What’s New in Western Australia

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Latest Travel and Lifestyle News from Western Australia

Castle Bay in the Margaret River region

Melbourne to Margaret River direct flights

Exploring one of Western Australia’s most diverse destinations is now easier thanks to Jetstar’s new direct flights between Melbourne and the Margaret River region. The flights commence on March 25, 2020, with fares currently starting from $192^. 

^One-way, excludes checked baggage. Not available on all flights or days and availability may be limited. Selected travel dates and conditions apply.

Perth Festival’s Highway to Hell

Perth’s Canning Highway will become the world’s longest stage for the 2020 Perth Festival closing event, Highway to Hell. Taking inspiration from the song by iconic Australian rock band AC/DC, Highway to Hell will celebrate Perth’s connection to the band’s original front man, the late Bon Scott. On March 1, artists will perform AC/DC covers on the back of flatbed trucks, whilst slowly travelling along 10 kilometres of Canning Highway – an iconic stretch of road that Bon Scott used to walk. Performing artists will range from Finnish bluegrass band Steve ‘n’ Seagulls and Japanese female rock trio Shonen Knife, to the WA Police Pipe Band, Amyl and the Sniffers, Perth Symphony Orchestra and the Pigram Brothers. Kicking off from February 7 to March 1, 2020, the annual Perth Festival is the oldest arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere. 

FRINGE WORLD first 100 shows released

Perth’s annual FRINGE WORLD Festival has released its first 100 shows, with more announcements to come in the next few weeks. Held at more than 150 venues across Perth city, the suburbs and regional WA from January 17 to February 16, it is now the third largest Fringe festival in the world. Highlights from the first release include the rollickingly-good-ride The Choir Man, playing at the Ice Cream Factory, YUCK Circus will return to the ever-popular Woodside Pleasure Garden, and the brand new experience Fringe on the Water – set to be held on-board a cruise ship in the port city of Fremantle.

T20 cricket tickets go on sale

Fans can now secure tickets to see some of the world’s best male cricketers play at Perth Stadium for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s T20 World Cup in 2020. Six matches will be played in Perth – as Australia hosts the showpiece tournament for the first time – commencing with India versus South Africa on Saturday, October 24, 2020. Tickets start from $20 for adults, with children’s tickets to all matches just $5. Tickets are also available for the five Women’s T20 World Cup games to be played in Perth at the WACA Ground in February 2020. The games will feature defending champions Australia as well as eight of the additional nine competing teams.

Perth scores NRL Nines in Australian first

An exciting festival-style tournament of rugby league has been secured for Perth in February 2020. The two-day National Rugby League (NRL) Nines (the Nines) tournament will be held at HBF Park on Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15, 2020. It will be the first time the Nines will be played in Australia, with all 16 of the men’s and four of the women’s NRL clubs coming to Perth for the tournament. The clubs will have their top stars on show, including one of the top six players and 12 of the top 30 players as determined by the salary cap, including players from 2019 NRL grand finalist teams, the Sydney Roosters and Canberra Raiders. Top players from NRLW Premiers, the Brisbane Broncos, will also come to Perth to compete. The Nines are played before the start of the NRL season in a fast-paced format with fewer players on the field, giving the stars more room to show off their skills. Two-day passes for the NRL Nines are on sale from tomorrow (October 23) for club members and Friday, October 25 for the general public. 

Rafael Nadal heading to Perth for ATP Cup 2020

Current world number two and 19-time grand slam winner Rafael Nadal will visit Perth for the first time when he represents Spain in the inaugural ATP Cup. Nadal will be joined by five of the world’s current top male tennis players, including US open runner-up Daniil Medvedev from Russia, and Japan’s Kei Nishikori. With six days of incredible tennis launching the global tennis season for men, the ATP Cup is one of the most highly anticipated events in world tennis. The exciting format will see Perth’s RAC Arena host eight countries over 12 day and night sessions from January 3 to 8, 2020, with tickets now on sale.


Save the date for Ord Valley Muster 2020

Experience the magic of the Kimberley when the Ord Valley Muster returns to WA’s North West from May 15 to 24, 2020. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the 10 day festival, the Kimberley town of Kununurra and surrounds will host a wide variety of unique experiences including black tie dining under starry skies, Aboriginal culture and dance, food events, wellness sessions, the popular local talent quest Muster Idol, a country rodeo, fireworks and comedy. There will also be a special event to commemorate the anniversary celebrations, and a new Ord Valley Muster Closing Night Party on May 24. The Muster’s pinnacle event, the Kimberley Moon Experience and Kimberley Fine Diamonds Dinner, will be held on May 16 – coinciding with the arrival of the Kimberley Express, the first direct flights from Melbourne to Kununurra, that commence on May 15. The event will be headlined by some of Australia’s biggest artists, with past acts including Jimmy Barnes, Paul Kelly, Daryl Braithwaite, Amy Shark, The Cat Empire and Eskimo Joe. More information including talent line-up, tickets sales and travel packages will be released soon.


Good Food Guide Award winners announced

Melissa Palinkas, co-owner and chef at Young George in East Fremantle, was awarded the prestigious Chef of the Year at the 2019 West Australian Good Food Guide Awards. Santini Bar and Grill, the flagship restaurant at QT Perth, was named WA’s Restaurant of the Year, and newcomer La Rebelle in Mount Lawley was awarded New Restaurant of the Year. Best Bar was awarded to Strange Company in Fremantle, and The Standard in Northbridge took out Best Bar Dining. Wills Domain in the Margaret River region was the regional winner of the night, taking out Regional Restaurant of the Year and chef Seth James awarded Regional Chef of the Year. The Good Food Guide is WA’s premier hospitality awards and dining guide, listing 50 of the State’s top restaurants to drink and eat.

The return of Perth’s Royal Hotel

The 137-year-old Royal Hotel is set to reopen in Perth’s CBD this November. Built in 1882, the newly renovated space features a restaurant and saloon bar on the ground level, plus two bars and a performance space on the first floor. Driven by John Parker, the man behind Perth establishments The Standard and Halford Bar, the Royal Hotel will retain its history and charm where possible, with its two floors dotted with Victorian features such as a wrap-around verandah, original balustrading, exposed ceiling beams, wooden floorboards and arched windows. Local craft beers will be complemented by a selection of old-school beers including Swan Draught, a nod to a time when the building was owned by the iconic Swan Brewery. The Royal is located on the corner of Wellington and William streets, opposite Yagan Square.

Songbird at the Ritz-Carlton

Songbird is the new rooftop bar and lounge set to open at Perth’s Ritz-Carlton hotel on November 15 – offering stunning views of Elizabeth Quay and the Perth city skyline. A celebration of WA’s local flora and fauna, Executive Chef Jed Gerrard and Bar Manager Eoin Kenny have created a native botanical inspired menu, offering informal grazing featuring barbecued meats, fresh seafood and seasonal produce. The menu is complemented by a creative cocktail list, and the finest local spirits, craft beer and wine.

New look Kailis Fishmarket Café now open

One of Fremantle’s iconic seafood restaurants, located in the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour precinct, has recently reopened after a major renovation. Kailis Fish Market Cafe now has a new look – inspired by 80’s fish and chip shops and New York City Jewish delis – and a more extensive menu, focusing on under-utilised fish and seafood. A dedicated raw food bar serves up oysters, poke bowls and ceviche, and a fry section cooks-up herring, white bait, sardines and fish wings, with prawns and lobsters going on the barbeque, and seafood chowder served in sourdough rolls.

International brand Hyde to open in Perth

Hyde Perth Kitchen & Cocktails opens this month at Accor’s new Art Series Hotel – The Adnate. Known for its iconic venues in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Miami – the international brand will bring a unique offering to Perth’s CBD. The chic restaurant and bar features an outdoor pool, sun loungers, DJ decks, versatile seating options in the indoor and outdoor spaces, and a private dining room. Australian bartender Tim Philips-Johansson has curated the drinks menu, while chef Danny Sanchez has created a Mediterranean inspired menu featuring street-food snacks, hearty mains and bottomless fries.

Fremantle welcomes Lions and Tigers

The owners of popular Duck Duck Bruce café have recently opened a second restaurant in Fremantle – Lions and Tigers. Located in the former Stable Hands building, head chef Alia Glorie sources local produce to serve up an Anglo-Indian inspired menu.

Joe’s Juice Joint named world’s best dive bar

Joe’s Juice Joint, located in Perth’s cultural hub of Northbridge, has recently been named the number one dive bar in the world. Big Seven Travel, who produce city guides aimed towards adventurous travelers looking for authentic experiences, awarded the top spot to the late night small bar in their 50 Best Dive Bars in the World list. Owned by one of Perth’s hospitality heavyweights Clint Nolan, Joe’s Juice Joint has everything punters are looking for in a classic dive bar, including fried chicken, cheeseburgers, pinball, an extensive beer selection and a classic rock playlist.

Summer markets set to return

Perth’s balmy summer evenings will see the return of some of the city’s favourite outdoor markets. The popular Scarborough Beach Sunset Markets will kick off every Thursday night at 5pm from October 31, and Perth city’s favourite foodie markets – the Friday night Twilight Hawkers Markets – will start satisfying tastebuds from November 15.

New brewery opens in Maylands

Seasonal Brewing Co. is a family and pet-friendly microbrewery that’s recently opened in the city-fringing hub of Maylands. The 300-person venue includes a main bar, beer garden and function hall, and serves up 12 in-house brews, with three guest beers taps and three on-tap cocktails. The menu ranges from snacks, sharing plates and main meals, to canteen-style dishes such as pies and sausage rolls.


Kalbarri Skywalk taking shape

The much-anticipated $24 million Kalbarri Skywalk in WA’s Coral Coast region is getting close to completion, with the installation of two cantilevered walkways offering unprecedented views over the Murchison River Gorge. Located at the West Loop in Kalbarri National Park – only 1.5 kilometres from the popular Nature’s Window – the skywalk is expected to be open in early 2020. The platforms extend 25 and 17 metres beyond the rim of the Murchison River Gorge at one of its highest points, offering uninterrupted views of the national park. The development will also include a new on-site kiosk, two new wheelchair accessible viewing structures, paths, undercover seating areas, visitor information and toilets.

Exmouth takes out gold in Top Tourism Town Awards

The stunning coastal town of Exmouth has taken out the gold medal in the GWN7 Top Tourism Town Awards. More than 8,000 locals and visitors voted in the competition, which gives WA towns the opportunity to put their best foot forward and show why they are the place to visit. Albany in WA’s South West was awarded silver and Esperance in WA’s Golden Outback took home bronze. Exmouth, located around 1,200 kilometres north of Perth along the Coral Coast highway – is the perfect base for exploring the landscapes of Cape Range Natural Park and the underwater wonders of World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef, where visitors can swim with the gentle giants of the sea – whale sharks, manta rays and humpback whales. Visitors can also reach Exmouth in less than two hours, via flights from Perth with Qantas.

Non-stop Shanghai to Perth flights

Chinese visitors will now have even more opportunity to visit WA this summer, with a new trial of direct flights between Shanghai and Perth commencing next year. China Eastern Airlines’ non-stop service will operate three flights each week over five weeks on Airbus A330s, from January 15 until February 17 – which is during peak Chinese New Year festivities.

Optus Stadium’s beauty internationally celebrated

Perth’s 60,000 seat Optus Stadium was officially awarded the prestigious 2019 Prix Versailles for Sport Award in Paris in September, marking it as the most beautiful stadium in the world. Optus Stadium has received multiple accolades since its official opening in January 2018, including Project of the Year at The Stadium Business Awards in London, the Gold award for New Tourism Business at the Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards, best new caterer at the Savour Australia National Awards for Excellence and numerous architectural and landscape awards. In the coming months, the world-class stadium will host legendary international bands U2 and Queen, and its maiden day-night cricket test in Perth when Australia take on cross-Tasman rivals New Zealand.

El Questro 2020 Early bird Deals

El Questro in WA’s spectacular Kimberley region has released a range of early bird deals for the 2020 season to align with the new direct flights between Melbourne and Kununurra – launching in May next year. Guests can stay at El Questro’s luxury Homestead for four nights and save 25 per cent, and enjoy gourmet meals each day, a selection of premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and a daily restocked mini-bar. At Emma Gorge and The Station, guests can stay for three nights and only pay for two.

Eco Beach Broome open during the wet season

Ramada Eco Beach Resort, located 130 kilometres south of Broome in WA’s North West, will be open seven days a week during the upcoming wet season. Set amongst the pristine and untouched Kimberley environment, this multi award-winning eco resort provides guests with an unforgettable and unique wilderness experience. From November 1, 2019, until March 31, 2020, villas and beach houses will be discounted between 30 – 50 per cent. There will also be selected activities available on site, including the self-guided cave walk, daily yoga and fishing at Jack’s Creek.

Ravensthorpe home to world’s biggest lollypop

The world’s biggest freestanding lollypop has been unveiled at Yummylicious Candy Shack in Ravensthorpe, about 530 kilometres south east of Perth in WA’s Golden Outback. Standing joyfully at 7.4 metres tall and four metres wide, the giant lollypop is an ideal photo stop during a road trip to explore the Fitzgerald River National Park, Esperance and surrounds. Yummylicious Candy Shack is open daily from 10am to 5pm.

Travel packages to explore Kalgoorlie-Boulder

The Kalgoorlie Boulder Visitor Centre, situated 590 kilometres inland from Perth in WA’s Golden Outback, is offering three different travel packages to explore the region and discover Kalgoorlie Boulder’s hidden treasures. Unearth the history and heritage of Australia’s largest outback city, experience one of the greatest desert golf courses, tour the infamous Super Pit or explore the Eastern Goldfields on a self-drive trail. Goldfields Getaways packages include return rail (from Perth) on the Prospector and three nights’ accommodation of your choice, with prices starting from $320.

Oakabella Homestead’s new tour offerings

Oakabella Homestead, a heritage farming station offering caravan and camping accommodation north of Geraldton in WA’s Coral Coast, has recently started an Outback Campfire Bush Tour and Dinner. Guests can learn about traditional bush tucker foods and listen to the sounds of the didgeridoo at sunset, before returning to the homestead for a campfire dinner. Daily tours are also available, where visitors can discover the homestead’s history and enjoy fresh scones from the tearooms. Daily tours run at 10am and 2pm every day except Wednesday.


Constellation Cup

October 27 | RAC Arena | Perth

Australia’s top female netball team, the Samsung Diamonds, will be looking to defend its six straight Constellation Cup winning streak at this year’s test, with the side set to take on the New Zealand Silver Ferns at Perth’s RAC Arena on October 27. Perth will host the final showdown of the four-match Constellation Cup, which will be a rematch of the World Cup Final in July, where New Zealand beat Australia by one goal, with two games apiece to be held on each side’s home soil.

Augusta Adventure Fest

November 2 to 3 | Augusta | WA’s South West

Recognised as the world’s biggest adventure race, this multi-race, multi-adventure weekend offers something for everyone, taking place amidst the landscapes of the South West region. The event will feature the Augusta Premier Adventure Race, which includes a 12.5 kilometre run starting on the boulders below Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, followed by a two kilometre ocean swim, a 12.5 kilometre ocean paddle, a 28.5 kilometre mountain bike ride, finishing up with a 400 metre run to the finish line. For younger and first time competitors, there’s the Augusta MINI Adventure Race, and for children there’s the Junior Survivor Augusta. After a 14 year history, this year’s Augusta Adventure Fest will be the last ever event.

Fed Cup by BNP Paribas

November 9 to 10 | RAC Arena | Perth

Western Australia will host some of the world’s top female tennis players, with the Fed Cup final between Australia and France set to be held in Perth this November. The International Tennis Federation announced the final would be held in WA after team Australia, captained by WA’s Alicia Molik and led by Australia’s No. 1 tennis player and recent French Open champion Ashleigh Barty, defeated Belarus in the semi-final in April. It will be the first time Perth has staged the final of the world’s largest annual international women’s tennis competition since the 1971 edition. The competition will take place at RAC Arena on November 9 and 10.

St Barbara’s Festival

November 28 and December 1 | Kalgoorlie | WA’s Golden Outback

Celebrating the patron saint of miners, this annual festival acknowledges the resource sector’s strong connection to the Goldfields communities since the 19th century gold rush. The festival begins with the Miners Memorial Service, honouring those who have lost their lives servicing the mining industry over the past 125 years. The unique event culminates with the Saint Barbara’s Festival Parade, where huge mining equipment rumbles along Kalgoorlie’s historic main street in a celebration of the many industries and communities of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

Western Australia Gourmet Escape

November 8 to 17 | Swan Valley, Perth and Margaret River region | Perth and WA’s South West

Culinary leaders from all over the globe will come together for 10 extraordinary days this November for Western Australia Gourmet Escape presented by Westpac. International superstars include David Chang, Marco Pierre White, Danny Bowien, Amanda Cohen, Pierre Koffmann, Carlo Cracco, Garima Arora, Ivan Brehm, Selassie Atadika  and many other chefs and wine experts, who will be welcomed by Australian culinary talent including Alla Wolf-Tasker AM, Jock Zonfrillo, Josh Niland  and Seth James  to name a few.

For the first time, the festival will be held in three regions – the Swan Valley, Perth city and the Margaret River region. The newly expanded festival will offer guests more chances than ever to feast, sip, party and discover their way through a diverse program of more than 50 events.

Perth International Jazz Festival

November 8 to 10 | Perth

The Perth International Jazz Festival brings the very best international and national jazz artists to Perth. Over the weekend of November 8 to 10, more than 40 incredible jazz performances will take place across various venues in Perth and Northbridge, featuring a blend of ticketed and free community events by a host of celebrated local, national and international jazz artists.

Ironman WA and Ironman WA 70.3

December 1 to 2 | Busselton | WA’s South West

One of only three Australian events on the global IRONMAN circuit, the SunSmart IRONMAN Western Australia is celebrated for its scenic course through the South West city of Busselton, where local and international competitors often achieve personal best times. After a challenging 3.8 kilometre swim around the iconic Busselton Jetty, athletes then take on the 180 kilometre cycle through the picturesque tuart forests and a 42.4 kilometre run along the picturesque Geographe Bay. The popular shorter-distance 70.3 race takes place alongside the main triathlon.

Domain Test Series Australia v New Zealand

December 12 | Optus Stadium | Perth

Perth’s world-class Optus Stadium will host its maiden day-night Test match when Australia takes on trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand on December 12. Cricket Australia’s recently announced summer schedule will see some major clashes come to Perth.

Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival

December 14 | Manjimup | WA’s South West

Fruit lovers flock to one of WA’s top culinary destinations, Manjimup, for this gourmet festival and the chance to enjoy delicious cherries fresh from the tree. A full day of activities celebrates the diversity of fresh produce from Manjimup and the surrounding Southern Forests region, located around three hours’ drive south of Perth, including food and craft stalls, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, children’s entertainment, street theatre, log chopping competition, a summer picnic and the popular 200-person long-table lunch among the cherry orchard.

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