Visitors to Perth often think they have only two choices of things to do. They either stay close to the city/Fremantle area, or they venture further afield to places like Margaret River or the Pinnacles. However, there are many places to visit within easy reach of the city for a quick visit, so here’s our list of three easy day trips.
One trip with no car
When Perth was first selected as the site of the Capital, it was clear that rhe land was not suitable for food production. As a result, the founding fathers headed west along the river and identified an area with fertile soil, close enough to Perth to provide food. Guildford is a small town on a natural island nestled between the Swan River and Helena Rivers, east of Perth. The town was established following the exploratory visit in 1827 with the first settlers arriving in June 1829.
Life was hard in the early years and convict labour was called in from 1852 to build up the town. Many of the buildings, including the Guildford Mechanics Institute were convict built. The town of Guildford has now applied for Heritage Listing, and is definitely worth a visit, either on its own, or as part of a trip to the Swan Valley.
If you don’t have your own car, you have two public transport options offered by the provider Transperth.
Catch a train on the Midland Line, Perth Stn Platform 8 to East Guildford Stn Platform 2
The trains run frequently and the journey takes 20 minutes. Check the timetable.
Catch Bus 36, at Stop Number 10121 along St Georges Tce / William St. Leave the bus at Great Eastern Hwy after Devon St in Guildford Stop Number 14529.
01:12pm – 01:57pm (45 mins) (estimated time only)
Plan your journey, with both bus and train options available.
Two easy day trips by car
There are many short trips you can do in a day, these are just two that can be easily added to for a longer stay. One takes you to a historic town, the other focuses on good food, coffee and wine.
York is one of the small towns in the countryside east of Perth dating from the earliest years of white settlement. The historic town is just under 100km from Central Perth via Highway 94 and the Great Southern Highway. The journey is around one and a half hours depending on traffic.
From suburbs south of Perth, travel by Kalamunda past the Mundaring Weir. Stop for a look around the site and weir and join Highway 94 to York at Mundaring.
Things to do in York
- Check out the heritage buildings dating from the mid 1800s, including the Castle Hotel, built in 1853.
- Cross the Suspension Bridge over the Avon River, just round the corner from the Post Office in Avon Terrace,
- Have a picnic in the park and perhaps cool off later with a drink at the Castle Hotel. You’ll find it on the corner of South St and Avon Terrace.
- York has lots of lovely little shops selling souvenirs and handicrafts. Many of these can be found in various historical buildings.
Travel back to the city via Toodyay, about an hour north. You can choose the scenic route through the countryside along Spencers Brook – York Road or Route 120 via Northam. Or perhaps a combination of both, via Northam. All take about the same time.
You can travel by bus, which is much further and takes just over two and a half hours. The journey takes you north east from Perth to Northam, before turning south to York. This isn’t practical for a day trip, but might be worth considering for an overnight stay or longer.
Swan River Valley
- If you’ve been to Margaret River, South of Perth you’d recognise a number of popular food outlets which also have outlets in the Swan Valley.
- Learn how to make coffee and see how the beans are roasted at Yahava Coffee along West Swan Road, West Swan.
- A little further along the road, Margaret River Chocolates shares a site with The Providore, purveyor of fine foods & wines, just as they do in Margaret River.
- Otherwise, there are many vineyards and wineries all through the valley, with most open for tasting and purchase of wines.
- Some Vineyards also grow olives, mulberries figs and other fruits
- These are sold seasonally, along with their own and neighbours’ produce.
- At Christmas time, you can even pick up a fresh tree, but if you are wise, go earlier to book your tree to get the best. We counted at least 5 in the area.
- The Taylor’s Art and Coffee House along the Great Northern Highway, Middle Swan is a great place to pick up hand crafted items and enjoy browsing through the old farm machinery on display.
Many parts of south western Australia have fertile land and a climate suitable for growing a wide range of food.
- The many farmers markets make it easy to pack a picnic
- Supermarkets and specialty stores are also a good place to find what you need
- Eat at one of the many restaurants in the area, some of which grow their own food
- Have a pub lunch at one of the old (or newer) hotels in the area or
- Arrive at a winery just about lunchtime – many wineries have restaurants serving their own wines and fresh food. Some
***Remember – if you’re driving keep a watch on your wine tasting as allowed blood alcohol levels are low and strictly enforced by the police.