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Latest travel and lifestyle news from WA

June 24, 2019 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

WHAT’S HOT

Perth to serve up top women’s tennis with Fed Cup Final

Western Australia will play host to some of the world’s top female tennis players, with the Fed Cup final between Australia and France set to be held in Perth this November. The International Tennis Federation announced the final would be held in WA after team Australia, captained by WA’s Alicia Molik and led by Australia’s No. 1 tennis player and recent French Open champion Ashleigh Barty, defeated Belarus in the semi-final in April. It will be the first time Perth has staged the final of the world’s largest annual international women’s tennis competition since the 1971 edition. The competition will take place at RAC Arena on November 9 and 10. Tickets for the Fed Cup final are now on sale, and start from $20 for a two-day pass for adults and children.

New boutique hotel opens in Perth

Perth has welcomed the addition of another boutique hotel, with Quay Perth opening just across from waterfront precinct Elizabeth Quay. The 80-room hotel is part of the Louis T Collection, and takes inspiration from WA’s natural landscape and Perth’s laid-back vibe, offering a co-live, co-work and co-play destination. Located at the former New Esplanade hotel site, the multi-million dollar redevelopment has completely transformed the former hotel, with new guest rooms and public areas, all-day sidewalk eatery Community at Quay, a chic rooftop bar and restaurant HQ Bar & Kitchen, plus innovative co-working spaces offering sweeping views of Elizabeth Quay and the Swan River.

Join the hunt for truffles in WA

With black truffles now in season in the Southern Forests region of WA’s South West, now is the perfect time to join the hunt for the prized delicacy. The truffieres, located near the towns of Manjimup and Pemberton, are among a small handful in the world that allow guests to experience a truffle hunt. During the months of June, July and August, visitors to the region can follow along with highly trained truffle dogs as they sniff their way through the orchards in search of the famous black truffle. The Australian Truffle Traders and Truffle and Wine Co offer exclusive truffle hunts to a limited number of people each year – and are a must do for foodies or those who love farm-to-plate experiences with the growers themselves. The Southern Forests is the largest producer of black truffles in the Southern Hemisphere – with 70 per cent of the Australian supply coming from the region.

LIFESTYLE AND CULTURE

Celebrated artist Bugai’s new Perth solo show

Celebrated Martu artist Bugai Whyoulter will present her first solo exhibition in nearly a decade at The Goods Shed in the Perth’s suburb of Claremont. Bugai will show a selection of significant recent and historical works by the pujiman (desert-born) artist, who is from Kunawarritji – Well 33 on the Canning Stock Route in central WA. Renowned as one of WA’s leading contemporary Aboriginal artists, Bugai’s artwork beautifully captures the tuwa (sandhills), warla (salt lakes), waterholes and landmarks of her Country on canvas. Presented by independent not-for-profit group FORM in association with Martumilli Artists, Bugai opens at The Goods Shed, Claremont on July 4, and runs until September 15.

Winter Fest to warm up Perth city

Winter Fest 2019 will be warming up Perth from June 24 to July 21 with an impressive program of free events and experiences around the city, including unique art installations, school holiday activities, snowfall in the malls and live ice carving. The city’s Forrest Place will be transformed as Swiss artist Dan Archer brings the Northern Lights to Perth with Borealis – a unique art installation that beams high power lasers through particle clouds to recreate the mesmerising natural phenomenon. Winter Fest Theatre will also return, featuring magicians, acrobats, comedians, jugglers, singers and dancers; a pop-up ice-skating rink at Elizabeth Quay; plus Water Wildlife Up Close in Carillion City – allowing children to get up close with sharks, sea stars, urchins and other sea creatures.

FOOD AND WINE

Gascoyne food bowl on show

The annual Gascoyne Food Festival is a month-long celebration of the produce of the Gascoyne region, which is located in WA’s Mid North West. Recognised as one of Australia’s top ‘food bowls,’ the region offers an abundance of tropical fruits, succulent seafood, beef, goat, sheep and a vast array of temperate climate fruit and vegetables. Various events will be held across the region between August 7 and September 7, including a Taste of the Gascoyne Sunset BBQ and a Long Table Lunch in Carnarvon, a Spanish themed Fiesta de Quobba at Red Bluff on Quobba Station, a Six Course Craft Beergustation at Froth Craft Brewery in Exmouth and a Gourmet Island Escape at Dirk Hartog Island. The festival will wrap-up with Australia’s Biggest BBQ at the World’s Biggest Rock at Mount Augustus – the largest monolith in Australia. The festival also features an impressive line-up of local chefs including Stuart Laws of Showcase Events WA, Russell Blaikie from Must Wine Bar, Nic Wood from Santini Bar and Grill, and 2019 MasterChef Australia contestant Kyle Lyons.

Perth’s Craft Beer Festival

The Perth Craft Beer Festival is returning to the city from August 16 to 18, at the Ice Cream Factory in Northbridge. The festival will host a line-up of over 55 craft breweries and cideries, with more than 350 beers on offer, complemented by a selection of gourmet food options. Local favourites include Nail Brewing, Feral Brewing and Gage Roads, plus limited edition festival beers from Cheeky Monkey Brewing and Rocky Ridge Brewing Co. Special attractions this year include the Feral Biggie Bar, Matso’s Lush Oasis Bar, Alby Full Strength Bar, Cheeky Monkey Silent Comedy Club, a Whisky Saloon, silent disco, plus the new edition Lagerland. Held over four unique sessions, the festival caters to all tastes, with cosy fire pits, a family fun day on the Saturday session and a dedicated wine bar.

Sips and bites…Perth’s latest food and drink venues

Serving up some of WA’s best wines and craft beers, as well as artisan cocktails, with views of Perth’s stunning Elizabeth Quay is the new HQ Bar & Kitchen. Located on the top floor of Perth’s newest boutique hotel, Quay Perth, the chic rooftop bar and kitchen features a modern Chinese-inspired menu using locally sourced produce.

The team behind restaurants Nolita and La Lola have opened a new Italian restaurant in South Perth. Automatic offers a more casual dining concept, with traditional Italian recipes, a few modern dishes and Roman-style pizzas. The 75-seat restaurant offers an Italian and Australian wine list, tap beers and Italian cocktails.

Opening in early 2019, the tiki-themed Jungle Bird has recently been awarded Best New Small Bar in Perth’s 2019 Small Bar Awards. Located in the west end of the eclectic port-city of Fremantle, the jungle-inspired rum bar has been serving up a rum and whiskeys from around the world, as well as boutique beers, wines and cocktails, and a Caribbean inspired food menu.

In Perth’s Swan Valley wine region – located only a 25 minute drive from the city – a new family friendly café has opened its doors. Café Du Quartier brings a little slice of Mauritius to the valley, with some signature culinary dishes such as Gateau Piments, Mauritian style kebabs, as well as modern Australian cuisines set on stunning spacious grounds with a children’s playground and kid’s corner.

TOURS, ATTRACTIONS AND ACCOMMODATION

Mating whale sharks spotted at Ningaloo

Each year, majestic whale sharks congregate at World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef along WA’s Coral Coast, but in a first for the region, the world’s biggest fish have been captured on film attempting to mate. Ningaloo Aviation pilot Tiffany Klein captured the moment whilst aerial spotting the gentle giants as part of her work for the whale shark tour operators. The interaction involved a nine metre long male whale shark, who had earlier been swimming with tour operators and their guests, and a five to six metre long female. Ningaloo is the only place in Australia where swimming with whale sharks is available, via the towns of Exmouth and Coral Bay, with the season generally operating from March until August each year.

Direct access to the Kimberley

Discovering the magical wonders of the Kimberley region in WA’s North West is set to become easier, thanks to the recent announcement of direct flights between Melbourne and Kununurra. Operated by Alliance Airlines on a code-share arrangement with Virgin Australia, the flights will commence in May 2020, with up to three return flights a week operating until August.

For international visitors, the direct flights from Singapore to Broome have recommenced this month, following the success of a trial in 2018. The regional wing of Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, have rolled out a second phase of the trail, with four return flights operating on June 13, 17, 20 and 24 to coincide with Singapore’s school holidays, two race meets across the Broome Turf Club racing season, and the Staircase to the Moon natural phenomenon.

In addition, Qantas also offer direct flights to Broome from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane on select dates.

New Aboriginal tours in Kings Park

New Aboriginal tours and cultural experiences have recently commenced in Perth’s iconic Kings Park and Botanic Garden (Kaarta Koomba). Nyungar Tours and Go Cultural Tours and Experiences are both owned and operated by local Aboriginal people who have a strong family connection to country. The new Nyungar Tours Kings Park Yorgas Walk allows guests to walk alongside Kerry-Ann Winmar, a Whadjuk woman and Traditional Owner from the Perth region – as she shares her stories, ancient customs and traditions, and knowledge about bush foods and medicines. Go Cultural Aboriginal Tours and Experiences offers guests the opportunity to learn about Kaarta Gar-up, the traditional name for the Mount Eliza escarpment in Kings Park, and its intriguing past and spiritual significance to the Aboriginal people.

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