Exploring Perth – Bells Rapids

I love Perth. Everything about it! The chilled atmosphere and cruisy pace. The down-to-earth vibe and friendly people. The amazing weather and pristine coastline. The abundance of quaint coffee spots and cute cafes. The quirky street art and the growing number of bars popping up. The beautiful beaches and natural bushland. I love this city and how it doesn’t feel like a big city, yet there is still so much to appreciate and explore. There really is so much to love about little ole Perth. Even with all the travels I have done, I still absolutely adore coming back here and feel truly blessed to call this beautiful city my home.

But unfortunately, Perth still seems to have a bit of a bad wrap.’Perth is boring.’ ‘There is nothing to do here.’ ‘Perth is small.’ Heard it all before? I know I have. You might even be guilty of letting those words slip from your lips on the odd occasion. I’m not exempt from that either. As a passionate Perth lover and now self-appointed ambassador for Perth (yes, I just decided this), I’m making it my mission to change any negative connotations of this city. Perth may be small, but it is mighty! There is plenty to see and do. There’s so much to explore. It’s just a matter of venturing out of our comfortable bubbles and discovering the beauty of what is at our doorstep.

And by ‘we’ I mean ‘me’. I have lived in Perth all my life and embarrassingly there are many places I am yet to see. I have actually seen more of the rest of the world than I have of my own home state. I am 25 and only just visited Margaret River for the first time this year (and yes, fell in love). I have only been to Rottnest Island (which is literally a 30-minute ferry ride away) twice – once when I was 12 and once last summer. I have only seen little snippets of the very city that I am head over heels in love with.  So it’s time to change that and get my explore on. I started this weekend!

On Saturday, my best friend and I took a trip to Bells Rapids in the Swan Valley just off the Great Northern Highway. Within a short 40 minute drive we were whisked away from the gorgeous WA coastline where we live, to the most beautiful hilly bushland. In just 40 minutes! Its hard to believe two starkly contrasting natural landscapes can be within such close proximity to each other. But that’s Perth for ya!

Once we arrived, stood in awe for quite some time just taking in the incredible scenery and calming sounds of the trickling water, we hit up the bush walk trail. A little unsteady and slippery at points, the hike was both a good bit of exercise (some of those steep hills really really got the heart rate up) and also incredibly scenic.


With the sun shining and an ideal 25 degree temperature, it was the absolute perfect time of year to visit. Any hotter and I think we would have melted. Also being spring, there is still plenty of greenery around and pops of vibrant colours from the wildflowers, making the hike that much more beautiful.

After all that bush walking and hill hiking, we had worked up a bit of an appetite. So en route back home we stopped off for a much-needed feed at The Swan Valley Cafe. A quick google told me this cute little eatery was both vegetarian and vegan-friendly! HOORAY! From the outside it didn’t look like much, but once inside we were pleasantly surprised. What appeared to be just a plain old deli-style roadhouse stop off, was actually a huge but still somehow peaceful restaurant boasting the most amazing healthy menu options, outdoor garden seating and super friendly staff. There is also a playground for the kids.

Just choosing what to eat from the extensive menu was a challenge. I was actually surprised to see so many vegan options all in one place, let alone in the middle of the valley. I ended up choosing the Veg Burger, which was so nourishing, full or flavour and of course absolutely delicious. I was so impressed by it that our lunch conversation quickly turned to me passionately proclaiming how delicious healthy food can be! Seriously, how can people say healthy food is boring?! It is so easy to make nutrient-rich, healthy foods equally as tasty as they are nourishing! My friend ordered the tempeh burger (which was veggo but not vegan), which she raved about also.

If you are ever in the Swan Valley (obviously checking out the amazing natural wonder that is Bells Rapids), make sure you pop in to The Swan Valley cafe for a nutritious meal. Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, gluten free or a meat-eater there is something for everyone on their mouth-watering menu. Sitting out in the sunshine, surrounded by a the cottage-style garden atmosphere is just the icing on the cake. Highly recommend.

I hope everyone had a wonderful long weekend.

Love Eloise x

If you have any suggestions of places to visit and things to do in and around Perth please leave a comment below. Alternatively send your suggestions through via the contact page. I’m always looking for new places to explore and Perth eateries to review.