Exploring The Swan Valley and Perth’s Northern Beaches

05 June 2014

Yachts and cruisers reflected  in the calm water at their moorings at Hillarys Boat Harbour north of Perth

Perth again put on a beautiful sunny day today, so we set off reasonably early for the 25 minute drive to the Swan Valley, renowned for its vineyards, wines, cheeses, chocolates and other yummy produce.  Guildford is the start of the Valley and we were there in time for breakfast and coffee (wonderful muesli again!) at one of the cafes along the main street.  The area also has many art galleries, antique shops, book shops as well as some wonderful heritage buildings.







The Guildford Post Office, standing tall (left) and one of the antique shops on the main street showing some of its wares

Following our map of the area, we drove up into the main vineyard area along the highway, flanked by acres of grape vines, and managed to find the Cheese Barrel and Olive Farm Wines, one of the oldest vineyards in the Swan Valley.  Unfortunately the Cheese Barrel does not have tastings (all of its cheeses are imported), and as I was driving I was not tasting wines…..so we moved on.






The tasting bar at Olive Farm Wines (left) and some of the imported cheeses at The Cheese Barrel 

We had organised to meet up with my cousin and his wife, John and Penny Wither, at Hillarys Boat Harbour.  They were aware that we hadn’t made it to the northern beaches a few days ago, so once we left Hillarys Boat Harbour we could drive down the north coast and see the beaches we had missed out on.  Wouldn’t you know it….the GPS let us down again and took us along the wrong road, so we had to double back and were a little late meeting up for lunch.

The Boat Harbour is a large development that includes a beach, huge playground for kids, marina for yachts and cruisers, and arcades of shops, cafes and restaurants.  We enjoyed our fish and chips for lunch, and after another long chat (so much news to catch up), we each had a delicious ice cream, before we made our way back to the home of John and Penny for coffee – and more chatting!


The beach and kids’ playground from the arcade complex (left) and part of the cafe area (right) 

A little tired by the time we battled with the GPS again on the way back to the hotel (a little stressful in a city you don’t know well) so a rest was called for to catch up on emails, any phone calls, my travel blog etc before we decided where we would have dinner tonight.  Penny had told us about some cafes tucked away in lanes near our hotel, so we explored some of the lanes and discovered the Halcyon Tapas Bar where we experienced about six different small dishes that were so spicy and tasty, with a glass of Spanish rose….nice way to finish the day.




Some savoury delights (top) and (below) doughnuts with a dip of Nutella, honey and lime

Can’t believe that tomorrow is the last day of our holiday!



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