Drive west out of Margaret River along Wallcliffe Road, take the dogleg turn over Caves Road and you can't miss the banner hanging between two trees at the junction - open for business.
It was made (free of charge) for some local businesses to tell the world that, despite the bushfires that caused damage estimated at millions of dollars, life continues as normally as possible in this fabulous slice of the South West.
Continue down Wallcliffe Road towards the coast and on the left stands the Greek Orthodox chapel of St John, built in memory of the Monastery of Preveli on Crete and in appreciation of the people of that island who helped Allied servicemen escape the German occupiers during World War II. The chapel shows signs of its own narrow escape from the bushfire that swept through this popular beachside community.
Indeed, there are signs of the fire all around, as Greg Home indicates from the steps of the General Store.
He points to where it raced, where it hit and where it missed. A patch of peat ground at the front of his store, next to the caravan park, held up the fire, he says.
As a result, the caravan park, in a dip in the land, shaded by peppermint trees, emerged unscathed. Life goes on as normal and a couple of young blokes grill fish on their barbecue.
"We feel we've been quite blessed, actually," Mr Home says. "I was thinking it was going to go up in smoke."
Mr Home has lived in Prevelly for 35 years. His family-owned businesses include the caravan park, the General Store, the liquor store and Preveli Wines - a small, award-winning winery at nearby Rosa Brook, 15km south-east of the Margaret River township. (The spelling of its name honours the original Preveli on Crete.)
His family home is nearby and he lost the back fence, he says, but that's all. Mr Home attributes his escape to a mixture of good luck and planning and since the blaze has fielded a number of phone calls about whether his caravan park still exists. Yes, it's still here, he reassures, and yes, it's business as usual.
"Nothing has really changed," he says. "It was like a little oasis here. The business is still here, still open seven days a week, 12 hours a day. I'm lucky; I've still got my business, I've still got my house." He points to the sand dunes punctured by black sticks, not vegetation, saying locals had spent 20 years rehabilitating the dunes. Once full of marron grass and salt bush, it's strange not seeing it vegetated. "To see it all go up in smoke was pretty heartbreaking for a lot of people."
And his message for holidaymakers? "Obviously the sand dunes have taken a bit of a beating but the ocean and beach are still the same. We need to have you come down here - we need your patronage. This is like our harvest time," he said.
Down at Augusta, Peter Jennings, manager of Best Western Augusta Georgiana Molloy Motel, has a similar message. Only 4 per cent of the national park was burnt, and the area was safe and desperately needed tourists to get back on its feet, he said.
"We want to reassure people that the Augusta and Margaret River regions are open and we want to welcome visitors back as soon as possible," he said.
Driving around Prevelly and adjoining Gnarabup, the randomness of the blaze is starkly apparent. The faint whiff of burning, depending on the direction of the wind, lingers. Torched houses stand next to houses apparently unaffected (though smoke damage inside homes is apparently widespread).
From a lookout, Mr Home points to where the firewas fanned by north-easterly winds and at one stage looked like blowing out to the ocean. But a wind shift brought it back inland. The fire jumped the river and tore a strip along the bank and engulfed historic Wallcliffe House.
Lee Burkett's four-star Margarets Beach Resort, right on the beach, had a lucky escape. Its 55 apartments are privately owned and managed by Mr Burkett, who in turn rents them to visitors. He was one of those evacuated and says he feared the worst when he heard the ABC had announced the place had gone up in smoke.
From video of the blaze he has since seen, he could understand how this mistake was made. It looked for all the world that the resort had been consumed. He contemplated going back to his previous job as a tour bus driver until it transpired the resort was safe and had suffered only minor damage to air-conditioning units.
But smoke damage has persuaded Mr Burkett to replace some curtains and he says he's decided to "bite the bullet" and use the fire as an opportunity to do some more refurbishments.
Award-winning Gnarabar restaurant inside the resort is run as a separate business and its owner, Anthony Janssen, also operates the popular White Elephant Cafe at nearby Gnarabup Bay, on the beachfront and a perfect spot for breakfast after a morning swim.
David Hohnen was one of the few winemakers to suffer from the blaze, losing some (but by no means all) of his chardonnay grapes. But the renowned winemaker-cum-farmer is adamant that visitors' enjoyment of the Margaret River experience will not be tarnished.
"They're going to see a very scarred (national) park . . . but the bits that have burnt were never really open to the public," he notes.
"The beaches are accessible. They (visitors) can get to Contos beach, Gracetown, Cowaramup Bay, Gnarabup Bay, Hamelin Bay, and right around to Flinders Bay and Augusta. They're all available and wineries are open, the breweries are open, the fabulous range of restaurants with each of the wineries is open. Everything everybody's loved Margaret River for is going gangbusters."
That list of attractions also includes a farm shop established to showcase the McHenry Hohnen wines and expanded to promote local produce such as olive oil, black Angus beef, and pork and lamb farmed by the Hohnens.
"We also have a smoker and we're doing our own bacons and hams," Mr Hohnen reports. "It's a genuine farm shop experience."
• Prevelly Park Beach Resort: preveliwines.com.au and 9757 9842.
• Margarets Beach Resort: margaretsbeachresort.com.au and 9757 1227.
• Gnarabar restaurant: gnarabar.com.au and 9757 1583.
• White Elephant Cafe: whitelephantcafe.com.au and 9757 1990.
• McHenry Hohnen businesses: mchv.com.au and 9757 9684.
• Margaret River bookings and information: margaretriver.com and 9780 5911.
• Best Western motel: georgianamolloy.bestwestern.com.au and 9758 1033.