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A Ride Through the Vines
Cari Gray of Gray & Co. is known for creating bespoke cycling trips to destinations around the world. When it comes to Australia, she has a fondness for Western Australia and, in particular, the Margaret River region, to the south of Perth. Here, some of the country’s best wines are produced, and stunning beaches overlook the Indian Ocean (pack your swimsuit!). Every ride can end with a meal created by a chef preparing innovative dishes—each paired with an excellent wine, of course. She’s also included a few days at each end of the cycling adventure in two of Australia’s most interesting capital cities: Perth and Melbourne. You don’t need to be a hard-core cyclist to appreciate this itinerary, just be open to sunny days and gastronomic delights.
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    Photo By Tourism Australia
    Day 1
    Arrive in Perth
    Australia’s fourth largest city, Perth, has an unusual distinction—it’s the world’s most remote (and sunniest) capital city. Located on the southwestern corner of Australia, the vast state of Western Australia (roughly four times the size of France) separates it from the rest of the country—the nearest city is Adelaide, more than 1,300 miles away. Yet as you’ll discover when you arrive, the city is surprisingly diverse and has a laid-back, easy-going attitude. Use your first day to get a lay of the land: St. George’s Terrace is the main street, running along the Swan River and home to many historic sites. King’s Park is one of the world’s largest urban parks, with commanding views of the city.
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    Day 2
    Fremantle and Rottnest Island
    Located where the Swan River meets the Indian Ocean, Fremantle is a half-hour from Perth, but it feels a world away. Many of the city’s historic Victorian and Edwardian buildings have been lovingly restored, while the city has a free spirited, creative edge to it. After exploring its galleries and grabbing an early lunch, head to Rottnest Island for an afternoon of biking—a little warm-up for the week ahead. On Rottnest, a nature reserve, you’ll find more than 60 pristine beaches and world-class snorkeling. And if you think koalas are Australia’s cutest residents, it’s only because you have yet to see a quokka, though the marsupials are easy to spot on Rottnest.
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    Photo By Tourism Australia
    Day 3
    Transfer to Margaret River
    On the morning of your third day, a driver will pick you up at your hotel for the roughly three-hour drive along the coast to the Margaret River region. Your home in Margaret River, famous for producing some of Australia’s most acclaimed wines, will be the Cape Lodge. The luxury estate in Dunsborough has 22 rooms located in a series of buildings amidst the acres of woods. You’ll have time for a short afternoon ride before returning to the Lodge and a dinner at the lakeside restaurant using ingredients grown in the restaurant’s kitchen garden. It’s all about farm to table feasts.
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    Photo By Tourism Australia
    Day 4
    Margaret River
    You and your guide will leave right from the hotel on your bikes and take the small back roads to the nearby town of Dunsborough for coffee. Then it’s on to the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse for views of the Indian Ocean. After 40 miles, you’ll stop at the Beach Bunker Café for lunch and a walk on the beach. Afternoon options include gallery hopping and wine tastings.  Dinner will be at a local favorite bistro in Margaret River.
  • Day 5
    Caves Road
    Today you’ll transfer 50 minutes to Augusta to see the most southwesterly point of Australia and the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse—the tallest lighthouse on the mainland and the point where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet. From close to there, you’ll ride 42 miles north on a quiet and quite flat section of the iconic Caves Road, which features eucalyptus and karri forests, surf beaches, and yes, more than 150 caves. After a lively lunch at a beach café, we will explore some of the caves en route back to the hotel for time by the pool and at the spa
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    Photo By Tourism Australia
    Day 6
    A Coastal Walk and Private Tasting
    This morning, you will lace up your hiking boots and head for a scenic coastal walk a short drive from the hotel. Learn from your guide about the local flora and fauna while hearing tales of shipwrecks and early explorers. At the end of your hike, you’ll be transferred to one of Cari’s favorite wineries for lunch and a private tasting. You will have a free leisurely afternoon back at the hotel.  
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    Photo By Tourism Australia
    Day 7
    Today you’ll bike right from the hotel on a 38-mile loop that first heads south among the vineyards and beaches near the town of Margaret River. You’ll stop for a pizza lunch before heading for more wine tastings, gallery hopping, or beach time. Dinner will be at the Lodge.
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    Photo By Tourism Australia
    Days 8 to 10
    After your taste of Western Australia, we’ll send you back to civilization. This morning you’ll be transferred from the Cape Lodge for your flight to Melbourne. Upon arrival, you’ll be met by your driver for your transfer to the Lake House, one of Cari’s favorite hotels in Australia. This iconic luxury lodge just over an hour north of the city center of Melbourne is one of the country’s most acclaimed gourmet destinations. During your stay here you can either relax at the inn and enjoy a taste of rural Victoria, or head into Melbourne for sight-seeing each day. We will make arrangements depending on your interests.
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    Photo By Tourism Australia
    Day 11
    Return Home
    After breakfast at the Lake House, you will be transferred to the Melbourne airport for your flight home or the next leg of your Australian adventure.