I’ve just finished 2 of the most action-packed days I’ve had in a very long time!
I’d been looking for things to do in Margaret River, Western Australia, but couldn’t find anything that really caught my eye.
It was all the same stuff…
Some outfits were offering a spot on a big bus with a relaxing wine tour through the region, with a few local produce tastings along the way.
Some were enticing me with a morning surf tour and others with a kayak down Margaret River.
These all sounded fine, but I was really looking for adventure! I only had time for a few days, so it was imperative that I got to see and do it all with an expert who could make it all happen.
And then I stumbled across Surf ‘n’ Dirt Adventures on TripAdvisor.
Owned and run by Margaret River local, Paul Berry, Surf ‘n’ Dirt Adventures offered me a package I couldn’t refuse.
Whether it was a day full of adrenaline pumping activity or a laid back tour of the many spectacular views and establishments in the region, Surf ‘n’ Dirt had a package for me.
So I said, I’ll take the lot!
Karri Forest Cave Hunting
The first day started with a pick-up from my retreat accommodation at Hilltop Studios, just 5 minutes from the town centre.
From there, we drove off into the Boranup Karri Forest and parked up for a nice early morning leg-stretcher into the depths of the 100 year old Karri trees.
It felt like I was in Lothlorien from The Lord of The Rings.
Paul told of the first settlers to come to Margaret River logging this whole forest back in 1910, with the timber sent to establish the foundations of what is today’s London Underground.
After a short walk, we ended up at one of the regions many limestone caves; Brides Cave, named after one of the daughter’s of the famous Bussle family that settled the region.
Back in the custom-built Landcruiser we hopped, and we were off for some real action down at the beach – a surf lesson.
With our own beginner’s surfboards on hand, Paul took the time to teach us exactly how to ride a wave, and on only my first shot (with a little help from Paul), I was up and gliding the whole way to shore.
Everything was provided, including the wetsuits, so even on a cold day, you’ll have a great time learning to ride the waves.
After a fresh picnic lunch at a breathtaking lookout point off the Southern Ocean, we made our way deep into Boranup Forest for some action on dry land.
This time, it was time to crank out the custom-made Giant BMX bikes.
And could these things go!
After taking a safety briefing and whacking our helmets on, Paul led us down a purpose-built track just for BMX riders.
All down hill, we got the thrill of a lifetime rushing through the trees and practicing our jumps over and over again at the many man-made log jumps along the way.
We got the GoPro’s out and did our best to film something for Red Bull.
Kayaking Blackwood River
Day 2 took a different gear. This time we planned to satisfy the rest of our senses.
We started the day with a bit of fun and exercise, kayaking down the totally underrated Blackwood River.
Most kayak tours will take you to the well-known Margaret River, which in recent trips I have found to be quite shallow and crowded.
But Surf ‘n’ Dirt tours only operates at the Blackwood river, which turned out to be absolutely picturesque and deserted, without a couple and their dog joining us at any point in the day.
So down the Blackwood River we paddled in the brand-new two-man kayaks, with Paul pointing out the many cormorants and kookaburras that flew past to say hello.
Then after a leisurely bout of exercise, we all pulled up on the banks and jumped in for a swim, with a round of paddle cricket keeping us occupied for a while.
Wine & Produce Tasting
Most wine tours will cram you into a big bus and take you to all of the big, well-known wineries where you’ll line up for a tasting and manoeuvre around the other tourists looking for a table.
However, with all the local knowledge and partnerships Paul has forged, only a selection of the best small wineries and local producers had the luxury of our attendance.
So it was off to boutique wineries like Battenay’s and Addinfield, and local producers like the Margaret River Venison Farm and Olio Bello for us.
These are venues that either don’t sell outside their cellar door, or are extremely hard to source from, so it was an absolute privilege and new experience to taste what was on offer, all with a 10% discount thanks to Paul’s great relationships.
Now, with all of the adventure also came a level of inherent risk – something I was prepared for. But it was of great comfort for me to know just how much training and testing Paul has gone through to be qualified to not only teach surf lessons safely, but also kayak and BMX through some of WA’s most precious state forests. sustainably.
Anyone can drive you around for a day, but it takes a very committed, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic person to balance action with safety for the customer and environment.
In two action-packed days, I had learnt how to surf, marveled through a karri forest, visited a cave, kayaked down the majestic Blackwood River, landed a few jumps in Boranup National Park (and stacked one), picnicked with a view to die for, and visited a range of niche wineries and local producers the big tour companies just don’t stop at.
So if you’re looking for that personal touch, where you truly get to tailor your day around your interests and not be treated like a tourist with a ticket, Surf ‘n’ Dirt, with a maximum of 7 guests per tour, has you covered.
For more details on how to book your own Margaret River adventure, check out www.surfndirtadventuretours.com.au
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- Have you been on a tour in Margaret River before?
- Was it as amazing as this one sounds?
- What do you want out of a tour to WA’s wine district?
My experience with Surf n Dirt Adventure Tours was offered to me as a complimentary package. However, like always, my views are my own.