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Slightly north-east of Guildford and just outside the
border of the Swan Valley is Woodbridge Riverside
Park, a delightful picnic spot situated on the riverbank
with a modern playground for the tykes. Beginning at
the park, you’ll find the John George Walk Trail that
meanders along the river where you’ll spot native
birds and flora. Walk the full 8km return trip with the
kids to guarantee no complaints at bedtime.
Middle Swan Reserve is one of the most popular
riverside parks in the region, with a calm launch spot
to start your kayak or canoe excursion on the Swan
River. Equally gentle waters for canoeing can be found
at Fishmarket Reserve, where there is a boat ramp
suitable for launching small boats, canoes and kayaks.
Local operators even offer canoe wine cruises; why not
grab a group of friends and make a day of it – it’s
a great way to paddle off all those wine calories.
As soon as you breeze through the doors
at Yahava Koffee Works you’ll be hit with the
welcoming aromas of ground coffee beans and
freshly brewed coffee. The caffeine kingdom offers
barista training at their in-house academy, with
courses that cover all aspects of making coffee
at home. For more accomplished coffee enthusiasts,
there is the hour-long ‘skill booster’, which covers
elements of the perfect brew such as how to steam
the silkiest milk, and creating those snazzy froth
decorations. Best of all, visitors can sample the
range of coffees and buy the beans in store or online.
Doggy day trip
The Swan Valley is a great place to take the pooch for
a day out. Head to the Pet Lovers Cafe in Guildford for
sweets, savouries and drinks for both owners and pets,
and if you’re feeling extra generous you can even buy
your pooch a custom-made bed cover. If you’ve got a
canine birthday coming up, there are even dog cakes
available for pre-order (it’s probably best to leave the
candles off though). There are plenty of pet-friendly
accommodation options in the valley, and you can
let your dog off its lead at the enclosed dog area
in Whiteman Park, near Mussel Pool East. The
valley also has a number of walking trails perfect
for exploring with your furry friend.
With almost 100 tearooms, cafes and restaurants,
and producers of fresh nougat, honey, chocolate
and ice-cream, it’s not hard to get a sugar kick from
a couple of hours in the valley. A number of places
offer decadent high teas; most wineries produce
sweet wines, plus there’s an apiary where you can
see bees make honey and taste test the different
varieties. Stop in to Oggie’s Ice-cream Cafe to
sample fresh ice-creams, sorbets, sherbets and
granitas made from local Swan Valley fruits.
At the end of the day, it’s not fun being the designated
driver while your mates get to sample the wares in the
valley. Avoid drawing straws and pick from a variety of
Sip 2013 Moondah
Brook Verdelho perfectly
platters. There’s also
laidback live Latin tunes
to enjoy. Houghton
Winery & Cafe,
A feast of grazing food
matches the fine drops at
Entopia Wines. During the
lunch there will also be
a tasting of past vintages
and a talk from the owners
about the area’s history,
vineyard and current wines.
Entopia Wines, Nov 3.
The exhibition includes
artworks that represent
food, cafe or restaurant
elements. The opening
night takes place on
November 4, with proceeds
going to Beyond Blue.
Madhatters on Milston,
For the race that stops
a nation, make sure
to check in with your
for their programs
and hosted lunches.
Various venues, Nov 5.
Head to The Vines to
enjoy The Drifters’ classic
hits such as Under the
Boardwalk, Save the
Last Dance for Me, Kissing
in the Back Row and lots
more. The Vines, Nov 16.
SPRING LONG LUNCH
Enjoy a delicious three-
course vegetarian feast,
which includes organic
wines to match the
foods. Harris Organic
Wines, Nov 24.
tours, including horse and buggy rides, river cruises
or shuttle bus trips. There’s a huge number of tours
that let you combine winery stops with visits to
local food producers and art galleries, and most
operators offer both half-day and full-day tours.
The historical village of Guildford was one of
three towns established during the founding
of the Swan River Colony in 1829. The past is
kept alive through its quaint colonial buildings,
polo games and Devonshire teas. There are
no fewer than four heritage walking trails to choose
from, with informative panels providing details
about all the sites of interest. All trails begin and
end at Old Guildford Courthouse. In the Swan
Valley, the Heritage Cycle Trail is a 12km shared-use
path that takes riders along West Swan Road and
past produce stalls, art galleries, wineries, and
some of the prettiest scenery in the valley. Motoring
buffs shouldn’t miss Whiteman Park, with its special
transport museums, and there’s also a boat cruise
from the city that traces Captain Stirling’s historic
journey of 1827.
Dotted along West Swan Road you’ll find
a reptile park, animal farm, a paintball and laser
tag centre, supa-golf and putt-putt course, ice-cream
factory, and wineries with playgrounds and gardens
for the kids. There’s even a chocolate factory. In
Whiteman Park, kids can get up and close with
the animals in the Caversham Wildlife Park and
at the WA Birds of Prey Centre, and also play on
bouncy castles and in the large fenced playground.
The Children’s Forest also offers a great way for
kids to learn more about nature.
The national parks and surrounds in the Swan
Valley offer a variety of short bushwalking trails with
opportunities to spot wildflowers blooming between
August and November. Check out Bells Rapids, Noble
Falls and Wandoo Heights to see hundreds of species
of wildflowers on show, plus some spectacular waterfalls
and stretches of river. Bells Rapids is also home to
the Western Grey kangaroo, plus you can see koalas,
echidnas, wallabies and more at the wildlife parks.
WHAT TO DO
Swan Valley Wagon Trails
Margaret River Chocolate
Company in the Swan Valley
Lancaster Wines is a popular stop
on many Swan Valley wine tours.
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