Welcome to the September 2019 edition of This is WA

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September 2019


Travel and Lifestyle News from Western Australia


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

What's Hot

New events announced for Western Australia Gourmet Escape

The newly expanded Western Australia Gourmet Escape is a 10 day culinary extravaganza running from November 8 to 17, with signature events across the Swan Valley (November 8 to 10), Perth (November 11 to 14), as well as its spiritual home of Margaret River (November 15 to 17). Guests are invited to design their own foodie adventure, with a range of mouth-watering new culinary experiences just announced, including additional events with festival headliners Marco Pierre White and Colin Fassnidge. The new events include:

  • Three highly anticipated dinner collaborations, featuring some of Perth’s best restaurants and the world’s most renowned culinary talent – An Evening with Pierre Koffmann at Bistro Guillaume (November 13), Santini Presents The Sicilian Job (November 14) and Redefining Modern Australian: Cloudstreet x Wildflower presented by Singapore Airlines (November 11).
  • Tex-Mex Takeover at Mandoon Estate presented by Australian Good Meat (November 8) – a meat-centric dinner under the stars featuring live cooking by “hardcore carnivore” Jess Pryles, and a Mexico inspired menu.
  • Back by popular demand, Fraser Gallop Estate Friday Long Lunch (November 15) with matched wines and food from Vue de Monde Executive Chef, Hugh Allen.
  • 5 Hats Lunch: Momofuku Seiōbo x Yarri presented by Australian Good Meat (November 16) – a Caribbean-Australian six-course lunch prepared by Momofuku Executive Chef, Paul Carmichael and Yarri’s Aaron Carr.
  • Wine & Sign with Marco Pierre White (November 9 and 10) at Gourmet Feast in the Valley. After his first event sold out in minutes, Marco is back by popular demand for meet-and-greets in the Valley.
  • Wine & Swine with Colin Fassnidge (November 17) – a new headline chef hits Margaret River's Gourmet Village for an exclusive lunch.

Tickets for all events are limited and are on sale now

Perth to host The World Gourmet Symposium

Perth will host some of the world’s most exciting chefs, creatives, sommeliers, food activists and business leaders at The World Gourmet Symposium this November as part of the Western Australia Gourmet Escape.

Taking place on Thursday November 14 at Mandoon Estate in the Swan Valley, The World Gourmet Symposium will be an intimate industry event exploring the creativity, challenges and successes of some of the biggest names in hospitality via a series of thought-provoking talks, panel discussions and networking opportunities.

Momofuku founder David Chang will headline the Symposium, alongside highly-regarded chefs from around the globe, including Jock Zonfrillo (SA), Kobus van der Merwe (South Africa), Palisa Anderson (NSW), Josh Niland (NSW), Ivan Brehm (Singapore), and Selassie Atadika (Ghana).

Speakers from some of the world’s leading hospitality businesses will also be joining the already impressive line-up, including Syed Asim Hussain (CEO of Black Sheep Group); Fenella Kernebone (Head of Curation at TEDxSydney); Mike Weeks (CEO of Frontline Mind USA); and Rob Laing (CEO of Farm.One).

Day passes and VIP packages are now available, starting from $390.

Perth Festival releases taster of 2020 line-up

Cloudstreet. Credit: Pia Johnson

Returning to the city this summer from February 7 to March 1, 2020, Perth Festival has provided a taste of what to expect under new Festival Director Iain Grandage, following the exciting release of five headlining shows (outlined below). 

  • Bungul (February 8 and 9, Perth Concert Hall) celebrates the music of Gurrumul and Yolngu culture in epic style.
  • Beloved musical Bran Nue Dae (February 7 to 15, Regal Theatre) will make a triumphant anniversary return.
  • Acclaimed circus ensemble Circa present their astounding new show Leviathan (February 26 to March 1, Regal Theatre).
  • Beethoven’s only opera Fidelio (February 29 to March 1, Perth Concert Hall) set to thrill in a landmark Perth Concert Hall event.
  • Tim Winton’s Australian classic Cloudstreet (February 21 to March 15, His Majesty’s Theatre) reimagined for the 21st century stage.

ANA Flights touch down in Perth

The inaugural All Nippon Airways (ANA) daily direct flight between Perth and Tokyo commenced operations earlier this month. Operating on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, the flights depart Tokyo’s Narita International Airport at 11am and arrive at Perth Airport at 8.15pm. The aircraft then departs Perth at 9.45pm, to arrive in Tokyo at 8.25am the next morning. Return ticket prices between Tokyo and Perth start from $861 for economy, $1,561 for premium economy and $3,521 for business class, inclusive of taxes.

Perth’s Cottesloe beach wins the heart of Taylor Swift and Hugh Jackman

Cottesloe Beach and the Indiana Tea House

Pop superstar Taylor Swift declared her love of Perth in a recently released 2012 diary entry that sings praise to Cottesloe Beach, calling it “one of the most beautiful places I’ve been.” Taylor described the iconic Indiana Tea House as an “old fancy hotel” and was drawn to its “old world arches and mouldings, antique tables and big French doors opening out to views of azure blue ocean.” The diary entry was included as part of the deluxe release of her seventh album, Lover.

More recently, Hollywood superstar Hugh Jackman visited Australia’s sunniest capital city as part of his national tour of The Man. The Music. The Show. Hugh also visited Cottesloe Beach and enjoyed an iconic WA sunset over the Indian Ocean, which he posted to his 27.5 million Instagram followers.

Lifestyle and Culture

Port city to celebrate Fremantle Biennale

WATERLICHT. Credit: Studio Roosegaarde

The Fremantle Biennale is a unique and contemporary visual arts event, set to transform Fremantle with incredible site-responsive installations across the port city. A celebration of Fremantle’s rich cultural heritage and history, the Biennale presents a distinct visual arts program - Undercurrent 19 - that builds on Fremantle’s reputation as a creative city. Running for three weeks from November 1 to 24, the event will feature more than 40 local, national and international artists presenting works that respond to the city’s history, landscape and communities. The large-scale exhibition will take over venues, streetscapes and local landmarks with evocative performances, symposiums, light installations, photography, audiovisual, and dance works. Opening the event from November 1 to 3 at Esplanade Reserve is the internationally acclaimed light installation WATERLICHT by Studio Roosegaarde. Calling attention to rising water levels and climate change, this will be the first time the immersive exhibition has been shown in the Southern Hemisphere.

Inaugural Quantum Words Festival comes to Perth

Quantum Words Perth – a festival dedicated to science, innovation and wonder, will be held for the first time from November 8 to 10 at the State Theatre Centre. The event will feature outstanding thinkers, scientists and creators from across Australia and overseas, covering topics ranging from climate change to orangutan protection, water, alternative facts and Indigenous knowledge. Festival guests include New York-based playwright Baba Brinkman – best known for his ‘Rap Guide’ science-based hip hop albums and theatre shows, and Leif Cox, founder and President of the Orangutan Project.

Get Entwined in the Valley

Oakover winery

The Swan Valley wine region, located a 25-minute drive from Perth CBD, will host Entwined in the Valley – a festival showcasing the region’s local wine, beer, cider, spirits, art and produce. With more than 45 home-grown and boutique events held over four days from October 10 to 13, guests can indulge in long lunches and Italian feasts, enjoy masterclasses in cheese, wine, beekeeping and nougat, stock up on local produce at family-friendly markets and browse the work of local artists. Event highlights include the Secret Supper, Fiori Coffee Carnivale at Oakover winery and Picnic in the Sculpture Park at Gomboc Gallery Sculpture Park.

Food and Wine

The Ritz-Carlton welcomes Hearth

Hearth's Executive Chef, Jed Gerrard

Perth’s newest luxury hotel, The Ritz-Carlton – due to open at Elizabeth Quay on November 15 - has released details for its signature restaurant. Hearth will be led by acclaimed WA chef Jed Gerrard. As the name of the restaurant suggests, chef Jed will embrace the traditional skill of cooking over fire to deliver a seasonal menu, showcasing produce from WA’s premier farmers, fishermen and artisans, complemented with an exclusive local wine list. Renowned for his local food philosophy, Jed will take guests on a culinary journey that celebrates the stories of local culture and traditions, utilising old world smoke and fire cooking techniques and handpicked ingredients.

New restaurant opens at Illegal Tender Rum Co

Located in the coastal town of Dongara on WA’s Coral Coast, the multi-award-winning Illegal Tender Rum Co has expanded its offering with the recent opening of The Common Place. The new eatery showcases local produce through its share plate style menu, rum-infused cocktails, and homemade cake and treats. Visitors can also enjoy a rum tour and tasting at the distillery, followed by a relaxing meal or drink on the restaurant’s deck. Dongara can be reached in a four hour drive north of Perth.

Margaret River ‘unearthed’ in new podcast

The wonders of the internationally acclaimed Margaret River region have been ‘unearthed’ in a series of new podcasts. Wine Unearthed explores the region’s people, the wineries and the extraordinary natural environment – inviting listeners to discover why Lonely Planet named the region as its Top Destination in the Asia Pacific for 2019. The five episodes uncover how wine connects to Aboriginal custodians, big wave surfers and mountain bikers; shares local love stories that have led to surprising collaborations; investigates family dynamics in the winemaking business; and looks at the pivotal role played by the region’s extraordinary natural environment. Led by local food and wine journalist Fleur Bainger, and joined by wine connoisseur and author Peter Forrestal, the stories focus on the locals who live and breathe winemaking in WA’s South West region. The series is available to download through Apple Podcast​ or Spotify.

WA wins at Gourmet Traveller Awards

WA’s small bar and restaurant scene continues to impress, following a recent win at the 2020 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards. Wines of While, a cosy wine bar and bottle shop located in Northbridge, was awarded Bar of the Year at the highly-acclaimed awards ceremony. Owner and first-time publican Sam Winfield serves up naturally and organically farmed wines, with by the glass selections changing daily thanks to the 200 wines available in-stock. The bar's food menu has a Mediterranean influence, with small plate offerings designed to be served with wine.

In addition, Gourmet Traveller has also named Madalena’s in Fremantle as one of Australia’s 10 best new restaurants of 2020. Overlooking Fremantle’s South Beach, it provides a fitting backdrop to a menu dedicated to WA’s fresh seafood, with a focus on natural wines and a boteco (small neighbourhood bar) style atmosphere.

Olive Farm's new cellar door experience

Olive Farm Wines, located in Perth’s Swan Valley wine region, has introduced a self-service ‘adults-only’ vending machine to its cellar door experience. The four Enomatic Wine dispensing machines allow visitors to try 32 different varieties of Olive Farm produced wine. The custom designed and built display tank uses argon gas, which preserves the quality of the wine once the bottle has been opened. With the assistance of staff, visitors are able to taste a set number of wines from the system by inserting a prepaid card, allowing the machine to dispense a measured tasting serve.

Shelter Brewing Co to open in Busselton

Shelter Brewing Co artists impressions

Construction has begun on a new brewery overlooking the iconic Busselton Jetty in WA’s South West. Set to open in spring 2020. Shelter Brewing Co is a family-friendly brewery, featuring corrugated cladding on the external walls and roof which is designed to rust over time, a floor to ceiling glass external wall to showcase the main brewery, indoor trees in the restaurant area, a first floor multi-function room, outdoor area for kids to play, and a beer garden offering stunning ocean views of Geographe Bay.

Sips and bites...What's new in Perth this month

The cultural hub of West Leederville recently welcomed a 210-person bar, restaurant, bottle shop and café. Besk offers visitors a rotating and considered selection of locally brewed beers, minimal-intervention wines and spirits, complemented with a seasonal menu that focuses on produce and producers.

An old world Boston-inspired bar has recently opened in Subiaco. Fenway Subiaco is serving up craft beer, cocktails, soul food and whisky in a dark and cozy setting, complete with a fireplace, booths with chesterfield couches, pool table and big screen TVs. The menu offers classic burgers, sandwiches, large and small plates, salads, sides and deserts. 

One of Perth’s favourite grilled-cheese sandwich-makers, Toastface Grillah, has expanded its offering with the opening of a new flagship café. Located in the edgy Wolf Lane precinct of Perth’s CBD, the new space comprises an indoor area, courtyard and laneway. The menu will feature the same sandwich offering and coffee menu as the existing two shops, but will expand into salads, French fries and soups.

Tours, Accommodation and Attractions

New small bar walking tour in Broome

Visitors to Broome in WA’s Kimberley region can now discover the town’s lively small bar scene on a new walking tour with #SoBroome’s Salty Plum Social. Guests will enjoy a leisurely stroll around the historical and newly revitalised Chinatown precinct, stopping in at three small bars for a drink and canapés. Tours cost $75 per person and run daily.

Perth’s first gin distillery tour

Boutique tour operator Hidden deTours will soon be launching Perth’s first Gin Distillery Tour. On this half day tour guests will visit four of Perth’s local craft gin distillers for behind the scenes tours, guided gin tastings with the distillers or staff, plus food. The gin distillers on the itinerary include High Spirits and Sin Gin in Perth; and the Swan Valley’s Old Youngs and Swan Valley Gin Company. The tours will launch on September 29, and will continue for once a month on a Sunday, with tickets priced at $130 per person.


Summer the greatest show in Perth

Perth's Elizabeth Quay

Sitting pretty on the shores of the Swan River, and close to beaches and wine regions, Australia’s sunniest capital city Perth is preparing for a sensational summer of arts and culture, food and wine, comedy and sport.

Kicking off Perth’s summer of events early in November is the large scale light installation, Waterlicht, which will transform Esplanade Park in Fremantle from November 1 to 3 as part of the larger Fremantle Biennale - a celebration of visual arts and featuring large scale artworks, installations and performances from over 40 local, national and international artists that will run through until 24 November.

Newly expanded culinary event – the Western Australia Gourmet Escape – begins in the Swan Valley wine region this year (November 8 to 10). Only 25 minutes’ drive from the city, enjoy artisan food, WA wines, celebrity chefs - including Marco Pierre White and Jess Pryles - music and entertainment at Sandalford Estate. In Perth city there will be a series of dinner collaborations at some of the city’s best restaurants (November 11 to 14), before the festival heads south to the Margaret River region (November 15 to 17).

Music lovers will also enjoy some of the very best international and national jazz artists as part of the Perth International Jazz Festival – November 8 to 10.

There’s also plenty of action in Perth this November for sports fans. See Australian tennis star Ash Barty and Alicia Molik play against France in the finale of the Fed Cup - the renowned international women’s team tennis tournament taking place from November 9 to 10 at Perth’s RAC Arena. Then from January 3 to 8, the world’s best male tennis players take centre stage for the ATP Cupa new nation-versus-nation teams’ event.

Perth hosts its first Twenty 20 International cricket match in nearly a decade when Australia takes on Pakistan at Optus Stadium - ‘the most beautiful sporting facility in the world’ - on November 9. WA’s first day-night Test match between Australia and New Zealand will be held on December 12, before the popular Big Bash League matches kick-off on December 21, when the Perth Scorchers take on the Melbourne Renegades.

Come January it’s time to get your theatre, comedy and music fix at Perth’s annual FRINGE WORLD and Perth Festival – which will bring a smorgasbord of event experiences to the city.

The ever popular WA FRINGE WORLD Festival will make its return from January 17 to February 16, with an exciting world-first star attraction – Fringe on the Water. For one night only on February 1, the intimate Vasco da Gama cruise ship will host a Fringe cabaret act, with the opportunity for guests to stay overnight on-board the ship in the port city of Fremantle.

Now the third largest Fringe in the world, the jam-packed program is due for release from October 2019, offering a line-up of comedy, circus, free and family entertainment, theatre, visual arts, musicals, dance and cabaret, presented by local, national and international artists.

The festival season will continue when Perth welcomes the return of two beloved theatre works Bran Nue Dae and Tim Winton’s Australian classic Coudstreet, as part of the annual Perth Festival. Kicking off from February 7 to March 1, the festival will open with Bungul – and epic celebration of the great Australian song man Gurrumul and the Yolngu culture that inspired his final album. Joining the impressive line-up is one of the world’s most outstanding circus companies Circa, presenting the world premiere of their exhilarating new show Leviathan; along with Beethoven’s only opera Fidelio, set to thrill audiences in a landmark Perth Concert Hall event. Keep an eye out for the full program release on October 31. 

Time your visit with one of Australia’s most anticipated hotel openings on November 15 – The Ritz-Carlton at Perth’s Elizabeth Quay, or The Adnate Art Series Hotel by Accor (to open October 1). Since 2012, Perth has welcomed 37 new or redeveloped hotels, so there’s accommodation to suit all needs and all budgets.

Complementing Perth’s vibrant summer events scene is an incredible range of nature-based experiences located a short drive or ferry ride from Perth city. Below are our top five picks:

  1. Discover Perth’s 80 kilometres of metropolitan coastline, where you can swim, snorkel, and surf, or just relax on a pristine beach while taking in one of WA’s iconic Indian Ocean sunsets.
  2. Visit Kings Park and Botanic Garden – one of the world’s largest inner city parks offering stunning views over the Swan River and Perth CBD.
  3. Spend a day on Perth’s island playground of Rottnest and discover its 63 stunning beaches and 20 bays, and meet the world’s friendliest animal, the famous quokka.
  4. Take a day trip to Rockingham where you can swim with wild dolphins, or head into the Perth Hills and discover one of the many walking trails through the forests.
  5. Visit WA’s oldest wine region, the Swan Valley. Only a short 25 minute drive from the Perth CBD – you’ll discover award winning wineries, breweries and local providores. The Swan Valley also plays host to a number of events during the warmer months

Summer really is the greatest show in Perth, so visit www.westernaustralia.com to start planning your Perth summer escape.



Australian Men’s Masters Hockey Championships

September 27 to October 12 | Bunbury and Busselton | Australia’s South West

The 2019 Australian Men’s Masters Hockey Championships is Hockey Australia’s largest participation event, where representative teams from each state and territory will compete. In 2019, more than 1,800 players will head to Bunbury and Busselton in WA’s South West region for the National Championships.

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Kings Park Festival

September 2019 | Perth | Destination Perth

See thousands of extraordinary wildflowers from all across Western Australia blooming in one spot - in the spectacular Kings Park and Botanic Garden, right on the steps of the Perth CBD. Celebrating the greatest wildflower show on Earth, the month long festival will see a number of free events including outdoor exhibitions, guided walks, art displays, family activities and more.

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York Festival

September 28 to October 13 | York | Destination Perth

Nestled in the beautiful Avon Valley, an easy one-hour drive east of Perth, the historic town of York is WA’s first inland settlement and home to striking examples of colonial architecture and excellent museums. Its heritage and Wheatbelt location strongly influences the  festival, as the community comes together for a weekend of unique artisan-designed crafts, vintage cars, music, children’s activities and country hospitality.

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The Beverley Heroic

October 12 to 13 | Beverley | Destination Perth

Celebrate the history of WA’s Wheatbelt on two wheels at this cycling event in and around the town of Beverley, located 138 kilometres east of Perth. Heritage bicycles are particularly welcome for the main Heroic event, where riders can choose to participate in either the 100 or 55 mile race across gravel and dirt roads with tranquil rural scenery. The event also includes a 114 kilometre The Beverley road bike race, as well as cyclocross races, a night ride through the town and a retro bike show.

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Cape to Cape MTB

October 17 to 20 | Margaret River Region | Australia’s South West

Australasia’s largest and longest running mountain biking multi-stage endurance race boasts some of WA’s most spectacular coastal, forest and vineyard backdrops. Starting at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse and finishing four days later at the famous Colonial Brewery in the Margaret River region, the course makes its way through a network of trails along the coast, through national parks, forest, farm lands and mountain bike parks. Suitable for riders of all levels, the event is known for its fun, friendly vibe, with the occasional competitor spotted in a winery along the way!

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Constellation Cup

October 27 | RAC Arena | Destination 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.

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Fed Cup by BNP Paribas

November 9 to 10 | RAC Arena | Destination 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. 

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Perth International Jazz Festival

November 8 to 10 | Perth | Destination Perth

The Perth International Jazz Festival brings the very best international and national jazz artists to Perth. Over the weekend, 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.

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TABtouch Masters

November 23, 30 and December 7 | Perth | Destination Perth

The Ascot Summer Racing Carnival’s finest returns this November with the 2019 TABtouch Masters Railway Stakes, Winterbottom Stakes and the Kingston Town Classic. The TABtouch Masters is the world’s only single-track event featuring Group One race days at Ascot Racecourse worth $1,000,000 held across three consecutive Saturdays.

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Media contact:
Tiana Anderson

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For images, visit Tourism WA's image library.

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For more events on Tourism WA's calendar visit westernaustralia.com/events

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