Pilgrim Trail, Subiaco to New Norcia
The trail follows in the footsteps of Dom Rosendo Salvado, a Spanish Benedictine monk who walked from Perth to establish New Norcia. Today the trail Camino Salvado leaves from the suburb of Subiaco. It starts as an urban walk, follows the Swan River and passes through National Parks and rural landscapes before arriving in New Norcia
About the Trail
What began in 2009 as a one-off idea to walk from Subiaco to New Norcia in Western Australia, has now evolved into a permanent walking trail open to everyone. The Pilgrim Trail is about storytelling, and once you’ve walked its 202 kilometres, you will have your own story to tell too.
It began with the idea of taking time out to think about who we are and where we are going in our lives – The Journey.
It was established in the spirit of Dom Rosendo Salvado, a Spanish Benedictine who came to serve the Indigenous people in the early Swan River Settlement – The Inspiration.
And we discovered so many stories that recounted the friendships between so many different people from so many different cultures – The Spirituality.
For details of the walk with maps go to http://pilgrimtrail.com.au
Need to Know
Avon Valley National Park
Where jarrah and marri forests meet wandoo woodlands, the Avon Valley National Park offers dramatic seasonal contrasts, with challenging white water rapids creating one of Australia's most thrilling races in winter and tranquil pools echoing the songs of native birds in summer. You can escape to the adventure and serenity of Avon Valley National Park in just over an hour, driving north from Perth city on the Great Northern Highway. By far the grandest ways to travel are by rail or balloon. You can take in some of the Avon Valley's splendour from the carriage of a restaurant train from East Perth, or from a hot-air balloon from nearby Northam. Time your visit to coincide with the Avon Descent and you'll get to witness the spectacle of Western Australia's unique sporting event which challenges local novices and world champions to tackle a gruelling two day time trial, starting in the Avon Valley and finishing in Perth. During winter and spring you can take to the water too, rushing along the white waters on a rafting or canoeing tour. Or, opt to stay on the river bank, taking your pick from a range of easy to challenging bushwalking trails and finding a quiet spot to watch for some of the 90 species of bird that have been seen in the park. Venture to the west, and you'll find a string of charming country towns that have lovingly restored their colonial heritage. From Toodyay's 1870s flour mill and old Gaol Museum to the Northam Heritage Trail and the oldest inland town in Western Australia - York. A popular family day trip, romantic weekender or extended break from city life, the Avon Valley offers some of its grand old buildings as charming bed and breakfasts and elegant country retreats, as well as a host of camping grounds giving you the opportunity to spend a night under a star-filled sky.
Bullsbrook is your gateway to the pretty rolling pastures and vineyards of the Chittering and Avon Valleys. This country escape and family fun day out is just a 50 minute drive north of Perth, via the Great Northern Highway, or a 15 minute drive north of the Swan Valley. Let the kids loose in The Maze - Perth's largest timber maze and Australia's largest waterslide playground. A treat for kids big and small, The Maze features five mind-testing mazes, six thrilling waterslides, a 1,000 litre tipping bucket, nine-hole mini golf and a giant jumping pillow, not to mention the friendly resident koalas, kangaroos and emus. Head up here early on a Sunday morning and you'll also enjoy one of Perth's most unique dining experiences - breakfast with the koalas (bookings are essential). A quieter side of Bullsbrook can be found on the bushwalking trails of Walyunga National Park - an area that's as rich in native flora and fauna as it is in ancient Aboriginal culture and heritage. The park contains one of the largest known Aboriginal campsites around Perth, and was still used by the local Nyoongar people in the late 19th century. For the ultimate country picnic, pick up a bottle of wine from the Chittering Valley Wine Trail and a punnet of fresh strawberries from the local growers. Then, head for one of the many picnic spots in Bullsbrook, the Chittering Valley or nearby Walyunga National Park. Good coffee, meals, snacks, arts and crafts can also be found in town. Make a weekend of it by booking a night at a country bed and breakfast.
In the heart of Western Australia's oldest wine region, Caversham rests along the Swan River sharing close encounters of the cuddly kind at its wildlife park and a feast of fresh local flavours. Caversham and the Swan Valley are ideal self-drive destinations located 25 minutes by road from Perth, or 15 minutes from the airport. Or take a full or half day boat cruise from Perth's Barrack Street Jetty and wind your way inland along the Swan River. Once you arrive in the valley, an abundance of touring options and more than 150 attractions await. Whether you hit the self-drive Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail or climb aboard a shuttle bus, coach, or even horse-drawn carriage, you can spend the day sampling premium wines, gourmet produce, boutique beers, fine chocolates and other local delights. There are also plenty of walking and cycling trails through the bush and along the river's edge, so get your boots on or hire a bike and enjoy the great outdoors. For an experience with nature you'll never forget, head for Caversham Wildlife Park where you're invited to cuddle a wombat, feed the kangaroos or get friendly with a koala. Surrounded by 3,935 hectare Whiteman Park, there are also opportunities to spot flora and fauna beyond the wildlife park. On the river, you'll find Caversham House perched above the water and steeped in history. If you're arriving by boat, pull up to the private jetty and let the limestone stairs lead you past the four-storey waterfall to the terraced gardens. After you've worked up an appetite, satisfy your hunger at one of the many eateries, from fine dining restaurants to casual cafes. Why not extend your visit with a stay at a holiday park, bed and breakfast, farmstay or resort, and give yourself time to taste all the valley has to offer. If you're visiting in August, check out the dates for one of Australia's most unique sporting events - the Avon Descent. For decades this gruelling two day time trial over 133 kilometres has wowed crowds and challenged participants from all over the world.
Chidlow, in the heart of the Darling Range, is a charming country town, surrounded by beautiful countryside criss-crossed with trails through native flora and fauna rich woodlands. It's the ideal base for bushwalking, cycling and horse riding, as well as swimming and canoeing at nearby Lake Leschenaultia. Just 50 minutes east from Perth by car, Chidlow was originally a busy railway town on the old Eastern Railway, built in the 1880s but decommissioned in 1966. Today, Chidlow is a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers alike. All that remains of the railway is the Heritage Trail that retraces the 70 kilometre Fremantle to York railway line, and Lake Leschenaultia, which was originally constructed to provide water for the steam trains. On the Railway Heritage Trail, you'll discover the unique history and character of the small settlements that sprang up along the railway line. It's suitable for walking, cycling and horse riding, and is a great way to experience the native forests and bushland. Keep an eye out for the abundant birdlife, kangaroos, echidnas and, if you're visiting in spring, stop to admire the colourful wildflowers that blanket the countryside. If you're looking for somewhere to cool off after exploring the trail, Lake Leschenaultia's inviting waters and sandy beaches await. Take a refreshing dip, hire a canoe and paddle your way around the lake, or take a leisurely water-side stroll around the three kilometre trail circuit. Alternatively, relax on one of the lake's beaches with a picnic or barbecue lunch beneath the shade of the gum trees. For a night under the stars, camp out at Lake Leschenaultia, or opt for some comfort and hospitality at a local bed and breakfast or self-contained cottage.
Just an hour's drive from Perth you'll find yourself in the Chittering Valley. Chittering's undulating hills create sensational views over beautiful valleys filled with vineyards and orchards, paddocks and pastures, rocky outcrops and lakes, forest and bush land. Throughout spring, walk trails and roadsides abound with an amazing array of wildflowers with orchard fresh fruit available from quaint roadside stalls. The Shire's most southern locality, Muchea features tree lined open streets and parks, including Sandown Park and the John Glenn Park. Muchea Reserve is renowned for rare and beautiful native flora. The Chittering Valley Wine Trail features seven wineries and an expanding community 'Sculpture Trail'. Community Markets and Farmers Markets are run regularly. Chittering Road, part of the Chittering Valley Tourist Way, is home to Blackboy Ridge Reserve - the lookout's spectacular view and enchanting wildflower lined trail make the 45 minute return walk well worth the effort. The Brockman Centre is a community hub focused around the Old Roads Board Building where enthusiastic volunteers lend their time to both the Heritage Museum and Arts and Crafts Centre. The Information Centre in the Bindoon town site has all the maps and brochures visitors need, while for picnicking, play or a casual lakeside stroll, Clune Park is perfect. Whilst in Bindoon there are several accommodation and eatery options and a little further north along the highway you'll find the local watering hole. The magnificent heritage buildings of the Bindoon Catholic Agricultural College are located to the west, alongside the impressive Julimar State Forest. The most northwestern locality within the Shire, offers a self-guided Heritage Walk, providing visitors with an explanation as to "why Wannamal". Chittering; come for the day and you may want to stay.
All the essential ingredients for an amazing holiday can be found in Perth. Think endless beaches and ocean sunsets, new dining, shopping and cultural precincts and a lively emerging cultural scene, parks, nature reserves and marine adventures, fresh local produce and its very own wine region. Little wonder Perth's up there with the world's most liveable cities. Centring on Australia's sunniest capital city, Perth invites you to relax and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle, from city to country and river to sea. Regular flights to Perth depart from overseas, all state capitals and many regional locations. Alternatively, you can make the journey part of the adventure boarding the legendary Indian Pacific rail, taking an epic road trip across the Nullarbor, or joining a summer cruise of the coast. Take your pick of 19 pristine beaches, from iconic Cottesloe to the surf hotspot of Scarborough. Or hit the neighbouring city of Fremantle to soak up a little heritage and culture, strolling through one of the world's best preserved 19th century port streetscapes and sampling the catch of the day at the Fishing Boat Harbour. Make the short hop by ferry from Perth to Rottnest Island, a car-free and carefree Class A nature reserve blessed with some of Australia's most beautiful beaches and secluded bays. Or follow the river 45 minutes inland to taste the fruits of Western Australia's oldest wine region - the Swan Valley - touring the cellar doors, boutique breweries and providores of fine fresh produce. To the south, Rockingham and the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park offer close encounters of the marine kind, from penguins and dolphins to dive wrecks and snorkel trails. While the vibrant seaside town of Mandurah invites you to spend a day on its pretty foreshore or wide open waterways, dining or picnicking, fishing or bird watching, sailing or paddling. To the north east, the rolling hills, orchards, vineyards and pastures of the beautiful Avon Valley make for a scenic daytrip to Western Australia's first inland settlement and the river that inspired the greatest white water race - the Avon Descent.
Surrounded by the unspoilt forests and native bush of Perth's Darling Range, Gidgegannup is renowned for its scenic walking trails, wildlife drive, tumbling waterfalls, dazzling spring wildflowers, bird watching and country charm. It's just a 20 minute drive east of Midland and the Swan Valley, or 30 minutes from Perth city, making this semi-rural township a convenient mini-escape for lovers of wildlife. Just minutes from the town's main street you'll find the bushwalking and wildflower hotspots of Noble Falls and F. R. Berry Reserve. Every year, between August and November, these parks put on some of Perth's best wildflower displays of yellow wattles, rich blue leschenaultia and rare varieties that occur nowhere else on Earth. A good network of short and long walking trails lead you through the flora-rich marri, jarrah, powder bark and wandoo woodlands, or you can join a knowledgeable local guide for a scenic wildflower tour. Beyond the natural bushland, horses, cattle, emus and alpacas graze the picturesque rolling farmland, and orchards produce some of WA's finest goats cheese, olives to nuts. Head for the main street in Gidgegannup to taste some of these flavours, browse the art galleries and see a piece of convict history at the road camp ruins. Make it a weekend away with an overnight stay at any one of the town's charming bed and breakfasts. If you're planning a visit in October, hit the Gidgegannup Agricultural Show, locally known as 'The Gidge Show', and see the region's producers and artists displaying their prize-winners.
One of the oldest towns in Western Australia, Gingin has retained much of its colonial country charm, but also embraces new frontiers - inviting you to explore the night sky and test the science of gravity. Being an hour's drive north of Perth along Brand Highway, it makes an ideal family daytrip or mini-break away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Far from the bright city lights, the Gingin Observatory offers unimpeded views of the cosmos through Australia's largest public telescope. For more fun with science, visit its neighbour in the bush, the Gingin Discovery Centre, where you can take 222 steps to the top of the Leaning Tower of Gingin and test Galileo's 17th century gravity experiments. While you're up there, take a moment to enjoy the breathtaking views. Beyond the town, a perfect blend of country and coast unfolds. Sprawling vineyards and olive groves give you a taste of the region's local produce, while a string of white sandy beaches offer the opportunity to indulge in fishing, swimming and boating. The coastal town of Lancelin is a veritable feast of water activities, including snorkelling, diving and world-class windsurfing, and boasts Western Australia's biggest sand dunes as its land-based adventure playground. If you've brought along a picnic, head for Granville Park in the heart of Gingin's township, its iconic water wheel creates a delightful backdrop to a lazy afternoon along the banks of Gingin Brook. If you're staying a little longer, choose from caravan parks and camping grounds, hotel accommodation, bed and breakfasts and chalets.
Greenmount and its neighbouring conservation area, John Forrest National Park, have held a special place the hearts of Perth people since the late 1800s, when the area was declared Western Australia's first national park. Still a favourite daytrip from the city, it's just a 30 minute drive north-east along the Great Eastern Highway to reach the Perth Hills community of Greenmount, and another ten minutes into the Darling Ranges to enter John Forrest National Park. The best way to get there and explore its 1,500 plus hectares of wilderness is to walk or cycle the Railway Heritage Trail and then take a detour onto the many bushwalking trails that crisscross the park. Wandering through marri and wandoo woodlands, passing quiet pools, spectacular waterfalls and heathlands filled with spring wildflowers (in season), you can take in magnificent vistas of the Swan coastal plain and city beyond. It's a must-snap stop for photographers and bird watchers, while lovers of the performing arts might also be interested in the productions of the Darlington Theatre Players at the Marloo Theatre in Greenmount. Spend a few days immersing yourself in the laidback Perth Hills lifestyle, and book a night or two at one of the area's budget or mid-range accommodation options.
The hub of Western Australia's oldest wine region, Guildford invites you to enjoy its colonial charm, arts and fresh local flavours following the heritage trail past grand 19th century architecture to the banks of the Swan River and the Swan Valley vineyards beyond. It's a leisurely 20 minute drive or train ride east of the city to reach Guildford and the Swan Valley. Or, you can arrive in style aboard a full or half day Swan River cruise from Barrack Street Jetty. Make the visitor centre your first port of call to pick up a guide on heritage walks and begin your journey from 1829, when Guildford started life as one of the first three towns of the Swan River Colony. Today, Guildford is one of only two towns in Perth on the National Trust register and proudly preserves its heritage. The visitor centre is housed in the original courthouse (circa 1866), where interpretive displays offer a fascinating introduction to the region's past. You can also see how the other half lived in the 19th century by joining a guided tour of Woodbridge House and its memorabilia. The influence of the English gentry is still evident in the tearooms, where you can indulge in a Devonshire tea. Head for James Street and you'll get to taste the sensational homemade burgers that have been a local favourite since 1946. Or dine in style at the historic hotel and homestead. Other heritage buildings open their doors to display the works of local artists, including decorative pottery and fine art. Time your visit to coincide with the third Sunday of the month and you'll also be treated to the Town Hall craft market. From here, it's a short stroll to the antique strip on James Street, where you can pick up a piece of history to take home. To make Guildford your base for an extended Swan Valley escape, choose from bed and breakfasts, self-contained cottages and motel style rooms, or the luxury of a beautifully restored 19th century hotel.
In the north of Western Australia's oldest wine region, Henley Brook serves a generous sample of Perth's Valley of Taste, the Swan Valley. Here, you can wile away a day indulging in the region's award winning wines, fresh produce, colonial heritage, arts, crafts and natural bushland. Just 30 minutes' drive north-east of Perth, Henley Brook and the Swan Valley are a world away from city life. Once you're here, hit the Food and Wine Trail on a self-drive tour, or go winery-hopping in the back of a horse-drawn wagon or chauffeured classic car. Many of the vineyards are still owned by the descendants of early European settlers, who may share their story over a fruity red in the cellar door. Alongside these charming family-run vineyards, you'll also find some major international award-winning wineries, small boutique breweries, art galleries, cafes and fine dining restaurants. If you're packing a picnic, stop by at the roadside stalls to pick up some fresh summer table grapes or other seasonal produce and take your pick from many natural beauty spots. But be sure to leave room for some gourmet local delights, from olives, cheeses and preserves to chocolate, nougat and ice creams. For a little family fun, swing by the green and play a round of super-sized golf. Discover the art, stories and traditions of one of the oldest surviving cultures on Earth at the Aboriginal art gallery. Or venture into the Darling Range beyond, taking a walk among native bush, granite outcrops and dazzling spring wildflowers. To make more than just a day of your Swan Valley escape, select from luxury self-contained cottages, bed and breakfasts and resort-style accommodation.
Hovea is located next to John Forrest National Park, 30 minutes drive east of Perth. The hills and valleys of the area contain large tracts of native bushland, perfect for walking and picnicking. Visit local wineries and craft shops to sample fine, homemade produce and art. The Railway Reserve Heritage Trail that extends to Wooroloo runs through both the National Park and Hovea, and Hovea falls are well worth a visit during winter. John Forrest National Park provides the ideal location to view wildflowers in the season, wildlife abounds and there are several walk trails as well. Enjoy an overnight stay in a traditional bed and breakfast on a natural bush block close to John Forrest National Park.
Kings Park and Botanic Garden is the green heart of the city, covering 400.6 hectares and located adjacent to the Swan River, approximately 1.5 kilometres from the Central Business District of Perth. With its remarkable expanses of unique bushland, tranquil parkland and botanic garden, the Park is the most popular visitor destination in Western Australia. Kings Park and Botanic Garden has extensive city and river views with panorama to the Darling Range. The magnificently sited State War Memorial is also one of several scenic vantage points. Kings Park and Botanic Garden showcases an outstanding collection of Western Australia flora. It is a popular place for picnics, pleasant walks, cultural and ceremonial events. Nearly two thirds of the Park is natural bushland containing 319 species of native plants and around 80 bird species. The balance of the Park is made up of superbly cultivated gardens and open recreational areas. There are picnic and barbecue facilities, public toilets and playgrounds at several locations in Kings Park. The Lotterywest Family Area (accessible from Kings Park Road) is home to the Ivey Watson Playground, an ideal location for families with very young children. Synergy Parkland (accessible from May Drive) is wheelchair accessible and features the popular Zamia Cafe. The playground, including an ornamental lake and island fort is adjacent to the outdoor cinema venue that operates between December and March each year. The Kings Park Kiosk, Botanical Cafe and Fraser's Restaurant are located on Fraser Avenue and all enjoy spectacular views over the city and Swan River. Aspects of Kings Park, also located on Fraser Avenue, is a unique showcase of Australia’s finest arts, craft and design. The Annual Kings Park Festival is held in the month of September, and includes the spectacular blooming wildflowers in the Botanic Garden.
Leederville is a culinary and cultural melting pot brimming with cheap eats, cafes, fine dining restaurants and delis, all blended with a lively bar and club scene and a string of hip fashion boutiques. Sitting just three kilometres from Perth's central business district, Leederville's Oxford Street hub has a buzzy inner-city village vibe. A seven-minute ride by train or car from Perth will get you there, and if you're taking the cycle path, it's an easy 15-minute ride away. Some of the icons of Leederville's cafe and bar scene today have been part of local life since the late 19th century, including the fully-revamped Leederville Hotel and the former Post Office building. Cross the street and you can catch a movie at the original 1920s theatre and outdoor picture gardens. Sip coffee at a street-side table and do some people watching, or embark on a culinary tour of world cuisines. Head along to Newcastle Street on a Sunday morning and you'll also get to sample and buy some of the best fresh local produce and gourmet artisan goodies at the Leederville Farmers Market. Accommodation-wise, your options in and around Leederville include backpackers and apartments.
A captivating blend of old world charm and industrial heritage await you in Midland, the birthplace of Western Australia's railway workshops. It's also the commercial centre of the Swan Valley, Western Australia's oldest wine region, boasting a gastronomic list of wineries, microbreweries and award-winning restaurants. Midland's bustling city centre is a 35 minute drive east of Perth, and like the neighbouring town of Guildford, its historical buildings flaunt a unique character resplendent of its vibrant past. Visit the Town Hall with its unusual square clock tower, built in 1906, and the workshop buildings, which have emerged as major tourist attraction. An old school house is home to the Australian Opera Studio, a world-class training institution for operatic performers, while Midland's premier art gallery resides in a former bank. The town owes its existence to the construction of a railway from Perth in 1886, and the establishment of the State's railway workshops at the turn of the 20th century, which employed tens of thousands of workers in its heyday. The interpretive centre at the Midland Railway Workshops will take you on journey through its 90 year working history. Today, Midland offers a range of shopping experiences with two major shopping centres, including Midland Gate, and a city centre which features village-like shopping precincts, a cinema, pedestrian malls and boutique shops. A buzzing Sunday farmers market behind the Town Hall is a weekly mecca for shoppers seeking fresh gourmet produce, arts and crafts. The town's large Military Markets also sell a variety of produce and local crafts on Fridays, weekends and public holidays. Choose from a variety of restaurants, cafes and takeaway outlets in town, or venture into the Swan Valley where you can dine at award-winning restaurants overlooking the vineyards, or while away the afternoon hopping from cellar door to brewery, sipping premium wines, delicious fortifieds and carefully crafted beers. Pick up a map of the Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail, and design your own day of indulgence. Or perhaps extend your visit with a stay in the valley's holiday parks, bed and breakfasts, farmstays or luxury resorts.
Mount Lawley is one of Perth's most stylish suburbs and buzzing cultural hotspots. Beaufort Street, the suburb's main thoroughfare, is a long string of unique shops, award-winning restaurants, cool bars and chilled out coffee shops where you can enjoy the village vibe and full calendar of festivals, concerts and entertainment. Mount Lawley is located a mere five minutes' drive north of central Perth, or else a short bus or train ride from Perth's main station. The best way to experience the suburb is by walking the length of Beaufort Street. You'll find big brand shops and boutiques selling everything from fashion and home wares to music, books and memorabilia. Beside several gourmet delicatessens, there's a huge selection of restaurants to cater to any budget or hankering. You can transport your tastebuds to all four corners of the globe while you sit and watch the world go by. Mount Lawley gains even more vibrancy at night. The numerous bars in the area range from relaxed pubs and lively clubs to classy late night bars. Art and art history buffs will also be struck by Mount Lawley's fine examples of architecture from the first half of the twentieth century, including Federation, Colonial, English Vernacular Revival, Art Deco and Californian Bungalow style dwellings. The Astor Theatre - a multi-purpose venue built in 1919 - is well known for its fine art deco designs. For those looking to make Mount Lawley their basecamp for a city break, there are plenty of motels, bed and breakfasts and holiday apartments to choose from.
Mundaring invites you into the heart of the hills to wander through some of Western Australia's oldest conservation areas, marvel at one of the world's great engineering feats, Mundaring Wier, or hit the epic Munda Biddi Bike Trail. An easy daytrip from Perth, just follow the Great Eastern Highway and you'll arrive in Mundaring within 40 minutes. From here, it's a leisurely drive through the forests to reach Mundaring Weir, engineered by C Y O'Connor in the 1890s to feed freshwater to the goldfields 560 kilometres to the east. To continue your historical journey, head for the original steam pumping station or follow the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail into the outback. Other adventures await at the start of the Munda Biddi BikeTrail, one of few places on Earth where you can cycle hundreds of kilometres off road through stunning biodiversity hotspots. There's also the Railway Heritage Trail that retraces the 70 kilometre Fremantle to York railway line, passing through Western Australia's first conservation area, John Forrest National Park, and revealing the unique history and character of the small settlements that sprang up along the railway line. The trail is suitable for walking, cycling and horse riding - a great way to experience the forests and bushland where native wildlife and spring wildflowers abound. An early morning walk in the cooler months can be a magical experience as the mist rises in the treetops. These are the sights that feed the souls of local artists who exhibit their works in the local galleries and Mundaring Community Sculpture Park. Lovers of landscaping can also wander through the creations of Mundaring's most gifted gardeners in spring and autumn, and on star-filled summer evenings the bush plays host to an array of cultural and music events, including the outdoor cinema. Spend the day sampling the Hill's fine wining and dining options, or stay and enjoy more of Mundaring's hospitality at a farmstay, cottage, hotel or bed and breakfast. Plan your visit to coincide with the Mundaring Truffle Festival for a feast of world-class truffle, food and wine experiences, including entertaining truffle dog demonstrations.
New Norcia is Australia's only monastic town, a historical and spiritual treasure in the West Australian bush. You won't believe what lies behind the locked doors of our buildings! Join a town tour and let their experienced guides unravel the unique history and show you the hidden artworks of New Norcia. Lose yourself in the Museum and Art Gallery where an eclectic array of Mission and Monastery memorabilia is displayed alongside European religious art and contemporary Australian art works, the gallery also houses a beautiful Charles Austin Gardiner exhibition of botanical drawings. Meet a monk! On Saturdays at 4.30pm you are invited to the monastery parlour for a taste of monastic hospitality and to listen to their stories of yesteryear. Experience a 1500 year-old tradition and join the monks for prayer in the Monastery oratory. Stroll up the hill and can soak up the old-world charm of the New Norcia Hotel, linger over a home cooked meal and stay overnight to be serenaded by the cocky chorus at sundown. Taste some of the delicious New Norcia produce; freshly baked New Norcia bread, silver medal winning olive oil, grown in the 100 year old Monastery olive grove and delicious wines and ports from the Abbey wines label. Book into the monastery guesthouse, the programme of Benedictine Experience weekends offers everyone time apart to renew and restore a sense of balance. Visit the Mission cottage interpretation centre and learn more about the Aboriginal families that lived and worked at New Norcia. The Old Convent and Colleges are also available for hire for groups of 15 to 200 people, providing a unique and memorable experience for school camps, art and music workshops, retreats, conferences and special events.
Northbridge is a cultural feast for the senses within minutes of Perth's city centre. Showcasing local, national and international art, fashion and history, it's also a multicultural melting pot of flavours blended together with a lively mix of bars and nightclubs. You can walk to Northbridge from Perth Underground Station in just four minutes along William Street. Or, hop on the free Blue CAT bus if you're out and about in Perth's central business district. Make a beeline for the cultural precinct and you can easily spend the day feeding the mind and soul for free with visits to museums, the State library and craft markets. The Art Gallery of Western Australia brings more than 15,000 works by renowned Indigenous, Australian and international artists before your eyes. The contemporary State Theatre Centre, home of the Heath Ledger Theatre, plays host to an array of high profile productions by the Black Swan State Theatre, as well as dance, music and fashion shows. You'll also find original visual, performing and media arts presented at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts. Western Australian Museum shares a collection of stories and artefacts of the State's social and natural history, from dinosaurs to the Katta Djinoong. From here, you can explore more of the city's history, following heritage walks to some of Perth's oldest architecture. For a little retail therapy, browse the boutiques of William Street for vintage, hip and quirky fashion. Take your pick from a kaleidoscope of cuisines, from Italian, Greek, Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai to modern Australian. Then wash it down with any beverage imaginable, from coffees to cocktails. The nightlife menu is just as impressive, with a buzzing bar and club scene offering live music, comedy and DJ sessions, plus regular performances, festivals and other cultural activities at the Northbridge Piazza. With a wide variety of backpackers, bed and breakfasts, self-contained accommodation and hotels, it's easy to make Northbridge your base for a city break and catch one of the many annual events, such as the Perth International Arts Festival, Carnival Latino, Perth Food and Wine Festival and the Pride Parade.
Escape to Parkerville and discover the striking Perth Hills hinterland of the Darling Range. Explore the Railway Reserve Heritage Trail on foot, bike or horseback, or enjoy the beauty of Western Australia's oldest conservation area - John Forrest National Park. Situated in the Shire of Mundaring, just 45 minutes from Perth by car, Parkerville is an easily accessible base for a day exploring the breathtaking scenery, flora and fauna of the Hills. Originally a quarry area, today Parkerville is a quiet, laidback country town with the pristine natural woodlands of John Forrest National Park on its doorstep and the Railway Reserve Heritage Trail inviting you to explore. Ideal for bushwalking, cycling or horse riding, the Heritage Trail retraces 70 kilometres of the old Fremantle to York Eastern Railway, constructed in the 1880s. In addition to the history of the small settlements that sprang up along the railway line, you'll discover a diverse range of native animals and flora in the forests and bushland, from abundant bird life, to kangaroos, echidnas and carpets of colourful wildflowers in spring. You'll also discover a range of refreshment options here, including Parkerville's restaurant and heritage country pub. Fill up with a hearty country lunch and continue exploring the Darling Range countryside in the afternoon. Alternatively, book a table for dinner and an overnight stay at a cosy bed and breakfast, or a self-contained cottage or chalet, and extend your Hills adventure.
Perth is Australia's only capital city where you can enjoy the beach lifestyle, relax in natural bushland, sample world-class local wines and watch an ocean sunset within just 30 minutes of the city. It's also the sunniest state capital, averaging 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and boasting a string of 19 beautifully clean and uncrowded beaches, from iconic Cottesloe to the surf hotspot of Scarborough. Regular flights to Perth depart from overseas, all state capitals and many regional locations, landing you just 20 minutes from the central business district. For more exciting ways to get there, how about a ride on the legendary Indian Pacific rail, an epic road trip across the Nullarbor, or a summer cruise of the coast? Situated beside the Swan River, Perth is a living picture postcard, with the best views of all from Kings Park and Botanic Garden - one of the biggest inner-city parks in the world. Larger than New York's Central Park, there are so many ways to enjoy its 400-plus hectares of sculpted gardens and natural bushland. Stroll the treetop walk, take an Indigenous cultural tour, picnic among the gum trees and in Spring, see the wildflowers in bloom. Another city icon is the Swan Bells, which fills the air with sounds from one of the largest musical instruments on Earth. From there, you can hop on the free bus to museums, art galleries and the Perth Mint - home to the world's greatest collection of gold bars. There's also plenty of retail therapy on offer. The high-end fashion boutiques of King Street make it the place to be seen. The Murray and Hay Street malls are where you'll find the big brands, or for some eclectic vibes, head to Northbridge, Mount Lawley, Leederville, Subiaco or Victoria Park. Take a lazy lunch by the river or beachside and enjoy the fresh fusion flavours of Perth's many cafes, restaurants and new small bars. Jump on a ferry to South Perth to take in that sensational skyline. It's spectacular at night, when the glittering lights are reflected on the river.
Subiaco is a suburb renowned for its eclectic architecture, quaint and leafy residential streets, premier shopping and multicultural dining scene. By day, it's one of Perth's most vibrant districts with a friendly, cosmopolitan atmosphere. By night, Subiaco becomes a hub of activity with locals and visitors flocking to its restaurants, pubs and clubs and theatres. Located just five kilometres to the northwest of Perth's city centre, Subiaco can be reached via the Perth to Fremantle train line. The train station is at the heart of Subiaco's bustling town centre, making it a perfect starting point to explore all that the suburb has to offer. Subi, as the locals call it, has a rich history with humble origins. Settled in 1851 by Benedictine monks from Subiaco, Italy, the area soon developed into a distinct town centre resembling a European village. Today, these origins are still evident. The quiet residential streets of Subiaco are home to some of the city's most beautifully maintained heritage homes. The quaint Subiaco Museum contains memorabilia originating from the 19th century Benedictine monks, as well as relics of local Aboriginal culture. Running through the centre of Subiaco is Rokeby Road, a leafy street offering some of Western Australia's finest shopping and dining - from chic boutiques and art galleries, to bustling European cafés and award-winning restaurants. On weekends, Subi is abuzz by day and night. The Subiaco Station Markets offer a variety of arts, crafts, food and entertainment. The Regal Theatre, Subiaco Arts Centre, bars and clubs create a lively night scene, and Patersons Stadium plays host to football, soccer and rugby games. Not far from Subiaco are the picturesque grounds of the University of Western Australia, perched on the curve of the Swan River at Matilda Bay. It's little wonder that many visitors choose to stay in Subiaco while visiting Perth. Select from several hotels and guesthouses and make it your base for a memorable city break.
Indulge the senses with a trip to the Swan Valley and Darling Range. The vineyards of Western Australia's oldest wine region invite you to sample their fruits, feast on award-winning local produce, discover local heritage and relax in the natural bushland of the Darling Range. Just 20 minutes east of Perth, the Swan Valley and Darling Range is a world away from city life. You can reach it by road, or take the scenic route aboard a Swan River cruise from Perth's Barrack Street Jetty. You can even winery-hop in the back of a horse-drawn wagon or chauffeured classic car. Many of the vineyards are still owned by the descendants of early European settlers, who may share their story over a fruity red at the cellar door. Alongside these charming family-run wineries you'll also find some major international players, not to mention the more recent emergence of award-winning boutique breweries and talented artists. Do lunch at one of 70 restaurants and cafes, or pack a picnic and take your pick from many natural beauty spots. But be sure to leave room for some gourmet local delights, from olives, cheeses and preserves to chocolate, nougat and ice creams. Besides fine food and wine, there are many other passions you can indulge in, from horse riding, cycling, hiking and golf to wildlife, art, history and Indigenous culture. At the hub of the Swan Valley, Guildford is brimming with colonial charm. Follow the heritage trail passing historic pubs and quaint cottages, take a stroll down the antique strip, browse the boutiques and art galleries or enjoy an afternoon of live music in the beer gardens. For some family fun of the furry variety, head to Caversham Wildlife Park - home to one of Western Australia's largest collections of native Australian wildlife where close encounters with koalas, wombats, kangaroos and a whole array of farm animals can be found. In the rambling countryside of the Darling Range beyond, you can explore some of their natural habitats, walking among tall trees, granite outcrops, tumbling waterfalls and dazzling spring wildflowers.
Escape to world-renowned golf resort The Vines, and taste the fruits of the Swan Valley, Western Australia's oldest wine region after the 18th hole - selecting from a gastronomic list of award-winning wineries, microbreweries and fine dining restaurants. You can reach the Swan Valley in 30 minutes by road from Perth city, and another 15 minutes' drive into the northern reaches of the valley will bring you to The Vines. Against a backdrop of rolling vineyards and natural bushland, golf enthusiasts are invited to tackle two equally challenging 18-hole courses with lush bent grass greens among the largest in the country and unique bunkering. Between them they've played host to some of the world's golfing greats during the Heineken Classic, Johnnie Walker Classic and the LPGA Lexus Cup. Beyond the green, Perth's 'Valley of Taste' tempts you with its Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail, offering more than 150 ways to discover the region's premium wines, fortifieds, crafted beers, fresh produce, gourmet sweet treats, arts, crafts and rich heritage. If you're still at the 18th hole as the sun dips into the horizon, watch the local community of inquisitive kangaroos as they graze in the manicured resort grounds.
Boasting some of Western Australia's finest examples of 19th century heritage, Toodyay and the Avon Valley will take you on a journey back in time, through some of Perth's most picturesque countryside. It's just a 90 minute drive or train ride east of Perth to reach Toodyay, making it a perfect day or weekend escape to immerse yourself in natural beauty and cultural heritage. The town's architecture is reminiscent of its early convict era, with attractions such as the Old Newcastle Gaol Museum and Connors Mill - Australia's finest example of a 1870s steam-driven flour mill - each showcasing a colourful past. A scenic drive through the Chittering and Avon valleys is a must at any time of year, but if your visit coincides with the first weekend in August, you'll get to witness one of Western Australia's most unique sporting events - the Avon Descent. Thrill seekers from across the nation and the world make their way to the Avon Valley to compete in this gruelling two day time trial. Continue your journey by visiting the nearby towns of Northam and York, while taking in the breathtaking valley scenery. Tour the region's wineries. Try your hand at archery, canoeing and fishing. Enjoy a lazy riverside picnic or barbeque in Duidgee Park. Or take a stroll through beautiful country gardens, lavender fields, olive groves and the carpets of wildflowers that light up the Avon Valley National Park in spring. Art lovers seeking an original piece should head for Toodyay's sculpture, pottery and art studios, which offer individually crafted works. Or, if your appetite craves a quick snack or hearty meal, make a beeline for the historic hotels, tearooms and alfresco cafes along Stirling Terrace. For your overnight stay, charming bed and breakfasts and luxury accommodation make for a romantic getaway, while caravan parks and camping grounds offer the ideal opportunity to sleep under a canopy of stars.
Mundaring Visitor Centre
The Old School 7225 Great Eastern Highway, Mundaring Western Australia 6073, Australia
Phone: (08) 9295 0202 | www.mundaringtourism.com.au
The Mundaring Visitor Centre is a National Tourism Accredited Visitor Centre located in the old school house in the heart of Mundaring and is the ideal first port of call to seek information on local attractions, trails, activities, wineries, dining and accommodation options. The Mundaring Visitor Centre also manages campsite bookings and general enquiries for Lake Leschenaultia. The centre also houses the district museum, so it is well worth a visit to learn more about the history of the area, as well as a retail section stocked with a selection of souvenirs, local produce, walk and cycle trails, including the long distance Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi Trail, regional maps and general information. The staff has a wealth of local knowledge and is able to assist with local maps, information and suggestions to help you get the most out of your visit to the Perth Hills. The Mundaring Visitor Centre is open seven days; from 9:30am to 4.00pm Monday to Saturday and 10:00am to 2:30pm on Sundays and most public holidays (closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day and Good Friday).
Swan Valley Visitor Centre
Historic Guildford Courthouse c1866 Corner of Meadow and Swan Streets, Guildford Western Australia 6055, Australia
Phone: (08) 9207 8899 | www.swanvalley.com.au
The Swan Valley Visitor Centre is located in the Guildford Courthouse circa 1866 in Guildford, just a few minutes from the Swan Valley. The Visitor Centre is co-located with a professional interpretive exhibition 'Guildford as a Gateway to a Diverse Region - the Swan Valley'. The exhibition showcases the significant heritage of Guildford and the Swan Valley with its links to the settlement of Western Australia in 1829, multiculturalism of the region, development of the table and wine grape industries and the local people who have contributed to the development of the Swan Valley. The Swan Valley Visitor Centre is your one stop shop for everything in and around the Swan Valley and Guildford. They can provide you with the latest and most up to date information, make bookings, provide information and maps and offer a large range of local produce and souvenirs. The Swan Valley Visitor Centre is open 9.00am to 4.00pm daily.
Western Australian Visitor Centre
55 William Street (corner of Hay Street), Perth Western Australia 6000, Australia
Phone: (08) 9483 1111 | www.wavisitorcentre.com.au
The Western Australian Visitor Centre is located in the centre of Perth. It is a one stop shop for travel information, souvenirs and offers a free tours and accommodation booking service. The Centre is open 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday and 11.00am to 4.30pm Sunday.