Just north of Perth on the Swan River, lies the Swan Valley, Western Australia’s oldest wine region. Handpick a bottle or two from one of the Swan Valley’s state-of-the-art boutique wineries. Follow the Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail and indulge your appetite in fine restaurants, relaxed winery cafes, breweries and distilleries, and roadside stalls selling fresh local produce. Dine alfresco in vineyard restaurants or pack a picnic and head to a national park. Cycle the historic Swan Valley Heritage Trail or explore the region in a romantic horse-drawn carriage, chauffeured limousine or a gourmet cruise on the Swan River.
Many of the 40 wineries are small, family operations, where you can chat to the grandchildren of the Croatian and Italian migrants who founded the region in the 1920s. Others are international labels with vast vineyards and state-of-the-art cellars. Swan Valley specialises in verdelho, chenin blanc, chardonnay, shiraz and cabernet varieties and is also renowned for its fortified wines.
Take a self-drive tour of the award-winning Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail. This scenic 32-kilometre loop encompasses more than 150 places to indulge your appetite, including relaxed winery cafes, breweries and distilleries, fine restaurants and many roadside stalls selling fresh local produce. The trail is well sign-posted and maps are available from the Swan Valley Visitor Centre in Guildford to help you plan your own unique food and wine experience. Dine alfresco in the vineyards or fill your basket with locally grown fruit and vegetables, local cheese and olives and hand-made chocolates and have a picnic in the parklands. Enjoy a delicious ice cream in fresh local fruit flavours. Unwind with live music or sample the boutique beers and spirits at one of the region’s microbreweries or distilleries.
The charming colonial village of Guildford is the gateway to the Swan Valley. Here you can shop for art and antiques and explore the local markets. Spend a night in one of Guildford’s historic lodgings, which range from Western Australia’s oldest home to the Federation-style pub. Cycle from Guildford to Swan Valley on the Swan Valley Heritage Trail. The area is also home to art galleries, wildlife sanctuaries, rolling countryside and national parks perfect for walking, horse-riding and cycling. There are also tours which explore the region by bus, horse-drawn carriage, taxi and chauffeured limousine. For a leisurely way to reach Swan Valley, take a gourmet cruise up the Swan River from Perth.
North of Swan Valley are Walyunga National Park and Avon Valley National Park, which are popular spots for white water rafting and canoeing. Get up close to koalas and kangaroos at the wildlife park at Caversham and see crocodiles at the reptile park in Henley Brook. The Swan Valley is around 25 minutes drive from Perth.