Welcome to Perth: northern suburbs and the Swan Valley

So I’ve had my first three days in Australia! I’m living a rather unlikely life of luxury for a backpacker at the moment. I am staying at my aunt’s in a northern suburb of Perth. I have a double bed in my own room with a pool view and a private shower!!

I’ve been chauffeured about to some beautiful places already. So far I’ve made it to the Swan Valley, and explored some beautiful areas of beach and wetland outside of the City Centre. I hope you find this interesting/ of use if you’re planning to visit!

Swan Valley

The River Swan runs through Perth. The fertile lands around the river lead to ideal conditions for grape growing, hence the large number of wineries that have sprung up in the region.

This area is extensive and to visit as a tourist a car is essential. You drive around in a big loop and stop off at whichever wine tasting opportunity/ art gallery/ chocolate factory takes your fancy! Download the map of the region online, or most places along the route supply paper copies.

Here’s where I went:

  • Houghton Wines – wine tasting and art gallery. I’m not always a massive fan of galleries but I loved this one. Not just expensive pictures but a variety of different artworks including some aboriginal pieces. Also a stunning picnic spot.
  • Taylor’s art and coffee house – amazing food. Pricey at $20 a meal (but if you have family paying..) I had the vegan green shakshuka, which tasted sooo good. This was a bowl of spiced green veg with mushrooms and avocado. They had a ton of options for all diets.
  • Margaret River Chocolate Factory – a popular spot with families and it was packed. They have chocolate tasting, a wide range of chocolates, merchandise and a cafe.
  • Gomboc Gallery – 4.5 ha of grounds which are covered in an awesome collection of sculptures. My favourite place on the tour. Also an art gallery with paintings up to $145,000! The owners have a really interesting life story. Free to look around.
  • Illusionary art – metallic artwork that takes three to four weeks per piece. Extortionately expensive but also breathtakingly beautiful. Bodies of water appear to move, and shapes appear 3D as you walk around them. The artist himself shows you around for free.
View of the Swan Valley from All Saints Anglican Church, the oldest church in WA
Gomboc Sculpture Park

Northern Perth coastline

The cycle paths in the northern suburbs are amazing. I’m so lucky because my family own a road-bike which I have free use of. The coastline paths are particularly stunning because they cut away from the road and you cycle between the sand dunes. The beaches are basically one continuous stretch of sand (broken up by the occasional boatyard), but they have different names.

Hillary’s boatyard is located south of Joondalup. It is a very popular hang out spot with a sheltered beach, stunning marina, shops and restaurants. You can take the ferry from here to Rottnest Island, home of the quokka.

Hilary’s Boatyard. I’m standing on a parade of shops and restaurants
The vegetation covered sand dunes of Burn’s beach

Joondalup Lake and shopping

Joondalup is the shopping district of the northern suburbs of Perth. It is actually called Joondalup City and has a university. Joondalup Lake is part of the Yellagonga Regional Park. I went midday on a weekday and it was so quiet and peaceful (apart from the parakeets). I saw my first Kookaburra!

Amazing cycle paths and tons of walking. At the northern end of the lake is Leaping Frogs botanical garden mini golf. You can’t very easily get the whole way around the lake without venturing on the roads, but you can still get a good cycle in along the lakeside.

Joondalup Lakeside is the big indoor shopping centre. It has every big Australian supermarket under one roof! I managed to avoid temptation to eat out and bought food that will last me for two days for $10 in Coles.

Eucalyptus around the edge of Joondalup lake
Viewpoint over the lake. It was so peaceful here.

Summary of my first three days in Perth

I feel like I have managed to pack a lot in during my first three days in Perth. This is despite all the initial admin that comes with setting up a working holiday visa. If any family live where you are travelling definitely ask if they’ll let you stay a while. I bet you get a positive response!

Also if you can afford it, rent or buy a cheap bike (depending how long you’re staying). They are so great for touring larger areas than by foot, and I just enjoy cycling!

Hope you had/ are having an awesome Monday x

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Fed up of my own lack of self confidence holding me back. This is me trying new things, pushing myself outside my comfort zone and sharing my love for sustainable fitness.

2 thoughts on “Welcome to Perth: northern suburbs and the Swan Valley

    1. Thank you! I’m so sorry I’m not quite sure why I didn’t reply to this. I can’t believe i’ve been here almost a month already!

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