Margaret River – Western Australia, Australia

Wildflowers and Vineyards

In the last twenty years, Australia’s sophisticated wine industry has given a cosmopolitan veneer to this remote and beautiful corner of the world, with its dazzling landscape of stunning surf beaches, manicured vines, and awesome forests.

Prestigious wines produced by the Vasse Felix, Cape Mentelle, Cullens, and the venerable Leeuwin Estate are world renowned. The latter hosts the Leeuwin Estate alfresco concerts, a heralded summer event in January attracting world-class performers and ever-­growing crowds. Blessed with a Mediterran­ean climate, the Margaret Valley area is also graced with the annual spring wildflower sea­son in September and October, when the countryside is filled to the horizon with a ka­leidoscope of color. More than 1,000 wild­flower species have been identified, including almost 70 species of orchid.

Happily, Cape Lodge, one of Australia’s most tasteful and relaxing country retreats, is located right in the middle of the region. The Dutch Cape – inspired main house is sur­rounded by rolling lawns and magnificent gar­dens, and overlooks a lovely lake, where guests can swim or paddle about in a canoe.

Morning wake-up calls come from a chorus of kook­aburras – so no one misses the gourmet breakfasts in the sun-drenched glass conservatory. It’s a short drive to Margaret River, a delight­ful town full of antiques stores and crafts shops. Local restaurants with young and inno­vative chefs make this a culinary comer of Australia to be reckoned with.

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