Discover the Swan Valley - WA's Oldest Wine Growing Region on Perth's Doorstep
Located 25 minutes from Perth City, the Swan Valley's welcome is as warm as the sun that ripens the grapes. Visitors are embraced as if they are old friends, drawn in by a sharing and inclusive nature. Rising from the rich earth and crowned by endless blue skies, the Swan Valley landscape is different from any other in Perth, stretching from the historic town of Guildford to the undulating green hills of Chittering. It's a place where schedules aren’t needed, and clocks shouldn’t be watched. In fact, we encourage people to slow down, take time and relax, or run the risk of missing one of life's greatest adventures.
A fanfare of WA’s oldest grapevines welcomes you to Perth’s pantry. Known as a food lover’s haven, a wine connoisseur’s delight and a naturalist's dream. Just a short drive from the capital city or a leisurely cruise up the Swan River will deliver you into the heart of the district.
Home to world-class wineries, breweries and distilleries, the Swan Valley is bursting with music and flavour. Pull up on a patch of grass under a shady tree or dine at one of the many stylish venues along the riverside. Add a side dish of art, historical architecture and the oldest pub in Perth and it is a day out of rustic sophistication. Recipes and techniques handed down through generations make each meal, product and experience, special. Families are welcomed with homely hospitality by friendly locals. Arrive as a stranger, leave as a friend. Where there is a river, there is life, and the fertile plains of the Swan Valley is a symphony for the taste buds and soul.
Guildford's collection of antique shops, cafés and pristine examples of European settlement buildings dating back to the 1830s, make it well worth a visit. 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 cafés that line James Street, the main thoroughfare. The Swan Valley Visitor Centre is located in Guildford is a great place to visit to receive expert advice on how to explore the Swan Valley and pick up some free maps at the same time.
Explore the sights and sounds of the Swan Valley
Understated but not underrated, the Swan Valley’s many attractions & activities make this a must-visit destination. Known as a food lover’s haven, a wine connoisseur’s delight and a naturalist's dream. Visitors are spoilt for choice by the raw, natural environment and the wonderful people that live and work here.
Voted the best visitor centre in the country, 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.
If time allows, spend a few days discovering this stunning region and stay locally at one of the many accommodation choices available in the Swan Valley. There is something to suit all tastes and budgets from five-star resorts, caravan parks, farm stays or chic boutique guesthouses. A visit to the Swan Valley will leave you with lasting memories and a longing to return.
What to do in the Swan Valley
There are plenty of exciting attractions, activities and things to do in the stunning Swan Valley, including:
- Discover all the region has to offer along a Swan Valley Trail - there are nine themed trails to follow!
- Watch out for free tastings of local preserves, dried fruit, chocolate and nuts.
- Take a boat cruise from Perth City along the Swan River to the Swan Valley.
- Take a wander around Guildford's historic shopping precincts or follow a heritage walk trail.
- Look out for roadside stalls and weekend markets which have the freshest seasonal locally grown produce available from fresh asparagus to table grapes, tangerines, citrus and berries.
- Book a Swan Valley tour for free at the Visitor Centre.
- Visit the many art and craft galleries and artist's studios.
- Follow a scenic walking trail or wildflower trail and discover the surrounding natural bushland and national and regional parks.
- Explore the Swan Valley a little differently on a horse-drawn wagon ride.
- Travel to Chittering in the northern hills of the Swan Valley.
Family Fun & Activities in the Swan Valley
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 adventure with some great family attractions. The Swan Valley Visitor Centre offers a fun activity for families, The Great Valley Rally. Similar to a treasure hunt, participants follow cryptic clues to help find their way along a specific route through the valley. The rallies 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 pristine 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.
Perth's Outback Splash in Bullsbrook offers Australia's largest water slide playground with an abundance of attractions for kids and kids at heart. Get lost in five different mazes, play nine holes of mini golf, splash in the resort style pool, 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.
Families can also see farm animals at the Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm, reptiles at the West Australian Reptile Park, try yummy chocolate at Whistler's Chocolate Company, play a round of mini or supa golf at Novotel Vines Resort and Supa Golf and Supa Putt, and go on a horse-drawn wagon ride!
The Swan Valley also has a range of producers passing on their knowledge with visitors. Become an Apprentice Chocolatier for a day, learn to make traditional French macarons or learn about wine and cheese pairing. There are plenty of ways to get involved in the region, and there is something delicious to suit every age and palate.
History and Heritage Attractions in the Swan Valley
With its wide-open spaces, vineyard vistas and plenty of fresh country air, the Swan Valley is the perfect place for a walk or cycle to take in the wonderful history of the region. The picturesque village of Guildford was established during the founding of the Swan River Colony in 1829 and today it’s one of only three towns in Perth on the National Trust register. Exquisite colonial architecture is just the tip of the iceberg in the Swan Valley. There are also fascinating museums, churches, theatre houses and the oldest wineries in the state to discover nearby.
The Swan Valley's history starts more than 40,000 years ago with the original custodians of the land, the Noongar Aboriginal people of the Whadjuk tribe. The Whadjuk people have a deep connection with the land and tell of a Dreamtime serpent, the Waugal which once travelled across the country, carving out the Swan Valley and the Swan River. They say the Waugal still lives deep beneath the Swan River waters to this day.
The Swan Valley is also home to the oldest vines in the state. WA's first vines were planted at Olive Farm Wines in 1829, just one year after the colony was settled. By 1950, Houghton, Sandalford, John Kosovich, Pinelli Estate, Garbin Estate and Talijancich wineries were all boasting flourishing vines. Most of these vintage vines are still family owned and run by descendants with generations of passionate winemaking in their blood.
The Swan Valley Heritage Trails are one way to get to know the area's history, and with flat grounds that are lush and green the walks are accessible to most abilities. The Swan Valley Heritage Cycle Trail takes in the rich history, interesting characters and natural elements of the Swan Valley. The trail is signposted with interesting historical characters and facts, there are plenty of rest stops and there are lots of cycle friendly businesses that are set up to make your visit via bicycle easy and enjoyable.
Click here to download a map of the Swan Valley. Copies of this Hello Perth map can be collected at Perth Airport stands at T1 and T3, the East Perth Rail Terminal, all Visitor Centres in the metropolitan area, all Hello Perth stands, plus from over 150 locations such as attractions, hotels and car hire companies.
Plan Your Trip to the Swan Valley - Perth's Valley of Taste.
Head inland on a short drive to the Swan Valley and enjoy more than 150 places to visit, dine and taste. There’s an endless choice for lunch with many wineries and restaurants offering a delectable array of beautifully presented food. After lunch enjoy some wine tasting and visit the local microbreweries for some boutique beers. Plan your trip to the Swan Valley and view a list of tourism businesses located in the region below. Find the top accommodation, attractions, tours and things to do in the Swan Valley to help plan your trip.
Explore the Swan Valley
You won’t be left wondering what to do in the Swan Valley with an abundance of markets, trails and wineries to explore.
Discover the Swan Valley
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