Welcome to Perth.
The capital of Western Australia, renowned for its Mediterranean-style climate and diverse landscapes.
Here in Perth, you can visit Swan Valley, only 30 minutes away from the airport, with a wide range of 40 wineries, fruit and vegetable markets, farms and other gourmet delicacies to choose from. Yet, whenever I hear friends going to Australia, Perth is usually no where on their list (let alone Swan Valley).
If you only have a few days to spare in Perth, check out what’s best for your palette.
A good way to start your day in Swan Valley would be to head down to any wineries near your accommodation. Lancaster Wines, for instance, is a jolly good place to begin. Over there, enjoy a fine sample of Chenin Blanc or Sticky Shiraz while overlooking the vines and chilling out with your friends.
Alternatively, head down to Entopia Wines and visit their intimate octagonal air-conditioned tasting pavilion to sample estate produced wines featuring the all-time favourite Chardonnay. Drop by early if you can and you may just be able to get a tour around by the lovely owners Brian and Heather Hunt.
Not into wine? Well, Mash Brewing has the perfect solution for your alcohol cravings.
Copycat, Blacklist, Freo Doctor and West Coast Wheat are just some of the top favourites on their menu. Can’t decide on which to pick? Fret not, the amiable staff will be more than happy to guide you along.
Take a rest at Yahava KoffeeWorks for the ultimate complete experience with their globally source and locally roasted blends. As you relish your coffee while enjoying the gorgeous view, do ask any of the friendly staff for a quick coffee sampling session before you go. A quick 10 minute theory and coffee sampling session is bound to make you convert into a coffee fan. Oh wait, did we forget to mention that they have Iced Coffee?
If you are dying to sample their coffee immediately, you can check out their branch in Singapore first (click here).
For diehard Instagram fans, the iconic blue boat shed is a definitely must-go spot. If you find that you have nothing much on at night, take a 30-45 min drive from the suburbs into the city to try out Perth’s night life. Catch a comedy show at Heath Ledger Theatre at the State Theatre Centre of WA, or visit the casino if you’re interested to try your luck at the tables (Travellers, bring your passport to enjoy free entry into the casino).
Editor’s note: Most shopping malls in Australia close early (Do check out the respective closing times for malls in different cities), usually around 5 – 5:30 pm. Chances are, you may probably find yourself bored in your hotel or chalet. Truth is, the fun night life in Perth is usually in the city. If you’re planning to stay for a few nights with friends, do some research on what’s available and what suits you best before going. Also, do consider renting a car (if you can drive) and explore the city area with your friends. Who knows, you may find some places in town.
If you want a change of environment away from the wineries, then it would be a good time to head to Bell’s Rapid instead. This scenic walk along the Swan River is distinguished by its majestic boulders and rushing waters in the winter.
Drop by for a visit and take some extraordinary Instagram-worthy pictures with the scenic views of countryside and coastal plains on this unique circuit walk trail. If you’re lucky, you may also be able to spot the beautiful grey kangaroo which can resides here.
If your interest lies in chilling, well, we’ve got that covered as well.
Explore the lakes, open parklands and native animals that resides close by Whiteman Park. Or, enjoy the iconic viewing at the top of Kings Park, where a spectacular vantage point of the Perth CBD & Swan River is waiting for you. Both parks have equally long histories in Western Australia. Call your friends, bring some wine, cheese and a mat, and spend the next few hours having the time of your life.
Hillarys Boat Habour is another great chill-out spot overlooking the stunning Perth port. There’s plenty of shopping and restaurants in the habour for you to choose from. As you walk along the habour, look out for the yachts docked at the port as well. For all you know, you might just find a yacht being named after you. Have a good laugh with your friends over those silly, whacky names and enjoy a good meal, breeze and view.
Australia is famous for its koalas and kangaroos in abundance. However, it can be difficult to spot them in the wild. To avoid disappointment, get up close with them in Caversham Wildlife Park at AUD 26 for adult, AUD 11.50 for child (3 – 14 years) and AUD 18.50 for students (Only applies to students in Australian schools). Don’t miss out on the meet and greet session of koalas (10:30 am – 1 pm and 2:30 – 4:30 pm) and feeding time of kangaroos (9:00 am – 5:30 pm).
Oh yes, definitely remember to try kangaroo meat if you have the chance too. As cruel as it seems to all animal lovers out there, I got to say, it’s a must try delicacy in Australia (Approved by the Aussies). FYI, if you ever chance upon smoked kangaroo meat, remember to try it raw first. (Note: Kangaroo meat is not available at the Wildlife Park. Duh.)
Editor’s note: As much as I had a fun time at the Wildlife Park, I personally feel that the koalas and kangaroos are the only animals that are worth your buck there. If you’re not an avid animal lover, I would recommend saving the money and effort for somewhere else (Or on food).
Swan Valley has so much more history, food and sights to offer. Next time before you book that flight, try Perth.