Swan Valley - now an ugly duckling...
The Swan Valley area just on the outskirts of the city of Perth sounds like a lovely place to spend a couple of days relaxing. According to tourist brochures and maps there are wineries and galleries to explore. I found the definition of gallery to be very loose. Included in 'gallery' were regular plant nurseries whose only 'art' was in the plain old terracotta pots they were selling. Of the galleries marked on the map I would say that only about one quarter could actually be called galleries.
The countryside around the area is not even pleasant. In fact Perth seems to have crept up and is slowly engulfing the region. The main section of the swan valley is just one or two streets away from housing estates.
We went to the swan valley as an end to our wonderful holiday in Perth and the South west. I was extremely disappointed. It may be just that I had spent time in Margaret River and thought that was so lovely but it really didn't live up to the marketing it receives. I would give the Swan Valley a huge miss I just couldn't wait to get away from the place. There are so many nicer places to see.
Unique Suggestions: If you feel you must go then just take a River cruise and have lunch at the winery they will take you to. There are only two or three decent wineries in the area and these are the ones the tourists are taken to. You will find that the grapes are all grown in Margaret River anyway.
Our mistake was staying 2 nights there and expecting a village (or valley) feel.
Fun Alternatives: For wine tastings and galleries etc Margaret River is the place to go. If you have been there you will also be disappointed with the Swan Valley.
I know I can add photos here but I disliked it so much I didn't even get my camera out of its bag. And I am a keen photographer, I recently took 400 photos on a weekend away!Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Wine Tasting
The souvenir shops where you can buy the gift for family and friends and offcourse yourself, stacked with stuffed kangaroos, leather hats, refrigerator magnets and eucalyptus oils. It al looks very convenient...everything that people would expect you to bring home and some nice thing to remember you trip by.
But be careful what you buy here. Sometimes the quality is very bad and the prices are too high. Shop around for a bit before spending. Sometimes almost the same products can be bought at a ‘Coles’ or a ‘Crazy Clark’s’ and you’ll pay half.
And yes, 6 dollars for a pin is too much!
Unique Suggestions: You can see it like a sort of museum where you can see what foreigners think Australia is all about. And it is a good place to orientate yourself in what you’d want to buy. The Australian slang book is kinda funny and they sometimes do have nice things.
Fun Alternatives: Like I said; look around first. Some things are just better bought some place else.
This lucky guy got stuck in...
This lucky guy got stuck in this picture (though I really tried to hide him!), but it's a trap I wouldn't have minded being in . . . ;->
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