The Margaret River region is renowned for its wineries, beaches and amazing natural beauty. It’s therefore not surprising that when TravelManagers offered a pre-conference famil to experience the many delights of this region, a total of 26 personal travel managers (PTMs) signed up.
The itinerary took the group first to the coastal town of Busselton, which serves as gateway to the region. After lunch and a walk along the town’s iconic, 1840-metre long wooden jetty, they continued to nearby Cape Naturaliste for a guided, interpretive walk and didgeridoo experience before heading to their base for the next two nights in the town of Margaret River.
PTM Mary Anderson, who is TravelManagers’ representative for Kiama Heights, NSW, says the famil, which was one of several pre- and post- experiences offered in conjunction with the company’s annual National Conference, represented a chance to experience the region with fellow PTMs.
“Experiencing any destination first-hand makes selling it so much easier,” she notes. “Staying in Margaret River and visiting some of the major tourist sites and wineries has been invaluable, and I’ve come home with plenty of great recommendations to share with my clients.”
During their time in Margaret River, the famil group had plenty of time to sample the region’s renowned food and wine, with visits to the Margaret River Chocolate Company and Vasse Virgin, while PTM Trish Clowes singles out lunch at Brookland Valley Estate winery as a firm highlight of the trip.
“We were treated to a divine three-course meal at the winery’s Flutes Restaurant,” Clowes explains. “The food was amazing and the location, overlooking Wilyabrup Brook, was stunning. It was just one of the lovely touches that really elevated the itinerary well beyond a generic sightseeing tour.”
The final day of the famil saw the group heading north once more, making a stop just south of Perth for a wildlife cruise through the rugged but spectacular Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, including Penguin Island.
“The islands are stunning,” according to PTM Heather Taylor, who is representative for Mornington, VIC. “Picture white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and dolphins playing in the waves around the boat.”
From here it was just a 45-minute drive back to Fremantle, where the group were treated to a walking tour of the seaside city, wrapping up with a gourmet farewell dinner.
For Taylor, this was her first visit to the southwest corner of Western Australia, and although the famil has provided her with invaluable knowledge of the region, she says she is looking forward to making a return visit: “there’s so much to see and do, but next time I’ll bring my family along too.” Clowes and Anderson are also planning to return to the Margaret River region.
“From watching the sun set over Surfers Beach to a fabulous lunch at Brookland Valley winery, I would recommend all of the adventures we experienced,” says Anderson. “The famil was a great taster, but it’s definitely left me wanting to spend more time in the region.”