Swan Vally, Western Australia's oldest wine growing region right on Perth's doorstep

Swan Vally, Western Australia's oldest wine growing region right on Perth's doorstep

The Swan Valley is a region in the upper reaches of the Swan River between Guildford and Bells Rapids, Western Australia. It is bordered to the east by the Darling Scarp. Both Ellenbrook and Jane Brook lie within the region and discharge into the Swan River.

Located 25 minutes from Perth City, the Swan Valley welcome is as warm as the sun that ripens the grapes; visitors are embraced as if old friends, drawn in by a sharing and inclusive nature, they keep coming back. Rising from the rich earth and crowned by endless blue skies, the Swan Valley landscape is different from any other in Perth.

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. 

It doesn't take long for visitors to adapt to our slower pace of life, to take advantage of the chance to spend time with those closest to them, to reconnect, and to reignite common interests and passions. 

Our passion comes through in everything we do; our food, our wine, our art, our landscape. We consist of the ultimate collection of artisans just waiting to fire up your sense of beauty, of taste, and of fun. 

Understated but not underrated, the Swan Valley is a popular must-visit destination.  Known as a food lovers haven, a wine connoisseurs 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.

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.

Family fun 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 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 rally's 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.

Perth's Outback Splash in Bullsbrook offers Australia's largest water slide playground and have four new slides opening this summer. 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, play a round of mini or supa golf at Novotel Vines Resort and Oasis Supagolf 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 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 – 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 Guildford Heritage Walk 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.  Take your pick from four self-guided trails, each offering a history lesson, tales of colonial life and a rundown of the intriguing characters that have called Guildford home.

The Swan Valley Heritage Cycle Trail takes in the rich history, interesting characters and natural elements of the Swan Valley.   A stunning showcase of fresh produce stalls, pretty picnic spots, exciting galleries, and a host of world class wineries and restaurants, there are countless opportunities to enjoy an abundance of experiences.

The trail has four different routes, each signposted to depict the rich history, interesting characters and natural elements of the areas.  There are plenty of scenic rest spots along the way, so visitors can pack a picnic and make a day of it.

The Vally is bicycle friendly, too – the Swan Valley is packed with cycle friendly businesses that are set up to make your visit via bicycle easy and enjoyable. 

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