Mad Cowaramup Disease

Margaret River in the South West corner of Western Australia is an absolute magnet for visitors, simply because it has so much going for it: brilliant wineries, fabulous restaurants, excellent accommodation, and exceptional coastline with great beaches and a surf that is world famous. In fact, Margaret River is so good, that accommodation comes at a premium.

I happen to love the Margaret River region, but I have learnt that in order to save costs the trick is to stay close to, but not in, Margaret River proper. My solution is to stay just up the Bussell Highway, in the small town of Cowaramup.

They actually take cows very seriously in Cowaramup, simply because it is excellent dairy country, and the farms around the town have some of the healthiest and happiest looking cows you will see anywhere.

In fact, the Margaret River Dairy Company is so keen on Cowaramup it has its show room stocking cheeses and other products just north of the town. And great cheese they are too! After tasting their version of camembert, marinated feta and vintage cheddar, we walked out of the premises very well stocked.

Better still, the Margaret River Chocolate Factory, a definite must visit for anyone visiting the region, is located north of Cowaramup and not even in Margaret River. The first thing you see when you enter showroom are the free samples – what better way to conduct business? I can recommend the dark chocolate for a taste that lingers.

Cowaramup itself, is a pretty little town which lines both sides of the Bussell Highway. It has an eclectic range of shops including an organic butcher shop, organic green grocer and organic wine producer. Also lining the side streets you will find the Margaret River Wine Centre and the Candy Cow, a paean to all things sweet.

In the town park the cow is celebrated in statue form with a curious artwork which features a rampant gold cow that is seemingly impaled on a long stainless steel shaft.
There are images of cows all over the town, and even the local doctor’s surgery is called the Moo Town Medical Centre.

There are arts and crafts shops, purveyors of scented soaps, honeycomb and fudge makers, scattered throughout the town, and Cowaramup has a nice community feel about it. The townsfolk are friendly and laid back, and we were made to feel welcome.

In fact, when I think about my time on Cowaramup, I can honestly say that I did really have a cowlossal time.

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