The Swan Valley is home to an ever-growing list of chefs, winemakers, brewers and producers of 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 Visitors 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
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.
SPRING IN THE SWAN VALLEY
Spring is the perfect time to enjoy the Swan Valley with a range of events right through September to November. There is so much to choose from why not Escape to the Swan Valley this Spring! See some of the highlights below or download the full program
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 Margaret River Chocolate Factory or 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:
Dates: 04 – 21 Feb, 2016
Lovers of a good belly laugh, a culture fix and a lot of fun, will love Midlandia, which is part of the Perth Fringe World Festival.
Dates: 12 Feb – 26 Mar, 2016
The City of Swan and Ace Cinemas have teamed up once again to bring you big screen, grass between your toes, under the stars movie goodness at the Midland Outdoor Cinema! BYO picnic, drinks (alcohol for 18+ only), blankets, cushions and a low lying chair for a relaxing night out with family or friends.
Dates: 14 – 14 Feb, 2016
Harris Organic Wine's Grape Picker's Wine and Long table lunch is back on Sunday 14 February. Enjoy a fantastic 3 course wine degustation lunch with 6 + wines to match. You will even get an underground cellar tour courtesy of Duncan!
Dates: 14 – 14 Feb, 2016
Film buffs and festival fans will have their thirst for boutique cinema quenched, when the Tropfest Film Festival makes its triumphant return to Midland on Sunday, February 14, 2016.
Spend a few days discovering this stunning region and stay locally at one of the many accommodation choices with something to suit all tastes and budgets.
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The Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail will take you past more than 40 wineries, boutique breweries, restaurants and cafes and lead you through an array of galleries and heritage sites.
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One of the best ways to explore Perth's Valley of Taste is by tour. Choose from a range of land and cruise options including wine tasting, lunch, coffee tasting and more.
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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.
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WATCH THE SWAN VALLEY
Watch a stunning documentary on the beautiful Swan Valley and be inspired the regions' colourful characters and delicious local produce. Head to our YouTube channel for more from the Swan Valley.