoor cinema at Cape Mentelle Vineyards near Margaret River township was the brainchild of Robert Dewar, the winery’s cellar door manager from 2007 to 2015 (he now offers personalised wine tours at My Driver Margaret River). What began in then as a local initiative with only two movies, is now an anticipated summer event for locals and visitors alike. “We only had two movies because we were testing the waters,” remembers Robert. “The first movie [I selected] was called Unfinished Sky. Nobody had heard of it, so when I advertised it, I got a lot of perplexing looks. Then a week before screening, the movie won five Australian Film Industry awards, which shot it to fame and awareness.” Gone were the perplexing looks; tickets for the first two screenings sold out. Robert’s marketing idea was an overnight success - movie

night at Cape Mentelle was a thing. In 2009, they increased to eight movies, but it was evident they needed help. They knew they were onto a good thing, so the winery partnered with Luna Palace Cinemas in 2010. “We agreed on the name Movies in the Vineyard. We collaborated on movie selection, and they provided all the equipment while Cape Mentelle focussed on the wine and food,” says Robert. Under this new partnership, the vineyard showed 124 movies in their third season – quite an increase from the previous years. “We pulled it off and our partners seemed to be quite happy. We saw lots of room for improvement, but it was largely a successful season,” says Robert. Heading into their 13th season, Movies at Cape Mentelle (renamed after parting ways with Luna Palace) consistently plays a wide range of films that appeal to all ages. From classics to blockbusters to family favourites, there really is something for everyone. It’s also perfect for a


DON’T MISS . . . Watch movies in the beautiful gardens of Caves House Hotel this summer. Starting on December 10 and running every Tuesday and Thursday from 8pm (except Christmas Day), the program runs until February 27. Bring your own picnic blankets and rugs, and kick back with food and drink from the main bar and pizza shack. Visit caveshouseyallingup.com. au/movies/ for the full program.

Abbey Beach Resort Beachfront Holidays

MAKE YOURSELF COMFY Movies at Cape Mentelle have become a must-do part of many visitors' summer to the historic vineyard.

romantic date night. “We have packages especially designed for couples which include two bean bags, two blankets and two glasses of wine. We screen romantic comedies and romantic movies during the season. We also plan a special night for Valentine’s Day,” says Marine Morin, events and communication coordinator. Of course, Cape Mentelle wines flow

freely from the bar, and beer lovers won’t be disappointed with selections from Colonial Brewing Co. Although you’re welcome to bring your own dinner and nibbles (no BYO alcohol, please), there’s no need because there’s plenty of popcorn, artisan chocolates, and delicious chefquality nosh on offer. Joining Movies at Cape Mentelle this year is Kirk’s Kitchen, a Prevelly-based catering company specialising in healthy gourmet dishes. Expect to queue to order, but the wait for food like truck-styled fish tacos, beef chilli, vegetarian tagine, and chicken gyoza is worth it. There’s even a kids' menu featuring mac and cheese and beef nachos. Watching A Star is Born at Movies at Cape Mentelle proved to be a good choice for us and hundreds of others. Along with Bohemian Rhapsody, the award-winning film packed the venue for sold-out showings in 2019. The 2019/2020 Movies at Cape Mentelle season kicks off on December 13 and will run until mid-March. Find out what’s playing on their Facebook page and buy tickets via Moshtix. Bean bags and VIP seating tends to sell out, so it’s wise to pre-book well in advance. Moviegoers are welcome to bring their own blankets and low-sitting chairs for viewing from the back of the venue. Visit facebook.com/pg/MoviesAtCapeMentelle

595 Bussell Highway, Busselton, WA +61 8 9755 4600 | info@abbeybeach.com.au

@abbeybeachresort

/abbeybeachresort


Art & Wellbeing

local hero

Family ties ARTIST SANDRA HILL’S EXTRAORDINARY LIFE INFORMS HER BODY OF WORK IN AN EXTRAORDINARY WAY, AS JANINE PITTAWAY DISCOVERS.

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s a young child, Sandra Hill and her three siblings were forcibly taken from their mother and Pilbara home, and transported thousands of kilometers to Sister Kate's in Perth, a home for light-skinned Aboriginal children. It was a place of neglect and abuse, and Sandra’s only glimmer of hope amid the trauma was a painting on the chapel wall, depicting an angel. “I started drawing when I was about seven, eight years old.” It was 1958 and she was in Sister Kate’s for

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three-and-a-half years. “We were marched into church every day. I memorised this angel to the point where I could draw her without even looking at the painting. So I started to train myself to draw. I didn’t think about it. I just thought, I just want to reproduce the beauty of that. And by drawing the angel I developed a love of art. When all the other kids were playing softball and running around, I was laying on the veranda drawing. “And when I finally got fostered out to a white family, they allowed me to actually have

pencils and paper and colours. And from there I just developed. “It’s just been my thing from the beginning. And I had a wonderful teacher, Mr. Hall. He said ‘Sandra, you’re very good at this.You could be an artist’. He kept telling me that the whole time. “And I started to believe him. It stuck in my brain. I wanted to be an artist and look at me, I wasn’t an artist for 30 years and not in a million years would I ever have thought I’d be successful.” And successful Sandra is. Sixty one years on, Sandra is preparing for an upcoming Perth Festival solo exhibition at John Curtin Gallery in February. Called Mia Kurrum Maun (Far From Home), the exhibition will be a combination of Sandra’s works sourced from private collections around the country and new works. Sandra also understatedly explains that two of her works, one owned by the National Gallery and one by the Wesfarmers Collection, have been selected for a new exhibition in 2020, which happens to be part of the largest exhibition of Indigenous art in Australia’s history. “It’s going right back to the 1800s, to the naive painters, the Aboriginal artists like William Barak and all those artists that did all the little sketches and the beautiful little paintings of authentic tribal practices. “And it goes right through to contemporary times. And I’m fortunate enough to have two works in there that are going to travel all over Asia and China.” The exhibition is Indigenous Masterpieces Australia, a $4 million partnership between the National Gallery and Wesfarmers, described as “showing rare works from the 1800s through to Albert Namatjira’s renowned watercolours, the dynamic Papunya movement, and contemporary works of Australia’s best artists.” At the announcement of the exhibition, Sandra had the opportunity to meet the collector who bought her artwork that hangs in the National Gallery. He paid $48,000 and then donated it to the Gallery. “And he was there and he ran at me and said, ‘I sponsored your work for the national gallery.’ And I went, ‘Oh my God’ and put my arms around him and said, ‘Oh, thank you!’” The 66-year-old’s plans for semi-retirement at home in Balingup might not be happening just yet. Sandra moved back to the south west three and a half years ago and has been connecting with her extended family and her Wadandi roots. She is represented by Perth’s Mossensen Galleries, and her public works can be seen at the Yagan Memorial Park in the Swan Valley, and the water playground at Elizabeth Quay - 53


square metres of handmade, colored, handsprayed tiles. After having more than a year off to recover from a knee operation and exhaustion following a string of public art commissions and a solo exhibition, Sandra was asked to consider creating a new artwork for the recently-refurbished Ellensbrook House in Margaret River. She was connected by her cousin Wayne Webb, a Wadandi custodian who consulted with the National Trust on the project. Ellensbrook House was established by the Bussell family in 1857 and a place known to the Traditional Owners as Mokidup, used by the Wadandi as a summer camping ground for thousands of years. Refurbishment and improvement works on the house and gardens were completed in February 2019, and Sandra’s outdoor public art installation featured. “I’ve wanted to do some stuff down in the south west because this is my country. I loved doing the Ellensbrook one because there was family connections. It’s wonderful to be able to do a work that’s significant to our family and our history and story.” “I’m really fastidious about making sure that culture is correct and that stories are translated correctly. Everything goes past Wayne when I’m working on country in places that are significant to our family. “And of course, because I’m authentic in culture and I take his advice on everything, pretty much, he knew that the stories would be safe with me for one thing, that I would stick to the cultural side of things. It’s an important aspect of what I do since I started working in the public art arena and with my art, my fine art as well. Sandra’s Ellensbrook work, 6 Seasons, is a series of timber posts forming a circle each with drawings telling the story of the Wardandi dreamtime. The activities taking place in each season are particular to the region. “One minute you’ve got swans laying eggs on the waterway and then you’ve got a kangaroo hunt taking place, or fishing. Getting that in a circle took a little bit of creative input. My brain was on overload by the time I finished those six

circles but I think they worked pretty well.” It was her first foray into drawing fish and aquatic creatures. “No, I don’t do aquatic animals and fish normally, so it was challenging because it got me out of my comfort zone in what I had to put into those six circles. The dreaming story is a very significant one. “This really did challenge me, and I thought, ‘Oh God, am I going to be good enough to be able to draw this?’ I had to source imagery and check there for the copyright and all that sort of stuff to find the fish. And a marron, and a crayfish. Geez. I just eat those things, I don’t look at them!” Sandra said her early works were very political. “I feel so humbled and so privileged and honoured that people recognise and acknowledge my work because when I first started out, it was really in your face stuff showing documents and a lot of it was printmaking. I thought, ‘People are going to balk at this and think, ‘Oh God we don’t want to be confronted with this crap.’ “But I persevered and people bought it. I mean I’ve always had sellout shows. Then I started doing the works, I call them the gray people series. And they just went off.” Sandra said the grey people series referred to the Government’s attempts to superimpose ‘white’ domestic values over south-west Nyungar culture and onto Aboriginal women in the late 1950s and 60s. These paintings individually refer to the difficult task Aboriginal women had when faced with alien domestic tools and machinery that were almost taken for granted in most white households during that era. “They’re unique. Because my mom was stolen in 1933. Her dad was taken and her grandfather was taken as well, by the New Norcia monks. I thought, “I have to tell her story.” I can’t not get this out to the public domain. And art is the perfect vehicle for that because people don’t balk at art that much.” Art runs in the family and Sandra’s sons Ben Pushman and Christopher Pease are also respected professional artists and all three have works in major collections.

DREAMSCAPES Beautiful. Exquisite. You may have been there, you feel you know it. What is real, what is not? Paintings by Chris Bellamy and Christopher Lees Wood Sculpture by Ian Thwaites and Ceramics by Maria Chatzinikolaki EXHIBITION DATES 20 DECEMBER TO 18 JANUARY OFFICAL OPENING SUNDAY 29 DECEMBER 6- 8 PM Exhibition to be opened by Brendon Darby – artist, musician

Shop 4, 1 Charles West Avenue P 9757 2729 E info@margaretrivergallery.com.au W margaretrivergallery.com.au

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HOME FROM HOME Blue Vista, left, is just one of the many beautiful holiday homes you'll find at privateproperties.com.au

Holidaying in style Private Properties have some of the most beautiful local holiday homes in their collection - why not experience the region like the locals this summer?

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hink you’ve experienced all there is to offer in accommodation in the Margaret River Region? Think again! Local experts in luxury holiday home accommodation, Private Properties, have five stunning new digs for you to try, along the coast and amongst the trees, from brand new builds to a 1970’s beach house that will conjure up childhood memories of endless days at the beach.

BLUE VISTA Walk from your bedroom to the balcony of Blue Vista in Yallingup to check the surf and plan the day ahead. Set high on iconic Yallingup Hill, guests enjoy amazing 180-degree views up and down the coastline. This newly built holiday home, which sleeps 12 in six bedrooms, is three levels with a lift, and four bathrooms, all are light and airy. Stroll down the hill to the beach, or along the walking trail to Caves House Hotel, and if you just prefer to loll about in luxury, enjoy the glass-sided swimming pool and outdoor alfresco. Blue Vista would be perfect for inter-generational family holidays, or for two or three families on tour. Sunset drinks on the balcony – yes please!

BLUEBELLE If you grew up in WA, chances are you’ve had a family holiday in Gracetown. The sleepy coastal

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community buzzes with kids during the summer months, enjoying the swimming beach, the surf, exploring, and hanging out and enjoying long days in the sun. Bluebelle will provide all of these experiences and create new summer holiday memories. The cute-as-a-button 1970’s beach home has had a stunning renovation, combining comfort with a laid-back coastal style. Guests will enjoy views across the Indian Ocean and national park, the open plan living, kitchen and dining space, and best of all you can bring the pooch! Bluebelle sleeps six, so it’s perfect for a family or group of friends.

BOOMERANG HOUSE Nestled within a hillside on a rural property between Dunsborough and Yallingup with uninterrupted views down a valley to native bush and towering marri trees, Boomerang House is a private minimalist sanctuary. Designed and built in a boomerang shape to maximise the views, the house nestles into the block and reaches out to the trees, hugging the view, creates a surprising sense of space when the house itself is modest in size. Raw materials are a feature of the twowinged home, with concrete floors and roof, floor to ceiling glass, feature ivory exposed brick and acoustic timber panelling. A large kitchen window doubles as a servery into the grassed courtyard that feels like an outdoor sunken

lounge, perfect for afternoon drinks with friends. The house sleeps six in three bedrooms and is just a 10-minute drive to Dunsborough and to Smiths Beach,Yallingup Beach or to Geographe Bay, and is close to great wineries and restaurants.

MARANEL Have you ever been to Eagle Bay and daydreamed about staying in one of the beachfront homes? Dream no more! Maranel provides the ultimate beachfront holiday and as well has having one of the region’s most beautiful beaches at the end of the garden path, it also enjoys a lovely private garden with established peppermint trees providing shade. Stepping inside Maranel, guests will feel like they’re staying in an art hotel with an incredible collection of paintings and sculptures. The house has a most relaxing feel, and sweeping ocean views are a great distraction. Maranel sleeps 10 in four bedrooms, has four bathrooms, a spacious open plan kitchen and living, plus generous verandah for outdoor dining with an azure sky and ocean backdrop. It’s a stone’s throw from Eagle Bay Brewery and WISE restaurant, and a 10 minute drive to Dunsborough.

TONES OF HOME Prepare to breathe out and completely relax at Tones of Home, with plenty of space for the kids to explore, views across Geographe Bay all the way to Busselton and beyond, and a holiday home providing a great combination of Australian country and beach holiday. Situated on five acres on a hillside between Yallingup and Dunsborough, the five-bedroom home has two living spaces, cathedral-like windows, a huge alfresco balcony, and a spa bath off the master bedroom. Enjoy a glass of wine on the balcony while watching the kids play on the huge expanse of lawn with the ocean view as a backdrop. Although on a rural block, the convenience of Dunsborough is a 5 minute drive away, as are the beaches of Dunsborough. Wineries and breweries, and Simmo’s Ice Cream are close by. To find out more about these new luxury holiday homes, and many more, visit privateproperties.com.au.


Bunkers Beach House, Bunker Bay

Flinders Bay House, Augusta

Ithaca, Yallingup

Bilyarra, Eagle Bay

Blue Vista, Yallingup

Rivers Edge, Margaret River

Discover what matters in a Private Properties holiday home

AVON VALLEY EAGLE BAY

ALBANY

AUGUSTA

MANDURAH & DAWESVILLE

BUNKER BAY MARGARET RIVER

BUSSELTON

DENMARK & WALPOLE

PEPPERMINT GROVE BEACH

www.privateproperties.com.au

DUNSBOROUGH

SWAN VALLEY

YALLINGUP


Art & Wellbeing

ART PEOPLE

FOR THE

PUBLIC ART CAN BRING JOY TO COUNTLESS PEOPLE EACH DAY, WHETHER YOU’RE POSING IN FRONT OF HUGE WINGS OR MARVELING AT AN ARTIST’S SKILL TO PAINT A TINY LORIKEET AT SCALE. BY LIZZY PEPPER.

Artist Brenton See - photo by Rusty Creighton Whales on Busselton Jetty – photo by Osprey Creative

hanks to the generosity of local councils and the artists themselves, you can embark upon an art trail rich with clever and colourful works.

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place which is the sounds of birds and branches rustling with a blue sky above my head.” Find it: Pioneer Park, Bussell Highway Cowaramup Tag the artist: @brentonsee and @margaretriver

Brenton See’s Purple Crowned Lorikeet “Cowara” Birds If you guessed Cowaramup was named for all the gorgeous cows lining the streets and living in the paddocks nearby, we’d like to set the record straight. Cowaramup in Wadandi language is the place of the purple-crowned lorikeet “Cowara” this brightly coloured beautiful bird. Fremantle artist Brenton See paints site-specific murals, featuring local flora and fauna, and was commissioned to paint the town’s namesake on the Lion’s Shed in Pioneer Park on the main street of Cowaramup. He made the switch from canvases to murals several years ago and has made a name for painting birds and other wildlife throughout Western Australia. “Painting outdoors means that I can be close to my happy

Anita Revel’s Cowara Dreaming Just around the corner from Brenton See’s supersized cowara lorikeet are Anita Revel’s “Cowara Dreaming” interactive wings. Pose in front of the bright and beautiful mural and be sure to tag her on Instagram. “When they spread their wings to fly there is an explosion of colour” and Anita aimed to bring attention to the heritage of Cowaramup’s namesake — that Cowara purple-crowned lorikeet which is local to this area. Look out for Anita’s Dunsborough wings – adult and child/canine sized – on the wall next to Occy’s Brewery. Find it: Cowaramup Agencies, Hall Rd, Cowaramup. Tag the artist: @anita.revel.artist and @ margaretriver

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Jack Bromell’s Splendid Fairy Wrens The Berry Farm is one of the most reliable places for spotting azure splendid fairy wrens, so it makes perfect sense that the people behind this thriving winery-café would commission a blue wren mural. Real blue wrens will cheekily steal crumbs right off your plate, alongside variegated wrens, white breasted robins, New Holland honeyeaters and beautiful firetail finches, so be sure to stay for a slice of something sweet. Look out for Jack Bromell’s other local murals; a black cockatoo at Vasse Shopping Complex, a huge mulloway in Witchcliffe and Bird Boy in Margaret River, an Emergence Creative project. Find it: The Berry Farm, 43 Bessell Road, Rosa Glen Tag the artist: @jackbromell and @the_berryfarm Russell Sheridan’s Layla Dardanup artist Russell Sheridan’s sculptures are


(left) Cowara Dreaming by Anita Revel - Image @ShelbytheKelpie (Below) Wrens at The Berry Farm - photo by Rusty Creighton (Inset) Layla by Russell Sheridan

Open now! Adrenaline fun for the whole family

Can’t get enough art? Visit these artworks and galleries too. widely held in private and public collections around the region, and there’s a quirky and beautiful humour about his pieces. “It’s a bittersweet humour – I’m trying to highlight that people should be concerned about where we’re heading as a culture, that we need to look after things. I pick the ironic orbit of that, and that’s where my work starts from.” Russell’s sculpture “Layla”, great granddaughter of surf god Huey, watches over those who enter the water. She redirects lost surfers who have been pummelled into the depths below by large waves. “Being an old surfer, that’s sacred ground, and I endeavoured to mythologise the need to look after the ocean. The story was basically made up - Layla was Neptune’s daughter, but I made up the rest to hopefully get people concerned about looking after the ocean and its resources. The ocean is not to be exploited, but to be appreciated.”

Sculptures by Wayne Smith and Britt Mikkelsen @ Studio Gallery, Yallingup Margaret River Sculpture Park and Gallery, Hamelin Bay Free as a Cow by Ron Roozen, Bussell Highway Cowaramup Kyle Hughes-Odgers and Ian Mutch’s mural between IGA and the Margaret Riv er Visitor Centre Ian Mutch’s life-size whales at the end of Busselton Jetty Shire of Augusta Margaret River’s Public Art Trail on their website

zip-line ropes course Nature playground

open 7 days

Busselton Settlement Art Project Sculptures by Greg James on Queen Street Busselton Look out for Russell’s other sculptures of Timothy Vasse at Vasse Newtown, Riflebuts Reserve and Barnyard 1978 restaurant. Find it: Sitting on the rocks between Surfers Point and the Margaret Rivermouth Tag the artist: #russellsheridan and @margaretriver

1710 Caves Road, Dunsborough next door to clancy’s fish pub

Ph 9717 6670 Book online @

www.nextlevelmonkeybiz.com.au


Art & Wellbeing

EVERY MARCH, THE EMERGENCE CREATIVE FESTIVAL TURNS THE MARGARET RIVER REGION INTO A CREATIVE PLAYGROUND FOR THREE DAYS OF THOUGH-PROVOKING KEYNOTES, HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS, OUT-OF-THE-BOX PROJECTS AND INCREDIBLE SATELLITE EVENTS.

Big ideas,big issues T

he Digital Revolution peaked over a decade ago. This is now the age of experience. But is our digital attachment as consumers and businesses, detaching us from the human experience? In a world of AI drones, deepfakes and the deep web, how much do brands and organisations value tangible human connection and how do they foster it? The keynotes appearing at Emergence Creative 2020 will share their journeys and experiences, exploring how they – and we can harness the benefits of new tech, dodge the pitfalls and connect as people in a postdigital landscape. These are the types of big questions that the Margaret River region’s Emergence Creative festival will tackle over four days in March 2020. And thanks to the new Melbourne to Busselton airline route, it’s hoped more participants than ever will make the trip and expand their minds. The festival attracts professionals and

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emerging creatives from disciplines like music, film, photography, advertising, digital and the visual arts to one of the world’s most beautiful locations to collaborate, create and be inspired. It’s an extraordinary opportunity for creatives across this broad arena of thought leadership to come together and share their ideas, inspirations and experience. In a nutshell the festival deals in the currency of ideas and acts as a facilitator of ideas, allowing them to be exchanged in the uniquely beautiful natural environment of the

Margaret River region. You’ll find professionals from around the world sharing recent developments in their disciplines as well as emerging trends in a series of workshops and conference sessions. By bringing together creatives from a wide range of industries, the four-day event encourages participants to look beyond their own discipline and broaden their thinking. Participants will leave inspired, refreshed and ready to create something great, likely in partnership with a ramped-up new network. Emergence is not just a conference though; you’ll enjoy concerts showcasing the country’s best emerging musical acts, exhibitions with work by local artists, meals in the region’s famous wineries, light installations and countless other happenings.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? Two-Day Conference – Commercial Creatives


Emergence Creative encourages participants to ‘hear good stuff, do good stuff’. The Creative Conscious is at the heart of Emergence and many attendees have side projects which benefit our lives; fracking, youth leadership, fostering local talent and tackling plastics.

GOOD TIMES • LONG LUNCHES • FUNCTIONS

who have heard of or attended the event previously, including creative directors, account managers, sales managers, marketers, photographers, designers, copywriters, from the industries of design, advertising, media, music, creative production. Workshop/Collab – Emerging professional creatives from the industries of film, music and photography. Sole owner freelancers and entrepeneurs from Commercial Creative Industries. General Consumer – the Creative consumers who want to take part in creative events happening locally, and who like to be in a creative space, but aren’t sure what’s in it for them.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Emergence is a four-day festival with a two-day conference for the commercial creative industries. The festival features a day of handson workshops followed by two days of conference, plus a line-up of inspiring satellite events for both festival attendees and locals. This year, Emergence has moved into one central location, right in the centre of Margaret River at the brand new Margaret River HEART. This stunning new facility will be the festival’s home base from March 25 to 27, with nearby locations being used for breakout sessions and workshops, making it easy for conference delegates to get around. For those of you who love visiting wineries during your Emergence experience, don’t fret! There are plans for some great satellite events and Wednesday workshops out in the region - stay tuned via emergencecreative.com.

WEDDINGS • ROMANTIC GETAWAYS

CAVES HOUSE HOTEL AND APARTMENTS is ideally situated in the heart of the famous Margaret River Wine Region and within a ten minute walking distance of the equally famous Yallingup surfing beach. Summer is epitomised by ... sun, surf, long lunches with lovers and friends, garden weddings, glorious food and delectable wines, High Teas on the Terrace as well as movies under the stars in the Heritage Gardens and of course our famous Sunday sessions with your favourite bands. In other words CAVES HOUSE HOTEL!

18 Yallingup Beach Rd, Yallingup | Ph: 9750 1888 A/H: 9750 1830 caveshousehotelyallingup.com.au margaretriver.com

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The Payet Gallery is a gem of a place, with its origins to be found far from the Margaret River region. By JANINE PITTAWAY Images RUSSELL ORD PHOTOGRAPHY

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Jewels in the forest

rom the small fishing village of Mahe in the Sechelles to their purpose built jewellery gallery amongst the Karri trees in Margaret River, it’s been quite a journey for talented jeweller brothers, François and Nick Payet. Payet Gallery is must-see for lovers of art and creativity visiting the Margaret River region, but many would not be aware of the story and inspiration behind their stunning and individual jewellery designs. Two in a family of seven children, François and Nick spent their early childhood in the stunning Sechelles Islands. Their childhood was rich in beauty and culture but their family struggled to sustain a livelihood relying on their father’s trade as a fisherman. In search of a more prosperous life for his family, their father immigrated to Australia in the early 1970s. He settled in Melbourne, gradually bringing his wife and children to join him. François was the first of the brothers to gain an interest in handcrafting jewellery. After leaving school he embarked on an unofficial apprenticeship in jewellery making. His retail trade began with him pushing a trolley to and from the St Kilda Esplanade selling jewellery,

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and grew to him owning four successful retail outlets in Melbourne. Despite his success in the jewellery trade, his ultimate dream of designing and handcrafting his own jewellery remained unfulfilled. Nick was working as a welder when François approached him about learning the ropes of jewellery making. Nick didn’t enjoy welding and still recalls the pungent smell of burning oil. The brothers started experimenting or “making it up as they


EYE FOR DETAIL Nick and François Payet learned their craft from an old Italian fellow named Sam, gradually experimenting and developing their own unique, and highly sought-after style in the heart of the Margaret River region.

went along” as Nick describes it. Nick learnt the basics of handcrafting jewellery from one of François suppliers, “an old Italian fellow named Sam,” Nick recalls fondly. François had begun experimenting with his own jewellery designs and the first pieces of Payet Jewellery came to be. The move to Margaret River came following a trip to the region on a family holiday. François and his wife Cate were immediately taken by

the raw beauty of the landscape and inspired by the energy of the region. In 2006, the brothers and their families relocated to Margaret River, originally taking up management of the Margaret River Gallery and eventually realising their life-long dream of working from a purpose-built jewellery gallery. When asked what inspired the unique gallery, François recalled that the concept came after a trip to the US. margaretriver.com

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Art & Wellbeing DELICATE WORK Dariya Gratte's porcelain leaf work (right) and photos of François and Nick as children in the Seychelles. Top, the Payet brothers at work (image by Elements Margaret River). Opposite, Ceylon sapphire piece.

“While driving down the coast just off California, outside of Carmel, I visited a gallery and restaurant perched on the edge of a huge cliff,” he said. “and that’s when I thought I could build my own place on the coast. That moment is implanted in my mind and took over 20 years to come to fruition”. Nick agreed that moving to their purposebuilt gallery was one of the most profound and

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I think that beautiful things can only come from our soul. ~ François Payet


happy moments of their careers. A key to their long term success is their complimentary skills. The brothers speak fondly of each other, François describing Nick as the one with all the technical skill. “We get along really well considering we are brothers, I will come to Nick with some convoluted idea that he’s never done before and he always rises to the occasion. Some designs we sit on for months, the design then the engineering - by engineering I mean you have to wear it and it has to work, it can be quite funny having a couple of fellas holding earrings up to each others ears, but there you are.” Payet jewellery tells a story, each piece inspired by hidden gems in the natural environment.

François’s inspiration is drawn mainly from the coast and what lies beneath the ocean. “It’s never the obvious beauty that inspires me, but the very small, almost unseeable, and you definitely have to discover it. I think that beautiful things can only come from our soul. “The designs develop and change but there are certainly things that remain a constant - the contrast of raw metals and unique gems and fresh water pearls are a constant but the design and how they are set changes over time”. The Payets share their gallery with friend and ceramic artist Dariya Gratte. Dariya works with fine porcelain which she etches paints and draws on the surface to create sculpture and functional ceramics. “I love working at Payet - they have become my second family,” she said. “We talk about our

ideas and works we are creating, it is inspiring to be working with such talented artists. The gallery is tastefully curated by Cate and François, the displays are simple and elegant.” The Payet brothers have now been handcrafting jewellery for more than 30 years. Their beautifully crafted, sophisticated yet simple designs accentuate the high quality gemstones and pearls they feature. Payet Gallery is located at 611 Boodjidup Road, Margaret River. Find out more at payetgallery.com. au. Visitors can watch the brothers at work from the viewing window within the gallery from Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm.The artists will also be participating in the 2020 Margaret River Region Open Studios event in April and May.

Nature's Crystal Palace Book your experience today at margaretriver.com

Lake Cave margaretriver.com

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MARGARET RIVER LISTEN, EXPLORE & CONNECT By SOPHIE MATHEWSON Main image ELEMENTS MARGARET RIVER

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REVITALISE, RECHARGE AND REDISCOVER MARGARET RIVER TODAY

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ean Blocksidge has a ridiculous optimism that is both genuine and infectious. Sean runs Margaret River Discovery Tours and knows the lay of the land, as well as those that inhabit it. In a world where the easy route is sometimes cynicism and negativity, Sean is there to figure out how to make it better. He’s an environmentalist, an avid photographer, and a foodie. And if you decide to jump on a tour with him, you’ll find he’s a great conversationalist too. Sean’s lived and breathed Margaret River since around 2004 when he decided to call the destination home. “The region had everything I was looking for. Great lifestyle, outdoor adventures and some of the best wine and food offerings in Australia. I’d travelled a lot up to that point and suddenly realised I’d found my home, my patch of paradise on the planet.” Sean comes into contact with visitors to the region daily, and sees the impact that the town has on them, first hand. “Most of my guests live in big cities, concrete jungles of Singapore and London and Sydney, so they are genuinely thrilled to be connecting with the Australian bush environment. I regularly see them just stop and breathe the air, staring at the stars and listening to the sounds of birds and the bush as we float down the river.” If you haven’t been to Margaret River for a while, you might find that some things are

the same. A beach with no-one on it. The sound only of your paddle as you kayak among the karri trees in the river. The quality local ingredients at the Farmers Market. But there are unexpected little changes in this town of around 10,000 people. Creeping in are Melbourne-esque hipster bars (look to Yonder which by day looks like a storage shed and by night, turns into a rocking bar at the edge of a Coles carpark), incredible international food from diverse expats moving to the region (check out Pizzica for 100% authentic Italian, and Miki’s Kitchen for the best Japanese you have eaten). There is also a growing arts and culture scene with festivals and events like Margaret River Region Open Studios, Emergence Creative Festival, and the Western Australia Guitar Festival. And sporting-wise, mountain biking has taken off like a rocket. “We now have more people with bikes on cars than surfboards,” Sean says. “The trails are awesome with easy green trails for beginners and epic blue rated flow trails for the more skilled riders. Even a few bone-breaking black trails that keep the local hospital busy!” You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how the town is maturing, and if you’re like Sean, you’ll feel a sense of peace through the natural surrounds. “I love the tranquility, the sounds of the Black Cockatoos flying up the valley, the gentle flow of the river and the incredible reflections of the towering Eucalypts. It’s like a scene out of a movie and we’re always the only ones ever out there to experience it.” It’s time to reinvigorate and revel in the resplendent. It’s time to Rediscover Margaret River.


GETTING AROUND

BY COACH TRANS WA Trans WA19 travels from Perth to Margaret River every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with optional drop-offs along the way and returns to Perth the same day. Keep hold of your ticket and return to Perth at a later date. Visit wa-getaway.com.au

SOUTH WEST COACH LINES Catch the express coach service connecting Perth, Perth Domestic and Perth International Airport terminals with Busselton, Dunsborough, Margaret River. Visit southwestcoachlines.com.au

BY CAR MARGARET RIVER RENT A CAR

at your own pace with a rental from Avis Southwest Car Hire in Busselton. One-way rentals are available back to Perth. Visit avis.com.au

IN STYLE MCLEOD TOURS Take in Margaret River’s scenery and attractions with the knowledge of local expert and awardwinning guide Neil McLeod. The three-day Escape tour provides pick-up from your Perth hotel or Perth train station, comfortable bus transport, three days touring with a dedicated tour guide, delicious food and wine, and an exciting itinerary. Visit mcleodtours.com.au

WESTWARD AVIATION CHARTER SERVICES

Offering delivery and pick-up throughout the south west, Busselton & South West Rent a Car is a local, family-owned car rental company. Visit busseltonswrentacar.com.au

Depart from Jandakot Airport as the sun rises and enjoy stunning views of the Swan River, Fremantle Harbour, Rockingham, Mandurah, the Peel Inlet and Bunbury then on to either Busselton or Margaret River. Westward Aviation will transfer you from the airport to the city and take you back at no extra cost.Your return journey will be just as spectacular with the sun setting over the Indian Ocean and the night lights of the City of Perth. Visit margaretriver.com/members/westward-aviationcharter-services/

AVIS SOUTHWEST CAR HIRE

ESQUIRE CLASSIC CHARTERS

Explore the beautiful Margaret River region

Want to travel in style? It doesn’t get more stylish

To see the best of the region, hire a car or people mover from Margaret River – all you need is a driver’s licence, even if it’s an interstate or international one. Visit margaretriverrentacar.com.au

BUSSELTON & SOUTH WEST RENT A CAR

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than in a Silver Spirit Rolls-Royce from Esquire Classic Charters. There’s no better way to enjoy a private charter, special event or winery tour in the Busselton, Dunsborough,Yallingup and Margaret River region. Visit esquireclassiccharters.com.au

VIRTUALLY YOUR MARGARET RIVER REGION APP The latest version of the Your Margaret River Region app features more than 1,000 things to do, as well as service points located throughout the region. Available online and offline for both Apple and Android devices, the app also features an audio tour of the Busselton Jetty.

WINE UNEARTHED PODCAST The Margaret River region’s new podcast series explores the people, the extraordinary natural environment and the wineries. Get beneath the region’s skin and understand why Lonely Planet named this special part of Western Australia as its favourite place in the Asia Pacific for 2019.

OUR FAVe INSTA ACCOUNTS @southwestlife_ @tweetsouthwest @elementsmargaretriver @margaretriver


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