How To Spend A Day In The Avon Valley

Located a comfortable hour’s drive east of Perth, the Avon Valley is a renowned day trip destination, adored for its textured patchwork of verdant rolling hills, babbling brooks, and fields of gold. The area is rich in the stories of the Ballardong Noongar people and spiritually connected to the Avon River, and the early pioneers who built this gateway to the Wheatbelt.

Whether you want to explore colourful country towns, potter around craft and Christmas shops or museums, experience the thrill of a hot air ride balloon at dawn, bush walk through wildflower trails and native bush or picnic on the banks of the Avon River, there’s something for everyone.

Avon Valley Day Trip Itinerary

This day trip itinerary connects you with the best things to do in Northam and Toodyay. You’ll explore the region from land and sky, while delighting in natural beauty, fascinating history, and delicious fare.

5:00 am: Hot air balloon ride in Northam

Credit: Northam Ballooning Events Western Australia

Start the day with a scenic hot air balloon ride — an experience Northam is famous for. Book a peaceful sunrise adventure with Liberty Balloon Flights or Windward Ballooning and revel in the enchanting magic of the Avon Valley. The flight includes an hour sky-high journey as the first morning rays break across the horizon, followed by a breakfast feast.

9:00 am: Explore the historical town of Toodyay

Credit: Newcastle Gaol Museum

Jump in the car and take the 20-minute drive from Northam to Toodyay. Then stretch your legs with a wander around the historical town and admire the architecture which nods to its colonial and convict past. Brimming with stories from yesteryear, Toodyay is home to enthralling artefacts and wild tales of bushrangers, convicts, and war heroes. Here, you can discover where the legend of Moondyne Joe began at Newcastle Gaol Museum, Connor’s Mill Museum and along a self-guided heritage walk throughout town. 

11:30 am: Check out the famed Christmas shop

Credit: Christmas 360

Have a gander around Christmas 360 — Toodyay’s famous Christmas shop selling all things old, traditional, new, and vibrant. Among the wide range of bespoke and funky decorations, there really is something for everyone. Whether it’s the festive season or not, it’s always great fun to have a look around. 

12:00 pm: Lunch at Toodyay Bakery

Credit: Toodyay Bakery

Swing into the award-winning Toodyay Bakery — easily one of WA’s best — for the ideal Avon Valley day trip lunchtime feed. Here, you’ll find everything from freshly baked bread to pies, pasties, pastries, and cakes. Simply delicious!

1:00 pm: Visit Wongamine Reserve for a walk in nature

Wongamine Reserve
Credit: Alexandra Casey

If you’re a hiking enthusiast or nature lover, it’s worth visiting the magnificent Wongamine Reserve for its collection of medium-difficulty tracks peppered across 330 hectares. Located 17 kilometres from the town of Toodyay, Salmon Gums are among the reserve’s varied vegetation. Coupled with Mottlecah, which has the largest Eucalypt flower in the world, and an array of orchid species. Keep an eye out for the vibrant yellow Acacia Acuminata — Toodyay’s most common wildflower and the shire’s unofficial emblem.

3:00 pm: Wine tasting at Coorinja Winery

Credit: Coorinja Winery

Nestled in the undulating Toodyay hills, Coorinja Winery is the perfect pitstop for a well-deserved wine tasting. The winery is one of the state’s oldest with over 100 years of tradition and fifth generation winemakers. Coorinja specialises in fortified wines and has recently started producing small-batch reds. The historic Ringa Bridge — built in 1888 to enable the development of agriculture — is also located on the property. It’s a gorgeous spot for a picnic, just a short walk from the winery. Hit the road and drive back to Northam for a hearty pub dinner.

5:00 pm: Dinner at The Riverside Hotel

Credit: The Riverside Hotel

Salute an Avon Valley day trip well spent with dinner in the outdoor beer garden of The Riverside Hotel. The Northam hard-hitter is known for its pub classics and modern Australian cuisine. Expect parmigianas galore, slow-cooked pork ribs, fish and chips, and the signature Riverside beef burger.

Stay the night: Farmers’ Home Hotel

Farmers' Home Hotel
Credit: Farmers’ Home Hotel

If you don’t want to finish your Avon Valley day trip just yet, and you’re keen for a little overnight indulgence, spend the evening at the Farmers’ Home Hotel, which opened in 1866. Each of the 16 rooms mirror the simplistic beauty of country living, with all the touches you’d expect from a boutique luxury hotel. Whether you choose one of the light and airy Parlour Rooms, the generously-sized Farmhouse Rooms, or the family-friendly, two-bedroom Homestead Room, there’s something suited to all guests.

For more Perth Day Trip itineraries to help you discover the best of Perth, visit our Destination Perth Day Trips hub.

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