Less than half an hour from the city centre, the Swan Valley is the perfect spot for romance, family, food and wine, and a taste of the countryside.
The Swan Valley is renowned as Perth's "food bowl" for its award-winning local produce, as well as being home to the oldest wine region in the state; but there's plenty more hidden treasures to explore.
From waterslide fun to cuddly koalas, stunning nature trails to gourmet get-togethers, you’ll find plenty of reasons for a daytrip or staycation in the Swan Valley! Here’s a taster of what you can enjoy in the region, including some fab upcoming events. For more, visit the Swan Valley Visitor Centre.
Things to Do in the Swan Valley
One of the Swan Valley’s most recognised attractions, Whiteman Park is an enormous and wonderfully eclectic conservation and recreation reserve, covering 4,000 hectares of natural bushland and leisure facilities. You’ll find an amazing array of attractions here, including Caversham Wildlife Park, where you can feed kangaroos, cuddle a koala and meet a wide variety of free-roaming native animals. There’s also three transport museums on-site (Revolutions Transport Museum, the Motor Museum of WA and the Tractor Museum of WA), and stunning walking trails that are particularly enjoyable this time of year with the wildflowers in bloom and baby joeys exploring the world for the first time. You can explore the Park by vintage train or tram, or join one of the many guided tours of the park. And the kids will have a whale of a time at the Children’s Forest, searching for intriguing animals – from the peeking possum to a life-size wedge-tailed eagle’s nest and golden echidna – whilst finding out more about our native bushland.
If those wonderful koala cuddles have got you in the mood for more cuddliness, you won’t want to miss the aptly-named Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm, which is just so special this time of year with all the cute new baby farm animals to feed and snuggle! For more family-friendly entertainment, head to Perth’s Outback Splash, where the waterslides and water attractions have just reopened, and Oasis Supa Golf and Adventure Putt, where you can try your hand at Supa Golf - a modified form of golf where the golf clubs have oversized heads and are made of plastic, and the ball is also oversized, making golf easier and more fun than ever before.
We also adore the Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery, an Aboriginal owned and operated gallery offering cultural activities, talks, performances and bush tucker as well as beautiful artwork and hand painted objects by local Aboriginal artists. Pick up some gorgeous gifts and souvenirs like glassware, woodware and ceramics, try out some delish bushtucker flavours at the tasting table, wander the bushfood garden, commune with the emus and even purchase some plants to take home for your own garden!
Food and Drink in the Swan Valley
As you’d expect from Perth’s food bowl, foodies visiting the Swan Valley are in for a treat! Some top spots to fill your picnic basket include boutique flavoured nut store Morish Nuts (delivering flavoured nuts with everything from toffee to wasabi) and the House of Honey and the Sticky Spoon Café, with a wide variety of natural and flavoured bush honeys (think lavender, chilli, cinnamon and more!). For a sit-down substantial meal, we love The Henley Brook (known by locals as 'The Hen'), serving up true-blue Aussie pub grub and an extensive beer and wine list.
Funk Cider (Caversham) and the new Funk 2.0 (Henley Brook) are also top spots, with unpasteurised ciders free of preservatives, concentrates, sulphur and added sugar; you’ll find a healthy rotation of ciders in both locations, sophisticated yet approachable pub food, and gorgeous grounds to relax and enjoy your meal at a slow pace. Finally, Elmar’s in the Valley is pub fare with a difference, serving up world-class German home-style cooked food and award-winning boutique craft beer on the grounds of a two-acre park-like Biergarten with a kids’ playground, smallgoods store and gift shop.
With so much gourmet deliciousness in the Swan Valley, it’s well worth joining a guided tour: relax, sit back and experience the best food and wine the region has to offer. We love the various Swan Valley options available from d’Vine Wine Tours, including a half-day winery tour of the Swan Valley. For something a bit different, check out the Swan Valley Wagon Tours: their Wagon Deluxe Tour takes three relaxing hours, tasting sweet local treats, getting to know the horses and learning about the Swan Valley. There’s also Wagon Express half hour tours where you can enjoy a meander through vineyards, express wine tasting and a horse cuddle. For something a little more romantic and historical, there’s also a beautiful Victorian carriage built for two!
Lastly, Swan Valley Cruises is a super-unique experience you’ll find nowhere else in Australia! They offer the only wine region cruise in Australia that can be visited from a capital city by boat in a day, which has been voted in the top ten experiences in Australia by Trip Advisor. Departing from Elizabeth Quay, settle in for an all-inclusive day of indulgence and relaxation as you slowly drift away from the city skyline and towards the beautiful upper reaches of the Swan Valley, enjoying morning tea upon departure, followed by local produce and wine tastings, all while taking in the picturesque landscape on the way to the Swan Valley. You’ll arrive at the exclusive jetty at Sandalford Wines, enjoy a private behind-the-scene tour of this highly acclaimed winery covering its rich history as well as an education in the wine making process, and enjoy tasting a broad selection of Sandalford's award winning wines before being treated to a delicious, gourmet two-course lunch in a private room overlooking the Estate grounds. You’ll have time to relax, browse the Cellar Door and sample additional wines, before you finally reboard the vessel for the return journey and enjoy a tantalising dessert buffet and complimentary wine for the remainder of the afternoon. On your return journey, you’ll also enjoy delightful live entertainment - a perfectly cruisy day out.
Places to Stay in the Swan Valley
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to Swan Valley accommodation! Get back to old-school basics in a caravan park, back to nature with a farmstay, enjoy the charming atmosphere of cute little cottages or live your luxe life at a beautifully appointed hotel.
The tranquil Banksia Tourist Park is nestled in a bush setting in the Swan Valley township of Hazelmere at the base of the Perth Hills, an easy drive to Caversham, Kalamunda and the Gooseberry Hill National Park. Surrounded by native flora and plenty of birdlife, this onsite and site accommodation offers pet-friendly accommodation and amazing communal facilities including a café style camp kitchen, luxurious lounge and recreation room, undercover playground, grand pool, gazebo barbeques, doggy day care, dog walk areas and laundries. The location here is really spot-on, with easy access to the Swan and Bickley Valley wine regions, Lesmurdie Falls and even Midland Regional Centre. A fabulous spot to base yourself for a Swan Valley and Perth Hills ultimate staycation, to relive those childhood tourist-park memories, and to make some new like-minded friends!
Next up, Settlers Rest Farm Stay is that rarity of a full-on farmstay experience within Perth Metro - no need to drive for hours to enjoy the real thing! Settlers Rest is set on 14 glorious acres, with amazing views to the Darling Ranges, and with one family per cottage, it really feels like a home away from home. Full kitchen facilities with separate dining rooms provide ample space to cook up a treat with all that gorgeous local produce, and relax enjoying your meal with glorious views to the distant hills. Kids will enjoy feeding the friendly farm animals that come right up to the farm fence in front of the cottage, including goats, sheep, lambs, alpaca, Xena the cow, chickens, guinea pigs and majestic horses. There’s even a private jetty with Swan River frontage, so you can try your hand at fishing! So leave your mobile switched off or back at home, and get back out and experience life at a slower and calmer pace.
Lastly, Swan Valley Oasis Resort in Henley Brook is a gorgeously appointed hotel in the heart of the Swan Valley surrounded by wineries, restaurants, breweries and attractions (several within walking distance). They have spa rooms (2 of which have disabled facilities), 1, 2, 3 and 4-bedroom chalets, and the on-site fully licensed Oasis Restaurant serving up relaxed dining 3 meals a day, 7 days per week (bookings required). Whether you’re relaxing in the pool, unwinding in the sauna or pumping it up in the gym, there’s plenty to do in the hotel, or venture outside to several awesome attractions onsite: Supa Golf, Mash Brewing, Laser Corps and Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery.
What's On in the Swan Valley
Even with international travel seeming like a long-ago memory, we’re lucky enough to be able to celebrate Germany’s biggest festival right here on our doorstep, over at the German biergarten Elmar’s in the Valley. Elmar’s Oktoberfest runs from 23 - 24 October, with the 23rd being 18+ and the 24th being a family fun day; sit back, relax and enjoy a day of live music, traditional German bier in 1 Litre steins, loaded Bratwurst, German inspired BBQ, carnival rides and games including stein holding, bratwurst eating comp and brewer's run just to name a few! Dress up in your finest Lederhosen or Dirndl, the beer will be flowing and the BBQ sizzling with delicious German goodies all throughout the day.
Kambarang Festival is a brand new event that celebrates the traditions of the Noongar nations residents of Midland, showcases their art, culture and practices and seeks to heal country, restore nature and connect community. From 1-8pm on Saturday 30 October, the Kambarang Festival will commence in the Locale precinct of Midland and culminate with the official opening of Weeip Park by the City of Swan Mayor and a performance from the Perth Symphony Orchestra.
We hope we’ve whetted your appetite for feasting and adventure alike! The Swan Valley is a real jewel in the crown of Perth, and Spring is the perfect time to explore everything it has to offer. For more ideas to make the most of Spring, visit our Spring in Perth feature page, and follow our blog for articles like Spring Wildlife Encounters, Discover Perth's Wildflower Season and Spring Guide - Things to Look Forward To. Happy exploring!