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The Zig Zag Scenic Drive
The Zig Zag was initially a railway line and its crisscross engineering
made it easier for trains to climb up the steep slope. Nowadays it’s
a scenic 3km road, which you can drive, cycle or walk (or run if
you’re crazy fit), and it’s a must-do during a visit to Kalamunda.
From the road there are sweeping vistas over the plains across
to the city, and luckily there are ample opportunities to stop and
get out your camera (lookouts are located roughly every 50m).
It’s tempting to take all your snaps early on but we recommend
waiting until you’re part way down the slope when it isn’t quite as
steep and you’ll be able get wildflowers in the frame too. Bear in
mind the road is only one way – the entry at the top of the range is
located on Lascelles Parade and you’ll come out at Ridge Hill Road.
TIP If you’re a keen bean, get up early and watch the sunrise. If it’s
chilly you’ll see mist on the range.
CORE CIDER HOUSE
Spectacular views of the surrounding orchards provide
a stunning backdrop for an afternoon or evening spent
eating and sampling locally brewed cider. The food here
is as good as, if not better than, plenty of the popular
restaurants in Perth. TIP Try the mulled cider during
colder months (and grab a blanket from inside if you’re
a cold). (08) 9293 7583, corecider.com.au.
LE CROISSANT DU MOULIN
A visit to this little cafe for a bowl of coffee is a must-
do, either on your way to Kalamunda or once you’ve
completed the Zig Zag Scenic Drive. The interior is
a little simple but, boy, do the exquisite pastries make
up for it. NOTE These aren’t Perth prices; a regular
coffee is just $3.50, and it’s $5 for a bowl (and by bowl
they mean HUGE mug). (08) 9293 4345.
The secret of the Perth Hills... great tapas! There’s
a plethora of tapas options, and there’s a special gluten
free menu too. If you plan your visit for a Sunday arvo
you’ll catch live music from 4pm. Make sure you book.
(08) 9293 3337.
WHERE TO EAT
VILLAGE PIZZA KITCHEN
This joint isn’t fancy but the kids will love it. There are
menu items like the Spongebob Pizza and The Monster
Truck Pizza, but don’t let that put you off – they churn out
some seriously tasty stuff. Don’t go too hard too early;
you’ll need room for the dessert pizzas. (08) 9291 4444.
SCOOP PICK BROOKSIDE VINEYARD
& THE VINEYARD KITCHEN
This quaint boutique vineyard could be straight out of
Under the Tuscan Sun. No kidding – there’s even a table
with chairs sitting in the green hillside (waiting for a lady
in a white dress, of course). Although it’s the smallest
vineyard in the region, the wine doesn’t miss a beat (try
the Petit Verdot and the Methode Champenoise). The
rustic restaurant The Vineyard Kitchen turns out country-
style meals with a modern touch, and the menu makes
the most of the fresh produce from the onsite vegie
patch. Booking is a must; if it’s shaping up to be a sunny
day, opt to eat outside.
We definitely recommend taking the short drive
from the town to the nearby Bickley Valley, which
is especially pretty in spring when all of the fruit
orchards are in full bloom. Think endless rows of
pink and white blossoms. The Bickley Valley is the
most stunning wine region in the hills, and in terms
of scenery we think it’s better than the Swan Valley
(yes, really). There’s something about vineyards
sprawling across rolling hills that puts a happy smile
on your face! The Bickley Valley Wine Trail makes
things super easy (grab a brochure from the Zig
Zag Cultural Centre, or spot the signs that start at
Aldersyde Winery on Aldersyde Road, six minutes
from town). Note that most cellar doors and vineyard
restaurants are only open on Fridays and over the
weekend (some take appointments during the week).
We recommend taking the trail at a leisurely pace
otherwise you’re sure to overlook the properties
selling fresh produce (asparagus anyone?) or the
quirky attractions such as the cyclist in the hay bale
(see family ideas, below).
Great ideas for families
• Spot the cyclist in the hay bale on Patterson Road
(look out for the orchards next-door). TIP The
ponies are friendly so make sure you pull over!
• Watch the pros at the Kalamunda Mountain Bike
Circuit (older kids can try the jumps circuit)
• Grab a pizza from the Village Pizza Kitchen
• Walk part of the Bibbulmun Track
• Test out your photography skills on the
Zig Zag Scenic Drive
• Find a Donkey Orchid... you might need to do
a bit of bush bashing.
Core Cider House.
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