The Swan Valley is home to an ever-growing list of restaurants and cafes, wineries, breweries and artisan wares. It is packed with fresh seasonal produce, with countless restaurants and cafes offering everything from fine dining to salt-of-the-earth pub grub to traditional high tea.
There's a bursting list of gourmet goods, from extra virgin olive oils, specialty cheese, marinated olives, tapenades, dried fruits, pickles and preserves to handmade chocolate, fudge, truffles, nuts and nougat. Of course, the Swan Valley is also home to some of the oldest vines in the state and iconic wineries such as Sandalford, Houghtons and Mandoon Estate, as well as a burgeoning number of breweries and distilleries.
The Swan Valley is the first and only Humane Food Region in Australia. This initiative is a regional commitment to supporting the welfare of animals and producing high quality, healthier, tastier food.
Voted the best visitor centre in the state, the Swan Valley Visitor Centre in Guildford can help visitors get the most out of their Swan Valley visit. The centre’s passionate staff members know the Swan Valley inside and out and back to front, and can tell visitors all the hidden nooks and crannies, the award winners, the family friendly places, the romantic spots, the natural wonders and the many interactive experiences on offer.
The Visitor Centre is available to answer any questions, allay any concerns and assist with providing advice, maps and brochures. If time allows, spend a few days discovering this stunning region and stay locally at one of the many accommodation choices. There is something to suit all tastes and budgets from five-star resorts, caravan parks, farm stays or chic boutique guesthouses.
THINGS TO DO IN THE SWAN VALLEY
EXPLORE the 32km Food and Wine Trail - try the Verdelho, Shiraz and fortified wines.
WATCH out for free tastings of local preserves dried fruit and nuts.
- TAKE a boat cruise from Perth City along the Swan River to the Swan Valley.
PICK up a free Guildford Heritage Walk Trail brochure from the Visitor Centre.
- TAKE a wander around Guildford's historic shopping precincts.
- STAY a little longer and let one of the many accommodation venues look after you in style.
- BOOK a Swan Valley tours for free at the Visitor Centre.
- VISIT the many art and craft galleries and artist's studios.
- ENJOY the great outdoors on the cycle trails.
SWAN VALLEY FOOD & WINE TRAIL
Get a taste of the Swan Valley on the Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail. A 32 km loop comprising more than 150 wineries, restaurants, cafes, breweries, distilleries, art galleries, farm gates and a host of other attractions, the Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail is a great way to start exploring.
Using the regions map and guide (available online or from the visitor centre), you can custom design your perfect day. You could join a master class, watch artisans at work; sample freshly made produce, or simply sit back and relax over a glass of award winning local wine.
The Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail is a self-drive venture, however there are tours available if you would prefer to let someone else do the driving. Or, stay overnight and wake up to birds singing and fresh country air as you continue exploring for another day. Book at the Swan Valley Visitor Centre.
The Swan Valley isn't just for adults - it is the ideal place to let the kids run free and indulge in their love of nature, tasty treats and outdoor activities.
The Swan Valley Visitor Centre offers two fun activities for families - The Great Valley Rally and Amazing Valley Chase. Similar to a treasure hunt, participants follow cryptic clues to help find their way along a specific route through the valley. The rallys can be done any day of the year and families are presented with certificates and prizes at the finish line.
Whiteman Park is a popular recreation and conservation reserve. Wander through the Children's Forest, discover our rich transport heritage in the three museums and travel around the park on a vintage train or tram. The park also has walking and cycle trails, playgrounds, a splash pool, village shops and pristing picnic grounds with BBQ facilities. Whiteman Park is also home to Caversham Wildlife Park where kids can enjoy the Farm Show, have a photo with koalas, meet kangaroos, go on a camel ride, or visit Molly's Farm.
Outback Splash at The Maze in Bullsbrook offers Australia's largest water slide playground. Kids can get lost in five different mazes, play nine holes of mini golf, jump on the giant jumping pillow, meet native animals and more. There's loads of shady picnic areas and free gas BBQ facilities, or you can enjoy a tasty home meal, snacks and great coffee at Café Iguana.
Families can also see farm animals at the Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm, reptiles at the West Australian Reptile Park, try yummy chocolate at the Whistler's Chocolate and play a round of mini or supa golf at Oasis Supagolf.
HISTORY & HERITAGE
The nearby historical village of Guildford with its collection of antique shops, cafes and pristine examples of European settlement buildings dating back to the 1830's, is the gateway to the Swan Valley and is well worth visiting.
Guildford was the first permanent community to emerge from the Swan River Colony's settlement of the area and is the only town in Perth classified by the National Trust. Pastimes include picnicking by the river, exploring the antique shops, enjoying a pint in an historical pub or a delicious Devonshire tea at one of the many cafes that line James Street, the main thoroughfare.
A great way to explore the region is to follow the Swan Valley Heritage Cycle Trail. The trail includes a series of signs that interpret the rich history, interesting characters and natural elements of the Swan Valley and passes many interesting places including fruit stalls, picnic spots, galleries and wineries. There are three main entry points: the Swan Valley Visitor Centre in Guildford, Maali Footbridge in Herne Hill and West Swan Hall.
There are a range of walking trails you can follow:
Avon Valley |
Dates: 06 – 07 Aug, 2016
Experience the excitement of the world's greatest white water event at the Avon Descent, held every year on the first weekend in August. The Avon Descent is a spectacular 124km race over two days through some of Western Australia's most picturesque scenery.
Henley Brook |
Dates: 06 – 06 Aug, 2016
Come and enjoy the natural surrounds of The Henley Brook, right in the heart of the Swan Valley at these free Community Markets on Saturday 6 August, 12pm - 4pm. Browse through a great range of stalls selling unique and vintage wares. There will be plenty of room for children to run and play, food stalls and great live music.
Dates: 07 – 07 Aug, 2016
The City of Swan Avon Descent Festival returns with gusto on Sunday 7 August, 10am - 3pm at Fishmarket Reserve, Guilford. Join us to cheer on the competitors from the amazing riverfront vantage point and enjoy a packed program of onstage entertainment from Beatwalkers Dance Crew, Ricochet Circus, Josephine and Goggles and Belle Harvey.
Baskerville, Swan Valley |
Dates: 02 – 16 Oct, 2016
Come for a pleasant walk amongst the vines at Harris Organic Wines on 2, 9 & 16 October, 10am. Join Harris Organic Wines' head winemaker Duncan on a walk as he explains what's happening with the spring growth and what he does to make a good harvest. Wine tasting included $10pp.
A 32km scenic loop taking in more than 150 attractions including wineries, breweries, restaurants, distilleries, galleries, art, craft and produce market and stalls and more.
Find out more
WATCH THE SWAN VALLEY
Be inspired by the beauty of the Swan Valley with our videos below. Head to our YouTube channel for more from the Swan Valley.
FOR THE LOVE OF THE VALLEY
Watch a stunning documentary on the beautiful Swan Valley and be inspired the regions' colourful characters and delicious local produce.