Perth locals love to swan around this semirural vale on the city's northeastern suburban fringe. This is Wadjuk country – the inland extension of the river valley that becomes a vast estuary as it flows past Perth. Any visit to the Swan Valley inevitably revolves around wine – there are more than 40 vineyards here. Perhaps in tacit acknowledgement that its wines will never compete with the state's more prestigious regions (it doesn't really have the ideal climate), the Swan Valley compensates with plenty of galleries, breweries, provedores and restaurants.
The valley's vineyards are mainly concentrated along busy West Swan Rd leading north from the Guildford and the Great Northern Hwy, running parallel to the east – the Swan River runs between these two main thoroughfares. Look for the free Swan Valley Visitor Guide and map at the Swan Valley Visitor Centre in Guildford. Online, see www.swanvalley.com.au.