Whether you’re heading down south for a long weekend or a mid week getaway, below is a guide to the best ethical and plant based spots as well as how to get the most out of your time in the South West!
9.00am – Depart from Perth sometime during the morning ahead of your 3 hour drive to the beautiful South West Region.
11.00am – At around the half way point, stop off at The Forbidden Fruit at 3/1540 Bussell Hwy, Stratham to stock up on some fresh fruit & veg as well as a fresh juice or smoothie. They make the BEST watermelon ‘zinger’ and the staff are super friendly.
12.00pm – Next, make your way down towards Busselton and stop off at Hummingbird for lunch. They have quite a few vegan options, my personal favourites are the corn & macadamia fritters (GF), the chickpea & turmeric soup with wood fired bread and the fresh cut chips.
1.00pm – If you are planning on spending the evening in your accommodation, a great place to stop off and get some take-away sushi and/or a curry is Peko Peko in Dunsborough. Their food is delicious and affordable.
1.30pm – If you’ve got a bit of room left in your stomach after lunch, a stop off at Simmos Ice Creamery is an absolute must. They have quite a few vegan sorbets including a chocolate sorbet as well as a creamy choc coconut and salted pistachio ice cream – YUM!
2.00pm – As you continue to head down towards Margaret River, if you are into bread then a stop at Yallingup Woodfired Bakery is always a great idea. It is located on a private property in a small dedicated bakehouse. They make their bread fresh throughout the day so it’s highly likely your bread will still be warm if you stop by in the afternoon. Their breads are organic and have no hidden or nasty ingredients. I can confirm the wholemeal sourdough loaf is vegan however I didn’t get a chance to check the white or raisin toast.
3.00pm – With a full belly and a boot full of supplies, it’s time to continue south and check in to your accommodation of choice. If you’re unsure about where to stay, my personal favourite is Eight Willows Retreat which you can read about here.
3.30pm – Once you arrive at your accommodation and are settled in, take some time to relax and enjoy the surroundings.
5.00pm – Later in the afternoon, gather some nibbles and drinks and head to Injidup Beach to watch the sunset. There are rocks you can sit on that provide a great vantage point to watch the sunset. Or head down towards the Injidup Natural Spa and take a dip if you’re game! Brrr!
7.00pm – Once the sun has set and you’ve snapped some pretty pics, it’s time to think about what to do for dinner. It’s a tough decision between heading out for dinner, enjoying some local take away or preparing food in your accommodation. If you choose to dine out, Settlers Tavern in Margaret River has two vegan options on their menu and can have quite a fun vibe depending on the day and time that you go.
9.00am – Enjoy a slow start to the morning and make your way towards Shaana Cafe in Yallingup. This cute little corner cafe is situated right next to Yallingup Beach and has a fantastic menu with lots of vegan options. The staff are very friendly and accommodating with dietary requirements. They also sell delicious raw treats from Simply Rawjus.
10.00am – After breakfast depending on the weather, take a short walk to the viewing deck at Yallingup Beach and check out the surf. Depending on the weather and your tolerance to the cold, consider going for a dip!
10.30am – On your way out of Yallingup back towards Margaret River, if you are into lavender, I highly suggest a stop off at the Cape Lavender. Although their scones and cakes are not vegan, they have a beautiful shop space filled with all things lavender (and they even have products for pets).
11.00am – If you enjoy the coastline and exploring, just a 5 minute drive (3.5km) from Cape Lavender is the stunning Canal Rocks. This is a fantastic location to take a walk and snap some great pictures of the dramatic coastline.
11.30am – As you head south yet again, just off Caves Road on Metricup Road is in my opinion, the most visually beautiful and unique winery in the South West, Fermoy Estate. Although Fermoy wines are not vegan, Pukara Estate is also located within the grounds who sell vegan olive oils, vinegars, dukkahs and other condiments. This is also a great spot for photos.
12.30pm – As lunch time approaches, make your way to Hay Shed Hill winery. They have a tapas restaurant on site – Rustico, which is absolutely INCREDIBLE! They serve the most amazing vegan degustation which I cannot speak highly enough of. It is reasonably priced and the service is exceptional. Make sure you arrive hungry, as there is so much food. The Hay Shed Hill Pitchfork wines are vegan and are delicious in a sangria! Note: Bookings are essential.
2.30pm – If you enjoy wineries and are feeling up to it, head along Caves Road to the incredible Cullen Wines. All wines are vegan and the team at Cullen work on the principles of quality, sustainability and integrity. They are the only biodynamic and carbon negative winery and restaurant in the Margaret River region. The fruits, herbs and vegetables used in the restaurant are sourced from the bio-dynamic garden located within the grounds. They also have a small spiral garden that you can walk through to learn about the bio-dynamic process. Cullen gets a BIG tick of approval from me!
3.30pm – About a 30 minute drive from Cullen Wines is the stunning Boranup Forest. It is a forest filled with huge Karri trees, some as tall as 60 metres. There is also a 14km scenic loop where you can drive through the forest.
4.30pm – By this point you are probably full, exhausted and ready to call it an afternoon. I suggest heading back to your accommodation to relax before dinner.
7.00pm – After a lazy afternoon, it’s time to head to La Casina for dinner. Labelled as ”fine Italian dining in a spacious, charming cottage with an outdoor terrace & leafy views”, La Casina did not disappoint! They have a separate vegan menu with a heap of options to choose from. The gnocchi is a crowd favourite, and the sticky date pudding is to die for! The service is fantastic and the staff are very friendly and attentive.
9.00am – Start the day in your desired way, perhaps breakfast in your accommodation might be a good start. If you feel like heading out, some recommendations are The Urban Bean and Drift Cafe, both in Margaret River.
10.30am – Make your way towards the famous Margaret River Chocolate Company for some sugary supplies. Believe it or not, there are actually some vegan options for chocolate including the dark chocolate pastelles and the mint dark chocolate bars – both are delicious! The cafe also make a delicious almond milk dark hot chocolate using the chocolate pastelles. Be sure to try some free samples of the dark chocolate pastelles from the tubs on display.
11.00am – Once you’re all sugared out, make your way towards Prevelly to check out the famous “Surfers Point”. This is a great spot to watch surfers tackle some of the best waves coming off the Indian Ocean!
12.00pm – After checking out the surf, make your way towards Margaret River town centre, stopping off on Kevill Rd. I actually call this road Kangaroo Alley because as you drive along the street, the properties on both sides are filled with kangaroos grazing and enjoying the sunshine. At the bottom of this road, is a waterfall known as Kevill Road Waterfall.
12.30pm – Make your way towards the Margaret River town centre for some lunch. Some options include; The Urban Bean, Settlers Tavern and Riversmith. If you’re open to heading a bit further north to Cowaramup, I HIGHLY recommend Black Sheep Deli. Their food is fresh and healthy with no nasty ingredients or additives. The staff are beyond lovely and really make you feel welcome and appreciated. Note: the burger pictured is VERY spicy – you’ve been warned!!
1.30pm – Just 5km from the Margaret River town centre is Fair Harvest Permaculture. I have explored WA’s South West many times over the years but had never heard about Fair Harvest until recently. Permaculture is the development of agriculture ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient. Fair Harvest has some incredible systems set up to enable them to be sustainable and self-sufficient including; a huge veggie garden and orchard that they grow seasonally, compost toilets, a grey-water shower system, solar electricity, and a windmill to pump water from the dam catchment, just to name a few. You can attend the farm and do a self guided tour, or if you’d like to spend more time there, they have a campsite and two types of accommodation. The Farm has an open day once a month where they serve produce from their veggie garden. There is also a hall for yoga, meditation and other activities.
3.00pm – Head back to your accommodation for an afternoon siesta Zzzz!
7.00pm – Decide whether to have a relaxing evening in and prepare food at home or head out for dinner. Lunch is definitely the preferred meal to dine out for in the South West with wineries serving lunch but closing in the evenings.
9.00am – Spend your last morning in the South West however you please. You may feel like a chilled morning in bed or a walk along the coast.
10.00am – Make your way to Black Sheep Deli in Cowaramup for what is, in my opinion, the BEST breakfast in the South West. I don’t normally opt for granola when I eat out but the granola here is the best granola I have ever eaten! The avo on toast is also a good choice.
11.00am – After an epic few days exploring the South West, it’s time to head back to Perth. If you enjoyed the produce and juice/s from The Forbidden Fruit, consider stopping off here on your way back to Perth. I couldn’t drive passed without stopping off for a juice and some seedless Capel mandarins.
2.00pm – By now, you’ll be arriving back in Perth. And with that is the completion of my ultimate guide to 4 days exploring the South West!
I hope you’ve had the most amazing time exploring the region supporting ethical and sustainable businesses.