Frequently Asked Factual Questions About The Margaret River Region

If you’re getting ready to visit Margaret River for the first time, you might like to learn more about some of the local fun facts and trivia. (And if you’re an old hand at visiting Margaret River, here’s a chance to test your knowledge…)

  • What is the local population? The overall population of the Margaret River region is approximately 9,000 people.
  • How many visitors to the region per year? Approximately 500,000.
  • When was it first settled? Margaret River was first settled in the mid 1800s by immigrants from England. One of the prominent pioneer families were the Bussells, for whom the Bussell Highway is named.
  • How far is it from Perth? Margaret River is 272 km from Perth, about 3.5 hours drive in total, leaving Perth down the Kwinana freeway and then onto the Bussell Highway.
  • Who built the first winery in Margaret River? A local cardiologist named Dr. Tom Cullity planted the first grape vines and started the first winery in 1967. His family’s winery, Vasse Felix, has become one of the most highly visited and well-reviewed wineries in the region.
  • How many wineries are there in the region? The Margaret River wine region is home to 138 wineries (as of 2008).
  • What types of grapes are grown in Margaret River? The region produces both red and white grapes. Varietals include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Shiraz, Merlot, Chenin Blanc and Verdelho.
  • What is the Margaret River wine growing climate most similar to? Due to its climate, seasonal temperatures and average rainfall, the Margaret River wine region is often compared to Bordeaux (in France).
  • What is the main form of agriculture outside of viticulture? Margaret River is known as a dairy and beef-producing region.
  • Is there an airport? Yes – but for light aircraft only; the Margaret River airport is just a few minutes’ drive from the town centre and is served by charter flights from Perth. The nearest commercial airport is in Perth and most visitors arrive by car.
  • How old are the fossils in Mammoth Cave? Fossils in the region’s most famous cave have been measured at over 35,000 years of age.
  • What is the “burning of the vines?” This is a traditional way to celebrate the end of the wine growing season. Many wineries host “burning of the vine cuttings” bonfires to celebrate another successful year.
  • Is Voyager Estate winery’s flag really the biggest Australian flag in Western Australia? Actually…no. According to the Voyager Estates website, their flag – while breathtakingly big – is actually the second largest flag in Western Australia, and the third largest in all of Australia. (The largest Australian flag in Western Australia is at the Roundhouse in Fremantle, and the largest overall is at the Parliament House in Canberra.)

Refer to the Margaret River Guide for more information on the events, attractions and unique cultural and environmental heritage of this one-of-a-kind place.