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.