Published on 14 July 2023
We asked our friendly community to tell us their favourite spots to visit in the Swan Valley. Predictably, the list was long and diverse, ranging from world-class wine to wildlife encounters, sampling phenomenal produce to seeing where Perth’s best chocolate is made.
After tallying the votes, we’ve curated this list of 10 exceptional Swan Valley experiences for every budget and taste, within easy reach of the Perth city centre.
Swan Valley wineries you should visit this weekend
1. Mandoon Estate
Nestled on the banks of the meandering Swan River, the historic Mandoon Estate is a picturesque destination dedicated to showcasing the Swan Valley as a significant wine-producing region. With a winery, brewery, fine dining restaurant and 32-room boutique hotel, Mandoon has a little of everything that makes the Swan Valley special.
Whether you perch at a table overlooking the historic vineyards, sample a drop at Homestead Brewery or book a tour to learn about the estate’s 200-year history, visiting Mandoon is always one of the best things to do in the Swan Valley.
More information and bookings: https://mandoonestate.com.au/
2. Sandalford Wines
Ask anyone who’s visited recently and they’ll name a visit to Sandalford Wines as one of the best things to do in Perth’s oldest wine region. With a history dating back to 1840, Sandalford Wines is an iconic Swan Valley destination.
The extensive wine list has something for every palette, from ultra-premium Prendiville Reserve labels to the more accessible Element wines and the new 1840 range paying tribute to the region’s history.
Book a vineyard tour to learn about Sandalford’s history, indulge in a delicious meal celebrating the finest seasonal WA produce at the restaurant and bar, or check upcoming events to make a day of it.
Explore the wine list: https://www.sandalford.com/
3. Upper Reach Winery, Restaurant, and Cottage
If fresh, handcrafted wines made from estate-grown grapes are more your thing, visiting Upper Reach Winery is one of the best things to do in the Swan Valley.
Upper Reach winemakers Derek and Laura Pearse “believe wine is one of life’s essentials – along with good food, family and friends”. We couldn’t agree more.
The family-owned estate offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere where you can enjoy a wine tasting paired with a delicious meal or learn the secrets of cultivating, producing, aging and appreciating wine at exclusive sessions like the Wine 103 Masterclass.
Upper Reach is also a wonderful family-friendly venue, thanks to the laid-back Treehouse Pizza Bar serving crisp Neapolitan-style pizzas to enjoy with a glass of wine or fresh tap beer. You can even extend your stay in the estate’s cozy cottage.
Get the vintage report: https://www.upperreach.com.au/
4. Lancaster Wines
Laid-back by nature (but very serious about making phenomenal wine), Lancaster Wines on West Swan Road represents a bold new breed of Australian winemakers.
You don’t need to be a wine snob to enjoy an afternoon in Lancaster’s famous outdoor tasting shed. In fact, it’s policy: the winemakers describe the venue as “quirky but cool - no room for wine tossers here”.
Everyone is invited, with regular special experiences including freshly shucked oysters on the weekends, build-your-own grazing platters and friendly staff guiding you through a down-to-earth wine tasting experience.
You’ll love Lancaster: https://lancasterwines.com.au/
5. Oakover Grounds
Oakover Grounds is the perfect spot for a long, lazy afternoon in the Swan Valley. Whether you reserve a table in the restaurant or spread a blanket on the sprawling lawns and kick back with a casual bite from the outdoor SmokeHouse and Barrel Bar, you’re guaranteed a good time at any time of the year.
In addition, Oakover Grounds keeps visitors entertained with exceptional wines available to taste at the cellar door, fresh artisan coffee, free family activities (try the water trikes on the lake), and the incredible range of fine foods and gourmet products available at the Swan Valley Market Place.
Explore the grounds: https://oakovergrounds.com.au/
6. Sittella Winery and Restaurant
Although young by Swan Valley standards, Sittella Winery and Restaurant quickly established a reputation as a standout choice for fine wines and elegant dining. Sample award-winning wines at the cellar door or settle in for a meal overlooking the picturesque estate.
With an emphasis on fresh produce and innovative flavours, Sittella is a haven for food and wine enthusiasts.
Read the Sittella story: https://www.sittella.com.au/
Gastropubs in the Valley
7. Bailey Brewing Company
With around a dozen breweries dotted throughout the Swan Valley, it’s impossible to pick a favourite. But Bailey Brewing Co is up there with the best of them.
Beer enthusiasts will delight in the handcrafted creations from the award-winning family-owned microbrewery, while the younger family members can safely explore the 850m2 nature playground nestled in the 9.5-acre property.
The Bailey Brewing motto is “It’s pretty simple, really”. And it is. With a rustic and relaxed atmosphere and hearty food menu, Bailey Brewing is the perfect spot to bring family and friends.
Get a case of your favourites: https://www.baileybrewingco.com.au/
8. The Henley Brook
If 20+ craft beers on tap, a three-acre paddock, mouth-watering pub grub and loads of natural play areas for the kids sounds like a great day out, then book a spot at The Henley Brook.
“The Hen” is a local favourite, with a legendary beer garden, an indoor restaurant warmed by a double-sided fireplace in winter, and weekly specials worth the 30-minute drive from Perth.
Crowned WA’s best family dining venue in 2018 and 2019, The Henley Brook is a must-visit destination in the Swan Valley and one of the best things to do in Perth when you’ve got a free day.
See why everyone’s squawking about The Hen: https://thehenleybrook.com.au/
Let’s mix it up
9. Old Young’s Distillery
Less than a decade old and already collecting a laundry list of Australian and international awards, Old Young’s Distillery is a hidden gem in the Swan Valley.
From the fruit-forward (and highly-awarded) Pavlova spirit to a Six Seasons Gin that pays tribute to the region’s Traditional Custodians, the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation, Old Young’s has a reputation for exceptional creations.
You can learn about their creative process at a behind-the-scenes tour, run seven days a week, or drop in to sample the full range of spirits.
Join the Juniper Society: https://oldyoungs.com.au/
Finish with something sweet
10. Whistler’s Chocolate Co and Cafe
At Whistler’s Chocolate Co and Cafe, a paradise for chocolate lovers, you can indulge your sweet tooth and call it an educational experience. What more could you want in a family-friendly weekend activity?
You can watch the chocolate-making magic firsthand, try a free sample or pick-and-mix your way through the enormous range of sweet treats, including chocolate, honeycomb, ice cream and cakes.
With a charming on-site café serving six choices of hot chocolate alongside locally roasted coffee, and an enclosed garden for the kids to play safely, Whistler’s is the perfect pit stop and one of the best things to do in the Swan Valley.
Indulge your sweet tooth: https://www.whistlers.com.au/
Plan your next visit to WA's oldest wine region
Discover curated trails and family-friendly activities to help plan the perfect outing.
Although, being so close to Perth and with so many great things to do, you hardly need to plan at all. You can just hop in the car and meander through the picturesque Valley until something takes your fancy.
We’re looking forward to seeing you soon in the Swan Valley.