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8 Things to Know BEFORE Booking a Swan Valley Wine Tour +The 6 BEST Tours

8 Things to Know BEFORE Booking a Swan Valley Wine Tour +The 6 BEST Tours

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There are so many reasons we love Western Australia! Perth is the sunniest city in Australia, making it the perfect place to escape the cold winter. Plus, it’s the largest city on this side of the continent, so it’s the ideal launch point for day trips from Perth

The best day trip you can take is to visit Swan Valley. This world-famous wine region is only 30 minutes outside of the city, making it one of the top things to do while visiting Perth! You’re probably familiar with its iconic wines, Shiraz and Chenin Blanc, which thrive in this warm and sunny climate. 

We’ve done wine tours in Swan Valley countless times, and each time we experience something different! As Daniel’s hometown, we feel it’s our responsibility to taste our way through the region and share the amazing wineries with everyone we meet. There’s something so luxurious about spending your days exploring beautiful old vineyards and sipping some of the best wine in Australia.

We love wine tours because they usually are totally inclusive and come with a designated driver, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the wine! If you’re already packing your bags and ready to hit the wineries, keep reading to find the best wine tours and everything you need to know before visiting Swan Valley!

Don’t have time to read the full article? Swan Valley is a must-visit, especially for wine lovers! This top-rated wine tour from Perth takes you to the best wineries and includes lunch. Or opt for this river cruise as a super scenic way to taste local wine, cheeses, and chocolate!

1. About the Swan Valley wine region

Bailey walks around a beautiful winery in the Swan Valley Wine Region near Perth, WA
The Swan Valley is stunning!
A glass of wine at a winery in the Swan Valley wine region, Perth
More wine, please!

The Swan Valley region is just a cork’s throw away from Perth (about a 30-minute drive) and is home to some of our favorite vineyards in Australia. Rich, fertile soil combines with the ideal climate to make for a grape-growing paradise. This part of Australia has warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters making it the perfect environment for wine. We’re talking dreamy Mediterranean vibes that grapes (and us) thrive in!

Swan Valley is Western Australia’s oldest wine region, and the second oldest in all of Australia. The first vines were planted in 1829, and over the past 150 years, this region has refined its process and developed some world-renowned wines, like Chenin Blanc. Talk about a vintage experience!

This region is a manageable size to get around so a wine tour in Swan Valley is easy to do! A 32-kilometer (20-mile) loop encircles the region, making it one of Australia’s most compact wine areas. But don’t let its size fool you, it’s packed with over 40 wineries each offering a unique tasting experience. 

You’ll find everything from family-owned boutiques to sprawling estates, and honestly, we can’t pick a favorite – you’ll want to try them all! Because the area is so compact, you can easily hop from one winery to another, making the most of your day. This is why we love wine tours, we don’t have to worry about a designated driver and can just enjoy the experience! 

grapes on a vine in the Swan valley
The grapes are ready!

When it comes to grapes, Swan Valley has a knack for variety. If you’re looking for the crème de la crème, you’ll want to sip on some Verdelho, Shiraz, or Chenin Blanc. The wines that come out of Swan Valley are known for their softness and drinkability due to the low tannins and sweet fruit. These varieties offer a unique flavor profile that’s distinctively Swan Valley.

Our favorite is the Chenin Blanc, which was the first type of grape planted 150 years ago. However, the real star of the show here is Shiraz which put Australia on the map in terms of world-famous wines. The Shiraz grape variety thrives in Swan Valley, producing rich, full-bodied wine, that is oh-so-sippable! Swan Valley also produces some amazing Grenache and Verdelho wines, as the climate is perfect for these young, healthy grapes!

This area is also known for its fortified wines which add a sweet twist to your wine tour. Fortified wine uses a distilled spirit, usually brandy or cognac, that’s added during the fermentation period. This makes a great dessert wine and some studies show that drinking fortified wine (in moderation) is actually good for your health!

The area is also known for its artisanal foods, such as cheese, chocolate, and even nougat. Luckily, these are commonly paired with tastings – as if this region could get any better!

Related Read: If you’re continuing your wine tour through Australia, be sure to hit Margaret River! Only 3 hours from Perth, Margaret River has excellent wine tours to make your travels easy and wine-filled.

2. What are the best Swan Valley wine tours? 

This part of Australia is best experienced with a glass of vino in hand, so it’s no surprise visiting Swan Valley is one of the top tours from Perth.

If a wine tour is on your mind, (after reading this blog it certainly will be) you may be wondering where to start. As we mentioned, we’re well-versed in the Swan Valley wine world and have found our favorite tours in the region and listed them below.

Ultimate Swan Valley Food and Wine Day Trip

Bailey tastes a glass of wine in the Swan Valley while on a wine tour
You need to check out the Swan Valley!
Loaded garlic bread on a wine tour in the Swan Valley
So good!

If you like to have your day filled with experiences like we do, you’ll love this wine tasting tour from Perth. This tour will take you to the best wineries in Swan Valley, add in a stop at a craft brewery, and throw in lunch and snacks along the way! 

Your wine tasting experience will begin by being chauffeured from Perth to Swan Valley, with your local guide giving details of the wine region along the way. They will take you to a few of Swan Valley’s top wineries, so you know you’re trying the best!

When we took this tour, each stop had a local winery host who explained what wines we were drinking and a little about the history of the estate. I found this part to be really interesting and made me appreciate the wine even more. 

This wine tasting tour lasts for 6 to 7 hours, which is quite a long time for drinking! Luckily, they include a cheese board and chocolate tastings along the way, as well as a gourmet lunch at one of the wineries. Nothing is worse than being hungry on a wine tour, so we were thankful for all the snacks! The final stop is at a microbrewery, just for another fun look at Perth’s craft beer scene

This tour includes roundtrip transportation from Perth, all of your wine tastings, cheese and chocolate tastings, lunch, a beverage at the brewery, and your amazing local guide! The $140 AUD price tag is a steal given how much the tour includes. 

This food and wine tour in Swan Valley tops our list for a reason! Be sure to book this tour in advance, as it is sure to fill up quickly!

VIP Swan Valley Wine Tour – Premium Small Group Wine and Gourmet Experience

Cheese and meat food platters ona wine tour in the Swan Valley
The cheese platter was amazing!

Food, wine, and chocolate – our three favorite things! This full-day premium tour is a VIP experience and takes you away from the crowds with more exclusive cellar door tastings. The wineries we visited were all very different from one another making each stop a completely new experience. We got to taste wines we’ve never tried before, like a sparkling merlot (spoiler alert: it’s delicious!).

There are four boutique wineries on the agenda, each focusing on making your tasting a personal experience. You’ll try a variety of white and red wines, hand-picked based on your taste preferences. 

One thing I really love about this tour is that they keep it small and capped at 10 people. When we took it, there were just two other couples and us! This gives you more time to taste the wines and talk to your guide for a more intimate experience. 

This tour also served up an artisan cheese board to pair with the wine, as well as a gourmet lunch that was simply delicious! We had people who were vegan and gluten-free in our group and they were not only accommodated but their food looked great. The tour ends with a trip to Margaret River Chocolate Company where you can expect a sweet end to your day.

This 7-hour tour includes four wine tastings, access to VIP boutique wineries, a cheeseboard, lunch, chocolate tastings, and your guide. Honestly, this day of luxury at $200 AUD is a great price.

There are three central meeting points around Perth to choose from, or you can choose to be picked up from your Perth CBD or Swan Valley hotel. This tour does have limited days available, so if it sounds perfect for you, be sure to book it in advance!

Half-Day Swan Valley Wine Tour

Bailey jumps up in the air between two vines at a winery in the Swan Valley
I was a tad excited for this tour!

If you are limited on time, this half-day wine tour to Swan Valley is an excellent way to get a taste of the valley’s wine culture and leave room for other activities! In just 5-hours, you will visit four boutique wineries, sample artisan chocolates, wines, and liqueurs, and stop at a local brewery.

This is a perfect opportunity for a busy traveler to unwind and relax over a glass of wine (or two or three!). 

This tour takes off in the afternoon, leaving your morning free to explore Perth, as there is a lot to do! Your tour guide will pick you up from a central meeting point in Perth, and drive 30 minutes towards Swan Valley. This tour is a small group of only 13 people, so you can easily jump into tastings and avoid waiting for a large crowd. 

You will visit four of Swan Valley’s best wineries, ranging from large producers to smaller family-owned wineries. I always love seeing how the wineries range in size and scale of production, as each has its own unique feel! Throughout your tastings, you’ll get to snack on a cheeseboard that pairs perfectly with wine, and then make a stop at the Margaret River Chocolate Company to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

This tour ends with a stop at a local brewery, just to change up the palate before you head back to Perth! There are even gin and liqueur tastings offered to round out the experience. 

Four wineries in five hours will certainly make for a fun afternoon! This wine tasting in Swan Valley experience includes all of your alcoholic beverages, snacks, and transportation. You can reserve this tour online here for $95 AUD per person. 

Swan Valley Winery Experience – Full-Day Coach Tour 

Swan Valley has no shortage of tasty and unique wineries, we’ll give it that! One of the things we love most about taking a wine tour is that they pick out the wineries you’ll be visiting, so oftentimes you can discover someplace new and see the stark differences between wineries! This 7-hour Swan Valley wine tour takes you to four distinctly different cellar doors (tasting rooms) and provides commentary about each place and the delicious wines you’ll be sipping on. 

Your first stop is at Lancaster Wines, which was voted in the top 15 most beautiful wineries in Australia. Here you can sit amongst the vines and enjoy a cheese platter that pairs perfectly with their wines. Even though this winery is stunning, I really like it because it has such a laid-back vibe so you can just relax in the gorgeous outdoor space. 

Next, you’ll head to Sittella Wines, which is certainly on the fancier end, and then visit Edgecombe Wines, which is the exact opposite! Edgecombe is a rustic winery that also grows produce, so you can have fresh veggies to snack on while sipping your wine. 

When I said this tour hits all the distinctly different vibes of Swan Valley, I wasn’t kidding! You will stop at another winery before heading to try some handmade truffles, chocolates, chutneys, and jams. Then finish the tour off by stopping at a brewery, so you really get to try an array of delicious treats on this tour. 

All of your drinks, snacks, and lunch are included in this tour, as well as transportation from a central meeting point in Perth. This 7-hour experience is $150 AUD per person, and can be booked in advance here!

Swan Valley River Cruise and Wine Tasting Day Trip 

The swan river at sunset
The Swan River!
Glass of wine of a swan river wine cruise
And don’t forget the wine!

What could possibly be better than wine tasting in Swan Valley? How about wine tasting while taking a cruise down the Swan River? I can’t really think of a more luxurious wine tasting experience than pairing it with a boat ride. Over this 8-hour tour, you will visit wineries, breweries, and chocolate companies, have lunch, and get to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Swan Valley. 

You’ll start out by taking a 2-hour cruise down the Swan River with coffee and tea, but soon move to wine and cheese tasting! It’s never too early to start drinking wine, especially if you’re on a boat … right? This area of Western Australia is simply beautiful, so I love that you get to experience it in a different way than most wine tours. 

Eventually, you’ll have to head back to shore, but the fun is certainly not over. You will head to Mandoon Estate, which is a vineyard, brewery, hotel, and event space, and has multiple restaurants on the grounds. It’s quite impressive! You’ll have lunch at the Homestead Brewery, and I highly recommend the Wagyu burger. It’s massive, which is good for getting a big meal in your belly for a day full of drinking!

The tour will continue by stopping at Whistlers Chocolate Company, for complimentary chocolate tasting, then Swan Valley Brewery, for more beer tastings! You will then make your way to Swan Valley, and hit two more wineries to continue the wine tour. 

This is a full day of beautiful outdoor scenery, yummy food, and good spirits! Your lunch, snacks, beer tastings, wine tastings, a boat ride, and transportation from Perth are all included. This boat ride/wine tasting experience is $199 AUD per person, and I recommend booking this tour in advance, as it’s a popular choice!

Half-Day Swan Valley Wine Cheese and Chocolate Tour including Afternoon Cruise

A cheeseboard on a Swan Valley wine tour
I ate a lot of cheese!

Here is a shorter, but just as sweet, wine tasting and boat cruise experience in Swan Valley! You will hit two boutique wineries in the region and enjoy a stop at a chocolate company, like many of the other tours. But what makes this one different is that you’ll cruise down the Swan River on a boat back to Perth instead of driving! 

You’ll depart Perth at 11:45 am, which leaves some time to explore the city in the morning. Once you reach Swan Valley, you’ll stop in the cute, historic town of Guliford and visit two wineries in the area. One of them is Lancaster Wines, which is a large-scale vineyard and incredibly beautiful! You’ll have some wine tastings and a cheese board. I always love sitting out amongst the vines and sipping on my wine here, it’s so relaxing!

Then you’ll hit the Margaret River Chocolate Company for a tasty treat and can pick up some truffles for later! 

The real highlight of the day is taking a cruise down the Swan River back to Perth. You will spend about 2 hours on the boat, having complimentary wine, cheese, cakes, and live entertainment on board. This really is the perfect end to a lovely day in Swan Valley! 

This 6-hour tour includes roundtrip transportation (via car and boat), wine tasting, chocolate tasting, and snacks along the way. It doesn’t include lunch, so I recommend eating a big one before you leave. This tour is $130 AUD and will be a memorable day out (as long as you don’t drink too much wine)! You can reserve this wine tasting tour in Swan Valley online here

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, read our complete Viator review to learn more about what we think about Viator.

Related Read: Rottnest Island is full of gorgeous beaches, incredible scenery, and cute quokkas. You can easily take a tour to Rottnest Island from Perth for a day of island adventure!

3. Where is the Swan Valley wine region? 

Bailey with a glass of wine int he Swan Valley on a wine tour
Cheers!

Swan Valley is located a short 30-minute drive from Perth, practically in the city’s backyard. It’s 25 kilometers (15 miles) northeast of Perth, making it a convenient day trip from Perth to escape the hustle and bustle. We love taking a scenic drive along the Swan River to get here. Some wine tours even include a river cruise to get up to the wine region!

Swan Valley strikes a unique balance. It’s not deep inland, yet it’s far enough from the coast to have its own microclimate. This makes it an ideal spot for grape growing, as we mentioned earlier.

The Swan Valley is such a beautiful area. We love the diverse scenery where you’ll find a mix of vineyards, farmlands, and forests. 

4. Where do Swan Valley wine tours leave from?

A man filters wine at a winery in the Swan Valley near Perth
Making wine!
A tasting glass of wine is poured at a winery in the Swan Valley on a wine tour
A tasting glass of wine is poured at a winery in the Swan Valley on a wine tour

Most people will stay in Perth and take a day trip to Swan Valley since it’s so close. Some of these tours offer hotel pick-up, but most of them have a few designated meeting points that the tour will depart from. Even if you’re not staying in Perth’s CBD, these meeting points are scattered around the city so they are usually pretty convenient no matter where you’re staying! 

One of the main reasons we love booking wine tours is so we don’t have to worry about driving. It certainly puts a damper on your wine-tour extravaganza to be the designated driver, so taking a tour that includes a driver allows you to sit back and enjoy all the wine you want!

We also love that the tours we talked about have flexible start times and a range of activities, so you can see more than just visiting the wineries on their own.

Related Read: If you’re an animal lover, visiting Penguin Island is a must! This island off of Perth is home to the “Little Penguin” and you can catch a glimpse of them in the wild or visit the penguin sanctuary.

5. When is the best time to visit the Swan Valley for a wine tour? 

wine barrels at a winery in the Swan Valley, Perth
Tasting right from the barrel!

If you ask us, anytime is wine time! The vineyards certainly have their busy season, but most are open year-round so really the only difference is the amount of people you run into. While there’s something magical about a warm sunny day with a cold glass of Chenin Blanc, summer isn’t your only option for wine tasting in Perth. 

Summer in Perth is certainly the high season for wine tasting in Swan Valley. Between the months of December and February, the vineyards are in their peak season buzzing with wine enthusiasts. This is definitely the most popular time to visit when the temperatures are a comfortable 18-30°C (64-86°F).

Our favorite time to go wine tasting is in the shoulder season in spring when there isn’t a lot of rainfall and temperatures are warm. October and November have nice weather being between 12-23°C (53-73°F) and there are fewer people. A trip to the wineries in Swan Valley is the perfect way to welcome the warmer weather and enjoy the blooming season. 

Surprisingly, vineyards in the area are actually open year-round making any time a good time to go wine hopping. We prefer drinking red wine in cooler weather so taking a winter wine tour definitely has its appeal, especially with the Shiraz being so good in this region. 

6. Are any Swan Valley wine tours good for beer lovers?

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie with beers in the Swan Valley
The beer in the Swan Valley is so good too!

While we love a good glass of wine, it doesn’t quite compete with our love for beer! If you’re a beer drinker stuck in a wine lover’s paradise wondering what to do, we know how you feel.

Sure, some tours might make a pit stop at a brewery, but it’s usually just that – a pit stop. You’ll find yourself surrounded by wine barrels more often than beer taps, as wine tours in Swan Valley aren’t really designed with beer enthusiasts in mind.

If beer is your jam, we did the Swan Valley Craft Beer Tour and had such a great time! It’s a full-day tour that takes you to some of the best breweries in the region. There are some great breweries in Perth, and even more popping up in Swan Valley. We visited four different breweries that included tastings at all of them, as well as lunch, transportation, and great company!

This tour is 6 hours and $200 AUD per person. You can book this Swan Valley Craft Beer Tour here!

Related Read: If you’re about to book a wine tour in Swan Valley, but are curious about the tour company, check out our honest review of Viator! We book nearly all of our tours through Viator and are happy to share our experiences.

7. Are Swan Valley wine tours suitable for children? 

Vines at a winery in Swan Valley
It’s a beautiful region!

While some of these wine tours to Swan Valley allow kids to join, it really isn’t a family-friendly atmosphere. The tasting rooms and vineyard tours are geared towards an adult crowd, in which kids usually get bored pretty quickly.

Some of the wineries don’t even allow kids on the premises, so it would be a bummer to have to sit out one of the wineries on the tour if you have little ones along with you.

The legal drinking age in Australia is 18, so if your kids are under that age, they’ll be sipping on juice while you enjoy your Shiraz. We’ve done countless tours, and here’s our advice: these tours are really best experienced by an adults-only crowd.

If you’re looking for a great family outing, consider other activities in Swan Valley! There are chocolate factories, wildlife parks, and even mini golf. These spots offer a more kid-friendly vibe that will be a hit with the younger crowd.

8. Are Swan Valley wine tours worth it? 

Daniel takes a sip of wine in the Swan Valley, Perth
They sure are!
Seafood dish we had on a wine tour in the Swan Valley
The tours with food are well worth it!

Yes! Swan Valley wine tours are totally worth it. They are usually a great value for your time and money, as they include a designated driver, snacks, lunch, and generous wine tastings.

Swan Valley is world-famous for its wine scene, as well as other artisanal food, so we love trying the high-quality food and drink this region has to offer. 

We’ve been on countless tours in Swan Valley, and as locals, we can’t get enough. Each tour we’ve been on offers something unique, whether it’s a new vineyard to explore or a different wine to taste. We’re in it for the whole experience – the rolling vineyards, the beautiful buildings, the flavorful wines, and the gourmet food.

Other Activities to do While You’re in Perth

Three dolphins swim behind the boat on the Perth dolphin swim
The dolphin swim in Perth is unforgettable!

When we’re staying in Perth, we absolutely love visiting the Swan Valley. However, this is just one of many fun things we like doing in Perth! This city is actually Daniel’s hometown, so we know it well! As such, we’ve compiled this list of our top activities.

  • Swim with wild dolphins – This is a bucket list experience that you can cross off in Perth! This day trip to swim with dolphins is super unique, as the crew befriended a pod of 200 dolphins and can tell you about each one – what a one-of-a-kind experience! Plus, it’s a great excuse to get out on the water and enjoy the beautiful ocean.
  • Visit Penguin Island – Penguin Island is just a 45-minute drive from Perth and is home to around 1,200 wild penguins along with nature trails, beaches, and places to swim and snorkel. You’ll need to take a ferry to the island – unless you want to kayak there instead!
  • Kings Park – Get outside without having to leave the city by visiting Kings Park! This park is actually larger than Central Park in New York, and has a gorgeous Botanic Garden, great playgrounds for kids, and hosts a ton of summer events. You can even take a segway tour to cover more ground in this huge park!

Where to Stay in Perth

The Westin Perth hotel room with a view
Photo credit: The Westin Perth

Now that you’ve picked out your perfect wine tour, you need a comfy place to crash! There are so many activities in Perth within the CBD (Central Business District), so I recommend staying in the heart of the city if you can. There are places to stay in the city center for a range of budgets. If you need some help narrowing it down, these are our top picks!  

The Westin Perth – $$$  

A mix of classy and contemporary, The Westin Perth is the place to stay when you’re looking for a touch of luxury. The prime location in the heart of Perth puts you within walking distance of the trendy Elizabeth Quay area as well as lots of restaurants and cafes. You can also use the hotel’s infinity pool or its signature restaurant run by iconic Australian Chef Guy Grossi.

Rooms at the Westin Perth start at around $400 AUD per night and can be booked online

Pensione Hotel Perth – $$ 

A nice mid-range option, the Pensione Hotel Perth is a refurbished boutique hotel with 98 rooms. It’s close to Elizabeth Quay, major shopping centers, the Swan River, and Northbridge. You’ll feel like you’re stepping into the 1960s with restored furniture and décor from the time filling the lobby.

The staff members are really friendly and rooms are reasonable around $170 AUD a night. To snag this deal, reserve your stay at Pensione Hotel Perth in advance.

Hostel G Perth – $ 

You don’t need to pay big bucks to stay in Perth’s CBD, Hostel G Perth has dorm rooms for around $60-$75 AUD or private rooms for around $160 AUD. You’ll have a huge common area with movies on TV, a kitchen, and a great atmosphere with travelers of all ages.  

We really like hostels because they are affordable so you can travel longer and you might even meet some new friends to hang out with! Grab a room using Booking.com or HostelWorld.com.  

Don’t get Caught without Travel Insurance!

We never travel without travel insurance! We’ve had a few instances during our travels when one of us has ended up in the hospital, and travel insurance has saved us thousands of dollars over the years!

SafetyWing is our go-to insurance, we both have policies with them whenever we travel.

They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!)The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.  

We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!) While most travel insurance companies left people stranded, SafetyWing fully reimbursed us for our last-minute, pricey flights!

Also, because it is so affordable, there really is no excuse not to take out a policy. Check prices and get a quote online here with SafetyWing (you can even take out a policy if you’re already traveling!)

Thanks for reading!

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie during a beer and wine tour in the Swan Valley, Perth
Thanks for reading!

Every time we visit Perth, we make it a point to go wine tasting in Swan Valley. It’s become a bit of a tradition for us, and one we don’t plan on giving up anytime soon! Whether we’re visiting together on a day date or Bailey is going on a girls’ trip, doing a Swan Valley wine tour always makes for a great day. We hope this helps you pick the best wine tour for your trip, cheers! 

If you found this blog helpful, we have lots of other blogs about Australia! After living here for years and traveling all around the country, we’ve been able to experience the best parts of Australia. Check out some of our favorite places and travel tips below!

31 BEST Things to do in Margaret River, Western Australia

25 Tips for Long Haul & International Flights

21 BEST Things to do in Exmouth, Western Australia