The Avon Valley offers an authentic country lifestyle experience, with wide-open farmlands, welcoming locals and an iconic history that will leave a lasting impression. Situated an hours drive from Perth city, it’s the perfect day trip for lovers of gourmet foods, local wildlife and outdoor adventure.
Suburban sprawl recedes and the snarl of traffic softens; the tree line thickens and the road widens as you enter lush farmland. Welcome to the Avon Valley, a region of modest, rural charm that’s earned a reputation for its fresh home-grown produce, and slowing down the pace of life for those used to the mania of the city.
Dozens of century-old buildings form beautiful country streetscapes. The picturesque towns of York, Toodyay, Goomalling, Beverley, New Norcia, Northam, Bindoon and Chittering boast unique architecture and heritage, and distinctive back stories. According to local folklore, the Shire of Chittering derived its name from the Aboriginal chitta-chitta, meaning ‘place of the willy wagtails’.
The iconic Avon River snakes through each of these townships, uniting the region with its inviting grassy banks, surrounding bush tracks, abundant birdlife and popular white-water rafting routes. Rafting is far from the only thrill-seeking activity available in the otherwise tranquil region, however. Adventure sports like motor cross, skydiving and paragliding are popular for those looking for a thrill, while hot-air ballooning is available for a more serene adventure.
The warm hospitality of the residents is a distinct feature of the Avon Valley, especially if you head beyond the markets and farmlands into the delightful close-knit communities.
There, you will discover that local pride and attentiveness extends beyond the tending of their produce, directly into the beautiful heritage towns they call home.
Caravan parks are scattered across the region. Numerous farm stays offer the best of country living, from fruit picking to the rooster crowing at sunrise. For a romantic weekend, pick one of the contained cottages or B&Bs for a quaint, quiet getaway. Immerse yourself in the prevalent heritage of the region, and stay at a colonial homestead or a restored hotel. Many of these accommodation options may also offer access to hiking trails and encounters with local wildlife.
Drive up the Great Eastern Highway, 100km northeast of Perth to Northam. To get to York, turn off from Great Eastern onto Great Southern Highway. Follow Great Southern past York, and head south to reach Beverley.