The Swan Valley
Imagine a place that can transport you back in time. Back to simple historic colonial roots, where communities work together to support and encourage one another and true passion emanates from each person in a way that is not often found in today’s society. Just a short 25 minute drive from Perth city you can immerse yourself in this holistic oasis. The locals of the Swan Valley will welcome you like old friends as you breathe in the fresh country air and take in the picturesque landscapes.
Here you will find yourself in a place that is worlds away from the hectic city life of Perth. A place where schedules aren’t needed and you are afforded the time to relax and enjoy a slower pace of life. Here you take the time to enjoy the company of those around you and reconnect with nature. The wide open spaces, the rolling vineyard vistas, and the fresh country air will have you forget the city that lies only a short drive away. This is the best place to go if you need a quick escape where you can indulge your senses in the natural, humble landscapes, sample wines from the oldest wine region on Western Australia, feast on award winning produce, and discover local heritage.
The hub of the Swan Valley lies in the colonial town of Guildford. This small village was founded in 1829 and is brimming with colonial charm, historic pubs, quaint cottages, antique shops, as well as artisan boutiques and art galleries. This is the perfect place to start your Swan Valley adventure or to simply enjoy an afternoon of live music and drinks in one of the beer gardens.
Here you will also find the Swan Valley Visitor Center. The friendly staff know the valley inside and out and will be able to tell you about special nooks and crannies and hidden swan valley secret spots that would otherwise be missed. With their guidance you can discover award winning wineries and eateries, romantic escapes, family hot spots, as well as the natural wonders of this enchanting region.
It is hard to imagine the state’s oldest wine region right at the footsteps of the biggest capital city. The first vines were actually planted here in 1829 by Olive Farm Wines, only one year after the area was settled. Some of these vintage vines are still run by the descendants of the early European settlers and you can tell that the passion of winemaking still courses through their blood, being passed down through many generations. If you are lucky you may even get to hear their stories at the cellar door over a glass of fruity red. With a 32 kilometer loop trail full of food and wine to indulge in you will be spoilt for choice. Be sure to try the fortified wines, the shiraz, and the Verdelho that this region is famous for.
If you are traveling to the valley with little ones in need of entertainment then the visitor center in Guildford should definitely be your first stop. They have crafted two treasure hunts, The Great Valley Rally and The Amazing Valley Chase, which gets kids up and moving as they decipher cryptic clues that guide them through a specific route on the valley. At the end of the race they even get prizes as well as certificates.
Another popular attraction for families in the valley or even those who are simply young at heart is undoubtedly Whiteman Park. This popular recreation and conservation reserve features a children’s forest, 3 museums as well as vintage trains or trams that you can ride as you explore the park. You can also get up close and personal with Western Australia’s largest collection of native wildlife at Caversham wildlife park. Enjoy classic farm shows, take your photo with a koala, and chill with kangaroos.
For other things to do you can follow one of the 7 uniquely themed Swan Valley Trails that take you on a self-guided tour showcasing some swan valley classics. You can enjoy free tastings at the many artisan shops featuring local preserves, dried fruits, chocolate, and nuts. You can even take a boat cruise along the Swan River that runs from Perth City to the Swan Valley. If you are in need of a nature fix then the many walking trails in the area will greatly entice you. Explore the local flora and fauna as you settle into the valley. Be sure to check out places such as Noble Falls, Bells Rapids, and Wandoo Heights.
As you can see this small little valley tucked away to the north of Perth is brimming with passion, food, wine, community, nature, and true love woven into everything people do out here. It is easy to see why this valley is known as a food lover's haven, a nature lover’s dream, and a delight to all wine connoisseurs. The ultimate collection of local artisans and raw nature are waiting to fill up your senses with beauty, taste, and fun.