Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 018 Contents 106 Scoop Traveller June-December 2010
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THINGS TO DO
Swan Valley & Guildford | July to December 2010.
Swan Valley & Guildford insider
Region Size: 77sqkm
Distance from Perth:
12.5km to Guildford
One of the closest wine regions to
any city worldwide, the Swan Valley
offers a range of places to eat, things
for the kids to do and more than 40
fresh food road-side stalls along the
way. It takes longer to get to
Fremantle from the CBD, than to
arrive in this area. From the Western
suburbs, the Graham Farmer tunnel,
combined with upgrades to the Great
Eastern Highway, also make it very
accessible. It’s so close, in fact, that
a growing number of Perth
executives have made their homes
in the region. With scores of art
galleries, history to absorb, a
bustling strip of antiques shops to
browse through and, of course, fine
wine and food to sample, you’d
expect the place to be filled to the
gills. However, the great news is, it
isn’t! The friendly boutique and
family-owned wineries here are
happy to welcome you and to spend
time with you chatting about their
wines. It is easy to find, easy to park
and easy to get around. Winter,
when the hills are green and the
river is full, is a particularly lovely
time to go. October is Spring in the
Valley (a month-long celebration
this year): as the buds start to burst
on the vines, and delicious citrus,
asparagus and broad beans start to
make way for juicy strawberries on
the roadside stalls, 38-plus venues
arrange special concerts, cooking
classes, exhibitions, family events
and tastings. One not to miss.
Vines are changing colours with the
seasons, first growth due back in spring.
REASONS TO GO
Caversham Wildlife Park at Whiteman
Park has the largest collection of native
animals in Australia, including kangaroos
and koalas, as well as a farm show and
camel rides. Henley Brook is home to
the WA Reptile Park, with all its scaly
attractions – including freshwater crocs
and a boa constrictor – and the Cuddly
Animal Farm, which has a range of
more approachable animal attractions,
and a wonderful farmstay.
There are five boutique microbreweries
in the valley, so if you prefer a little
amber gold over the nectar of the
grape, sample some of these hand-
crafted wares. These traditionally made
brews are about as far away from mass
production as you can get and the relaxed
atmosphere of the breweries – which
also offer delicious food with their ales,
pilsners, lagers and so on – make them an
ideal place for a meal.
To really see the Valley, you need to get
out on to the water. Take a river cruise
from Barrack Street Jetty or paddle
yourself on a canoe or kayak. You can
put in at Lilac Hill Park or launch small
powerboats at Fish Market Reserve
and make your way 16km upstream,
past several of the region’s historic
homes and vineyards. For more serious
paddling action, head to Bells Rapids.
Put in at Walyunga and paddle down.
JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV
A verdant and productive valley filled
with myriad attractions just a short drive
(25min) from the centre of Perth. In
fact, it’s our closest wine region, with not
only great restaurants, but also plenty of
activities for all the family.
ENJOY... in winter and spring when
the air is cool, the river is full and the
wine is particularly warming. Spring in
the Valley is hugely popular (October).
• 25 minutes from Perth CBD
• 10 minutes from Perth airport
• 150 places to eat and 40 wineries
• 17 picnic spots and art galleries
• 4 heritage trails through Guildford
• 5 microbreweries and 2 distilleries
• Human habitation dates back 40,000
years, one of the only places in the world.
• Guildford was one of the first places
for white settlement in WA.
• Croatian migration has given the area
a distinctive European atmosphere.
• Gomboc is one of Australia’s oldest
and biggest (4.5ha) private galleries.
CLIMATE July is not too chilly at 17.9
degrees, it heats up in September, and
December usually has a max of 30.
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