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Another good reason to head DOWN UNDER

Anthony Kendal heads down to Western Australia's Margaret River region for some well-deserved sunshine

With Australia on the green list, what better time to start thinking about a far-flung jaunt. And Western Australia’s Margaret River region — hugged by the Indian Ocean to the north and Southern Ocean to the south — is one of the most geographically isolated wine and surf spots in the world, bestowed with great natural beauty and a unique local biodiversity. Popular in the mid 1960s, it’s now a new hip Hamptons and home to an incredible creative community that marries surf, wine and food with modern innovation and artistry.

Where to stay

World-class Injidup Spa Retreat is situated on a secluded beach and features 10 sumptuous, adult-only villas (from £370) with stunning views. If the bush is more your flavour, Artisan has two tranquil lakeside villas (from £215) that are also a short walk from Gunyulgup Gallery, which showcases the best of the region’s modern artists.

Where to eat and drink

Margaret River has some of the most innovative food in Australia. Yarri, in Dunsborough, sources ethical, local ingredients for its incredible dinners. For lunch, you can’t beat Meelup Farmhouse, where chef Dean Williams showcases the wonders of the region. Dine in the barn-like restaurant or buy a picnic hamper to enjoy the gardens.

Mad Fish wines, one of the pioneering vineyards of Margaret River, has a fabulous modernist estate, serving its award-winning crisp Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz. You can practically feel the warmth of the sunlight and gentle sea breeze in every glass. Sample rare and museum releases, or West Australia’s top sparkling by Howard Park, another storied yet modern vineyard. Caves House estate has the best beer garden in the area; its Sunday sessions feature wood-fired pizzas, local micro-brews and ambient beats on the lawn.

Where to shop

Ready for excess baggage? Visit Moonshine in Yallingup, which hand-crafts traditional surfboards re-imagined for the modern rider. Western Australia’s leading interiors store, Empire Homewares, has a stylish outpost in Dunsborough where you can buy local pieces embodying the area’s modern beach aesthetic. For clothes and design, Milc in Dunsborough has a great mix of local and international labels.

What to see and do

No trip is complete without a surfing lesson. Head to dramatic Yallingup Beach where ocean-ravaged cliffs frame one of the best surfing spots in the world. The region is also home to spectacular caves; you’ll be floored by the half-a-million-year-old crystal formations of Ngilgi Cave. If you are lucky enough to visit from June to December, the area is also one of the best places in the world to whale watch. Book a charter to experience the magnificence of the humpback, southern right and blue whales all making their epic migration.

Wellness is incredibly important in the region. Enjoy one of the amazing outdoor yoga classes of Mandy Lancellas. Her company, Devahiti Yoga & Bodywork, specialises in gentle hatha yoga and non-invasive bodywork, and its beachfront locations are a tonic for the soul. Or grab your snorkel and enter the clear shallows of Eagle Bay to dive among shipwrecks and tropical fish.