Published on 17 June 2023
As winter brings a chill to the air and greys our days, there’s nowhere better to be than beside a cosy fire, cradling a hot chocolate or glass of full-bodied WA shiraz.
Winter in Perth is the best time to chill out and treat yourself. Here in the Swan Valley, delightful experiences await visitors of all ages in every season. Whether you’re seeking culinary delights, family-friendly adventures, artistic inspiration, winter school holiday activities or a cosy weekend retreat, the Swan Valley has it all.
Embrace the winter magic with these 10 unique Swan Valley experiences.
1. Warm up with a family-friendly scavenger hunt
Embark on an exciting adventure with the Great Valley Rally, a free treasure hunt that takes you on an exciting journey through Swan Valley sights.
Designed for families with kids aged 5 to 12, you’ll solve puzzles to unlock hidden clues while learning a little about the region’s pioneer and cultural heritage. This interactive trail can be completed at your own pace in any season.
Download the free clue sheet here and set off from the Swan Valley Visitor Centre any time, allowing at least three hours to complete the trail.
2. Chill out in nature
We’re lucky to have a lot of dry winter days in Perth, perfect for embracing the crisp air and unique landscapes by taking a refreshing bush walk at Bells Rapids.
Whether you’re out to get your blood pumping on the Goat Walk or take the family for a stroll along the River Walk, the Bells Rapids walk trails are well-marked and accessible all year.
It’s also an ideal vantage point to catch the action of the Avon Descent, held every August. The thrill of this iconic Perth event is enough to chase away the winter chill.
3. Treat yourself to a specialty hot chocolate
Do you know where to find the best hot chocolate in Perth? We’ve narrowed it down to the top three.
Iconic confectioners, including Whistler’s Chocolate Co, Margaret River Chocolate Company and Yahava KoffeeWorks, all offer delightful variations of this family-favourite beverage (plus caffeinated options for the adults).
Sipping a steaming cup of hot chocolate warms you from the inside out. And you can take the feeling home to enjoy later, accompanied by some tasty treats that “fell” into your bag (don’t worry, we won’t tell the kids where you hid the choccies).
4. Satisfy your sweet tooth
If a quick stop for hot chocolate isn’t quite enough, you’ll find many more delectable delights along the Sweet Temptations Trail. Sample your way through the Swan Valley’s best little treats, including locally farmed honey, Mondo Nougat, Morish Nuts, champagne and cupcakes, and local dessert wines.
The Sweet Temptations Trail features 10 tempting stops, so you might want to schedule a walk at Maali Bridge Park to stave off the sugar rush and get a little fresh air.
5. Catch up for a cosy bite
Winter is the time to get together and share a meal – especially when there’s a warm spot to gather. Take the family out for mouth-watering burgers by the fire at Alfred’s Kitchen in Guildford, or sip a pint by the fireplace at one of the region’s many craft breweries, including Mash Brewing, Homestead Brewery and Swan Valley Brewery.
During winter, you can always find a table at the Valley’s inviting venues. They’re the ideal setting to slow down, warm up and enjoy good conversations paired with great food.
6. Sample warming Swan Valley wines
Swan Valley is renowned as Perth’s local wine region, boasting more than 40 world-class vineyards and almost 200 years of viticulture history. When the weather cools, there are plenty of bright, peppery red vintages and full-bodied blends to sample at cosy cellar doors.
Fortified enthusiasts can follow the Fortified Wine Trail, journeying through the region’s renowned wineries producing rich and luscious liqueurs made from Muscat and Pedro Ximenez, through to Shiraz, Verdelho, and aged Tawny fortified wines.
7. Stay longer and enjoy a luxury winter stay
Extend your winter escape into a real retreat. The Swan Valley is home to some of the cosiest winter getaways in Perth, from luxury treehouses to vineyard accommodation.
Check out our picks for the six best luxury getaways in the Swan Valley, including farm stays, pamper retreats and picturesque architecturally-designed homes.
While you’re here, take a little time to explore. There are gourmet dining experiences, friendly cellar doors, quirky art galleries, walks, museums, breweries and cafés around every corner.
8. Seek shelter and inspiration in unique art galleries and museums
The Swan Valley’s arts and culture scene is among the most vibrant in Western Australia, and it’s all accessible within a short drive from Perth. Whether you want to learn about the innovations that shaped the State’s history or meet the people crafting the future through sculpture and art, there’s plenty here to inspire your creativity and curiosity.
Lose yourself in the mind-bending Illusionary Art or find inner peace at Sacred India Gallery. Stroll through the 4.5-hectare Gomboc Gallery Sculpture Park featuring an expansive indoor and outdoor display, then visit Whiteman Park Handcraft or Celtic Swan Furniture to purchase your unique pieces.
Shop for quirky antiques at Ember Antiques, Relics Plus, Jones of Guildford or Annie’s Collective Wonderland.
Motor enthusiasts can learn, play and touch transport history at Whiteman Park’s three transport museums including the Motor Museum of WA, Revolutions Transport Museum and the Tractor Museum.
9. Let your creativity free
If an afternoon at an art gallery inspired you, why not unleash your inner artist and learn new skills at a masterclass run by Swan Valley artists? From candle making to ceramics, there are masterclasses and events for all ages, abilities and interests this winter.
You can even combine art with good taste at a paint and sip event, blend-your-own-gin experience, whiskey blending masterclass or coffee roasting workshop.
The Guildford Village Potters Club also runs regular adult pottery classes, plus special school holiday activities for kids.
These hands-on experiences offer a unique opportunity to connect with local artisans, have a good time and take home a memento of your time in Swan Valley.
10. Get up close with cuddly animals
Several animal and wildlife parks throughout the Swan Valley offer the chance to interact with adorable Australian animals. Visit Caversham Wildlife Park to hand-feed kangaroos and meet koalas, or head to Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm to interact with the friendliest farm animals and learn about WA’s diverse wildlife.
These experiences are sure to create cherished memories for visitors of all ages.
Bonus tip: Take a winter wander
One of the best things about the Swan Valley being so close to Perth is that you don’t actually need to plan anything at all.
Hop in the car and head east from the city, and pretty soon you’ll be amongst rolling vineyards, lush landscapes, and picturesque views. We’ve collected a few cool-weather hot spots in a half-day Winter Wander itinerary, or you can simply meander until you reach a place that feels like your destination.
See you in the Swan Valley this winter
There's no need to stay home all winter going stir-crazy. You can hop in the car and reach the Swan Valley in under half an hour to experience the best winter activities around Perth is an easy day trip.
Whether you visit for a few hours or a few days, you'll find plenty to keep you entertained, inspired, fed and warm in the Swan Valley this winter.