They’re right on the city’s doorstep, but when was the last time you took a leisurely drive into the Hills?
Don’t worry, we’re overdue, too – which is why we’ve rounded up just some of the best eating, drinking and exploring the area has to offer!
EAT & DRINK
Explore A Secret Valley Of Wine
You’ve heard a lot about the other Valley, but have you heard about Bickley? Filled to the grape-lovin’ brim with boutique wineries, the Bickley Valley is Perth’s best-kept secret. Plume Estate Vineyard, Brookside Vineyard (pictured below, currently undergoing renovations), La Fattoria and The Packing Shed (mentioned below) are just the tip of the iceberg. They’re all stunningly picturesque, whatever time of year you’re visiting – with views of undulating hills, babbling brooks, tasty eats, and velvety vino goodness.
Discover The New Perth Hills Cider Trail
We’ve been fermenting the beginnings of a Perth Hills Cider trail over the last few years, and it’s yielding some scrumptious, straight from the orchard brews. From the pop-up stylings of National award-winning Carmel Cider Co. to the always pumping Core Cider House, Naked Apple Cider and the Roleystone Brewing Co. Core Cider‘s spectacular grounds are a great spot for a springtime picnic, or if you’re there in winter you can head to the Fire, Fable and Feast Pagan-inspired event.
The Cheese Shop
After trading as Le Grand Fromage at countless farmer’s markets across Perth, the family-run stall has transitioned into a permanent location in the heart of Kalamunda. Just down the road from the market site, the passionate team of cheesemongers at the Cheese Shop are serving up a unique range of fromage with top-notch service to match.
Shop 2, 47 Railway Road, Kalamunda
Mason & Bird
Since opening in 2016, Mason & Bird has become a stalwart of Kalamunda’s cafe scene. With some fine-dining pedigree in the cafe’s DNA, the spot is a go-to for classic brunches as well as brekkies with a twist – like a speck and egg burger with house made barbecue sauce.
7 Williams Street, Kalamunda
Cafe Mojo has all the quirky charm you hope to stumble upon on your next day trip. Eclectic furniture and artwork fill the homey space, plus there’s a charming garden you can enjoy. Just picture yourself, perched under the shade of a Norfolk pine, making use of that free wifi if you need to catch up on emails. You can even bring your dog! The menu has plenty of gluten and dairy free options as well, so you can rest assured there’ll be suitable snacks for everyone.
16 Craig Street, Mundaring
The Packing Shed
Hankering for a coffee? The Packing Shed is the perfect spot to while away an afternoon. Situated on the picturesque Lawnbrook winery in Bickley, it really ticks all the boxes. The standout, seasonally rotating menu is worth the drive alone, but when paired with the gorgeous setting, it’s worth its weight in gold. In winter you can get cosy next to wood heater, but if the sun’s out you can also make use of their picnic blankets and spread out on the lawn. Next thing you know, you’ll be staying for a wine tasting…
19 Loaring Road, Bickley
In the short time since opening at the end of 2020, Seven Sins has been making big waves. Taking up residence in the old Roleys On The Ridge in Roleystone, you’re treated to stunning views of the Darling Scarp below while you dine, which automatically makes for a unique dining experience. The menu is flush with hearty meals for the soul, and we can say from experience – the German night is well worth a drive to the Hills.
1 Soldiers Road, Roleystone
The Parkerville Tavern
Look, you could probably shake a tree in the hills and a ripping heritage pub will fall out, but the Parkerville is up there with the best of ’em. The two-storey federation-style pub is right in the thick of the action in the hills, and as such you’ll find it buzzing on the weekends with visitors and locals alike. There’s a huge beer garden with playground for the kids, so it’s pretty popular with the daytrippers during the day before getting a bit rowdier later with live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
6 Owen Rd, Parkerville
Last Drop Elizabethan
A little slice of Olde England, this family-run pub has been loved by locals for over 25 years, and it’s the ideal spot to warm up by the fire with a hearty pub feed on those chilly autumn afternoons. “The Lizzie” has a village green to relax with a pint from their own microbrewery while the kitchen offers an array of bar snacks, big bites (including big juicy burgers) and sharing plates. Plus they are pet friendly so you can bring the whole gang down!
25 Canns Road, Bedfordale
Mundaring Weir Hotel
You can’t forget the historic Mundaring Weir Hotel. Established in 1898, the hotel has live music and spit roasts on Sundays, with a kids playground, table tennis and basketball just behind the stage. The kids menu also has heaps of options, with lots of family favourites.
Lot 502 Hall Road, corner of Mundaring Weir Road, Mundaring
The Kalamunda Hotel
43 Railway Road, Kalamunda
Jack & Jill
The now-shuttered Haynes Street Larder’s sister venue and another creation of owner Jess (who comes from legendary Kalamunda family the Balfours), Jack & Jill’s clean and spacious interior makes for an excellent brunch proposition, as do their enormous fried chicken burgers. Don’t fret though, the menu is as equally jam-packed with fresh and healthy goodies as it is naughty treats.
18B Haynes Street, Kalamunda
Before you journey back to the big smoke, stop in at the award-winning Bakery 37 for a box of goodies that will make you the talk of the town. Pastries are picture-perfect, cakes are delicately piped and topped with edible petals or fresh fruit – you’ll be besotted!
37 Haynes Street, Kalamunda
The Hive Darlington
Occupying a historic building that was formerly a general store and post office, The Hive Darlington (formerly Perella’s) is more than just a cafe – it’s a hub for the Darlington community. It’s recently changed hands to the Bell Family (locals for the past 10 years), who are keeping the community vibes strong with nutritious, home cooked meals that recognise the importance of connecting with folks in the neighbourhood over a great meal or cuppa.
1 Beenong Road, Darlington
Little Nook Cafe
If you want to really feel like you’ve left the big smoke, you’ll have to stop in at Little Nook Cafe. It’s the ideal stop after exploring the Railway Heritage Trails, with a verandah that’s perfect for soaking up the winter sunshine. The all day menu runs the gamut from guilt-free muesli bowls and salads to classic big breakfasts, decadent pancakes and homestyle burgers.
2 Montrose Avenue, Darlington
Have you ever tried deep fried vanilla slice? This family-owned, filthy-mouthed (really) Roleystone bakery is known for making a killer lineup of old-school treats, then taking to the next level with a truly zealous approach to deep frying. Deep-fried Biscoff “snot box”? Chocolate slice, deep-fried, topped with marshmallow, then dipped in chocolate again? You can count us in (maybe just don’t spend too long on Honey’s socials if you’re at work…)
5/21 Jarrah Road, Roleystone
SEE & DO
Find A Waterfall (Or Five)
It’s not secret we’re a fan of waterfalls around here – especially when they’re right on our doorstep, with many that can be found in the Hills. The easiest to find is Lesmurdie Falls, located in Mundy Regional Park. Tumbling over the Darling Range Escarpment, the falls have five walk trails to choose from, each offering a different view of the cascading Lesmurdie Brook. With more than five different waterfall adventures in the Perth Hills to choose from, you can really take your pick.
ReDiscover Armadale Urban Art Trail
Teaming up with Six Two Three Zero (responsible for an equally awesome trail in Bunbury), the ReDiscover Armadale Urban Art Trail showcases artists locally and abroad via a series of magnificent murals. As you walk along and discover each mural, you can read about the artists behind them after grabbing a copy of the ReDiscover brochure from the Perth Hills Armadale Visitor Centre or downloading a copy HERE.
Browse One Of Perth’s Largest Artisan Markets
One of the longest running markets in WA, the monthly Kalamunda Artisan Market features over 150 stalls of artisan goodness. Keeping it fresh by featuring funky new up-and-coming designers every month, the market is held in central Kalamunda on the first Saturday of every month. A true village vibe, this market is particularly family friendly, with a bouncy castle, face painters and live entertainment to keep the kids entertained.
Have A Dip At Lake Leschenaultia
Named after the stunning blue wildflower, Lake Leschenaultia is a year-round favourite for camping, summer fun and wildflower spotting in spring. You can hire canoes or just walk off the white sandy beaches and hit the pontoon. Explore on foot via the 3km walking trail, fire up a barbecue or hit Reflections Café right on the water. With a permanent orienteering course and geocaching to discover, it’s the perfect place to relax by the water in the Perth Hills.
Dust Off Your Hiking Boots And Find A New Trail
Passing through Hills communities including Darlington, Parkerville, and Mundaring, the Railway Reserves Heritage Trail is a unique 41km loop trail connecting villages like bright beads on a thread. Join the trail in Perth Hills Mundaring and follow the route of the old Eastern Railway through John Forrest National Park for spectacular views of the Perth city skyline.
Hit The Mountain Bike Trails
You can access some of WA’s best mountain biking trails just outside Kalamunda in the Perth Hills. Set in the picturesque State Forest and national parks, the network features mainly intermediate trails but also has some excellent beginner tracks such as the ‘Shake, Rattle & Roll’ loop trail. Don’t have your own gear? Hit up the guys at Rock And Roll Mountain Biking for a loaner or join one of their clinics for skills.
Tiptoe Through The Tulips
Sometimes called “Heaven in the Hills” the Araluen Botanic Park is an historic, landscaped wonderland full of breathtaking exotic and native plants, stunning water features, and in springtime, over 145,000 tulips burst to life in a remarkable show of massed plantings of colour.
362 Croyden Road, Roleystone
Pick Some Fruit And Get A Pic At S&R Orchard
Visit a working Perth Hills orchard to experience the stunning spring blossoms or the fun of a pick-your-own fruit festival. Local grower and inspiring trailblazers S&R Orchard have been throwing their farm gates open to the public for the last few years, offering fruit picking in summer and blossom tours in spring. It’s a photogenic day out that will charm kids and adults alike.
36 Halleendale Road, Walliston
The very Instagrammable Raeburn Orchards provides a stunning backdrop for a picnic or picturesque stroll. Autumn is all about their perfect persimmons, which not only taste great, but create an impressive wall of crimson leaves that are as stunning in real life as they are in photos! Springtime is a spectacular explosion of pink with endless rows of apple and pear blossoms. (Plus they have an on-site shop where they stock everything WA local.)
4 Raeburn Road, Roleystone
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: a visit to the Observatory is one of our top interesting date night ideas. Whether you’re a science buff or an astrology nerd, there isn’t anything more romantic for two lovebirds than gazing up at the stars. Located just a short 25km out of the city, there’s plenty of night tour options, head to their website for more info.
337 Walnut Road, Bickley
Armadale Wildlife & Reptile Centre
If you want to get a bit more up close and personal with the wildlife, check out the Armadale Wildlife & Reptile Centre. Run without any government funding, the centre rescues and rehabilitates countless animals, specialising in reptiles. Head there for a visit to learn about local wildlife and how to help reduce negative impacts on them from the Centre’s experts.
308 South Western Highway, Wungong
Cover image: S&R Orchard