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The fertile valley of the Swan River, only a 25-minute drive northeast of Perth, is a great place to escape the city and take a relaxing day trip. This beautiful and scenic region enticed visitors even before it became a noted wine-tasting region. But there’s more to the Swan Valley than sipping reds. Read on for seven interesting and fun-filled trips in this area, book your online accommodation and hit the road!

Gourmet Tasting

The Swan Valley is a dream destination for those who love good food. The Food and Wine Trail, which is a 32km loop, will take you to more than 150 different food producers, small eateries, breweries, wineries, cafes and restaurants. Don’t miss the valley’s many cheese makers, producing fresh and tasty cheeses with local ingredients.

On your gourmet tasting expedition, check out the House of Honey, where you can taste some of the honey made on site in the form of honey scones, sparkling honey water or even honey infused with different flavours from cinnamon to ginger to lavender.

Art Galleries

The Swan Valley is home to a very talented and creative group of artisans, and these local artists exhibit their work in the many cafes, studios and galleries throughout the region. Don’t miss the Gomboc Gallery, which is the largest sculpture park in the entire Southern Hemisphere. You can also see a fascinating collection of Aboriginal artwork at the Maalinup Gallery.

Antonio Battistessa is a well-known Swan Valley sculptor whose quirky home studio is open for visitors to view his iron artworks, which are also on display at many venues throughout the Swan Valley.

Agriculture

The Swan Valley is well known for its fertile soil, and it has a strong agricultural tradition. As you drive through this region you will pass by a number of roadside market stalls that sell fresh and tasty local produce, including melons, asparagus, strawberries and tomatoes.

There are a number of lovely farms within the Valley that are open to visitors, such as the Chapel Farm and the Swan Valley Egg Farm. Visiting one of these local farms is a great way to learn more about local produce.

Wine Tasting Tours

The Swan Valley is a renowned wine region, and many of the charming, family-run vineyards here are owned by the descendants of early European settlers. This is the oldest wine-producing region, and some of the wineries found here were amongst the very first established in Western Australia.

There are more than 40 vineyards here to discover, and the Swan Valley is known for the excellent fortified wines that it produces, as well as its reds and whites. There are several tour companies available to guide you through this scenic wine region on your tasting journey.

Breweries and Distilleries

There are a number of superb distilleries and breweries within the Swan Valley that produce award-winning local ciders, spirits and beers. During your explorations of the many breweries here, you will find several distinct beers, including unique artisan lagers, stouts, wheat beers and ales. These beers are all hand-crafted from the finest local ingredients and many are organic.

The Swan Valley is also home to two of Western Australia’s top distilleries: the Great Northern Distillery — where the famous Canefire Rum is produced — and the Wild Swan Distillery (where you can try vodka in exciting flavours such as vanilla, coffee and green tea).

History

The Swan Valley has a fascinating history, and there are a number of great historical attractions to visit here. The village of Guildford was established in 1829, and it still retains some of the colonial buildings from that era. Take a walk along the Guildford Heritage Walk Trails, which start and finish at the Swan Valley Visitor Centre and will take you past some of the significant heritage buildings and antique stores within the town. The trails offer interpretive signs so that you can learn about the history of Guildford along the way. If cycling is more your speed, there is also a Heritage Cycle Trail.

History buffs will also love enjoying a boat cruise from Perth along the Swan River and visiting All Saints Church, one of the oldest in Western Australia.

Explore the Outdoors

Last but not least, there are a number of attractions for the nature lover in the Swan Valley. Within this region you will find reptile parks, wildlife sanctuaries, nature trails and many more opportunities to enjoy a close encounter with the great outdoors. Check out Caversham Wildlife Park, which allows visitors to ride camels, feed kangaroos and hold wombats.

These are just seven examples of fantastic days out that you can have while exploring Swan Valley.

Swan Valley Image: http://www.swanvalley.com.au/

About the Author: Melanie Holmes is a freelance travel writer who recently spent a weekend relaxing in the Swan Valley.

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