There’s so much happening in Western Australia this year and next year. Here’s a guide to What’s on in Perth and the surrounding regions, as well as some of the major things to do in Perth 2018 and some exciting Perth events in 2019.
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What’s On in Perth and the Surrounding Regions
Nigella Lawson returns for 2018 Margaret River Gourmet Escape
The line-up for the 2018 Margaret River Gourmet Escape has been released, with Nigella Lawson returning to Western Australia for the event. Having fallen in love with the region when she attended in 2016, Nigella will host a series of events over the weekend’s festivities including the iconic Gourmet Beach BBQ, Nigella’s Tea Party at Howard Park Winery, as well as appearances and a book signing at the festival hub – the Gourmet Village at Leeuwin Estate.
Nigella will be joined by other returning culinary stars Rick and Jack Stein, Tetsuya Wakuda, Matt Stone, Jo Barret, Mitch Orr, Guy Grossi and Guillaume Brahimi – plus an impressive line-up of new talent.
The festival will feature over 45 events in more than 25 unique and breathtaking locations – with an exciting menu of new events added to the program, including the Amelia Park Spring Harvest Dinner, Caves Road Cantina at Black Brewing Co., Chow’s Table Chinese Feast and Niki Nakayama’s Chef’s Table at Miki’s Open Kitchen. The event will be held in the Margaret River region from Friday November 16 to Sunday November 18, with tickets on sale on July 18.
Exciting Perth Events
Roger returning to Perth for Mastercard Hopman Cup 2019
One of the world’s greatest tennis players, Roger Federer, will return to WA to compete in the Mastercard Hopman Cup 2019, which will run from December 29 to January 5. The 20-time Grand Slam champion will once again pair up with Belinda Bencic for Team Switzerland to defend their 2018 title. The duo will be joined by the German team, and 2018 runners-up, current world number three Alexander Zverev and two-time Grand Slam champion and former world number one Angelique Kerber. The 2018 tournament at Perth Arena made history with a record total attendance of 106,424 and a further 5,688 fans viewing Federer’s open practice session with Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis. Federer has won the past two Australian Open titles after beginning his season in Perth and hopes to start 2019 in a similar winning fashion. During Roger’s last visit to Perth he travelled to Rottnest Island where he captured a quokka selfie. Selected ticket packages for the Mastercard Hopman Cup 2019 are now available to purchase via Ticketek, and Sportsnet Holidays is offering travel packages starting at $389 per person.
Tickets on sale for State of Origin in Perth
Arguably Australia’s biggest sporting rivalry will be on display at Perth’s state-of-the-art Optus Stadium on June 23, 2019 when it hosts game two of the 2019 Rugby League State of Origin series. Tickets go on sale tomorrow (July 18) for the first ever State of Origin game in Perth – which sees the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons battle it out in an annual best-of-three rugby league football match series. The 2019 game will be only the 10th time in State of Origin history that part of the series has been played outside New South Wales or Queensland. General public tickets go on sale from 10am Wednesday July 18 (WST) with prices starting from $48.
Swan Valley wine cruise rated among Australia’s best
Captain Cook Cruises’ Swan Valley Gourmet Wine Cruise has been recognised in Trip Advisor’s 2018 Traveller’s Choice Awards as one of Australia’s Top 10 Experiences. The cruise, which departs from Perth city, travels down the iconic Swan River to the Swan Valley wine region for a two-course lunch, premium wine tasting and an exclusive behind-the-scenes wine tour at Sandalford Estate. Guests also enjoy morning tea and coffee, dessert and live entertainment while taking in views of the city skyline and picturesque landscape. Trip Advisor’s Traveller’s Choice Awards recognise 345 experiences, tours and activities globally, broken down by country and category. Winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account a business’s reviews, opinions and popularity with travellers over the last year. Perth’s Swan Valley is located only a 25 minute drive from the CBD – the closest wine region to any capital city in Australia – and is WA’s oldest wine region at more than 180 years old. Its speciality premium wines include Chenin Blanc, Verdelho, Shiraz and fortifieds, with local grapes producing nearly 30 million bottles of wine.
WA set for a bumper wildflower season
There’s never been a better time for travellers to plan a springtime wildflower holiday to WA, with recent rainfall indicating a bumper wildflower season in parts of the State. WA’s wildflower season is the largest flower show on Earth and a true spectacle of colour. With more than 12,000 species, more than 60 per cent of which are found nowhere else in the world, they colour the landscapes from coast to forest and city to outback.
The six-month flowering season begins in the north in June on the vast outback plains of the Pilbara, Goldfields and Coral Coast where vibrant blooms contrast with pindan earth, rugged canyons and turquoise sea. By September, it will move south and reach Perth’s botanical gardens, nature reserves and national parks, finishing with a flurry in October and November throughout the forests and coastal heaths of the South West. Visitors can take in the spectacles of each region and season on the many the wildflower scenic drives and walking trails. The WA Wildflower Guide contains some great information on where to see the best wildflowers on offer to help visitors plan their trip around Western Australia.
Sigrid Thornton announced as CinefestOz chair
One of Australia’s most revered film, television and theatre actors, Sigrid Thornton, will be part of this year’s CinefestOZ film festival, which showcases a line-up of new and exciting films over five days from August 22 to 26 in WA’s South West. Thornton will chair a jury of industry professionals who will be judging the festival’s $100,000 film prize. Jirga, Ladies in Black, The Merger and 1% are the four feature films vying for the prize, which is the richest film prize in Australia. CinefestOZ attracts filmmakers, actors and film lovers from around Australia, with more than 100 film and event options on offer, held at various locations throughout the region – combining film, with Margaret River wines and gourmet produce.
Kylie on Stage exhibition coming to Fremantle
The eye-catching and extravagant costumes and accessories of one of the world’s most popular performing artists – Kylie Minogue – will go on show at the WA Maritime Museum in Fremantle in February 2019. The Kylie on Stage exhibition will feature dozens of onstage costumes and gowns worn by the renowned ‘Princess of Pop’ on her international tours over the past 25 years, including the work of international designers such as Dolce and Gabbana, Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld and Australian designers Mark Burnett and Peter Morrissey. The free exhibition will open to the public from February 16 and run until June 9, 2019.
Gascoyne food on show
The Gascoyne Food Festival is a celebration of the produce of the Gascoyne region – recognised as one of Australia’s top ‘food bowls.’ The region, located in WA’s mid north west, offers an abundance of tropical fruits, succulent seafood, beef, sheep and a vast array of temperate climate fruit and vegetables. Various events will held across the region between August 5 and September 8, including a Taste of the Gascoyne Sunset BBQ and a Chefs Paddock Tour in Carnarvon, a fine dining dinner at Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort and a ‘beergustation’ at Froth Craft Brewery in Exmouth and a Gourmet Island Escape at Dirk Hartog Island. The festival will wrap-up with Australia’s Biggest BBQ under Australia’s Biggest Rock at Mount Augustus – an iconic event in a magical location.
New Places to visit in Perth
Hibernian Place welcomes Arthur & Co.
Perth’s newest public space, Hibernian Place, has welcomed the opening of another quality dining venue. Arthur & Co. is an all-day eatery from local chef Graham Arthur – owner of West Perth’s’ Gordon Street Garage and known for his previous ventures at Il Lido, Duende and Balthazar. Graham is renowned for his fresh food ideology and ingredient driven focus – with the menus based on seasonal produce and reflecting a commitment to the healthy, imaginative and ethnically diverse cuisine of WA.
Fun Things to do in Perth – Drink craft beer!
Bright Tank Brewing Co. opening in East Perth
The revitalisation of Perth city’s east end continues, with a new microbrewery, bar and restaurant opening later this month. Bright Tank Brewing Co., founded by husband and wife team Matthew Moore and Gemma Sampson, will offer quality craft beer and house-made produce. Each month it will feature a ‘Beergustation’ menu, with each course carefully crafted to match a beer.
Things to do in Perth – Eat!
Yes Please Perth opens in Northbridge
If you’re looking for what’s on in Perth then you can’t go far past restaurants.
Yes Please Perth is the newest hospitality venue to open in Northbridge, Perth’s cultural and entertainment hub. The late night venue is open till 3am on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2am every other night, with the kitchen serving food until closing. The menu offers home cooked food with ingredients sourced from local suppliers and the owner’s bio-dynamic and organic farm in Morangup, north-east of Perth – ranging from sharing style options to a ‘sandwich of the day’ featuring house-baked bread. The drinks menu includes craft beers, a wine list categorised by skin contact levels, and playful cocktails.
Mary Street Bakery opens at QV1
The owners behind Perth’s Mary Street Bakery, Michael Forde and Paul Aron, have opened another CBD offering at QV1 in the city’s west end. Here, customers will find a selection of baked goods and favourites such as Mary Street Bakery’s famed donuts, breads and pastries, grab and go staples such as rolls and sandwiches, poke bowls and daily salads. The coffee will be provided by the Mary Street team’s recently opened coffee roaster venue in Hibernian Place, Offshoot Coffee.
What’s on in Broome?
New restaurant for Broome
Broome’s Mangrove Hotel in WA’s North West region has recently opened a lively new Italian restaurant – Johnny Sausage. Named after Johnny ‘Sausage’ Barbato – the reputed mobster and gourmet gangster earning his nickname from his butchery skills and love of good food and wine – the restaurant’s menu features modern interpretations of classic Italian flavours complemented by a range of Italian wines, with all of the pasta handmade.
Gotta love all the amazing things to do in Broome!
Wildflower to host award winning chef Chele Gonzalez
Internationally-renowned and award winning chef Chele Gonzalez from Gallery by Chele in Manila, will be visiting WA to co-host a series of exclusive events at Wildflower restaurant, in collaboration with executive chef Jed Gerrard. With three events staged over two days (August 10 to 11), both chefs will collaborate on a multi-course menu presenting dishes that reflect their culinary signatures to showcase the best of their cuisine in the Wildflower kitchen. Wildflower is COMO The Treasury’s exclusive fine dining experience – renowned for showcasing native WA ingredients.
Cheaper flights to regional areas
Visitors travelling to Monkey Mia and Carnarvon along WA’s mid north coast will now benefit from cheaper flights, with Regional Express (Rex) offering discounted fares from Perth. The Rex Community Fare is $157 one way for Monkey Mia and $199 for Carnarvon, including all taxes and fees. These fares will be available for 25 per cent of the seat availability when purchased at least 60 days prior to departure. They’ll also be applied to all remaining available seats, purchased within one day prior to departure.
Perth to welcome direct flight service with Hobart
Starting in September this year, WA will welcome a direct air service with Tasmania. Operated by Virgin Australia, the Perth to Hobart service will run three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Around 41,300 Tasmanians visit WA each year, with that figure expected to grow with the direct air link. The direct service is expected to cut travel time by at least an hour, with passengers currently having to connect via Melbourne, Sydney or Adelaide. Flights are now on sale, with advance purchase fares starting from $269 one way.
Busy Blue Bus Tours launch Explore Esperance tour
Busy Blue Bus Tours & Charters has launched a new Explore Esperance day tour. The tours take visitors through the spectacular scenery of Cape Le Grand National Park (best known for kangaroos lazing on white sandy beaches) and along the Great Ocean Drive offering views of Spencer Lake and the Recherche Archipelago.
Highlights include seeing the full-sized replica of Stonehenge, a visit to Mermaid Leather – Australia’s only fish, shark and stingray leather tannery – and Section Glass art gallery. The tour, which also includes morning and afternoon tea, and lunch at Hellfire Bay, is priced at $189 per person with minimum 10 people required for the tour.
Two Feet & a Heartbeat
Two Feet and a Heartbeat offer fantastic walking tours of Perth. If you’re looking for what’s on in Perth then we have to include a new walking tour because Perth is such a great city for walking (and cycling).
Perth’s Two Feet and a Heartbeat walking tours has added to its Fremantle offering with the recent release of two new tours. Fremantle Urban Adventures – Convicts and Colonials walking tour takes a non-traditional route through Fremantle’s history, discovering fascinating, factual and anecdotal local stories – taking in Fremantle’s cappuccino strip and Fishing Boat Harbour, finishing with a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Fremantle Prison. The Fremantle Food Lovers Tour takes visitors through the well-known Fremantle Markets to sample local delicacies, plus authentic bars and restaurants in the historic port end of town. Both tours are $99 per person for adults, including food. The historic and eclectic port city of Fremantle is located a 25 minute drive from Perth city.
Nullarbor Traveller launches new products in WA’s South West
Australian Wildlife Adventures will be expanding their Nullarbor Traveller product offering with the launch of two new accommodated tours departing from September. The 6 Day Best of the South West Adventure features highlights such as Margaret River, Esperance and Cape Le Grand National Park, an Indigenous cultural experience with Koomal Dreaming, Valley of the Giants in Walpole, William Bay National Park and Albany. Also departing fortnightly is the shorter 3 Day Margaret River & Beyond Adventure which offers those with less time a taste of the South West, visiting Dunsborough, Margaret River, Walpole, William Bay National Park and Albany. Both tours depart from Perth fortnightly year-round, with the three-day tour starting at $685 per person all inclusive, and the six day tour from $1,250 per person all inclusive.
Places to go in Perth
Perth’s Optus Stadium continues to impress
Recently voted by fans as Australia’s best venue for watching Australian Rules Football (AFL), Perth’s Optus Stadium continues to impress visitors with its state-of-the-art facilities. AFL attendance at Optus Stadium is the second highest in the country, behind only the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
What’s on in Perth – well a new bridge has been built for a start. A world class bridge that looks fantastic lit up at night.
The most recent addition to the Optus Stadium precinct is the Matagarup Bridge – which opened on July 15, connecting pedestrians and cyclists with the stadium and East Perth. Visually stunning, the 370m long, nine metre-wide bridge has a central structural arch that rises 65 metres above the river to provide an iconic focal point from the city and Optus Stadium. The 2018 AFL season continues at the stadium, with other upcoming events including the Chelsea FC versus Perth Glory friendly match on July 23, Taylor Swift on October 19, the Gillette One Day International between Australia and South Africa on November 4, Australia versus India from December 14 to 18, and in 2019 – the NRL State of Origin and the Bledisloe Cup.
Fun stuff to do in Perth
The Sebel expands in Perth
Opening earlier this month, The Sebel West Perth Aire Apartments added 64 new studio apartment style rooms to Perth’s expanding accommodation offering. The hotel offers 4.5 star apartment studio rooms with kitchenette, laundry facilities, 24-hour reception, car parking, 22 metre solar heated pool, fitness centre, cabana lounge, barbecues and outdoor dining areas. The hotel also has a fourth floor conference room and undercover car parking. The Sebel occupies the first four levels of the 22-storey Aire West Perth apartment tower, located in West Perth and close to key tourist attractions including Perth Arena and Kings Park and Botanic Garden, local cafes, bars and restaurants.
QT Hotel opening in Perth
Due to open on August 1, QT Perth will deliver an exciting new hospitality precinct in the heart of the CBD. As the hotel brand’s first property in WA, it’s set to showcase the best of QT’s signature service and design. The 18-storey hotel boasts 184 luxurious guest rooms, a signature Italian inspired bar and grill restaurant concept, a stunning rooftop bar (the highest in Perth offering spectacular views of the Swan River), café and seven conference rooms. Located right on the doorstep of Murray Street Mall in the city, it takes less than a minute to walk to Perth’s shopping hub.
Departing on October 5, Sealink will host its first escorted tour in WA – discovering the stunning and diverse South West region. The 10-day South West Western Australia tour will take visitors to award winning wineries, picturesque beaches, forests and pastoral landscapes. Highlights include visiting Perth and Kings Park and Botanic Gardens, Cottesloe Beach, Fremantle, Swan Valley and Rottnest Island. In the Margaret River region, guests will enjoy chocolate and wine tastings, and explore limestone caves; while further south they’ll explore the Valley of the Giants TreeTop Walk, and the Stirling Ranges, with the tour also including a visit to Wave Rock in Hyden. The 10-day tour is $3,735 per person, and includes all accommodation, breakfast, dinners, most lunches, all tours, cruises and entry fees and luxury air-conditioned coach transfer.
What’s on in Perth updates with thanks to Western Australia Tourism
Have you any events you’d like to mention on ZigaZag for 2018 and 2019 in the next What’s on in Perth update?