The Swan Valley is a half-hour road trip from Perth and is renowned as ‘wine country’. Home to more than 40 wineries, some of them third- and fourth-generation, the region also houses five breweries, two distilleries, countless purveyors of gourmet artisan goods, handcrafted wares, bustling markets and vibrant artists’ studios.
The region has experienced something of a renaissance in recent times. These days, the Swan Valley is a growing gourmet hub, featuring more than 50 restaurants and cafes that tempt the tastebuds, and local producers who craft everything from exquisite extra virgin olive oils, marinated olives and tapenades, to dried fruits, pickles and preserves, handmade chocolates, fudges, truffles, ice-cream, honey and nougat.
Steeped in Indigenous and Mediterranean migration history, offset by a new wave of creative visionaries, the Swan Valley retains a rustic charm and abundance while blossoming into a gentrified region.
- Captain James Stirling was well impressed when he first surveyed the Swan Valley in 1827, writing in this diary, “the richness of the soil, the bright foliage of the shrubs, the majesty of the surrounding trees, the abrupt and red colour banks of the river occasionally seen, and the view of the blue mountains, from which we were not far distant, made the scenery of this spot as beautiful as anything of the kind I have ever witnessed.”
- The Swan Valley is deceptively compact, requiring an hour to circumnavigate. Most people take a day to meander the scenic 32km Swan Valley Food & Wine Trail, and its 150-plus attractions.
- In 2014, the RSPCA named the Swan Valley the first Humane Food Region in Australia. The initiative is a regional commitment to healthier, high-quality, tastier food based on the ethical treatment and welfare of animals, and is supported by 30 local restaurants and cafes.
- Take a flavoursome 25-stop ‘speed graze’ tour along the Swan Valley’s mouth-watering Food & Wine Trail.
- Get up close and personal with Australia’s largest private collection of native animals, at Caversham Wildlife Park.
- See a play at the Garrick Theatre. Built in 1853, it’s the longest-running amateur theatre in the state.
- Challenge the champions with 18 holes of golf among the vines, watched intently by local kangaroos.
- Get wet and wild at the Outback Splash activity park, home to the famous timber maze, and the brand new Hedge Maze.
- Board a cruise in Perth and retrace Captain James Stirling’s epic 1827 journey along the Swan River to the Swan Valley.
- History and motoring buffs will love the Revolutions Transport Heritage Museum, Motor Museum, and Tractor Museum at Whiteman Park.
- Visit some of WA’s most historic cellar doors – Sandalford, Houghton Wines, John Kosovich, Talijancich and Twin Hill Wines are just a few.
- Step back in time on a Guildford Heritage Walk Trail from the visitor centre, past heritage buildings, historic hotels and antique stores.
- Take a course to unleash your inner barista, winemaker, chocolate-and-liqueur connoisseur, or cheesemaker.