Most Swan wineries are small, family-run affairs, many with links to early Italian or Yugoslav origins. One exception is Houghton Wines, Dale Road, Middle Swan (tel. 08/9274 9540; www.houghton-wines.com.au), Western Australia's oldest, biggest, and most venerable winery. The tasting room is light and airy, and there are lovely picnic grounds, where jacaranda trees blossom gloriously in November. There's a pleasant cafe, and an art gallery housed in old beamed timber cellars lined with barrels (still in use). Hours are 10am to 5pm (cafe 10am-4pm) daily except Good Friday and December 25.
The other big-name winery, and winner of the "Best Tourism Winery" award in 2008 and 2009, is Sandalford Wines, 3210 W. Swan Rd., Caversham (tel. 08/9374 9374; www.sandalford.com). It has twice-daily 90-minute winery tours (minimum five people), for A$22. A very popular tour is "Become a Winemaker for a Day," Saturdays at 11am. Besides the winery tour, you get to blend your own wine, which you can drink over a three-course lunch, all for A$125. The winery also has a pleasant restaurant (lunch noon-3pm) with a pretty vine-covered alfresco area. It's open 10am to 5pm daily except Good Friday and December 25.
In general, the tastings at the Swan Valley wineries are free, with some wineries charging a small fee for their premium offerings.
The Margaret River Chocolate Company has an outlet at 5123 W. Swan Rd. (near the Reid Hwy.), West Swan (tel. 08/9250 1588). It's open daily 9am to 4:30pm, except December 25. An addition to the sweet scene is Mondo Nougat, 640 Great Northern Hwy., Herne Hill (tel. 1300/997 875 in Australia, or 08/9296 0111; www.mondonougat.com.au), run by a migrant family following their southern Italian traditions. The cafe opens daily except Monday.
Caversham Wildlife Park (tel. 08/9248 1984; www.cavershamwildlife.com.au) is a reserve of 4,300 hectares (10,621 acres) with a collection of 200 species of mostly Western Australian wildlife, the majority kept in natural surroundings. You can stroke koalas (but not hold them), feed kangaroos, pet farm animals, take a camel ride, and sometimes cuddle joeys and wombats. There are barbecue and picnic sites, train and tram rides, and a cafe. It's at Whiteman Park, West Swan, and open daily 9am to 5:30pm (last entry 4:30pm), closed December 25. Admission is A$22 for adults, A$9.50 children 3 to 14.
Antiques lovers should browse the strip of shops on James Street, Guildford (most shops are open daily), or visit Woodbridge House, a beautifully restored 1883 manor house on Ford Street, West Midland (tel. 08/9274 2432). The house is open Thursday to Sunday from 1 to 4pm; closed December 24 to February 6. Admission is A$5 adults, A$3 children under 16, and A$12 families of four. The Riverside at Woodbridge cafe opens 9am to 5pm daily (except Wed) for breakfast, lunch, and tea.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.