Despite being a good distance up the Swan River it was the first area to be inhabitation by colonists after settlement. The area around Guildford and the Swan Valley was provided rich farmland and the granite escarpment around Kalamunda and Greenmount provided raw materials for buildings in the City and Fremantle. Surrounded by areas of undeveloped bushland, much of it protected inside the John Forrest National Park there are plenty of places where you can go bush without really leaving the city.
In the foothills is the Swan Valley Wine region containing not just wine but also gourmet food and boutique beer.
John Forrest National Park, (the Park is about 30 mins drive from central Perth. It is well signposted off Great Eastern Highway). John Forrest National Park was named after an influential Western Australian Premier (the first, in fact), in 1947. Before its naming, government dole workers during the Great Depression constructed fountains, benches, etc. which are typical of national parks today. Make sure you walk through the long old railway tunnel, and also take in the great views of perth. The national park is situated in the beautiful area surrounding Mundaring. John Forrest National Park is made up of thick bush and is home to many small forest creatures.Entry fee of AU$10. edit
Mundaring Weir, Mundaring Weir Road (Halfway between Mundaring and kalamunda), . Large dam located in the hills and state forest. Great for a picnic or a hike around the bush.edit
The Zig Zag, Zig Zag Scenic drive (One way only, access from top of the hill via Lascelles Parade. Use Gooseberry Hill road to go up the hill), . Once a switchback railway climbing the side of the Darling Scarp up to Kalamunda, it is now a One way Scenic drive, offering the BEST view of Perth. You can see all the way to the Rottnest.edit
For many people, the Swan Valley is synonymous with Houghtons Wines . This winery provides a popular spot for a picnic. Visits to the Margaret River Chocolate Factory and Oggies Ice Cream shop (both on West Swan Road) are obligatory!
Hike - The railway heritage trail that starts at Rocky pool cuts right through the John Forrest National Park
Alfred's Kitchen, Cnr Meadow and James St, ☎ +61 8 9377 1378 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Su-Th 5PM-1AM, Fr Sa 5PM-3AM. Since 1946 this place has been serving burgers to hungry insomniacs at the small counter with a log fire burning in front. In recent years it has cleaned up its act and the rough clientele have changed accordingly. Nonetheless, the food is good and not just because everything else is shut at 1AM.edit
Embers Restaurant, 169 Railway Road, Gooseberry Hill WA 6076 (Top of Gooseberry Hill Road, Gooseberry Hill, turn right at the roundabout, then approx 200 metres on the right side.), ☎ 0892933663, . Embers Restaurant is a great place to eat and drink in the Perth Hills. They have a wide variety of dishes that will please most tastes. Very popular with the hills locals, it is always best to book, as it's always busy.edit
The Parkerville Tavern (The Parky), 6 Owen Road, Parkerville, 6081, ☎ 9295 4500, . Large pub with beautiful beer garden and surrounds. Relax on the verandah with a cold beer, overlooking the bush. Recently renovated, 100+ year old pub. Live band and a busy Sunday session. Meals and dinner available. Not the cheapest pub in the hills.edit
The John Forrest Tavern (The JF), Park Road, John Forrest National Park, ☎ 9298 8297. Located in the heart of the John Forrest National Park. kangaroos and birds come right up to the beer garden tables. Quiet pub, but gets busy on a Monday night with their $10 Roastsedit
Mount Helena tavern (The Mounties), 900 Keane Street, Mt Helena, 6082, ☎ 9572 1221, . Busy Hills pub with a strong local crowd in the evenings. Large beer garden with live bands on the weekends. Cheap beer and nightly dinner specials. One of the best steaks in the hills on Monday nights.edit
Inn Mahogany creek (Mahogany Creek Inn), 4260 Great Eastern Highway, Mahogany Creek, 6072, ☎ 92951118, . Has recently had extensive renovations, and is a very flash restaurant. edit
The Core Cider House (High Vale Bio-Dynamic Orchard), 35 Merrivale rd, Pickering Brook, 6076, ☎ 9467 8595, . Thur-Sun 10-5. Ciders made on site. Beautiful setting amongst the orchard, with food available.edit
The Mundaring Weir Hotel (Weir Hotel), Mundaring Weir Road, cnr Hall Road (Located on the hill above the dam wall. 15min Drive along Weir road if comming from Mundaring Townsite, 1 hour drive from Perth), ☎ 9295 1106, . Beautiful old pub located next to the Mundaring Weir. Quiet peacful setting in the Perth Hills. It has a very busy Sunday Drinks session, with Live band and Spit roast in the afternoon, very popular with day tripers up from perth.edit