As the weather cools, there’s nothing like heading into the changing colours of the Swan Valley for a wintery day trip.
While the Valley is less than half an hour from the heart of the CBD, you’ll feel a world away from it all as you explore the picturesque and charming wineries.
Indulge in some cosy comfort food
There isn’t anything we look forward to more in the cold weather than diving into a hearty spread of comfort food – especially when you’re curled up next to the fire! If you’re looking to enjoy a glass of the region’s finest winter reds, settle in for an afternoon at Sandalford Wines or Mandoon Estate.
Bringing the kids? Set them loose on Bailey Brewing Co’s playground filled with vintage trucks, while you tuck into that succulent lamb rump or a big bowl of bolognese. The Henley Brook boasts a ginormous fire in the heart of the dining room, so you’ll be toasty warm while you wolf down one of those wood-fired pizzas.
If you’re coming with a crowd, hit up Oakover Grounds for some classic pub fare; if the sun is shining, make use of those free water trikes and cruise across the lake.
Upgrade your skills with a foodie masterclass
The Swan Valley is chock-a-block with some of WA’s finest producers – and with all this talent, it would be a waste not to learn from them! Upgrade your foodie skills with one of the many masterclasses offered by some of the artisans of the area, whether you’re making your own cheese, blending your own gin, discovering the world of beekeeping, learning all about bush tucker at the Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery, or levelling up your barista skills.
Warm up with some winter wines
Warm up at Winter Wines in the Valley, a special series of winter events hosted by some of the region’s best winemakers happening throughout July and August. There’s plenty to choose from, allowing you to discover luxurious fortified wines, get cosy with wine and chocolate pairings by the fire, and more. Check out what’s on and buy tickets.
Treat yourself to a cheeky hot choccy
As soon as the temperature drops, we feel an irresistible urge to indulge in a decadent hot chocolate – and the Swan Valley is a chocolate-lover’s mecca. With more than 50 years of chocolate tradition, Whistler’s Chocolate Co is the ultimate destination for everything chocolate – including a whopping seven hot choccy varieties! (We’re eyeing off the chilli hot chocolate to really turn up the heat this winter.)
Haven’t got enough? Margaret River Chocolate Co. brings visitors from all over the world to enjoy their decadent wares – including silky, sumptuous cups of hot chocolate. If coffee is more your cuppa than Yahava KoffeeWorks can sort out both chocolate lovers and coffee connoisseurs with the best of both.
Explore the Swan Valley with a free scavenger hunt
Get the whole family exploring with the Great Valley Rally: a free scavenger hunt that will take you through the Valley’s historical sites and well-loved landmarks. Once you’ve completed all the clues, stop in at the Swan Valley Visitor Centre to claim your certificate and free gift! There’s a limited-edition bonus gift during the July school holidays.
Meet some marsupials
Obviously we have to keep a respectful distance from any wild animals – but that doesn’t mean we can’t make some new friends. Stop in at the Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm and you’ll be able to meet a huge family of fauna – from Romeo the talking pink and grey galah to Toffy the llama and Harry Hopper the kangaroo!
Just 15 minutes’ up the road, Caversham Wildlife Park is home to the largest private collection of native wildlife in the State – hand-feed the kangaroos, touch a possum or lizard, or say hello to a friendly wombat. Nestled within the Whiteman Park, you can follow up your visit with a stroll through the adjacent wetlands or the Community Forest.
Get amongst nature
Winter means white water! With two unique circuit walks, enjoy the tranquil bush paired with the rushing power of Bells Rapids. The trails are stunning throughout the cold months, with both the Avon River and surrounding bushland practically exploding with life – spot wildflowers, black cockatoos and shy marsupials as you explore. When the rapids really get going, it also becomes the perfect location to watch the annual Avon Descent every August!
Soak up some culture
While you’re at Whiteman Park, delve into WA’s history with a visit to one of the three transport museums within the park – a favourite of little and big kids alike. Guildford’s Museum of Natural History ad Academy of Taxidermy (pictured below) is another favourite for anyone interested in the quirky, with a breathtaking array of hundreds of taxidermy and reproduced animals – as well as life-size models of dinosaurs (pictured below)!
Life-size dinosaurs? How about some larger-than-life art? The Gomboc Gallery is a sprawling sculpture park and indoor gallery founded and entirely funded by award-winning local sculptor, Ron Gomboc, and his life-time partner, Terrie. Explore the 4.5 ha of grounds, filled with huge sculptures created by renowned local and international artists – as well as Ron’s own eclectic pieces.
Around the corner, visit another local artist creating unique works. Known as Illusionary Art, Thomas Maurer uses an angle grinder and a flat sheet of aluminium to create complex and almost holographic geometric artworks.
Turn your visit into a Swan Valley staycay
We’ve barely scratched the surface of the Swan Valley’s delights – so why not soak it all up with a relaxing winter staycay? Rest and reset at one of the Swan Valley’s luxurious getaways – from the Swan Valley Retreat’s spa treatments and unique wine barrel-inspired rooms to the chateau-inspired architecture of Brookleigh Estate.
Score a bargain in the Swan
Of course we’re all trying to tighten the purse strings these days – even when we’re having fun! Indulge in the best the Swan Valley has to offer and nab yourself a nifty midweek or seniors discount while you’re at it. You can check out the full list of discounts on the Swan Valley website.
Start planning your Swan Valley winter adventure at the Swan Valley website.