The Swan Valley is one of my favourite go-to day trip places in Perth.
Not only is it a 20 minute drive (or 45 minutes from the CBD), it’s an absolute gem. No matter how many times you visit the wineries, cafes or gourmet food stores, there is always something new to be found.
The day started out with a drive to The Maze/Outback Splash located on Neaves Road. During the winter season, the Outback Splash waterpark is closed but don’t let this deter you from making a trip! The Maze provides several hours of entertain with huts for hire (with BBQ facilities), a number of activities for kids- big and small as well as a hedge maze, tractor tyre maze and the main event; ‘The Maze’.
There are also kangaroos, emus and an aviary complete with talking birds who are always eager to say hello whenever you have your back turned to them. Included in the price is the mini golf and chess options. The mini golf consists of 9 holes and is a great way to end the day or have a laugh.
Twice daily, there is a Koala Experience. There is a free talk held at the Koala enclosure and for $10, you can buy yourself the chance to get up close and personal with the beautiful female koalas and take your photo with them. The experience is on at 11am and 2pm and tickets are available from the ticket counter or cafe.
My companion for the day introduced me to a wonderful place in the Swan Valley called ‘The Cheese Barrel’. Located next to a winery (Olive Farm Wines) on Great Northern Highway, this intimate store boasts a beautiful collection of cheeses from Australia to France. You can create your own cheese board, or let the masters create a board complete with a matching wine. The deck overlooks the winery and the beautiful countryside- makes for such a relaxing setting to enjoy an afternoon filled with cheese and wine. Pav and I indulged in a late harvest Verdelho paired with three bold cheeses (the triple cream Brillat Savarin was undoubtedly our favourite!)
After indulging in a little too much wine- the 2015 Verdelho was produced by Olive Farm Wines and at $24 per bottle, the sweet wine was full of flavour with no dry aftertaste, we decided to head to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory for a double scoop of ice cream.
Suffice to say, I am not normally a fan of ice cream but the ice cream is well worth the price tag. It’s creamy, full of flavour and puts a smile on the face of the consumer.
So if you’re looking for a day trip with minimal driving but filled with beautiful scenery, gourmet produce, animals, adventure and wine, then a trip to the Swan Valley may be just what you need.