It is Australia’s biggest state and with that comes a region with a diverse offering for any traveller.
Seaplane adventures over Australia’s only horizontal waterfalls, Aboriginal cultural tours, Kimberley cruising and foodie walking tours are just some of WA’s award-winning tourism experiences.
Here are just some of the new and exciting things to discover in the coming months over in the West.
World’s biggest fish returns to Ningaloo
The ocean’s gentle giants have been sighted at Ningaloo Reef on Australia’s mid-north coast, heralding the start of the 2019 whale shark season. The number of visitors to World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef continues to increase each year, with a record breaking 32,054 people experiencing a whale shark swim in 2018. Last year saw a total of 1,845 tours take place, with a whale shark sighting success rate of 97 per cent – the highest to date. The typical WA whale shark season runs from March to August. Tours have started operating from Exmouth and Coral Bay – with consistent whale shark sightings expected from mid-March. The tours allow visitors to have a face-to-fin encounter with the friendly marine giants – which generally grow between six and 11 metres in length.
Luxury eco-retreat Sal Salis is also due to open on March 15. Overlooking NIngaloo Reef in Cape Range National Park, the beach-side safari camp offers whale shark swims as well as a range of guided wildlife tours.
Glamping now open on Rottnest Island
Discovery – Rottnest Island, the first new accommodation to open on Perth’s island paradise in more than 30 years, has officially opened. Nestled behind the sand dunes at Pinky Beach, the property comprises 83 fully furnished eco-tents, a resort pool and bar, and a signature Pinky’s Beach Club. All eco-tents include an ensuite bathroom, pillow-topped bed and furnished private decks, while the deluxe tents offer beachfront views and walk-in robes. The tents are linked via walkways and boardwalks to Pinky’s Beach Club, the heart of the property, offering a range of locally inspired dining options, refreshments and takeaways.
Amy Shark and Pete Murray to headline Ord Valley Muster
The North West town of Kununurra will welcome some of Australia’s biggest musical performers in May for the 2019 Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster. Indi-pop singer-songwriter and four-time ARIA award winner Amy Shark will headline the Muster’s pinnacle event – the Aviair HeliSpirit Kimberley Moon Experience on May 25, along with singer-songwriter Pete Murray and Skinnyfish Sound System – a group that brings together Australian music producers with Aboriginal artists and their communities. The event includes a ticketed Kimberley Fine Diamonds Dinner, family-friendly general admission picnic area and a new mid-tier hospitality offering, the Vintage Garden. The annual festival, which will take over Kununurra and surrounds from May 17 to 26, combines Aboriginal food, culture and dance, intimate tours in secret locations, a challenging bike ride, art exhibitions, local talent quests, a country rodeo and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow. Early bird general admission tickets are now on sale, with travel packages including flights from Perth and self-drive from Broome available soon.
Jazz by the Bay returns to the South West
Critically acclaimed Australian-American vocalist-composer, Chris McNulty, will perform for the first time at this year’s Jazz by the Bay festival, alongside New Orleans jazz trumpeter Ashlin Parker, and returning New York-based artist Nerissa Campbell. Held over the June long weekend – from May 31 to June 3 – the popular music festival will see the South West towns of Dunsborough, Busselton and Margaret River swinging, scatting and jiving as the festival brings together local, national and international talent for an eclectic mix of free and ticketed live soul, rhythm and blues, big band, bebop and swing events at a range of great venues including wineries, pubs, theatres and galleries.
Margaret River Pro returning in May
The top 34 ranked male and top 17 ranked female surfers in the world will descend upon the Margaret River region from May 29 to June 7 to surf its world-class waves at the 2019 Margaret River Pro. The event will see thousands of spectators flock to Surfers Point in Prevelly to watch the world’s best surfers take on the famous Margaret River Main Break. In a recent deal between the World Surf League and the State Government, the Margaret River Pro will continue to retain its World Championship Tour status until at least 2021 – as the event offers some of the best surfing conditions in the world.
Opera in the Kimberley
APT has partnered with Opera Australia to present an Opera in the Kimberleyseries. Surrounded by breathtaking beauty, guests will join two of Australia’s finest opera singers for a once-in-a-lifetime performance in Cathedral Gorge – a natural red rock amphitheater – in the heart of the Bungle Bungle Range within World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park. The performance is a feature on two separate tours taking place in September 2019, including a Kimberley Complete Tour (departing September 5, 6 and 7) and an El Questro, Gorges and Purnululu Tour departing on September 8.
For more on Western Australia visit www.westernaustralia.com
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