Inland on a comfortable drive east of Perth, the beautiful Avon Valley is a patchwork of green rolling hills, babbling brooks, historical villages and country charm.
The Avon Valley region was the first inland settlement in Western Australia and is the perfect destination for exploring quaint village streets, pottering through craft shops and museums, picnicking on the banks of the Avon River, hot air ballooning at dawn or setting out on bush walks.
The Valley is also host to a fantastic range of festivals and events the whole year round which make great excuses to visit. There are countless cafés and restaurants showcasing the fine food and wines grown and produced within the Avon Valley and some charming accommodation where you can relax and enjoy the warm country hospitality.
Visiting the vintage towns of Northam, Toodyay, York, Goomalling, Beverley and Brookton by road is a great way to explore
the charming Avon Valley region and all of the towns are only a 30 minute drive from each other.
Located just over an hour from Perth on the Great Eastern Highway, Northam provides a great base from which to explore the Avon Valley. Northam is WA's largest inland town and is home to over 185 heritage listed buildings.
The Avon River flows through the town and is fringed by soft grassy banks and shady trees. Picnicking beside the river is a popular pastime and it is here that you can also observe the activities of the elegant white swans which were brought here by settlers over 150 years ago. Or, you can spy on the swans from the heady heights of the pedestrian suspension bridge which passes over the Avon - the longest of its kind in Australia.
Exploring the towns architecture on foot is a rewarding experience and along the way you'll also discover many craft and curio shops. There's also a wide range of cafes and restaurants from alfresco to fine dining.
There are many activities to choose from in Northam such as hot air ballooning, hang gliding or white water rafting. Accommodation is plentiful and includes backpacker hostels, hotels, historical cottages and farmstays to name a few.
To learn more about this beautiful town, why not join one of the Shire of Northam's Bilya Bidi guided tours. Join experienced and knowledgeable local guides on walking or bus tours to discover Northam's diverse, natural and cultural history. Find out more.
Located just 97km east of Perth on the Great Eastern Highway, the township of York,established in 1831, was the first inland European settlement in WA. While still remaining distinct from other towns in the region, York is yet another fine example of colonial architecture and is renowned for its heritage prescient.
Visitors to York can enjoy lovingly preserved buildings and sites providing charm and character to the town. There are no fewer than five magnificent churches and many other fine buildings like the Town Hall which houses the tourist information centre. The Old York Hospital, Residency Museum and Old Gaol & Courthouse are all well worth a visit.
Straddling the Avon River, York is bordered by outstanding natural beauty. Walking or riding are popular pursuits here and there are numerous tracks and trails that wind in and around the town.
Wildflowers and birdlife compliment the open gardens and there's a wide range of experiences on offer including food and wine festivals, country racing, local produce and plenty of arts and crafts.
Adrenalin junkies can also get their pulses racing with a range of aerial pursuits such as skydiving, paragliding and ultra light flights in the area.
Toodyay is located 80km north of Perth and is nestled in a valley between scenic hills and on the banks of the Avon River. The village presents some perfect examples of 19th century architecture, while at the same time retaining its own unique country charm with verandah-clad pubs and shops.
In fact, Toodyay oozes colonial history and architecture. Connor's Mill is a fine example, and is your only opportunity in WA to witness working historical machinery demonstrating antiquated flour milling processes. You can also visit the intriguing Old Gaol built in the 1860s, which now houses a museum dedicated to the varied history of the region.
In town you will find fine examples of locally worked art, woodwork and photography and there are also a number of places to stop for a bite to eat. Accommodation is varied and includes anything from historical pub stays in the centre of town or informal caravan parks where you can sleep under the stars, to luxuriously appointed bed and breakfasts and self contained chalets.
Heading further out of town will reward you with some magnificent scenery and there are a number of lovely country roads to travel on. Along the way and located amongst the pretty undulating hills surrounding Toodyay, you will find a multitude of olive groves, lavender fields, local artisans, rambling country gardens and vineyards old and new producing their own unique blends.
The idyllic farming communities of Beverley,Goomalling and Brookton were amongst the first established settlements in WA.
Just 132km north east of Perth, Goomalling is a delightful rural settlement. Enveloped by seemingly endless open countryside, the town had its beginning in the 1890's,springing up from beside the train line which was used to ferry miners through to the goldrush towns further north.
Giant wheat domes provide a striking landmark in Goomalling, while art & crafts, country markets and a colourful history add to the rural feel. A trip to the School House Museum, Heritage Town Walk and Old Railway Station will transport visitors back in time, as will Slater Homestead.
The township of Beverley, 130km east of Perth is believed to be named for Beverley near York in the United Kingdom. Marked by fine examples of colonial architecture, Beverley is steeped in tales of pioneering triumphs and tribulations.
Perhaps surprisingly, you can also visit an Aeronautical Museum here. With its excellent display of full scale aircraft and aerial paraphernalia, the museum is an absorbing tribute to aviators of Western Australia.
Founded in the 1830's by early settlers in search of good grazing lands, Brookton, 139kms south east of Perth, is rich in colonial history.
The Police Station Museum and the Railway Station which also houses a fine display of local crafts as well as the tourist information centre, are definitely worth a visit.
Wildflowers abound in springtime, making the local area a picturesque haven for visitors.
Head to the Avon Valley to find charming accommodation where you can relax and enjoy the warm country hospitality. Find out more
The Avon Valley is the perfect destination for exploring quaint village streets, pottering through craft shops and museums and picnicing on the banks of the Avon River. Find out more
Be adventurous in the Avon Valley with hot air ballooning, skydiving, paragliding and gliding. A small bus tour will also take you to the top spots in the region. Find out more