Wednesday 10 April 2024

What's New in Western Australia - April 2024

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

The season of Djeran is now upon us – bringing with it cool nights and refreshing dewy mornings laced with the scent of emerging boronia blooms. The Yawuru season of Marrul in the Kimberley town of Broome (Rubibi) has been revealed by nature. Gadgur (bloodwood) trees are flowering and Kimberley tides are high, signalling the seasonal change.

Now is the perfect time to start planning a West Australian adventure in Busselton (Undalup) or Broome (Rubibi) with recent Jetstar flight launches. Fly directly from Sydney to Busselton, in WA’s Margaret River Region – the most awarded premium wine region in Australia. Or take a non-stop flight from Singapore to Broome where there are camel trains, dreamy golden sunsets and epic tides that pull back to reveal dinosaur footprints.

Winter in Perth promises a jam-packed, adrenaline filled weekend of sport with the Wallabies versus Springboks test match held at Optus Stadium. One night after at RAC Arena, is the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC 305), making it the weekend to be in WA for sports lovers.

Keep reading to discover the exciting updates across all of Western Australia.

What's Hot

Blockbuster weekend of international sport in Perth

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will return to Perth (Boorloo) this August in another Australian exclusive, following the record -breaking event in 2023.Taking place at RAC Arena on Sunday, August 18, the match will directly follow Australia’s Wallabies taking on South Africa’s Springboks at Perth’s Optus Stadium on August 17. It’s the first time Rugby World Champions South Africa has played a test match in Perth since 2017. With two major international sporting events, its set to be a blockbuster weekend of sport.

More aviation access direct to WA

Jetstar’s new direct flight from Sydney to Busselton (Undalup) has officially launched. The non-stop five-hour flight to WA’s South West region is two hours faster than the indirect route that stops in Melbourne. Busselton is the northern gateway to the Margaret River region – the only premium wine region in Australia that combines world-class food and wine with pristine beaches, tall-timber forests, renowned surf breaks and ancient caves.

Jetstar Asia has also launched a new non-stop flight between Singapore and Broome (Rubibi). Located in WA’s north west, Broome has a strong Asian history and multicultural culinary scene making it a top destination for Asian travellers and those connecting directly from Europe.

WA takes home 12 medals at the national tourism awards

Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm in WA’s Dampier Peninsula, and Origins Market in Busselton have both brought home gold at the 2023 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards; winning the Unique Accommodation and Tourism Retail and Hire Services categories respectively. WA business also collectively won another five silver and five bronze awards across the 25 categories. Find a full list of award winners here.

Houseboat adventures at Willie Creek Pearl Farm

Broome’s (Rubibi) Willie Creek Pearls has released new multi-day adventure getaway experiences for the 2024 season. Partnering with Kimberley Getaway, the family owned and operated pearl farm is offering two action-filled packages to explore the best parts of Willie Creek Pearl Farm. Guests will stay onboard luxury floating accommodation, ‘The Barra Shack’ – a spacious three-level custom built houseboat featuring a large entertainment area and stunning panoramic views accommodating up to 12 guests. A three-day Adventure Getaway, or a five-day Group Adventure Getaway for private group bookings of six to 12 guests is available to book now. Both experiences include a tour of the Willie Creek Pearl Farm, and the option to choose from a range of action-packed activities including fishing, mud crabbing, and a wildlife cruise onboard a private catamaran.

Truffle hunts launch in Margaret River

Truffle hunting experiences will be launching in the heart of the Margaret River Region this winter – a first for the region. Partnering with Margaret River Truffle Farm, Forage Safaris is offering a full day food, farm and wine tour, featuring truffle hunting during the 2024 truffle season, from June to August. Friendly truffle dog, Alby and new puppy Taz, guide guests through Oak and Hazel trees, sniffing out the hidden truffles. There is an option to dig up your own truffles, giving groups the chance to experience the excitement firsthand before then sampling the extensive truffle farm product range. Go in Style is also offering two exclusive truffle experiences at Margaret River Truffle Farm for guests staying at Cape Lodge.

A new hotel precinct for Fremantle next summer

Warders Hotel will welcome the opening of a five-star accommodation offering this summer. Located in the heart of the Fremantle Prison heritage precinct, Garde will offer 83 luxury rooms and suites, as well as a new restaurant – Anglesea. Neighbouring the current Warders Cottages, restaurants Emily Taylor and Gimlet are also right on the doorstep, offering a gourmet food and wine experience along with a culturally unique stay in the heart of Fremantle (Walyalup).

Esperance welcomes its inaugural Hiking Festival

Explore the otherworldly wonders and dreamy landscapes of Esperance at the inaugural GROUNDED | Esperance Hiking Festival taking place from September 20 to 22. Developed in partnership Australia’s Golden Outback and The Hike Collective, the festival offers five carefully crafted hikes to choose from – designed for beginners through to seasoned hikers to explore the diverse hiking trails that wind through the spectacular coastlines of Cape Le Grand National Park. September is also wildflower season in WA and GROUNDED will align with the annual Esperance Wildflower Festival. More details to come, including intimate and immersive dinners in amongst the vines at Heyscape's Yirri Grove location, in collaboration with roving dining experience Fervor.

Tours, Attractions & Accommodation

Geordie Bay accommodation overhaul

Exciting upgrades at the popular Stay Rottnest accommodation at Geordie Bay on Perth’s Rottnest Island will start this month. The 51 units will be renovated and receive modernised kitchens and bathrooms, fresh bedrooms and living areas, new flooring and upgraded balconies and courtyard amenities. The accommodation will re-open at Geordie Bay in September 2024, just in time for the the school holidays.

Outdoor baths open at Ellenbrae Station

Located off the iconic Gibb River Road in WA’s Kimberley region, Ellenbrae Station is now offering travellers the opportunity to stop, wash away the dust and relax and rejuvenate in its new outdoor bush baths. Sessions are available throughout the day, and guests have the option to add a grazing platter to their booking. Alternatively, the Sunset Session includes a cheese platter and a drink of either beer, red or white wine, bubbles or soft drink for two people. Bookings are recommended.

Rottnest Island Coastal Segway Tour

Segway Tours WA has launched a new segway path across the spectacular coastline of Perth’s Rottnest Island (Wadjemup). Guests will follow a guide on the 2-hour long segway tour, with personal radio equipment provided for each rider to hear the guide’s instructions, anecdotes and historical stories. Highlights on the tour include Thomson Bay Settlement, The Basin, Bathurst Lighthouse, Little Parakeet Bay and Longreach Bay.

Sail Ningaloo gets a makeover

Setting sail in the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef (Nyinggulu) region for its 15th season, Sail Ningaloo has a fresh look. Sail Ningaloo’s vessel, Shore Thing, has received an upgrade with sustainability, privacy and culinary extravagance in mind. An expanded solar grid wing, vibrant new benchtops, ceilings and private bathroom facilities in all cabins are the exciting upgrades waiting to be seen. It is a Ningaloo) adventure combined with style and comfort!

Bowling on the Boardwalk

The popular Breakwater at Perth’s Hillarys Boat Harbour has added a new fresh and funky attraction to the coastal venue. Breakwater Bowl is a colourful and light-filled seven-lane bowling alley, with food and drinks packages available from the restaurant and bar. Travellers can also get a ferry directly to Rottnest Island from Hillarys Boat Harbour or explore The Aquarium of Western Australia before strolling through the retail and hospitality outlets sitting just next to the spectacular Sorrento Beach.

Lifestyle & Culture

International art gallery opens in Margaret River

REDSEA Gallery has opened its doors in the Margaret River Region in WA’s South West. The contemporary art gallery is housed in a revitalised century old heritage building. The first REDSEA Gallery was opened in Singapore, featuring global artists, including Australians. The expansion to WA allows exhibitions and artworks the chance to be seen in both Singapore and the Margaret River Region, exposing local, national and international artists to more art lovers. REDSEA showcases a collection of paintings, sculpture, glass, ceramics and x-ray art right on the Margaret River town main street.