Margaret River is the go-to holiday destination in Western Australia. It’s renowned for its wine, surfing, fine beaches and biodiverse forests, but the shopping opportunities are also part of its charm. Here’s our pick of the markets you should visit.
Tucked away in the southwest corner of Australia, Margaret River is in the country’s remotest state. Luxuriating in this lush rural idyll, it offers an easy-going alternative to the rugged, heat-baked interior that characterises much of Western Australia. The temperate climate and relaxed atmosphere have nurtured a thriving utopia of wineries and crafts nourished by a notable foodie culture. Read on for our definitive list.
The Colony Concept is a veritable shrine to apiculture and all things honey, as second-generation beekeepers Sarah and Simon Green produce chemical and antibiotic-free honey that is unfiltered and unpasteurised. As a migratory operation, their more than 350 hives are regularly moved across the region to maintain seasonal flow and optimise the bees’ food sources. Colony Concept offers honey tastings and you buy over a dozen varieties, sample mead, stock up on apiculture gear and tools and even brush up your api-credentials with one of their workshops.
A vineyard and tasting centre with organic orchards, olive and vegetable gardens, Providore almost resembles a genteel market crossed with a modern deli. Five varieties of olives, orchards of fig, quince and citrus fruits, free-range chickens and bountiful herbs and vegetables support their small-batch production of syrups, jams, preserves, chutneys, tapenade and sauces. The olives are cold-pressed, the foodie tastings complimentary and the chocolate liqueurs verge on decadent.
Right in the middle of town on Sundays, the modest Town Square Markets host mainly local craftspeople and designers. Items range from handmade silver jewellery to leather goods, and from soy candles to photographs. Several more eclectic artisans range from the practical to the exotic: platters and lazy Susans made from recycled oak barrels, artwork burnt with a soldering iron into wood and sculptures fashioned from recycled railway tracks. Live music and barbecue stalls help to oil proceedings, and there’s usually a tarot card reader on hand to help clarify your life in between bouts of shopping.
Housed in an unassuming warehouse with walls of corrugated iron, the Shed melds boho vibe, eco-food activism and local sustainably farmed produce. The faintly commune-like atmosphere echoes the earnest stallholders’ mission to offer products and food born of ethical farming practices. Wellness practitioners offer treatments, therapies and healing while the market’s very own Eat Street, offering healthy juices, potent coffees and prime-cut burgers, will keep you fed.
From its humble origins as Italian artisan cheesemakers in Perth who headed south to the region’s greener cleaner pastures, this cheese and yoghurt producer uses traditional methods in its award-winning products. Cheddars, brie and camembert come in several ranges, some of the cheddars are enriched with chillies, pepper and port, and the whole milk yoghurt range is pot-set and free of gums and gelatin. The shop also sells truffles and nougat, so don’t expect to leave any lighter.