Welcome to the February edition of This is WA

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February 2021


Travel and Lifestyle News from Western Australia


Welcome to the February edition of This is WA, bringing you the latest travel and lifestyle news from across Western Australia.

What's Hot

Stay, Play and Save in Perth

Elizabeth Quay Perth

There’s even more reason for West Aussies to stay and play in Perth, with a $200 discount being offered at up to 80 city hotels. As part of a Stay, Play and Save mid-week promotion, WA locals can receive the discount when spending $400, on a minimum two-night stay, Sunday to Thursday. For ideas on how to make the most of a Perth ‘staycay,’ read the feature below.

World surfing double for WA

Western Australia will create history in May when it hosts two world surf events in the same year, after securing a one-off World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour event at Perth’s Rottnest Island. The 12-day Rip Curl Rottnest Search will be held at the island’s Strickland Bay from May 16 to 26. The event will follow the world-famous Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro (May 2 to 12), which has been a World Championship Tour event since 2014 and attracts the world’s top professional surfers. Tourism WA recently locked in a three-year deal with the WSL for the Margaret River Pro to remain in WA until 2024. The two events will showcase WA as a leading surf and adventure travel destination. Although Rottnest Island will remain open for visitors while hosting the event, spectators won’t be encouraged at Strickland Bay because it is a broadcast only event.

Matagarup Bridge Climb now open

Matagarup Bridge Climb

Experience stunning 360-degree views from a 72-metre-high platform on Perth’s latest tourist attraction – the Matagarup Bridge Climb. Opening in two stages, guests are now able to climb the 314 steps to reach the bridge’s Sky View platform; and in March, adventure seekers will be able to zip-line from the launch platform of the bridge, 400 metres across the Swan River to a landing platform in Burswood Park. Guests can experience a day, night or even a full moon bridge climb, with the experience open to anyone fit and over the age of eight. The Matagarup Bridge Zip+Climb experiences start from $59 for the bridge climb and express zip tickets, with Zip+Climb packages starting from $99. The iconic Matagarup Bridge was completed in 2018, and provides pedestrian access over the Swan River, from East Perth to the Optus Stadium precinct.

Perth’s Parmelia Hilton hotel multi-million dollar face lift

Perth's Parmelia Hilton

Perth’s Parmelia Hilton hotel has undergone a $45 million transformation, and is ready to welcome back visitors. The iconic 53-year old hotel has a new-look, and features completely touchless Digital Key technology. Some of the works carried out include a complete revitalisation of the hotel lobby – featuring locally inspired design and artwork, the addition of 32 new rooms and an executive lounge, refurbishment of the restaurant, and an integrated thoroughfare connecting the hotel lobby to the Brookfield Place precinct.

Rooftop tours at Optus Stadium

Experience breathtaking views from the top of the world’s most beautiful stadium on Optus Stadium’s brand new rooftop tour – HALO. Guests can now climb the 78 steps up to the roof of the stadium on a guided tour and experience the stunning city views, take in a bird’s-eye view of the field of play, and sit in seats 42 metres above the ground. The tours, which will start operating on February 27, also include a behind-the-scenes look at how the stadium runs on game day, as well as information about the stadium’s construction. The two-hour tours start from $79 for adults, and complements the other experiences available at Optus Stadium, which includes stadium tours and Aboriginal cultural tours. With the Australian Football League (AFL) season kicking off on Sunday March 21, now is the perfect time to book an experience.

Experience Rottnest after dark

Rottnest Island at sunset

Day trippers to Perth’s island playground can now experience the magic of a golden island sunset thanks to a new Rottnest After Dark initiative. Visitors who travel to Rottnest Island after 2pm from now until April 24, 2021 on day-return ferry fares will have their island admission fees waived so they can enjoy sunset sundowners and dinner after dark. Rottnest ferry operators – Rottnest Express and SeaLink – are also offering day-return ferries at discounted prices when departing after 2pm. Return ferries with Rottnest Express start from $39, departing after 2pm from Northport or B-Shed in Fremantle, with evening returns from the island at 8:30pm and 10:30pm (Fridays and Saturdays). SeaLink are offering $35 return ferries, departing from B-Shed after 2pm, with evening returns at 7pm and 10pm (Fridays and Saturdays). If travelling from Hillarys, Rottnest Fast Ferries have daily departures at 12:45pm, with returns at 6:45pm starting at $49.50 return. A number of businesses on the island are also extending their tour offerings and trading hours to encourage guests to stay later. For further information visit the website.

Geraldton to welcome signature event

The city of Geraldton, located in WA’s Coral Coast, is set to welcome a vibrant new festival showcasing the region’s seafood, culture and adventure. Shore Leave will take place from May 6 to 9, 2021, and will offer a jam-packed program of events including seafood markets, a long-table Abrolhos Islands dining experience, walking tours and family-friendly activities. Foodies will also enjoy celebrating the Mid-West region’s premium produce, including the internationally-renowned western rock lobster, as well as other local seafood, meat, fruit, vegetables, grains and beverages. The program line-up - including chef announcements - and ticket sales are set to be launched next month. The coastal city of Geraldton, known for its stunning beaches and coastline, intriguing history and thriving arts scene, is located a 4.5 hour drive or 50 minute flight with Qantas from Perth.

Lifestyle and Culture

Sculpture by the Sea returns to Cottesloe

Flutterland II by April Pine, Sculpture by the Sea 2020. Image by Richard Watson

Perth’s iconic Cottesloe Beach will soon transform into one of the largest outdoor sculpture exhibitions in the world when Sculpture by the Sea returns from March 5 to 22, 2021. A four-metre large-scale piece titled Laminae, is set to be one of the key attractions – created by New Zealand sculptor Chris Booth who is this year's featured international artist. As one of Perth’s largest free public events, visitors can expect to see 70 works on display from local, national and international artists. Sculpture by the Sea also includes a public indoor exhibition of smaller-scale sculptures, an access and inclusion program, and an interactive school education program.

Margaret River Region Open Studios

Margaret River painter Elizabeth Whiteman in her home studio. Image by Josh Ball

The 2021 Margaret River Region Open Studios is set to take place from September 11 to 26. The event allows visitors and art enthusiasts to have the rare chance to visit private art studios in the region and meet established and emerging artists for a unique behind-the-scenes creative experience. With the annual event now taking place over spring, art lovers will also be able to enjoy the colourful displays of wildflowers in the region.

Tim Minchin and Tee Ken Ng’s Leaving LA exhibition opens at AGWA

The Art Gallery of WA’s (AGWA) latest exhibition Leaving LA brings together the visions of two WA creative luminaries; singer-songwriter, comedian, actor and director Tim Minchin, and his childhood friend – artist, graphic designer, director and animator Tee Ken Ng. The project is a three-dimensional realisation of the animated music video Ng created for Minchin's song Leaving LA. Presented as a live animation installation, the exhibition combines hand-made zoetropes, projection, camera-phones and video, revealing the unique and exquisite charm, art and craft of Tee Ken Ng's animation practice. The free exhibition Leaving LA, forms part of the annual Perth Festival, and is open now until March 22.

Upgrades to Rottnest Island’s Wadjemup Museum

Rottnest Island’s Wadjemup Museum has recently undergone a refurbishment, providing visitors a place to explore and learn about the fascinating history of the island. The traditional owners of Rottnest Island are the Whadjuk Nyoongar people, and the island is known as Wadjemup in Nyoongar language – which means ‘place across the water where the spirits are.’ The Wadjemup Museum has been named to reflect that connection to the traditional owners of the island. The purpose of the museum is to share the history of the island in a contemporary way with new displays focusing on telling the stories of the island – with topics covering imprisonment, internment, natural history, arts and culture, geology, flora and fauna.

Dining at Kalbarri Skywalk returns

Kalbarri Skywalk. Image by Scott Slawinski

Enjoy a dining experience like no other at one of WA’s most awe-inspiring new tourism attractions when the Kalbarri Skywalk Dinner returns in March. Taking place from March 26 to 29, the weekend event package – available through Best4Travel – includes coach transport, three nights’ accommodation, a welcome function, two-day tours around Kalbarri, and the Kalbarri Skywalk Dinner, featuring an exclusive performance by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra Chorus. The three-night coach package starts from $1,399 per person, or there is a self-drive option starting from $1,299 per person.

Food and Wine

Sandalford Wines new bar and restaurant

Sandalford Wines, one of the founding wineries in Perth’s Swan Valley region – located less than 30 minutes’ drive from the CBD – has recently opened a new bar and restaurant. Featuring an open kitchen and a wood-fired Sicilian pizza oven, the new Sandalford Bar and Restaurant is open for lunch, Monday to Sunday from 11:30am, and for drinks and dinner on Friday to Sunday evenings until late. In addition, a wide selection of wine from Sandalford’s Swan Valley and Margaret River portfolios will be available, alongside a selection of cocktails, spirits, beer and cider.

Drasko’s Hot Chicken

Drasko's Hot Chicken. Image by Sam Watson

A Nashville-inspired hot chicken restaurant has opened in the inner city suburb of Mount Hawthorn. Drasko’s Hot Chicken brings a cult American favourite food to Perth, with Nashville hot chicken the star of the menu. Five different heat levels are on offer, ranging from Southern (no heat) to Blame Drasko (extra hot), plus an ‘off-menu’ triple hot chicken that uses one of the hottest chillies in the world, grown in the WA town of Carnarvon. Other star dishes include house-fermented pickles and sauces, and organic hand-cut fries, with the menu celebrating local organic and biodynamic farmers. Perth-raised journalist turned chef Drasko Jankovic is behind the venture, who was inspired to create Nashville hot chicken after getting his first taste of it while working at the world-famous Noma in Copenhagen.

Cullen Wines turns 50

Cullen Wines. Image by Elements Margaret River

One of the Margaret River region’s founding wineries – Cullen Wines – celebrates its 50th anniversary this year – marking 50 years since planting the first Cabernet vines. The Wilyabrup winery - founded by Diana Madeline and Dr Kevin John Cullen, and now owned by their six children including renowned winemaker Vanya Cullen – has grown from humble beginnings to a world-class biodynamic and Australia’s only carbon positive winery. Cullen Wines is also one of Australia’s most awarded wineries. Recent accolades include Best Winery in Australia 2020 by The Real Review and one of the top nine Most Beautiful Biodynamic Wineries in the World by USA magazine Architecture. Winemaker Vanya Cullen was also awarded Halliday Wine Companion Winemaker of the Year 2020 and Women in Wine Winemaker of the Year 2019. A series of celebratory lunches will be held in the Biodynamic Wine Room on March 19, 20 and 21, and the Cullen Awards for Excellence celebratory dinner will be held on June 5 to honour the legacy of Diana Madeline and Dr Kevin John Cullen.

Johnny Fox's opens in Northbridge

Johnny Fox's

Taking over and revamping the iconic Rosie O’Grady’s venue in the cultural hub of Northbridge is Johnny Fox's. The new bar pays homage to traditional Irish pubs – with its dark, wooden interiors and classic menu – and is the latest offering from Clint Nolan, the hospitality heavyweight behind some of Perth’s most popular venues including Henry Summer, Sneaky Tony’s and Alabama Song. Food options at Johnny Fox's include traditional favourites like bangers and mash, chicken parmigiana, sticky date pudding and a classic Sunday roast. Guinness and Kilkenny are available on tap, and the cocktail list serves up classics with a twist such as the Irish Coffee and The Misty Marmalade.

Margaret River’s new cellar doors and craft beer venues

LS Merchants new cellar door. Image source: Instagram @ls.merchants

The Margaret River region in WA’s South West has recently welcomed the opening of a number of new cellar doors, adding to the existing 100 plus venues in the region.

LS Merchants has opened a brand new cellar door in Cowaramup. Winemaker Dylan Arvidson produces small batch, minimal intervention wine consisting of 20 different varieties, styles and blends and handmade with wild fermentation where possible. Bookings are recommended, and wines will be available by the glass and bottle to drink at the venue.

Only minutes from Gracetown beach is Grace Farm – a small, family-owned vineyard that uses organic principles to produce premium hand-crafted wines. Offering personalised wine tasting experiences, the new cellar door is open Wednesdays through to Sundays, with a number of special tasting events to be held throughout the year.

Another new winery to check out is Skigh Wines. Located in the Yallingup hills with a relaxed, rustic set up and a sprawling garden – it offers the perfect place for wine tastings. The wines embrace natural ferments, with minimal additions and bottled using traditional techniques. The cellar door tasting room is open Friday through to Monday, and walk-ins are welcome.

Also in Yallingup, Marri Wood Park has also recently opened a cellar door, and is a must-visit for those interested in biodynamic, regenerative farming practices. Guests can book ahead to receive a complimentary cheese platter.

And for the beer drinkers, well-loved winery Aravina Estate has recently started serving up craft beer. Brewed onsite by chief brewer Dr Brad Hutton – who is also one of the winemakers – the new taphouse is currently pouring five of its own brews under the 8 Waves Brewing Co label.

Dunsborough’s new small bar offerings

Lady Lola Bar, Dunsborough. Image source: Instagram @ladylolabar

The coastal town of Dunsborough, located in the Margaret River region, has a number of new small bars waiting to be discovered. Har Bar has a fun vintage nautical theme, and serves up local wine and beer, impressive cocktails and a selection of rum. Lady Lola Bar features clean and modern interiors, and is part-deli, part-bar, part-bistro. Guests can indulge in a glass of negroni or bubbles and share plates.

Pinot Picnic in the Southern Forests

Pinot Picnic 2021. Image credit: Frances Andrijich

Celebrating the best of WA’s Southern Forest region’s produce and pinot, the inaugural Pinot Picnic will take place from April 22 to 25 in the towns of Manjimup and Pemberton. A series of pinot-inspired events will showcase premium local produce and varieties of renowned regional pinot, with deluxe hampers available for purchase. The Southern Forests is one of Australia’s most exciting emerging wine regions and the leading pinot region in WA, known for quality, expressive wines. The region produces boutique, artisanal gourmet produce that are favourites among the world's top chefs and foodies, such as fresh local marron and black truffles.

Fremantle’s On Cloud Wine

The port city of Fremantle will this month welcome a new wine and food event. On Cloud Wine will take over Victoria Quay’s B-Shed from February 27 to 28 with an impressive line-up of boutique WA wines, craft brews, local spirits and food. Taking place over four sessions, guests will also enjoy live music, while overlooking Fremantle Harbour.

Harvest in the Swan Valley

House of Honey in the Swan Valley

Harvest is a celebration of the bounty of fresh produce available during summer in the Swan Valley– located less than 30 minutes from Perth CBD. Taking place from February 27 to 28, the festival program features a series of behind-the-scenes events with local growers and producers, allowing guests to experience the Swan Valley like a local. Join a vintage harvest and spend a morning helping with grape picking, followed by a sit down lunch; take part in a tomato chutney or asparagus masterclass; enjoy a guided fresh produce tour; or suit-up in a beekeeping outfit to experience the inner workings of a hive. For the full list of events on offer, visit swanvalley.com.au/Harvest.

Funk Cider opens new Swan Valley venue

The award-winning cidery, Funk Cider, opened its doors to a new Swan Valley venue last month. Located at the former home of Swanbrook Winery, Funk Cider 2.0 offers a much larger space to drink and dine in the totally transformed venue. The multi-million dollar makeover includes upgrades to the restaurant, kitchen, al fresco areas, and retail space, as well as expanding the production facilities. The new food menu features tapas, solo and share options; and the 18 taps will pour all of the Funk favourites, including six ciders, six beers and six hybrid ‘Funk Project’ creations. The original Funk Cider House, also located in the Swan Valley, will continue to remain open.

Bush tucker dinner under the stars

As part of the 2021 Taste Great Southern festival (March 18 to 28), Great Southern Outback Tours & Accommodation will be hosting a Bush Tucker Dinner under the stars at The Grange on Kalgan on March 24, 2021. The unique event experience will include pick up from Albany by Busy Blue Bus, followed by sightseeing and commentary of the region’s iconic sites. Guests will also visit traditional Aboriginal fish traps with Kurrah Mia before arriving at The Grange on Kalgan where they will discover the sustainability ethos of the property before enjoying an Aussie ‘sundowner’ and dinner in the gardens overlooking the Kalgan River.

Tours, Attractions and Accommodation

Mandurah Waterbikes and BBQ Boats

Mandurah Cruise's waterbike tours

Visitors to the coastal city of Mandurah can now cruise along the iconic canals and waterways on a waterbike, thanks to Mandurah Cruises’ latest new tour offering. Mandurah Waterbikes are a safe and fun way for guests to explore the city’s beautiful waterfront, and spot the resident bottlenose dolphins and variety of bird life. The waterbikes are available to hire for 30 minutes or one hour, and guided tours are also on offer to lead guests through the highlights of Mandurah’s waterways with an experienced wildlife and dolphin spotter. The waterbikes complement Mandurah Cruises’ other recent new tour offering – the Mandurah Eco BBQ Boats. These electric ‘donut’ boats can be hired for two-hours, and include an on-board barbecue – offering the perfect way to enjoy a sociable floating lunch on the water. Mandurah is located an easy one-hour drive south of Perth.

RAC Karri Valley Resort’s new caravan and campground

The RAC Karri Valley Resort’s new caravan and campground – located among the towering Karri trees in the Southern Forests town of Pemberton – is now officially complete. The new precinct now includes 66 powered sites, 50 camp sites, four ensuite sites and a designated pet friendly zone. A modern camp kitchen, recreation room, nature playground and BMX track are also among the new facilities. The new camping facilities complement the existing range of chalet accommodation, and are a great way for guests to get close to nature while experiencing the range of facilities available at the resort – including the Lakeside Restaurant, animal farm, canoe and fishing hire, Wi-Fi and walking trails.

Experience the Golden Outback with Luxury Outback Tours

Luxury Outback Tours has recently launched a number of new tour offerings in WA’s Golden Outback region, adding to its suite of existing luxury tours across the State. The four-day Kalgoorlie Golden Trail Tour takes in sites along the Golden Pipeline including Mundaring Weir, Wave Rock, Lake Ballard, historic Kalgoorlie-Boulder, ghost town Gwalia, Leonora, the Kookynie Pub, and the PUBLIC Art Silos. The Four-day Silo Art Trail Tour includes luxury accommodation at Northam’s Farmers Home Hotel and Katanning’s Premier Mill Hotel, and takes in the Pingrup, Newdegate, Merredin and Northam PUBLIC Silos, the towns of York and Beverley, the Corrigin Dog Cemetery, the Bilya Koort Boodja Centre in Northam, and Coorinja Winery in Toodyay.

Eco-friendly accommodation in Margaret River

Petit Eco Cabin at Windows Estate in Yalingup

The Margaret River region in WA’s South West – renowned for its world-class wines – has recently welcomed a raft of new eco-friendly accommodation offerings, with the region embracing the growing trend towards sustainable housing options for travellers.

Barn Hives in Yallingup are architecturally designed, self-sustainable luxury eco-pods. Special attention was paid to sunlight and cross ventilation in the design, and water for the property is collected from rainfall and heated by solar panels. The property is also home to the award winning Barnyard 1978 restaurant, and is located just a stone’s throw away from popular Smiths Beach.

Petit Eco Cabin is a single, architecturally designed timber cabin, nestled into trees by a lake, and overlooking the organic vineyards of Windows Estate in Yallingup. All fixtures, fittings, and décor items for the property have been sourced and made in Australia. Featuring an outdoor vintage tub, a fireplace and daybeds both inside and outside, the accommodation is designed to help guests slow down.

Margaret River Heartland, a fourth-generation farm in the heart of region, is now offering ‘off-the-grid’ accommodation with pastoral views to the forest. Guests can choose from a weatherboard cottage or a ‘glampavan’ – a completely refurbished caravan designed by artist Anita Revel, with a modern kitchen, vintage record player and rainwater sky shower.

Busselton Jetty’s new underwater observatory

Busselton Jetty

Consultation works have started on a new larger underwater observatory located 1.8 kilometres out to sea at the iconic Busselton Jetty in WA’s South West. A giant abstract whale has received the most support for the building design of the new Australian Underwater Discovery Centre. With construction anticipated to start in mid-2020, the new observatory will allow for more visitors to experience the underwater wonders that live at the end of the largest timber-jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. The opening for the new world-class facility is currently scheduled for December 2022.

Ultimate water sports on the Swan River

Experience adrenaline filled fun on Perth’s Swan River, with Ultimate Watersports now open for business on the South Perth foreshore. Jet-ski hire and guided tours are available, as well as tubing and wakeboarding – which will be available seasonally from November 1 to April 30. Ultimate Watersports began operating in the Coral Coast city of Geraldton – offering a variety of different watersports including flyboard x, jetpacks, wakeboarding, water skiing, SUP boarding and kayaking; and also operate seasonally in Exmouth and Broome.


10 ways to Stay, Play and Save in Perth

Elizabeth Quay Perth

There’s even more reason for West Aussies to stay and play in Perth, with a $200 discount being offered at up to 80 city hotels. As part of Tourism WA’s Stay, Play and Save mid-week promotion, locals can receive the discount when spending $400, on a minimum two-night stay, Sunday to Thursday.
Here’s some inspiration for how you can Stay, Play and Save, so you can start booking right away.

  1. Experience one of the city’s new hotel offerings. Perth offers some of the best hotel and short-stay accommodation in Australia, following an abundance of new and refurbished properties that have opened in the CBD and surrounding urban and coastal areas. All offer a range of in-house experiences, such as restaurants, events, high teas, rooftop bars and wellness centres.
  2. Event season. It’s event season in Perth, and with Fringe Encore already underway until February 28, there’s something on every night of the week in the city, Northbridge and at Fringe’s suburban hubs. Perth Festival, the Southern Hemisphere’s oldest arts festival, runs from February 15 to March 14, followed by Sculpture by the Sea at Cottesloe Beach – from March 5 to 22. It’s also outdoor cinema season – Rooftop Movies in Northbridge, Moonlight Cinema in Kings Park and Perth Festival’s Lotterywest Films at the Somerville Auditorium are a few of the options. Pick a couple of shows, and a hotel conveniently nearby.
  3. Coastal vibes. Perth is renowned around the world for its coastline, and with 19 metropolitan beaches on our doorstep, along with our famous Indian Ocean sunsets, summer and autumn is the ultimate time to spend some extended time by the sea. Book a hotel by the coast, and enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner with a view. Keen to get a little further out of the city? Head to Rockingham and snorkel your way around the Shoalwater Marine Park, visit Penguin Island and take a tour to swim alongside wild dolphins with Perth Wildlife Encounters. Or, staycay in Mandurah and cruise the canals, take a seafood cruise or cycle on water around Mandjar Bay.  Keep an eye out for local events at Hillarys Boat Harbour, or Scarborough, such as the Scarborough Sunset Markets, held every Thursday night.
  4. See the city like you’ve never seen it before. Think you know Perth city, and Northbridge? Think again. There are a number of guided walking tours that take in the city’s past, present and future. Explore laneways, architecture, street art, bars, cafes, and restaurants – as well as tours themed around cheese, beer, wine, whisky and gin. There’s something for everyone, and you’ll probably want to book more than one!  Check out Two Feet And A Heartbeat, Oh Hey WA, or Eat The Street. Choose a hotel in the city or Northbridge and be the ultimate tourist in your own town.
  5. Culture vulture. The spectacular new WA Museum Boola Bardip located in the Perth Cultural Centre is something every West Aussie should explore. With 6,000 square metres of gallery space and stories from across the State, you’ll want to visit more than once. Be sure to also check out what’s on at the Art Gallery of WA – its collection has grown into the finest public art collection in the State. Need more? PICA (the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art) has its summer exhibitions now on, with a series on show in association with the Perth Festival. Never checked out the city’s established attractions such as The Bell Tower or the Perth Mint? A staycay is the perfect time to watch a gold pour at the Mint, and see the famous bells from London’s St Martins-in-the-Fields at The Bell Tower.
  6. Check out the Burswood Peninsula and climb the city’s newest attractions. Situated on the Swan River, the Burswood Peninsula is another part of Perth which has had a huge makeover. With Optus Stadium as the centrepiece, the next big thing for locals is the Matagarup Zip & Climb. The bridge climb is officially open, and once at the top, admire the 360-degree views from the 72-metre high platform. Climbs operate during the day, at night and even during a full moon. The zip-line experience is on its way, which will take zippers 400 metres across the Swan River to Burswood Park. Time your stay to include an event at Optus Stadium. The AFL season kicks off on Sunday March 21, and make sure you get behind-the-scenes on a stadium tour or see it from above on the stadium’s brand new rooftop experience – HALO. Visitors will be able to see the sights of Perth 42 metres above the turf at Optus Stadium. Don’t miss Warrang Bridil’s Aboriginal Cultural Tours – a guided walking tour along the shores of the Derbal Yerrigan (Swan River) where you can see Nyoongar cultural influence in the development of the precinct and Matagarup Bridge. Lastly, there’s heaps of spots to walk, run or picnic by the river, and restaurants and bars for a bite to eat.
  7. Get on the Swan. It’s fine to just admire the Swan River from your hotel room, but an even better idea during Perth’s spectacular warmer months is to get on it. Locals can experience the river from a fun and unique perspective, thanks to the introduction of two new waterbike tours - Perth Waterbike Adventures, which depart from Matilda Bay, and Perth Waterbike Co, departing from South Perth. Guests can safely pedal and glide across the Swan River, with a range of different tours on offer. Looking for something less active? Check out Gondolas On The Swan, Little Ferry Co, Wild West Charters, Adventure Charter Group, Captain Cook Cruises and Crystal Swan Cruises’ cultural cruise, who all operate a range of tours taking in the best of the city, river, Swan Valley and surrounds. Further afield, GoGo Active Tours offer a new Cliffs and Caves Kayak tour, which paddle along the riverbanks and cliff face of East Fremantle and Bicton Bay.
  8. Eat and drink your way around Perth and the Swan Valley. Got a list of restaurants in Perth you’ve always wanted to dine at, or bars you’ve always wanted to visit? Pull that out, book yourself a room, and make it happen. Some of the city’s newest hotels are also home to some of the most talked about restaurants, such as Hearth at The Ritz Carlton, Santini Bar & Grill at QT Perth and Wildflower at COMO The Treasury. Other new and trending dining options include Fleur, Double Rainbow, Le Rebelle, Ten Acre Block, Wines of While, and Cooee. The warmer months mean it’s the perfect time to find yourself on a rooftop bar. Some of the newer venues include 18 Knots at the new DoubleTree by Hilton Perth Waterfront, and Hello at The Rechabite. And for the ultimate in food and drink indulgence, the Swan Valley is the place to be – WA’s oldest wine region is home to more than 40 wineries, six boutique breweries, cideries and distilleries, many of which have on-site restaurants or offer ‘foodie’ experiences.
  9. Check out Fremantle’s renaissance. While Perth city has undergone a massive transformation in recent years, Freo is experiencing its own renaissance. There’s plenty of hotels located within the port city, ranging from self-contained apartments, to boutique properties, to large-scale hotels. Take a walking, cycling or foodie tour with the likes of Fremantle Tours, Two Feet And A Heartbeat or Fremantle Food Tours, check out the new restaurants or bars, and settle into the Freo ‘vibe’. 
  10. Just, relax. Feel a bit undone by 2021 already? Having a staycay in your own city is the ultimate chance to just stop, and chill. A comfy bed, with someone to make it each morning, food delivered to your room, in-house movies, cocktails by the pool…..bliss. If you’re really in need of some extra pampering, find a hotel with an on-site day spa.

Bookings need to be made by March 5, with travel up until April 29. Bookings available at experienceperth.com/stayplaysave


Perth Festival

February 15 to March 14 | Perth

The 2021 Perth Festival is set to overflow with local WA talent expanding across contemporary theatre, dance, music, film, visual arts and literature. Celebrating the theme of Bilya (river), festival highlights for the program include the City of Lights taking over the Perth Cultural Centre for 21 nights with an immersive 360-degree spectacle of music, projections and animations; WA-born, globally-renowned artist Tim Minchin performing the world-premiere of his new album Apart Together with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in Kings Park; and a series of special events at the new WA Museum Boorla Bardip.

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South West Craft Beer Festival

February 27 | Busselton | WA’s South West

The South West Craft Beer Festival is the perfect opportunity to see and taste the best brews on offer in WA’s South West. The festival will showcase more than 120 refreshing local brews from 20 breweries located between Mandurah and Denmark, including an assortment of one-off and limited edition beers, gourmet food and live acts; plus a range of local wines and craft ciders. The event is held in the seaside city of Busselton, located a 2.5 hour drive south of Perth.

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WA Cider & Pork Festival

February 27 to 28 | Burswood Park | Perth

Celebrate the union of ice-cold cider and succulent WA pork at the WA Cider & Pork Festival when it returns to Burswood Park. Enjoy a range of WA craft ciders, as well as local wines and brews, delectable pork dishes, market stalls, entertainment and activities for the entire family to enjoy.

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Katanning Harmony Festival

March 12 to 13 | Katanning | WA’s South West

The Katanning Harmony Festival highlights the town's cultural diversity, as the community comes together to offer a festival that promises colour, culture, connection and excitement. Guests will enjoy live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, an international food village and more.

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Taste Great Southern

March 18 to 28 | Great Southern Region | WA’s South West

Taste Great Southern is a celebration of the amazing food, wine, people and attractions of the region. More than 25 chefs and presenters - including 2019 Masterchef Australia finalist Derek Lau, celebrity cook and Denmark local Anna Gare, nationally renowned native ingredient forager Paul Iskov of Fervor, and Amy Hamilton from Albany’s award-winning restaurant Liberte - will cook at more than 30 events around WA’s Great Southern region. The 11-day festival features a line-up of long lunches, degustations, premium pairings, cocktail events and seafood celebrations. Signature events include the Albany Wine and Food Festival on March 27, and the inaugural Southern Sets music festival on March 20.

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X-Adventure Dunsborough

April 10 to 11 | Dunsborough | WA’s South West

X-Adventure Dunsborough is recognised as Australia’s largest off-road triathlon and is the ultimate mix of triathlon and adventure racing. Set amongst the spectacular terrain of Dunsborough in the Margaret River region, participants will take part in pristine ocean swims, coastline trail runs and mountain bike rides. The weekend will include long and short course races, an Aquathlon (swim/run) and two kids’ races.

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