Southern Backroads Trail
EXPLORE THE HIDDEN GEMS OF THE SOUTHERN BACKROADS TRAIL
The Southern Backroads Trail is a self-drive tour that weaves through the hidden gems of our Margaret River home. The trail was put together to showcase many of the small family-owned businesses in the region that many people miss out on, due to them being off the beaten track.
The trail starts out in the area that Brown Hill call home in Rosa Brook. The first stop is Stella Bella Wines, where you can taste their unique wines created from grapes grown in multiple vineyards located across the Margaret River region. Next up is us, Brown Hill Estate, set in the big green shed. Here you’ll be greeted by one of our family members in the winery itself. Visiting a winery can be a very different experience depending on the time of year you visit. In the summer months you’ll see us crushing and pressing off grapes, or you may catch us doing some barrel work.
Continuing on, you’ll visit the historic Darnell's General Store, which was established by the Darnell family back in 1932, and is still owned and operated by the same family to this day. This one-stop-shop has it all, from great coffee to fresh fruit, groceries, deli products and fuel with a retro vibe.
Next is something for the kids and young at heart. Jesters Flat horse riding academy offers activities for all ages and abilities. From the absolute beginner to the seasoned rider, this beautiful place is a must stop with bush rides, trail rides, paddock rides and twilight rides to pick from.
By now you will have worked up an appetite. The Berry Farm operates a brilliant cafe out of a refurbished settler's house. Creating preserves, sauces and chutneys from their own orchard, it is a great place to stop and have a bite to eat. The menu is a concise collection of comfort food classics, including beef and red wine pie, ham and cheese Turkish toastie, pancakes and homemade boysenberry pie. There is a daily selection of freshly baked cakes and their homemade scones with strawberry jam are a must!
Right next door you’ll find Firetail Wines – a beautiful spot located in the heart of the Rosa Glen forest showcasing their brilliant award-winning wines. Then on to Si Vitners, where you will be served by either Sarah or Iwo who will be proud to show you through their range of biodynamic and minimal intervention wines. It’s always best to book in advance as the duo have a side project in Spain and are sometimes producing wines over there.
Further south brings you to Arlewood Estate, a family-run vineyard with a distinct Italian heritage. Their diminutive cellar door seats just 10 people and offers a unique chocolate and Italian wine tasting. This can all be enjoyed while you watch the sheep graze in the vineyard (they are the resident weed control). In winter get cosy by the fire pit, or take a seat on the deck during the warm summer months.
As you head north on Bussell Highway to Witchcliffe you will discover McHenry Hohnen, who have been growing grapes in the Margaret River wine region since the early 1990's. Their vineyards are managed using 100% biodynamic methods and in 2021 they opened a ‘pop up’ tasting room in Witchcliffe. This historic and colourful town is a must visit when exploring this unique area in the southern part of Margaret River.
Just south of Witchcliffe on Caves Road is Mr Barval Fine Wines. You’ll find owner and winemaker Rob Gheradi and his family around the cellar door and winery, and they are always happy to share their wealth of wine knowledge. With a large open area overlooking Calgardup Brook and Karri Forest, this is a perfect spot to stop and have a picnic or a cheese platter with local condiments paired with one of Rob’s Italian-inspired wines.
On the way back into Margaret River along Boodjidup Road you’ll find two great places to check out. Nestled among the trees is Payet Gallery, a purpose-built jewellery gallery from brothers Nicholas and Francois. The Payet brothers have been handcrafting jewellery for over 30 years, and their designs are as striking as the building that houses them. Taking inspiration from the surrounding landscape, the sophisticated yet simple designs accentuate the locally sourced gemstones and pearls – all crafted in their modern working studio.
After Payet Gallery, stop at Eagles Heritage Raptor Wildlife Centre, a unique wildlife centre nestled among the beautiful bushland. Eagles Heritage started as a rehabilitation centre and is home to one of Australia's largest collections of eagles, hawks, falcons and owls, and specialises in educating the public about these beautiful birds of prey.
Back on the main road, look out for three brilliant pit spots as you head back to town. Amaze’n is a great place for families with the largest hedge maze in Australia. There are more than two kilometres of hedged pathways to explore and a cafe serving local produce, so it is easy to while away a few hours here.
Finish the day off at Yahava Koffeeworks, which is located next door to Vasse Virgin. Yahava serve some of the best coffee on the West Coast and offer personal coffee tastings, where they show you how different beans create different flavour profiles and textures in your cup. They also freshly roast all of their own beans, and if you visit at the right time, you can catch the roaster in action and take a bag home.
For more information on this Back Road Trail contact the Margaret River Visitor Centre.
KEEP EXPLORING THE MARGARET RIVER
COME AND VISIT OUR MARGARET RIVER CELLAR DOOR
Once you’ve finished exploring this subterranean wonderland, why not pop into our Cellar Door? Brown Hill Estate is just 12 kilometres south east of Margaret River’s town centre. We offer winery tours and seated Cellar Door tastings every day between 10am and 5pm – bookings available and walk-ins welcome. Looking for a special experience? Book our private Barrel Hall Tasting hosted by one of our family members.