Over the WA day long weekend Explore Tours Perth’s Chief Explorer decided to head out to the Bickley Valley with the family for the first time. Here is how he got on:
A day out in the Bickley Valley, Perth, WA.
About 30 minutes south east of Perth, just south of Kalamunda, you stumble across the beautiful Bickley Valley and Carmel wine route. Set in the Perth hills surrounded by forests, wildflowers, birds and animal life the Bickley Valley is a tranquil place which feels a long way from the busy city.
Having not been to the Bickley Valley before I took advice from friends and the team at ‘Travelling Corkscrew‘ – a great online wine blog that I recommend visiting.
Our first stop was Myattsfield Vineyard in Carmel and what a great place it was to start. The sun was out and the morning chill was just starting to fade as we pulled into the driveway and were presented with gorgeous views of vine covered hillsides. The colours at this time of year are stunning and the photos we took just don’t do it justice. For a moment I didn’t feel like I was in Australia, I had somehow been transported to the vineyards of France or South Africa.
We were met outside the cellar door by a cheerful lady called Emma who welcomed us as she went to take down the ‘closed’ sign on the front gate – perfect timing! The wine was very nice, a lot nicer than I was expecting I must admit, but I couldn’t stop staring out of the windows at the gorgeous scenery. Whilst we were at Myattsfield we also chatted to Josh, one of the winemakers, who happily told me a bit of history surrounding the vineyard as well as information about their grape varieties. It was only our first stop and I was already thrilled that we had made the trip out to the Bickley Valley. Find out more about Myattsfield Vineyard
The Core Cider House
It was around midday by the time we left so we headed just around the corner to the Core Cider House for some grub. The scenery at Core was also lovely but instead of vines the hillsides were covered with orchards. The grounds at Core were well laid out with plenty of room for the kids to run around, a playground, sandpit and a tractor for the little ones to climb over. The food was very nice too and reasonably priced given the great location and views, we tucked into some of the best chicken wings I have ever had, a Beef cheek satay burger and a big portion of chips. There were fancier options on the menu but we fancied some hearty grub to soak up the wine. You can also try a paddle board of Core’s various ciders for only $14.
Having refuelled we drove a short distance (one of the best bits about Bickley Valley is that all the venues are relatively close to each other) to Due Jolly which was a quaint little vineyard set on the hillside with yet more stunning views of the valley. We only stopped for a short while at Due Jolly but I had a chance to chat with the owners, Rob and Andrew, who were very friendly and gave me a run down of the area. The Shiraz that I quickly tried was very drinkable and I look forward to heading back in the future. You can sit out on Due Jolly’s balcony whilst enjoying their wine and enjoying one of their lovely looking platters.
Hainault Vineyard and Cafe
Next up on our list was Hainault Vineyard and Cafe where I had a nice chat to owner Lyn Sykes as we stood by the wood stove looking out over yet another gorgeous vine covered valley. I didn’t get a chance to try any wine at Hainault but the food I saw customers eating looked to be very nice. I would happily head back to Hainault for lunch one day and try some of the wines whilst enjoying the grand views.
We had time for one more wineries before we had to get our restless kids back home and I am pretty sure we saved the best views until last. Plume Estate is the newest vineyard in the Bickley Valley (or so we were told) and is run by Jim and Audrey who are lucky enough to have some of the most stunnign views we came across all day. The venue itself isn’t very large with a cute little cellar door and around a dozen tables in the restaurant, each with wonderful views of the valley. I had a chance to taste a couple of Plume’s wines and they were delicious.
Thinking that was our last stop for the day we started to head back out of the Valley, but our eldest son had other ideas. He decided that he wanted cake and was kicking up quite a fuss (gets it from his mother…) just as we were passing a vineyard called Fairbrossen with a sign indicating that it had a cafe. I pulled into the vineyard and was pleasantly surprised to find yet another gorgeous setting. Although I was on a mission to find cake I had just enough time to sneak into the cellar door and have a chat about the vineyard. Five minutes later I returned to the car to find a somewhat moody looking wife and kids, but their faces were soon beaming when I presented them with yummy looking cakes from the Fairbrossen cafe.
Keeping it a secret?
As we descended back down to Perth stuffing our faces with cake I thought about trying to keep the Bickley Valley a secret. It is a fantastic place with really nice wine, great food, friendly locals and best of all amazing scenery and views. Then I realised that trying to keep it a secret is futile – I am pretty sure the Bickley Valley is going to become a very popular destination soon as it has all the ingredients to be Perth’s next big thing.
Another fantastic time to visit is during the Bickley-Carmel Harvest festival which happens each year during May.
I for one will be going back there very soon and I urge you all to do the same.
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