Friday 1 December 2023

What’s new and what’s in store in #WesternAustralia for 2024


Australia’s largest State continues to welcome a mix of dreamlike new projects, products and experiences. Read on to discover what’s new and what’s to come in Western Australia (WA) for the year ahead.

Bigger dream stays

Next year will see the opening of Australia’s first Hyde Hotel. Hyde Perth will offer 120 bohemian-chic guest rooms with 18 spacious suites, two dedicated meetings and event spaces, and innovative dining concepts with a restaurant, bar, and specialty café that opens onto a lush outdoor pool area.

The first of the newly refurbished rooms at Pan Pacific Perth are bookable now. The hotel’s $50 million transformation is due to be completed by mid-late 2024. Work includes the 392 guest rooms and suites, revitalisation of 96 Pacific Club rooms and suites, and a redesign of the ballrooms and meeting rooms, the lobby and exclusive Pacific Club lounge.

Smaller dream stays

In the Margaret River Region, Edge Luxury Villas will start welcoming guests this month to four adults-only luxury villas built over the property’s stunning lake. All the luxury villas are equipped with self-sufficient kitchenettes, lounge area, king beds, bathrooms with freestanding stone baths; with one of the villas also fully accessible.

In Karijni National Park, Karijini Eco Retreat is adding four new deluxe eco tents in time for the 2024 season. The tents include fully enclosed ensuite bathrooms, king sized beds and a front decks with views over the park. Access to Karijini National Park and its ancient gorges and water holes will also be improved, with 41 kilometres of road to be sealed between Weano Gorge, Dales Gorge and Karijini Eco Retreat.

Heyscape Tiny Cabins has launched four tiny cabins in the coastal town of Esperance (Kepa Kurl), with two located near the spectacular coastline of Cape Le Grand National Park, and the other two located on Yirri Grove olive farm.

Rottnest Island / Wadjemup Adventures

The Lodge Wadjemup is a $40 million redevelopment of the former Rottnest Island Lodge. Due to open in 2024, it will offer a range of new accommodation, including affordable and premium options with 46 new boutique-style rooms and 56 refurbished rooms. It will also feature a new restaurant, café, gelato bar, community space and two pools.

Also adding to the island experience are several new tours launching for summer including Fly Perth which is offering scenic flights from Perth to Rottnest; and Cicerellos Jet Adventures is now running parasailing tours to experience the wonders of the island from a new perspective.

Cheers to that

Perth’s (Boorloo’s) beating heart of Yagan Square is undergoing a multi-million-dollar redevelopment that will see it transform into a five-storey hospitality mecca, with a beer hall, live music and a retractable roof. ‘Stories’ is due to open in early 2024, and will see the complex more than double in size, with a capacity of 1,500 people.

In Perth’s northern beachside suburbs, Hillarys Beach Club is set to open this month. The huge 1,400 square metre multi-level venue will be home to multiple spaces including a restaurant, gastro-style pub, a kiosk for grab-and-go food, large function space and balcony for watching Indian Ocean sunset.

Meanwhile, Gibney will offer a new level of luxury dining when it opens at Cottesloe in March 2024. The brasserie and grill will be a multi-million-dollar bespoke build, offering a 45-metre oceanfront façade with stunning beach views.

In Broome (Rubibi), Spinifex Brewing Co will open its new multi-million-dollar venue at the iconic Cable Beach on December 22, 2023. Spinifex Ale House Cable Beach will cater for up to 600 guests, offering a unique family-oriented venue with children’s playground, and gubinge beer garden for outdoor dining.

Busselton boom

In the coastal town of Busselton (Undalup) in the Margaret River Region, the highly anticipated Hilton Garden Inn Busselton will open its doors this summer. Ideally located on the shores of Geographe Bay, the five-storey property will offer 112 rooms, heated outdoor pool, a 24-hour fitness centre, and event space, and is located directly adjacent to Busselton Jetty, Shelter Brewing and recently reopened The Goose.

Busselton Jetty has installed 13 underwater sculptures to create a sculpture trail and artificial reef at the end of the 1.8-kilometre icon. This submerged experience is for divers, swimmers and snorkellers, with special signage and maps are provided for the underwater journey, while the sculptures create new habitat for local marine wildlife.

A $45 million redevelopment of the Busselton Central Shopping Centre has seen a new level of shopping, entertainment and dining options for the region, including Inara which is serving up the unique flavours of Levantine cuisine. The Busselton Pavilion will in early 2024, offering a new destination dining experience which will boast a restaurant and bar, local wine store, providore and distillery.

Cultural Connections

Set above-ground at the site of the historic Ngilgi Cave, the Ancient Lands Experience takes visitors on a journey to discover 600 million years of stories associated with the Margaret River Region and its people. The new $3.6 million attraction officially opened in November 2023, and offers a series of interactive installations woven throughout the natural bushland, paying homage to the landscape and the 60,000-year custodianship of the Wadandi people. Visitors seeking a deeper cultural experience can explore Wadandi country with traditional custodian Josh Whiteland from Koomal Dreaming at a new purpose-built Meeting Place.

On the Dampier Peninsula near Broome (Rubibi), the seventh Camping with Custodians campground is due to open at Lombadina in 2024. Lombadina will have up to 35 campsites, a camp kitchen and ablution facilities. Several Aboriginal cultural tours are also available, including mud crabbing tours, ancient footprint tours to discover the Lombadina history, kayaking tours, and four-wheel-drive tours to Cygnet Bay, Swan Point and One Arm Point.

Adventures over and under the water

Perth’s Swan River Seaplanes has released a luxury seaplane tour departing from the iconic Swan River (Derbal Yerrigan), flying over the bubble gum pink hues of Hutt Lagoon to the marine wonders of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands. The tour touches down near Abrolhos Island’s Post Office Island and includes a behind-the-scenes tour of Liddon Pearl Farm, a seafood barbecue lunch and a flight over the Batavia shipwreck and Pink Lake at Hutt Lagoon.

Trek the wonders of the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Marine Park (Nyinggulu) on a five-day adventure tour with Off The Beaten Track starting in June 2024. Based in Exmouth, the tour includes swimming with gentle whale sharks, sea-kayaking, hiking Yardie Creek and Mandu Mandu Gorge, and trekking the Badjirrajirra Walk through Charles Knife Canyon in Cape Range National Park.

Exmouth Adventure Co has also launched a multi-day expedition tour in partnership with Trek Ningaloo. The Ningaloo Odyssey Tour is a four-day camping adventure, which includes guided trekking in Cape Range National Park, guided sea kayaking and snorkelling over Ningaloo Reef. Exmouth Adventure Co has also launched a new five-day Dampier Archipelago and Murujuga National Park sea kayaking and island camping expedition.

A new World Heritage-listed park

Murujuga National Park has been nominated for a World Heritage listing, as lodged by the Federal Government, in partnership with the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation and West Australian Government. Located near Karratha in the Pilbara region, Murujuga is presented as a living cultural landscape, with potential 'Outstanding Universal Value' demonstrated through the extensive petroglyph collection, the living cultural traditions and the deep time histories of land and sea use. Murujuga has the densest known concentration of hunter-gatherer petroglyphs anywhere in the world, with an estimated one to two million images in an area of more than 100,000 hectares. The earliest the nomination is likely to be considered by UNESCO is mid-2024.

New Great Southern wonders

In Denmark and Frankland River, a collective of businesses are working together to establish new tourism product in the Great Southern Region. The collective includes Upland Farm and Chimes Spa Retreat; wineries Singlefile and Alkoomi; plus restaurant and distillery The Dam. New tours include bespoke experiences at Alkoomi and Singlefile – with progressive wine tastings and behind-the-scenes insights into the history, production and growth of the vines, as well as masterclasses. For accommodation, Upland Farm has launched two new one-bedroom cabins set on the 107-acre farm. In Albany, a new scenic helicopter tour will soon take off – launching from the town jetty. Scenic Helicopters will work with the collective to package tours to the wineries and restaurants, as well as offering scenic flights over Albany’s stunning coastlines.

Easier connections

Sydneysiders will soon be able to fly non-stop to the iconic Margaret River Region thanks to a new Jetstar route connecting Sydney and Busselton-Margaret River Airport, taking off from March 26, 2024. This new service will operate three times a week, providing east coast visitors with easier access to the premium wines, spectacular coastline, dazzling caves and towering forests of the region.

Parisians will say bonjour to WA when a new direct flight to Perth launches in 2024. From July 12, the 17-hour Qantas direct flight service from Paris and Perth will operate four days per week during the European summer and the Paris Olympics, moving to three per week from mid-August 2024.

For eco-conscious road trippers, Australia’s longest EV highway is set to launch in 2024. When complete, the WA EV Network will include 98 new electric vehicle fast charging stations and back-up chargers at 49 different locations. The charging stations will connect Perth and regional WA – stretching over 7,000 kilometres from Kununurra in the north, to Esperance in the south, and all the way east to Eucla, with the average distance between charging stations around 160 kilometres.