Clear blue skies in Margaret River...the sun is out....what else can we ask for....well.....Chocolates to be precise. Waiting for our beverages at The Margaret River Chocolate Factory. It's a MUST SEE and MUST VISIT place. All of us enjoyed the complimentary chocolate tasting and we bought heaps to bring home.
What better place than to sample free chocos???
Well, the frontage of the building didn't look appealing at all. To be frank, it reminded me of a one-storey factory. But when we stepped in, the environment just felt so warm, and the entire layout looked pretty good.
To provide for people who love free stuff (Just like me!), the company had placed three types of chocolate - white, brown and dark - into three separate metallic pots. You can scoop however much chocolate you want. They also had quite a few tongue-in-cheek products such as the brown-colored apron with totally lovely wordings!
But really, my attention turned to their ice cream. Yum, on a cool winter day. Don't think it's their specialty, but really, whatever rocks your boat. : )
There are numerous wineries in the Margaret River and Pemberton areas. Several tour companies run wine tours to the area from Perth or you can visit the wineries independently. Driving around from winery to winery is a great way to kill an afternoon. Just be sure to have a designated driver as Aussies have zero tolerance for drunk drivers.
We went to their outlet in Swan Valley. There was free chocolates that you could test.
A small window allowed us to peep at the process of making chocolates.
It was disappointing cos there was no tours to explain the process of chocolate making. It was just a commercial shop selling chocolates, which was displayed in rows and rows along the shelves.
Here, they house the largest collection of native raptors in Australia.
Our guide demonstrated the speed and swiftness of the eagles when they threw the food into the air for them to catch and eat. After their performance, the eagles were rewarded with rats (yeecks!)
We had a close up with the eagles when one rested (thankfully it was chained to the guide) on our hands. And my, it was pretty heavy!
We stopped by at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. Unfortunately, we couldn't do the climb up the lighthouse as it was under construction.
The historic lighthouse is situated at the most south western tip of Australia. We can even stand at the point where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet.
The caves at Margaret River are lovely. There's Lake Cave, Jewel Cave, Moondyne Cave and of course Mammoth Cave that we visited.
We saw ancient fossil remains of extinct animals. The stones were of various shapes and even resembled different things.
Margaret River is famous for producing WA's best wines. We were treated to wine tasting at Xanadu Winery. However, there wasn't much explanation on the types of the wine.
Prefer the wineries in Melbourne where they not only have wine tasting, but also bring you on a guided tour around the winery to explain the process of making wine.
The Margaret River Chocolate Factory makes a welcome diversion from all the wine in the region.
The Factory is not much more than a store, coffee shop, and viewing area of the inner workings of a factory.
The display of chocolate on offer will make all chocaholics drool. From body paint to chocolate macadamia clusters everyone will be impressed.
Personal favourite of mine is the Caramel Nougurt.
Leewin Estate is 'The' winery of the Margaret River area.
The prides upon its exclusive marketing by holding some of the most extravigant theatre performances showcasing the talents such as Michael Crawford.
The Winery is also famous for using art on the labels of its wines. Many of these pieces of art are on display below the wine tasting. It's an experience not to be missed.
The wine is well good. Although bring Mr Visa to help you purchase.
Not all wines are available for free tasting. For the more exclusive bottles (ie $A40 up) there is a $2.20 tasting fee.
Palandri Wines is one of the most professional winery outfits on the roads around the Margaret River.
This place is designed not only for the tasters but also for the family dragged along as well. Palandri has the best activities area for the young and teens to keep them occupied while the over 18s are sampling the local drop.
I can highly recommend the Classic Dry White from this winery.
I went to my first winery on my recent holiday and next time i would like to do an extensive touring of all the wineries.
The winery was called -
Howard Park & Madfish Wines
Located on a massive acarage. The winery building is very modern/chic. It was so much fun to taste the different wines available. We ended up buying 3 bottles.
Wines are cheaper at a winery as you buy them direct. And most importantly you go home with a wine you know that you will enjoy.
For more information on winerys visit the wine centre web page.
This cave is the only one with a lake, its is 72m deep and absolutely beautiful. We descended a staircase through the amazing Karri trees and eventually entered the cave. A tour guide took us through telling us of the history and guiding us through a lighting show that highlighted the gorgeous formations.
Tickets costed 15.00AUD. The lake cave is located directly below Cave Works - a musuem that has shows all info on all caves located in the area.
Tours are very 30 minutes, we had just missed the previous tour so we went to the Lake Cave Tearooms, which is located next door to Cave Works.
A PICTURE WILL COME SOON 24/7/03
When you're at it, take a minute to check out the limestone caves in the Margaret River region. It is not only beautiful to traverse the narrow walkways in the caves, but also puts a visit to the Pinnacles into perspective, more on that later.
Definately do the Wine Region around Margaret River.
Busselton was good (great pier 4 kms) and Dunsborough very nice.