Latest Travel and Lifestyle News from Western Australia
WA produce inspires Curtis Stone's new menu
Dishes influenced by WA's fresh flavours and produce are on the menu at Curtis Stone's Los Angeles-based, critically acclaimed restaurant Maude. The Australian celebrity chef recently visited WA to source inspiration for the new menu, which features unique ingredients such as marron, saltbush, wattleseed and macadamia, until the end of March. The dishes will be paired with highly-awarded Margaret River wines, including Leeuwin Estate, Voyager Estate, Happs Wines, Cullen Wines and Moss Wood Wines varieties. Curtis's WA travels were documented for an upcoming episode of a new television series, expected to premiere later this year.
T20 World Cup fixtures released
Six of the top eight men's and nine of the top 10 women's T20 teams, including Australia, India and England, will put their skills to the test when Perth welcomes the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup in 2020. Perth will host a total of 11 T20 matches – including the women's tournament from February 22 to 24 at the iconic Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA), and the men's tournament from October 24 to 30 at the state-of-the-art Optus Stadium. The men's round will begin with a blockbuster evening match featuring second ranked India and South Africa. Tickets to the ICC Women's T20 World Cup matches go on sale from February 21, with the men's to be announced later this year.
Comedy legend slips into Broome Time
Australian actor, comedian and presenter Shane Jacobson is encouraging Australians to travel to WA's North West and 'Slip into Broome Time'. A common term used by locals, Broome Time is a reference to the slow-paced relaxation experienced in the tropical North West town. In recently released videos, Shane can be seen enjoying the white sands and turquoise water of Cable Beach, having an up-close encounter with the town's resident snub fin dolphins, walking across 130 million year old dinosaur footprints, exploring Broome's cultural heritage, digging into local grub and Matsos beer, and catching a flick at the world's oldest outdoor operating picture theatre, Sun Pictures. Multiple daily flights run from Perth to Broome, while direct seasonal services operate from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane
International acclaim for Dongara's Illegal Tender Rum
Illegal Tender Rum Co has taken home a gold and two silver medals at the 2019 Chinese Wine and Spirit Best Value Awards – arguably one of the most influential wine and spirit competitions in the world. Located in the coastal town of Dongara in WA's Coral Coast, the distillery has been in operation for three years, and during that time has collected several high profile spirit awards – including 16 international wins. Illegal Tender Rum Co offer rum tours and tastings, and will welcome a new eatery in April 2019, The Common Place. Set to showcase local seafood and produce, the restaurant will have a strong focus on native spices and herbs, with rum infused cocktails plus house made cakes and treats.
LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
Albany in Australia's top ten holiday towns
The charming city of Albany in WA's South West was named runner-up in Wotif's annual Aussie Town of the Year 2019 awards, which recognise Australia's top ten holiday hotspots for the year. As the oldest settlement in WA, much of Albany's heritage is retained throughout the city, including 50 colonial buildings standing proudly as museums, galleries and restaurants. Travellers to Albany can visit UK artist Bruce Munro's Field of Light: Avenue of Honour exhibition at Mount Clarence until April 25, 2019. The immersive light installation forms part of the centenary commemorations that mark the end of WWI. Albany can be reached in a 4.5 hour drive south of Perth, or a direct one hour flight.
Kimberley on show at Art Gallery of WA
Spectacular portraits of the Kimberley region in WA's North West will be on display at the Art Gallery of WA from February 9 to May 27. Desert River Sea: Portraits of the Kimberley, is the highly anticipated culmination of a six year visual arts project, Desert River Sea: Kimberley Art Then and Now. A celebration of the region's diverse Aboriginal culture, the landmark exhibition will showcase the vibrant and contemporary creative talents of Kimberley artists - offering a rare experience of the land, artists and art of the region. New works from six Kimberley art centres and three independent artists will be presented, alongside a selection of legacy works from current art centre collections.
Margaret River artists open their studios
More than 100 painters, sculptors, illustrators, jewellers, printmakers, glassblowers, ceramicists, photographers and furniture makers based in the Margaret River region will open their studios to visitors, as part of the annual Margaret River Open Studiosfestival. From April 27 to May 12, visitors and art enthusiasts will have the rare chance to visit private art studios and meet established and emerging artists for a unique behind-the-scenes creative experience. Local artists participating in this year's event include respected names such as Leon Pericles, Rachel Coad, Rebecca Cool, Lauren Wilhelm, Ian Mutch, Christian Fletcher and John Miller. The work of some of the artists will also be available to purchase exclusively from selected venues. The event is free to attend and bookings are not required.
FOOD & WINE
Dine underwater at Busselton Jetty
Dining among coral gardens and masses of fish is now a possibility at Busselton Jetty in the Margaret River region. In an Australian first, visitors can now enjoy an indulgent degustation served eight metres below the ocean's surface. Standing at 1.8 kilometres, Busselton Jetty is the longest wooden-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. The landmark's Underwater Observatory is located at the end of the jetty and allows visitors to view more than 300 individual marine species in their natural habitat. The Underwater Dining package is an exclusive offering, with the degustation prepared by a local chef, and paired with Leeuwin Estate Wines. The experience can include helicopter transfers Perth to Busselton, plus return train rides to the end of the jetty and exclusive access to a marine biologist. Packagesstart from $1200 per person for the 4.5 hour experience.
Fremantle's new hospitality offerings
The eclectic city of Fremantle has recently welcomed a variety of new bars and restaurants, adding to the city's thriving hospitality, accommodation, events and cultural scene.
One of Fremantle's most iconic venues, Little Creatures, has undergone a revamp with the addition of a dedicated live music space, and a modern bar and eatery. The former Creatures NextDoor has reopened as Helm. The refurbished bar's design, menu and experience has taken inspiration from the Indian Ocean, with shared plates serving seasonal, local produce and brews, and a creative cocktail list. For those seeking a late night haunt, SONAR Room offers a dedicated live music and performance space, located behind the brewing silos of Little Creatures, adjacent to Helm.
The owners behind popular Brazilian food truck Comida do Sul have opened their own permanent venue in South Fremantle. Madalena's Bar serves natural wines and seafood, with a boteco (small, neighbourhood bar) style atmosphere. The 80-seat capacity bar overlooks Fremantle's South Beach, providing a fitting backdrop to a menu dedicated to WA's fresh seafood.
New Orleans style jazz and blues bar Duke of George has opened on East Fremantle's buzzing George Street. The venue offers live local and touring acts, including blues, jazz, folk and bluegrass. The bar's food offering takes inspiration from New Orleans – with corn cakes, gumbo, po-boys and jambalayas on the menu.
Dunsborough welcomes new foodie offering
Dunsborough's Little Brother bar, which opened in late 2017, has welcomed some recent changes including a new menu, extended opening hours for summer and local craft beers added to the menu. The venue's new chef, Hugo Le Frapper, has introduced a menu featuring a range of burgers and share plates. A great selection of local South West beers are now available on tap, including Eagle Bay, Rocky Ridge Brewing Co, Beerfarm and Black Brewing Co, as well as a large selection of Margaret River wines.
Fish & Sips Festival
Celebrate WA seafood and wine at one of Perth's iconic coastal locations at the Fish & Sips Festival. Now in its second year, the foodie festival is a showcase of WA seafood, sourced direct from local fisherman and prepared by some of the best chefs in WA. Held across three days, from March 29 to 31, the event will include degustation dinners, a sunset beach BBQ, long table seafood lunch, seafood and wine masterclass, local wine and brewery tastings, and live entertainment.
Panama Social opens in Northbridge
Following the success of Tiny's in Perth CBD – hospitality heavyweights Michael Forde, Paul Aron and Brett Robinson have opened another venue on William Street in Northbridge. Panama Social is a 'neotropical' venue, with the concept inspired by the space itself. Taking inspiration from Mexico, the Caribbean and South America, the interiors include pops of colour, vibrant murals, neon signs, random art and a mix of private booths, outdoor seating and bar spots. The food is a mixture of Central American-inspired street food and home-style cook ups, and the drinks menu features cocktails focusing on rum, tequila and pisco – with punch bowls and beer jugs available for big groups
TOURS, ATTRACTIONS & ACCOMMODATION
Direct flights to Japan now on sale
Bookings for All Nippon Airways (ANA) new daily direct flight between Perth and Tokyo are now on sale. The airline will operate daily services on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, with flights commencing on September 1, 2019. The daily flights will depart Tokyo's Narita International Airport at 11am and arrive at Perth Airport at 8.15pm. The aircraft will then depart Perth at 9.45pm, to arrive in Tokyo at 8.25am the next morning. Promotional 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. The airline will also carry skis and snowboards free of charge. Promotional tickets are now on sale till March 7.
Bremer Bay orcas have arrived
Orcas have arrived to Bremer Bay in WA's South West, with sightings of more than 100 whales at Bremer Canyon, including a new calf and three sperm whales. Bremer Canyon is the feeding ground for one of the largest congregations of orcas in the Southern Hemisphere. Witness first-hand the excitement of spotting these incredible creatures in the wild on a whale watching tour with Whale Watch Western Australia and Naturaliste Charters. The all-day expeditions operate between January and April, with options for bus and flight transfers direct from Perth to Bremer Bay available.
Fremantle Passenger Terminal gets a makeover
Australia's largest cruise ship terminal has unveiled a $3.25 million refurbishment. With the aim of improving the cruise passengers' comfort and visual experience, Fremantle Passenger Terminal has welcomed a new ground floor foyer, decorative glass panelling, modern furniture, repainted façade, updated signage and new banners to greet passengers entering the iconic building. As well as being a significant landmark in Fremantle, the passenger terminal is the gateway for thousands of visitors to Perth and WA. Accessible in a 25-minute car or train journey from Perth CBD, Fremantle is one of the world's best preserved examples of a 19th century port streetscape.
Non-stop Broome to Singapore flights announced
Direct international flights from Singapore to Broome will recommence in June, following the success of a trial in 2018. The regional wing of Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, will roll out a second phase of the trial, with four return flights operating on June 13, 17, 20 and 24. The dates coincide with Singapore's school holidays, two race meets across the Broome Turf Club racing season, and the world renowned Staircase to the Moon natural phenomenon.
World's largest wooden pendulum clock unveiled in Nannup
The South West town of Nannup has recently welcomed the Nannup Clock Tower, home to the world's largest wooden pendulum clock. The six-metre high tower was purpose built to house the wooden pendulum clock created by local clockmaker Kevin Bird. Guided and self-guided tours of the clock tower are now available, with options to meet clockmaker Kevin Bird and participate in a walking tour of the historic timber town.
Quest Apartment Hotels opens in South Perth
Quest Apartment Hotels has opened a new accommodation offering on Perth's South Perth foreshore. Located a 15-minute ferry ride from Perth CBD, the new property is close to many of the city's popular cafés and restaurants, plus local attractions such as Perth Zoo, Elizabeth Quay and Kings Park. The 90 room Quest South Perth Foreshore includes studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments, which are all fully self-contained with smart TVs, high speed WiFi, fully equipped kitchens and ergonomic work space. Facilities and services include a 24-hour gymnasium, business lounge and secure onsite garage parking.
New surf and yoga campsite in Margaret River region
Boongaloo Surf and Yoga Campsite is a new eco-friendly campsite retreat located near Augusta in the Margaret River region. It offers unpowered campsites or luxury bell tent accommodation, complete with queen bed and linen. Enjoy yoga and stand up paddle board yoga classes - offered weekly, plus relaxing Swedish or aromatherapy massages; or grab a handmade surfboard and head out into the waves.
Augusta River Tours cruising the Blackwood River
Cruise along the beautiful Blackwood River in WA's South West on the new guided Augusta River Tours. The tours depart daily at 2pm from Ellis Street Jetty in the picturesque coastal town of Augusta. The Dolphin Discoverer vessel is a safe, comfortable, all weather, purpose-built vessel licenced for 29 passengers, and takes guests on a gentle cruise past the shallow waters, sandbanks and river islands of the Blackwood River – where more than 60 species of birds can be found, as well a pod of resident dolphins.
Cable Beach Club special summer rates
Broome's Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa is offering a special rate of $169 per night for bookings made until March 31. Other special offers include a stay three nights and pay for two over the March long weekend in the property's studios and bungalows, with the sale ending March 1. For three night bookings made in April and May, enjoy an extra fourth night complimentary in all studios and bungalows, on offer until March 31. Qantas is offering special weekend fares to Broome starting from $179 one way. The discounted fares are available from March 19 to June 2, 2019 and June 21 to August 16, 2019.
New resort and club house for Kalgoorlie Golf Course
The Kalgoorlie Golf Course is set to receive a $22 million resort and club house. The new accommodation offering will be a welcome addition to the popular gold mining town, located in WA's Golden Outback. The resort will be operated by DoubleTree by Hilton, and will offer a 120-room hotel, day spa, function rooms, restaurant, swimming pool, gym conference centre and clubhouse. Construction of the resort is expected to be completed by late 2019. Kalgoorlie is a one hour flight, or 6.5 hour drive or train journey east of Perth.