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Kings Park, Perth, WA | Courtesy of Tourism Australia © Hugh Stewart
Kings Park, Perth, WA | Courtesy of Tourism Australia © Hugh Stewart
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How To Make The Most Of Perth And Beyond In Spring 2016

Picture of Ellie Griffiths
Updated: 9 February 2017
The flowers are blooming, the sun is out (well when is it not, let’s be honest) and the events are rolling in for a springtime full of fun in one of Australia’s most welcoming cities. From smelling the newly bloomed roses, to attending iconic festivals and new events alike, there is something for everyone in Perth to get you out of those winter blues and ready for summer.
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See the blooming tulips at Araluen Botanic Park

A slice of heaven high in the hills, the extraordinary 59 hectares of gardens at Araluen Botanic Park have started to bloom for another year. With a diverse range of both native and exotic species of plants, be sure to smell the camellias and tea roses set against the native backdrop of Eucalyptus, Marri and Blackbutt trees, and don’t forget to peep the blooming tulips in September before they’re gone for another year. Wander through the park and discover the many native wildlife that now call this place home, from marsupials to reptiles, birds and water creatures – but it’s the kookaburras laughing that will bring merry joy to your day.

Monday to Sunday 9AM–6PM

Araluen Botanic Park, 362 Croyden Rd, Roleystone,WA +61 8 9234 2200

Flowers at Araluen | © Ellie Griffiths

Flowers at Araluen | © Ellie Griffiths

Tulip at Araluen | © Ellie Griffiths

Tulip at Araluen | © Ellie Griffiths

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Take in the spirituality of the Pinnacles

Springtime is the best time of the year to visit the almighty Pinnacles in the Nambung National Park. Hop in your car and drive north of Perth to one of Western Australia’s most iconic landscapes. These limestone formations are of many shapes and sizes, replicating a variety of objects from Casper the Ghost to a Sea Lion balancing a ball on its nose. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and head to the serene town of the Cervantes before discovering what has been believed to be a lost city.

Monday to Sunday 9:30AM–4:30PM

Pinnacles Drive, Cervantes, WA

The Pinnacles, Southern Coral Coast | Courtesy of Australia's Coral Coast

The Pinnacles, Southern Coral Coast | Courtesy of Australia’s Coral Coast

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Celebrate springtime with the Kings Park Festival

This month-long festival of springtime colour and regrowth has attracted thousands of locals and tourists alike to the edge of the Perth CBD for decades. Since the 1960s, Kings Park Festival has become one of the ‘world’s biggest display of Western Australia’s famous wildflowers from every region of the state’. Not only are there plenty of native wildflowers to be discovered but there are an array of events featuring Mystérieuses Coiffures hair wizardry, live music, family entertainment, floral fashion, workshops, exhibitions and so much more. Whether you attend one of these, meet a local artist whilst they work or simply enjoy a picnic in the park, there’s no better way to explore one of the most visited botanic gardens in the world.

1–30th September 2016

Kings Park Botanic Garden, Perth, WA +61 8 9480 3600

Meet the Artist in Aspects of Kings Park - Helen Ansell | Courtesy of Kings Park Festival

Meet the Artist in Aspects of Kings Park – Helen Ansell | Courtesy of Kings Park Festival © Kim Ansell

Adorable Florables | © Jason Thomas

Adorable Florables | © Jason Thomas

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Indulge in wine & food at Festival Italia

Discover a whole new world of indulgence as Italy’s finest food and wine returns to Perth for another year. Formerly the Italian Wine and Food Festival, Festival Italia offers over 100 imported Italian wines to be tasted – White, Rose, Red and Sparkling – and world-class meals to indulge in for lunch or dinner, from a rich plate of gnocchi to tiramisù straight from Tuscany, Sicily, and the Veneto. But that’s not all, the market stalls are full of high-quality fresh Italian foods by some of the most talented Italian chefs in Perth, and culinary master Roberto Dal Seno is flying to Perth especially for this festival – so don’t miss his cooking demonstrations.

10–11th September 2016: Saturday 10AM–9PM, Sunday 11AM–5PM

Festival Italia, Perth Town Hall, Hay St & Barrack St, Perth, WA +61 8 9461 3514

Cooking demos at Festival Italia | Courtesy of Image Portrait Studio

Cooking demos at Festival Italia | Courtesy of Image Portrait Studio

Wine tasting at Festival Italia | Courtesy of Image Portrait Studio

Wine tasting at Festival Italia | Courtesy of Image Portrait Studio

Escape to the island of comedy and music with RottoFest

Set on the stunning Rottnest Island, the RottoFest has brought some of the best comedians and musicians to the island for a line up like no other. With multiple stages set out across the island, you can get your daily dose of laughter from comedians – such as Rhys Nicholson, Steve Hughes, Neel Kolhatkar, Comedians vs Rappers and Janelle Koenig – before jumping on a bike to ride across to your favourite band. Whether you go to listen to The Jezabels, Bluejuice Dj set, Teischa, Great Gable or Elli Schoen, ensure you have plenty of time to capture that quokka selfie.

17th September 2016

Various venues across Rottnest Island

Quokka, Rottnest Island, WA | Courtesy of Tourism Australia © Hugh Stewart
Quokka, Rottnest Island, WA | Courtesy of Tourism Australia © Hugh Stewart
Rottofest 2015 | © Naomi Craigs
Rottofest 2015 | © Naomi Craigs
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Western Australia’s most exciting week of fashion, TPFF

Ensuring Western Australia is ‘internationally recognised as a hub for emerging and established talent in the fashion sector’ the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival returns with over 30 world-class fashion events. Celebrating the best of WA’s local talents, alongside nationally and internationally recognised designers, these six days have become the most exciting week of fashion. From the opening night runway with showcases from Bianca Spender, Dion Lee, Flannel, Romance Was Born, and Zhivago, to celebrating the 50th anniversary of iconic WA boutique Adam Heath and discovering the future of fashion with the most promising student designers strutting down the runway, there is something for everyone.

20–25th September 2016

TPFF, Perth Concert Hall, 5 St Georges Terrace, Perth WA +61 8 9231 9900

Alex Perry dress from Adam Heath, Christie Nicholaides earrings, Clover Accessories earrings and bracelets, Betts boots, Campaign Shoot 2016 | Courtesy of Telstra Perth Fashion Festival

Alex Perry dress from Adam Heath, Christie Nicholaides earrings, Clover Accessories earrings and bracelets, Betts boots, Campaign Shoot 2016 | Courtesy of Telstra Perth Fashion Festival

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 | © Stefan Gosatti

Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015 | © Stefan Gosatti

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The best of Western Australia at the IGA Perth Royal Show

Roll up, roll up, to one of the best shows in the state – the annual IGA Perth Royal Show returns yet again with even more fun, featuring 100 hours of entertainment from 400 performers on the bill. Head over to the favourite pat-a-pig, hear the Showman making music out of vegetables, watch the aerial stunts by freestyle motorcross riders and of course the Diving DockDogs before discovering the Perth National Photography Exhibition and flower show marquee. The iconic Yellow Brick Road will have you exploring the show and especially the food and farming sectors, before shopping for that all mighty Bertie Beetle showbag (and all the other showbags you could possibly dream of), meeting some of your favourite children’s characters and hitting up sideshow alley. Although this all sounds like bliss, iconic fireworks offer a fitting end to close each evening’s festivities.

24th September–1st October 2016: Monday to Sunday 9AM–9PM

IGA Perth Royal Show, Claremont Showground, 8 Ashton Ave, Claremont, WA

Diving Dogs as part of the free entertainment 2016 | Courtesy of Royal Agriculture Society of WA

Diving Dogs as part of the free entertainment 2016 | Courtesy of Royal Agriculture Society of WA

Sideshow Alley | Courtesy of Royal Agriculture Society of WA

Sideshow Alley | Courtesy of Royal Agriculture Society of WA

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Cheers to Oktoberfest in the Gardens

Australia’s biggest and best Oktoberfest celebrations will return with their massive big top beer halls and authentic German food stalls for a traditional Bavarian Festival right here in Perth. Oktoberfest in the Gardens is rumoured to have a large selection of imported German beer, cider and wine, alongside other beverages too, for you to make the most of this opportunity. There will also be a variety of German entertainers gracing the grass from a 20-piece brass band, yodellers, and roving accordion players, a sideshow alley, silent disco, on-stage competitions and DJs taking you well into the night. Start collecting your costumes now as there are prizes for Miss and Mr Oktoberfest 2016!

8th October 2016: Saturday 2PM–10PM

Oktoberfest in the Gardens, Langley Park, Plain St & Hay St, East Perth, WA +61 8 9461 3333

Oktoberfest in the Gardens, Perth 2014 | Courtesy of Nokturnl Events

Oktoberfest in the Gardens, Perth 2014 | Courtesy of Nokturnl Events

Oktoberfest in the Gardens, Perth 2014 | Courtesy of Nokturnl Events

Oktoberfest in the Gardens, Perth 2014 | Courtesy of Nokturnl Events

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Raise money for the children of WA with Telethon

Every year since 1968, the people of Western Australia come together for (what is now) 26 hours of non-stop fundraising, the Telethon. Raising money to support the ‘medical and social welfare of children and funding research into kids diseases’, the event is broadcast live across the state with a variety of celebrities from Seven Networks shows – including Home and Away and Sunrise – entertaining the audiences, taking phone calls and visiting the sick children at Princess Margaret Hospital. Not only will the show invite a variety of local performers to shine alongside the national and internationally recognised ones, but the Kids Carnival onsite also cannot be missed. Whether you attend the opening or closing show, drop by throughout the event or stay the entire time (commitment at its best); last year the state raised just shy of $26 million, and we’re excited to see how much is raised this year – go Perth residents!

15–16th October 2016

Telethon, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, 21 Mounts Bay Rd, Perth WA +61 8 9338 0300

Fat Cat at Telethon 2015 | Courtesy of TelethonFat Cat at Telethon 2015 | Courtesy of Telethon

Fat Cat at Telethon 2015 | Courtesy of Telethon

Celebrations at Telethon 2015 | Courtesy of Telethon

Celebrations at Telethon 2015 | Courtesy of Telethon

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Feast your senses with BeauVine Festival

The recent edition to Perth’s food festival scene, BeauVine Food & Wine Festival unites some of the best wineries, cideries, breweries, distilleries, and eateries from across Western Australia (and some from interstate) to delight all senses. Whether you get your hands on the fresh finger food or eat signature dishes from ramen to burgers, there will also be an array of art and boutique market stalls ready for your perusal. Live music and DJs will offer a fitting soundtrack throughout the festival, alongside live comedy masterclasses to bring a smile to your face. The best part is, however, that your BeauVine festival ticket includes a free tasting glass and tastings throughout.

21–23rd October 2016

BeauVine Festival, Birdwood Square, Mount Lawley, Perth, WA

Food and wine festival | Courtesy of BeauVine Festival

Food and wine festival | Courtesy of BeauVine Festival

Food and wine festival | Courtesy of BeauVine Festival

Food and wine festival | Courtesy of BeauVine Festival

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The Swan Festival of Lights brings Deepavali to Perth

Symbolising ‘the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance’, India’s celebration of Deepavali returns to Perth for a three-day Swan Festival of Lights (SFOL). Whether you head over to the festival to watch the performances – such as Kathakali dance, Pribumi dance, Ukrainian cossack dancers and a performance by the Charlesworth Ballet Institute – listen to an array of music, get that new henna tattoo, enjoy a camel ride or design your own umbrella (of many colours), SFOL is one of the best celebrations of Indian fine arts and culture in Western Australia. Don’t forget to indulge in the best of Indian cuisine, from the milk-based sweet Gulab Jamun to the pretzel shaped Jalebi, deep-fried savoury spiced doughnut (Vadai) and chutney, curry puffs, samosa, banana chips and so much more.

28–30th October 2016

SFOL, Elizabeth Quay, The Esplanade, Perth, WA +61 8 6557 0700

Dancers | Courtesy of Swan Festival of Lights

Dancers | Courtesy of Swan Festival of Lights

Food | Courtesy of Swan Festival of Lights

Food | Courtesy of Swan Festival of Lights

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UnWined at WA’s premium wine and food festival

Let loose at UnWined as the best of Western Australia’s fine wine, cider, craft beer and spirit makers return to the relaxing setting of Subiaco’s Market Square Park. Throughout the weekend, around 70 companies from across the state will participate, bringing you both new and unusual wines to taste alongside local produce and tapas. Learn something new at the wine education seminars, attend a cooking demonstration, or talk to the winemakers and producers and ask them for their secrets. As you try a range of street food from Perth’s best foodies, start thinking what wine you want to buy to take home with you so you’re not leaving empty-handed (unwise, we think).

29–30th October 2016: Saturday & Sunday 11:30AM–5:30PM

UnWined, Market Square Park, Corner of Roberts Road & Haydn Bunton Drive, Subiaco, WA

UnWined | © Ryan Ammon

UnWined | © Ryan Ammon

UnWined | © Ryan Ammon

UnWined | © Ryan Ammon

Melbourne Cup: ‘The Race That Stops A Nation’

Dating back to the inaugural event in 1861, the Melbourne Cup has become one of the most prestigious Thoroughbred horse races in the country, occurring annually on the first Tuesday of November. Racing across a distance of 3,200m there are plenty of venues across Perth for you to watch the race and enjoy ‘the race that stops a nation’. After all, this is the one day of the year it’s not acceptable to go out in anything but your best dress, fascinator, or suit, and drink a few glasses of champagne in celebration.

1st November 2016

Various locations

Melbourne Cup, Melbourne, VIC | Courtesy of Tourism Australia / Time Out Australia © Roberto Seba
Melbourne Cup, Melbourne, VIC | Courtesy of Tourism Australia / Time Out Australia © Roberto Seba
Melbourne Cup, Melbourne, VIC | Courtesy of Tourism Australia © David B. Simmonds
Melbourne Cup, Melbourne, VIC | Courtesy of Tourism Australia © David B. Simmonds
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‘Stop, Sip & Savour the very best of the west’ at Fremantle Beer Festival

Okay, well it’s not Oktoberfest, but why stop the celebration of drinking good beer in October when you enjoy some award-winning craft beers (and ciders and spirits) at the Fremantle BeerFest. From Fremantle’s iconic Little Creatures Brewery to some lesser known or forgotten breweries, enjoy a pint or a few as you take in the live comedy, family fun and entertainment across this three-day event. Ensure you line your stomach with tornado potatoes, bratwurst, pasta, ice cream, and wood-fired street food before grabbing another round of pints.

11–13st November 2016

Fremantle Beer Festival, Fremantle, WA

Fremantle Craft Beer and Food Festival | © Calum Maxwell

Fremantle Craft Beer and Food Festival | © Calum Maxwell

Fremantle Craft Beer and Food Festival | © Calum Maxwell

Fremantle Craft Beer and Food Festival | © Calum Maxwell

The Extraordinary Margaret River Gourmet Escape

The natural beauty of Margaret River becomes home once again to the Margaret River Gourmet Escape, inviting you to take this unique opportunity to taste world-renowned wine and high quality produce. Returning for it’s fifth year, over 40 internationally celebrated chefs, food producers and winemakers will share their knowledge and passion with you, including UK’s Nigella Lawson, Singapore’s Janice Wong, France’s Mauro Colagreco and local Dan Masters. Whether you purchase a ticket for an intimate candlelit dinner or a gourmet beach BBQ under the stars, or head to the stunning grounds of the renowned Leeuwin Estate Winery for the Gourmet Village, there is plenty to keep your stomach full and your heart happy.

18–20th November 2016

Margaret River Gourmet Escape, Various locations

Wine | Courtesy of Margaret River Gourmet Escape
Wine | Courtesy of Margaret River Gourmet Escape
Audi Gourmet Beach BBQ | Courtesy of Margaret River Gourmet Escape
Audi Gourmet Beach BBQ | Courtesy of Margaret River Gourmet Escape
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From Glastonbury Festival, Arcadia makes their Australian debut

Born at the world famous Glastonbury Festival, Arcadia brings their cutting edge technology, adrenaline and music to the newly developed Elizabeth Quays for a three-day spectacle. A 50-tonne spider (unlike any in our country) will land in Australia for the first time, bringing with it a programme full of aerial acrobatics, immersive drama, mechanical mayhem and breathtaking pyrotechnics. Whether you admire the unique performance of a choreographed battle featuring the Lords of Lightning, discover the spiritually strengthening traditional performance by the local Wadjuk Nyungar people, or dance all night long to some of Australia’s hottest artists – Alison Wonderland, Carmada and Elk Road among them – this will be a debut like no other. If you cannot make the festival, be sure to get up close to the spider and go behind the scenes on the two Community Open Days before the festival begins.

23–27th November 2016

Arcardia Festival, Elizabeth Quay, The Esplanade, Perth, WA

Performance | Courtesy of Arcadia Australia

Performance | Courtesy of Arcadia Australia

Arcadia | © Ben Daure

Arcadia | © Ben Daure