Latest travel and lifestyle news from WA
Jessica Mauboy to headline Ord Valley Muster’s Kimberley Moon Experience
The Kimberley town of Kununurra in WA’s North West will welcome some of Australia’s biggest musical performers in May 2020 for the annual Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster. Indigenous singer-songwriter, and one of Australia’s most successful female artists, Jessica Mauboy, will headline the Muster’s pinnacle event – the Aviair Helispirit Kimberley Moon Experience on May 16, alongside former Noiseworks and INXS lead singer Jon Stevens. Award winning duo Busby Marou will also take to the stage, alongside up-and-coming Indigenous singer-songwriter Emily Wurramara. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the 10 day festival – taking place from May 17 to 26 – will take over Kununurra and surrounds with a wide variety of unique experiences, including Comedy in the Park hosted by Harley Breen, Aboriginal culture and dance, food events, wellness sessions, the popular local talent quest Muster Idol, a country rodeo, and fireworks. 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 popular event coincides with the launch of direct flights between Melbourne and Kununurra operated by Alliance Airlines and bookable through Virgin Australia, which start on May 15, 2020. Tickets to all the Muster events are now on sale.
Perth’s historic Royal Hotel now open
Built in 1882, The Royal Hotel reopened its doors on November 16 following a major renovation driven by the man behind The Standard in Northbridge, John Parker. The original heart and soul of Perth, the iconic corner pub – located on Wellington and William Streets, opposite Yagan Square – is set to become a great Australian pub once again. Featuring a corner saloon on the street level, two bars, a private dining room, karaoke room, event/function space, and wraparound verandah overlooking Yagan Square on the first level, the hotel’s history and charm has been retained where possible, with its floor to ceiling beams, wooden floorboards and arched windows. Local craft beers are complemented by a selection of old-school brews including Swan Draught – a nod to a time when the building was owned by the iconic Swan Brewery. The menu is pub food reimagined, led by head chef Chase Weber from The Standard and sous chef Shane Middleton, formerly of Santini Bar & Grill at QT Perth.
Novotel Perth Murray St set to open
Accor and Fragrance Group Limited will open the brand new 431 room Novotel Perth Murray St this month, the largest Accor hotel in Perth. Scheduled for a soft opening on December 19, the hotel is ideally located right in the heart of the Perth CBD. It will feature a spectacular 12th floor fitness and spa facility, including a pool, steam room, day spa and sauna; four bars and restaurants; four meeting rooms and a conference room for up to 120 people; and spacious modern rooms.
LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
FRINGE WORLD Festival program release
Tickets for all 700 FRINGE WORLD Festival shows are now on sale, with events being held at almost 150 venues in Perth. There are loads of new shows added to the line-up, including the international music sensation The Choir of Man and award-winning arthouse circus Casting Off. Returning favourites include Fuego Carnal, WA homegrown heroes YUCK Circus, while the chilling hit SÉANCE returns, with another new experience, FLIGHT. The 2020 festival will also feature a new FRINGE WORLD Hub, Girls School. Located in the historic 1930s Old Perth Girls School Building, the new hub will offer a big program of shows, outdoor food vendors and a secret bar. The annual festival is the third largest Fringe festival in the world, and will run over four weeks from January 18 to February 17, 2020.
Emergence Creative Festival line-up announced
Early bird tickets are now on sale for the 2020 Emergence Creative Festival, held in the Margaret River region from March 25 to 27. The festival attracts professionals and emerging creatives from the disciplines of music, film, photography, advertising, gaming, digital and visual arts to WA’s scenic South West for three days of keynote speakers, hands-on workshops, incredible pop-ups and satellite events. The first round of speakers has been announced, and includes an exciting line-up of local and international creative professionals, such as Briony Benjamin and Clare Gerber from The Social Parade, Dave Bowman from Google Zoo, Claire Davidson from Facebook Creative Shop, and Guy Munro from Australia’s first voice experience agency VERSA. The early bird offer ends December 13, and tickets can be purchased via the website.
Perth’s outdoor cinemas
Perth’s balmy summer evenings offer the perfect setting to watch a movie under the stars. With a range of unique venues dotted across the Perth region, choose from a city roof top experience at the Rooftop Movies in Northbridge, pack a picnic for an evening on the grass at the Moonlight Cinema in Kings Park, Lotterywest Films at University of Western Australia’s Somerville Auditorium, or choose from various locations at the outdoor Telethon Community Cinemas.
FOOD AND WINE
Taste Great Southern release chef line-up
Winner of the inaugural MasterChef Australia series, Julie Goodwin, will headline Taste Great Southern 2020, taking place from March 26 to April 5. 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. Julie Goodwin will appear at the Women of the Region dinner in Albany, the Denmark Night Markets, Shop Local/Eat Local Albany Farmers Market, and Lunch by the Lake at the Lake House Denmark. Derek Lau will be the celebrity presenter at the Albany Wine and Food Festival on April 4, which will include a new contemporary music festival on April 5, Southern Sets. Tickets to the events are now on sale.
Fremantle heritage site transforms into The Old Synagogue
Located at the southern entrance to Fremantle’s iconic Cappuccino Strip, and next door to the Fremantle Markets, The Old Synagogue has been transformed into a world-class dining, bar and entertainment precinct. Home to four individual venues, it features multi-storey modern Asian restaurant, Tonic & Ginger; Mr Chapple’s, a scenic rooftop bar focusing on WA craft beer; a basement cocktail bar L’Chaim; and The Arbor, a multi-level beer and wine garden with an alfresco and rooftop deck. Paying homage to its history as a Jewish house of worship, the 117 year old heritage building was the first synagogue built in WA.
Perth’s new sips and bites
Rokeby Road in the inner-city suburb of Subiaco has welcomed Dilly Dally, a neighbourhood restaurant offering accessible Italian food. Seating up to 200 patrons on the ground level, the menu features pizza, flatbreads and small plates, alongside a strong wine-list with organic and lo-fi wines, and has been established by Patrick Ryan and Jeremy Prus, part of the team behind Perth city’s Lalla Rookh.
Dumbo Gelato – a fun, Australian-style Gelateria – has recently opened at Perth’s Scarborough Beach. Made with organic milk from Margaret River Dairy, the gelato features classic Australian flavours such as cheese and vegemite, milo milkshake and lamington. Sorbets and vegan options are also available.
The inner-city hub of Mount Lawley will welcome the opening of The Deli on Clifton & Central this month. Owners Tim and Veronique Willing have revamped the site’s original deli with a French aesthetic, whilst retaining its Australiana exterior. Coffee will be made with the in-house blend, with a rotating selection by Australian and international coffee roasters. The menu will feature granola, house-baked croissants, cakes and sourdough bread, with future plans to extend to an evening service with a Paris-inspired wine bar.
The Victoria Park Hotel, located on the doorstep of Perth’s CBD in nearby Victoria Park, has been recently refurbished and now features a fresh, bright and open style, blending modern and heritage architecture. Head chef Andra Nunes has drawn on his Brazilian roots to create a menu centred on grazing, grilling and cuisine infusions, and a new cocktail menu features classics and concoctions using the signature botanical gin The Vic.
Dune Distilling Co. launches with two WA inspired gins
Dune Distilling Co., located at Caves Road Collective in the Margaret River region, has officially launched with two distinctive gin releases – a Signature Gin, and a limited release Volume: Yallingup pink gin with a uniquely Australian flavour. The Signature Gin features local navel oranges and zesty lemon rind, paired with coriander seeds and juniper. Davidson plums give the limited-edition Volume: Yallingup gin its distinctive pink hue, paired with local native ingredients salt bush and lemon myrtle. The gin’s labels feature the works of up-and-coming WA artists Sara Winfield and Sally Foord.
Accolades for Swan Valley’s RiverBank Estate
Family owned and operated RiverBank Estate Winery recently took home three trophies at the 2019 Singapore Airlines Swan Valley Wine Show awards. Located in the Swan Valley, just a 25 minute drive from Perth CBD, the awards included the Trophy for Best Sparkling Wine for the Eric Anthony Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2017, Trophy for Best Non-Greater Perth Zone Wine for the Eric Anthony Chardonnay 2018, the Media Award Trophy for Most Successful Producer, and the Award for Best Rose of Show for the Rebellious Rose 2019. The venue was also recently named Small Producer of the Year by leading wine writer Ray Jordan in The West Australian’s 2019 Wine Guide, and Best Small Cellar Door in the Swan Valley 2019 by Peter Forrestal in Gourmet Traveller.
TOURS, ATTRACTIONS AND ACCOMMODATION
New summer experiences for Rottnest Island visitors
Located a 30-minute ferry ride off Perth’s coastline, Perth’s own island playground Rottnest welcomes a range of new activities and tours for the 2019/20 summer season, including:
A daily seaplane commute to the island with Swan River Seaplanes
A new skydive and transfer package with Skydive Geronimo
Two new sunset cruises, including one on a 12.5m catamaran, with Charter 1
A ‘Hooked on Rotto’ fishing cruise with Rottnest Cruises
A new refreshments caravan at the West End – Lexi’s on Rotto
A new one-stop shop and concierge service at the Salt Store
An aquatic playground at North Thompson’s – Aquaplay
Tjukurba Art Gallery in Wiluna
The Golden Outback town of Wiluna, which is the start of the Canning Stock Route and gateway to epic outback adventures such as the Gunbarrel Highway – has recently welcomed the opening of Tjukurba Art Gallery. Translated to mean ‘dreaming’ in the local Martu language, the Aboriginal art gallery provides artists with a space to embrace creativity. Co-located with the Canning-Gunbarrel Discovery Centre, it offers a rich authentic experience where visitors have the opportunity to meet and chat with the Martu artists, who paint on location in the gallery, and still live a semi-traditional lifestyle. All works displayed are for sale, and each painting comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.
Raddison Red to make its Australia debut in Perth
Raddison Red hotels is set to make its Australian debut in Perth. Opening in 2022, the hotel will offer 129 rooms, a restaurant, function rooms, swimming pool and rooftop bar. With a focus on local art and culture, the hotel will also provide opportunities for guests to interact with their fellow travellers, with inspiring hangouts and communal work spaces. Located in West Perth, opposite the Harold Boas Gardens, the hotel will be in close vicinity to sport and entertainment venue RAC Arena and one of the world’s largest inner-city parks, Kings Park and Botanic Garden.
Rock lobster tours off Perth’s coastline
Blue Juice Charters has launched Rock Lobster Catch and Dine Tours in Perth. Departing from Hillarys Boat Harbour, guests can catch and cook their own WA rock lobster, and experience pulling in cray pots on a commercial fishing charter. They can also choose to take home their catch to enjoy, or have it cooked straight from the ocean with a Seafood & Champagne BBQ at Hillarys Marina. There is also the option to charter a private boat to Rottnest Island to dine on freshly caught rock lobster, topped off with premium WA beer, wine and sparkling. Rock Lobster Tours start from $190 per person, and are available now until the end of February.
Orca expeditions to commence in early 2020
The small coastal town of Bremer Bay in WA’s South West is home to one of the largest known congregations of orcas in the Southern Hemisphere. Every summer more than 150 orcas and other marine predators such as sperm whales, pilot whales and sunfish visit the Bremer Canyon to feed on an abundance of prey. Visitors can witness first-hand the excitement of spotting these incredible creatures in the wild on a whale watching tour with Naturaliste Charters – which run from January to April, and Whale Watch Western Australia – which run from January to March. The all-day expeditions depart daily, and include meals, beverages, and on-board commentary by a Marine Biologist.
ATP Cup January 3 to 8 | RAC Arena | Perth
Current world number one and 19-time grand slam winner Rafael Nadal will visit Perth for the first time when he represents Spain at 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
Perth Festival February 7 to March 1 | Perth | Perth
As one of WA’s premier cultural events, Perth Festival is a feast of cutting-edge performances and activities for all ages. Experience some of the world’s best national, international and local acts expanding across contemporary theatre, dance, music, film, visual arts and literature. Festival highlights for the 2020 program include Bungul – celebrating the music of Gurrumul and Yolgnu culture, beloved musical Bran Nue Dae, acclaimed circus ensemble Circa’s new show Leviathan, Beethoven’s only opera Fidelio, Tim Winton’s Australian classic Cloudstreet; and the festivals penultimate event – Highway to Hell, a celebration of Perth city and its conntection to Aussie band AC/DC, which will see Canning Highway transform into the world’s longest stage.
NRL Nines February 14 to 15 | Perth | HBF Park
The National Rugby League (NRL) Nines is an exciting festival-style two-day tournament of rugby league. It will be the first time the NRL Nines will be played in Australia, with all 16 of the men’s and four of the women’s NRL clubs coming to Perth to play at HBF Park. 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.
ICC Women’s T20 World Cup February 22 to 24 | WACA Grounds | Perth
The ICC T20 Women’s World Cup is coming to Perth in 2020. Nine of the top 10 women’s teams will compete at the iconic WACA Ground, including defending champions Australia when they take on Sri Lanka on February 24. With five matches played over three consecutive days, it’ll be the ultimate festival of cricket experience.
Sculpture by the Sea March 6 to 23 | Cottesloe | Perth
One of Perth’s largest free public events, Sculpture by the Sea, sees Cottesloe Beach transform into a spectacular sculpture park with more than 70 works on display from artists across Australia and the world. Exhibits from some of the world’s top sculptors are displayed against a backdrop of one of the city’s most popular beaches.
FIFA Men’s World Cup Qualifier March 26 | Perth | HBF Park
Perth is set to host a FIFA Men’s World Cup Qualifier match at HBF Park when the Australian Socceroos take on Kuwait in Round 2 of the qualifiers. Tickets to the public go on sale on Tuesday, December 10 at 9am AWST. Perth will also host Round 3, the final round of qualifiers, in 2021.
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