Margaret River, Roos and Coffee

In addition to lecturing at Vose Seminary, Kris and I took a short vacation south of Perth in Margaret River — “Mahgs” to locals. We are profoundly grateful to Michael O’Neil and Brian Harris for working out this arrangement. We loved the Margaret River area.

A brief explanation: Margaret River is a cosy village on the south western coast, famous for its surrounding vineyards, restaurants, and glorious beaches and rugged coastal areas. Kris and I had our morning breakfast and coffee and then just wandered to and through a few vineyards, up the coast to Busselton’s jetty and the beach at Bunker Bay and then we drove to the very end of Sugarloaf Road where we saw some majestic water crashing. And I don’t want to fail to mention the rugged, windy coast at Yallingup.

Oh, lest I forget, we somehow found ourselves at Berry Farm for Devonshire Tea more than once, and we were treated to some Honey Eaters swiping sugar from our hands! We chose to order two of their famous “teas” — so we could split each and taste each. If you are near Margaret River, we’d urge you not to miss this special place.

And the roos. Everyone here in the USA knows two things about Australia — they’ve got kangaroos and they’ve got koalas. (Plus Paul Hogan and Olivia Newton John.) We had gone more than two days without seeing any “roos” when we got a tank of gas and asked a local where they are. She said, “They’re everywhere!” Which meant we were either blind or she was exaggerating. So Kris asked the magical question. What time of day can you see them? She said, “Every evening is good.” So, at 5pm we drove south, turned east on a road and boom, boom, about 30 roos in the field next to us. So every evening we found roos in different locations and by the time we left “Mahgs” we had seen about 200 of them. They’re everywhere. And they’re big. (We didn’t see koalas, Hogan or Newton John.)

I want to rate the coffees of the Margaret River area. I have two tops: in the mornings we sampled a few coffee shops, so we did taste four known coffees. I’d rate Yahava and 5 Senses as my top choice, and then I’d put Yallingup and Dome as my second choice. (Yes, we bought beans at Yahava — near where we saw the roos — and found 5 Senses beans at the Urban Bean coffee shop.)

Through those five days we kept reminding ourselves that the good folks of Australia were calling it “winter.” OK, winter, we thought. We call this Fall or Spring, but it got up to 70 more than once; the sky was mostly clear; and there wasn’t even a hint of snow. Such winters!

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  • Sounds glorious! And I mean the coffee. Seriously, all of it sounds wonderful.

  • Dan

    I spent five months in Perth as a short term missionary after college (2003-04). Glad you have been able to find good coffee! I searched for 5 months with no success. The tea, however, was phenomenal!

    If you are near Freemantle, ChurchFreo is small church plant started by an old friend- Chuck Linkston.

  • rjs

    This sounds like a great vacation. I hope to get to Australia some day – for that matter, perhaps be able to take a vacation again some day.

    Summer ended far too soon, and on to the term. Have classes started?

  • Paul D

    “Paul Hogan and Olivia Newton John” – You are really dating yourself, my friend. Try Russell Crowe and Yvonne Strahovsky.

  • Scot McKnight

    rjs, Monday.

    Paul D, Crowe, I’ve heard of him; but not Yvonne.

  • Glad you loved it Scot and now that you’ve been down the south west coast, I have two reactions:

    1) you can poopoo all the people who claim they’ve been to Australia when they’ve only been to Sydney. You got the rare privilege of heading west where few have dared to tread.

    2) Now you can rightly understand that God of course loves everyone, but likes to spend his time somewhere between Yallingyup and Busselton Jetty 🙂


  • Scot McKnight

    Steve, or Bunker Bay.

  • Glad you got to sample some of the best of WA. I was just down near Margs over the weekend – it’s a beautiful spot, with some excellent wines and plenty of things to see and do. And 5senses coffee is without a doubt some of the best coffee anywhere – not only that but it’s a great company owned by a good mate of mine from our church.

  • Ah Margs… what a beautiful place. I spent my teens and early twenties surfing my life away down here.

    As fas as coffee goes – The Urban Bean is brilliant. Five Senses is my brew and the others are pretty good too.

    And winter is nearly over now, but I’m not sure we experienced it much at all.

    Glad you enjoyed it mate. its a wonderful part of the world

  • Now this is the way to enjoy Margaret River, wine, food, the views and some Yahava Koffee. The Berry Farm does have the best scones I have had out of Scotland and I see you had one of their famous Rose wines. Thanks for sharing and I totally agree that winter here is Mild coming from Scotland but if you come from Queensland then Margs is cold. All depends on your perspective. If you are reading this and you have not visited you might just have to come and see for yourself.