Day 8 ~ Hamelin Bay / Margaret River / Yallingup

This morning we checked out of our Dunsborough accommodation and headed an hour south to Hamelin Bay. This picturesque beach is known for its friendly stingrays who come into the shallows waiting to be fed by tourists. After lounging around on our own stretch of sand for an hour (the water was absolutely freezing yet again), we headed up to the section of beach packed with tourists – and sure enough, there were plenty of stingrays sniffing around looking for some brunch.

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Hamelin Bay

While it was a little daunting going near these giant critters to begin with, we eventually grew the balls to give the rays a quick pat – in return they gave us a brief foot rub. Eventually, the novelty wore off, so we packed up and moved on to our next stop – Gnarabup, where we headed for our own feed at the White Elephant Beach Cafe.

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A friendly stingray at Hamelin Bay

This cafe has reasonable reviews on TripAdvisor, but we weren’t impressed at all. The place was very noisy, it was windy, the whole area stunk from the huge amount of seaweed that was lying on the beach, there were sticky flies everywhere and the food was well-over priced. This was one of the very few places in WA that we didn’t like eating at. We’d recommend getting lunch at one of the many other gourmet restaurants in the region.

Driving back north, we paid a quick visit to the Candy Cow Store at Cowaramup, which is a sweet tooth’s heaven. They had delicious fudge and we couldn’t help but buy a few small slabs. Further up the road at Metricup, we dropped into the Margaret River Dairy Company where we tried a few of their beautiful cheeses, and even bought a few for later in the trip.

Our next stop was one that we had been looking forward for quite some time – The Margaret River Chocolate Company. Don’t go there with a full belly because this place is phenomenal! There are 3 kinds of chocolate to taste – dark, milk and white. We both went back for about 20 helpings of this free chocolate – it was absolutely delicious! There was also plenty of yummy looking food that could be bought by the packet or over at their cafe. We spent our money both in the store and at the café – best investment of the whole trip!

Once we’d stuffed ourselves silly on cheese and chocolate, we headed to our special accommodation at Naturaliste for the night – bush glamping! We checked in and were shown to our gorgeous little tipi setup. After dropping off our bags, we walked down to the Bush Shack Brewery, which was located on the same site as our tent. It was a simple, rustic brewery that had some very tasty beers.

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Tasting paddle at Bush Shack Brewery

After we polished off a tasting paddle, we jumped back in the car and headed down the road to Smith’s Beach, near Yallingup. It was too cold to swim and the shorebreak was pretty heavy, so we headed back to our glamping site for a swim in their big, beautiful pool instead.

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Smith’s Beach – Yallingup

Late in the afternoon, we drove a few minutes down the road to the Caves House Twilight Markets for a poke around. These were your typical small markets again, but they had a great atmosphere outside with live music, drinks and kids having fun. We had a drink each and then wandered down to Yallingup for another stunning sunset by the beach.

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Yallingup sunset

One thing we’ve found in the Margaret River region – dinner options are very few and far between. A lot of places were closed, which we found odd, and the ones that were open were absolutely packed! We ended up driving back to Dunsborough just to get dinner from Peko Peko – a Japanese take away joint.

We took our dinner back to our glamping site and sat in the common area to eat and drink, and play a few games of Uno on the deck outside. It was a delightful way to spend a summer’s evening. After a few quiet ones, we went back to our tent and headed to bed.

While the glamping idea was good in theory and our tent was done up like a 5-star hotel room, it was actually quite noisy with the wind blowing all night in the trees and the sides of the tent flapping around. Pissing outside in the dark and in the bush wasn’t ideal either as there are a few dangerous snakes in the Margaret River area, which kept us both on high alert when leaving the tent. Despite this, it was a pretty cool way to spend 1 night.

Glamping
Glamping at Naturaliste

DRIVING DETAILS:

  • Distances Travelled:
    • 84km (Dunsborough >> Hamelin Bay)
    • 42km (Hamelin Bay >> Gnarabup)
    • 23km (Gnarabup >> Cowaramup)
    • 8km (Cowaramup >> Metricup)
    • 30km (Metricup >> Yallingup)
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