If you hadn’t noticed, we speak a lot about our love of Perth. But let’s not forget that it’s part of this enormous, incredibly diverse and pretty darn spectacular state. From the pindan and turquoise oceans of the Kimberley, to the arid landscape of the Sandy Desert and farming lands of the Wheatbelt, right down to the lush and winding forests of the South West and dramatic coastlines of the Great Southern, Western Australia is a place to live like no other.
That’s why we love WA Day – and no, not just because it provides us with a long weekend (although that is a massive bonus). We love it because it reminds us of how much this state has to offer! While you might not be able to soak in all that diversity in one weekend, you can get a bit of a taste by heading to some of the incredible events happening over the glorious WA Day long weekend—or by eating and drinking your way around Perth. Whether you’re looking for a reason to road trip, or want to keep busy in Perth, here are all the best things to do this WA Day long weekend in Perth and beyond!
Jazz By The Bay
Margaret River Region
Tempt the long weekend road trip by checking out Jazz by the Bay, a massive live music showcase spanning the whole weekend and the whole Margaret River region. There’s going to be more than 45 performances in just four days, held at some of the region’s most iconic venues including wineries, breweries, bars and cafes (and maybe even inside a cave…) Attracting a huge line up of Australian talent, expect twists of jazz, soul, and blues. By the way people, most of these events are completely free. Say what?!
Readers & Writers Festival At Voyager Estate
Margaret River Region
Throw this storytelling extravaganza into the mix for the WA Day long weekend and you’ve got a full blown justification for a down south trip (not that you needed one). The biggest regional literary event in our fine state, the Readers & Writers Festival 2018 program is pretty gobsmacking—think some of the most prominent journalists, poets, writers and speakers from all over the country, including Dr Karl (you heard us), Peter Greste and Rosy Batty, to name but a few. Plus, the festival’s hub is Voyager Estate, and you know what that means: wine drinking is obligatory.
Six In The City & Live Laughs At Perth Comedy Lounge | Thursday, Friday & Saturday
If you haven’t done so already, you need to hit up Perth’s new first ever purpose-built comedy venue this weekend. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, the line-up includes comedic happy hour Six in the City, a fast-paced, hilarity-packed show that warms you up for Live Laughs, a hand-picked selection of the best local, interstate and international comedic talent going around. Go on, stay for both.
Thursday 31 May
Signed Sealed Delivered At The Astor Theatre
Perth Symphony Orchestra and the incredible WAAPA Gospel Choir team up for this evening, bringing you the sounds of two of the world’s most talented artists with new orchestral sounds! Semi-side note, Aretha recently told The Rolling Stone she’s going to produce what she said will be her last album this year with great friend, Stevie Wonder—how’s the timing!
Bran Nue Dae Screening At The Backlot
With Reconciliation Week leading right up to WA Day, you’ve got the perfect opportunity to learn about and connect with some amazing local Aboriginal cultures. What better way to do this than by sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying one of Australia’s most famous musical comedies: Bran Nue Dae. See all your faves (Ernie Dingo, Jessica Mauboy and Dan Sultan, der) in this lovable coming of age story, with free popcorn (that’s right) at The Backlot, one of Perth’s most unique cinemas.
Wholefoods Cooking Class With Kristen Pavez At Kitchen Warehouse
We are all familiar with the conundrum: we’re time poor, hungry, and want to eat healthy. Seems impossible? It’s not. Learn simple to prepare, nutritious and delicious recipes with wholefoods whiz, Kristen Pavez, at this interactive cooking class. Take home the recipe book and a whole lot of inspiration to adult better, at least ‘til the end of the long weekend.
Meet The Pitmaster At Guildford Hotel
For the love of meat, you need to start stockpiling the energy to prepare for this long weekend! If the wholefoods didn’t cut it for you, head to Meet The Pitmaster, the Guildford Hotel’s version of a backyard barbecue instead. Witness the talent that is the Hotel’s BBQ Master, while inhaling the delicious smoky BBQ treats he dishes out, of course. Special guests Feral Brewing will be taking care of the beers, and the dessert is rumoured to have some kind of a twist!
Friday 1 June
Kick things off with a solid Friday night party: it’ll make the long weekend feel even longer. If R ‘n’ B, hip hop and old school bangers are your jam, Hugo’s Fridays is your new favourite place on earth. If the promise of getting low to some serious 90s hits doesn’t sell you, surely the $12 espresso martinis will!
Saturday 2 June
Sweet Pop-Up Nightclub At The Sewing Room
The latest brainchild of the iconic team who first brought us the Margaret River Chocolate Factory (all hail) and more recently your new fave live music spot The Sewing Room, Sweet is Perth’s only free entry pop-up nightclub, every Saturday night. Set in the cool inner-city basement off Wolf Lane that you’ve come to know and love, expect dancefloor bangers and classics from the last twenty years to be coming through the sound system. Also, we’ve heard rumours about their delicious chocolate cocktails, so, there’s that.
Sunday 3 June
Sunday Brunch At Petition
Let your lazy Sunday morning turn into a luxurious Sunday afternoon by tucking into Sunday Brunch at Petition. With the best of breakfast served ’til 3pm and lunch favourites rolled out from 12pm, this is the kind of brunch where Bloody Marys and champagne cocktails are highly encouraged. Think baked slow eggs with ham hock, house crumpets with rhubarb and strawberry, or maybe charred cauliflower mornay with chive, smoked brioche and salted egg. This should put you in good stead for a day of celebrating our fine state.
La Famiglia Lunch At Post
Prefer to celebrate the long weekend by simply eating your way through it? Skip the festivities and spend your Sunday afternoon indulging over this delicious, rustic Italian-inspired lunch at Post instead. On the menu? Char grilled spatchcock chicken and panzanella with heirloom tomatoes, or market fish in salsa verde, fennel and lemon with parmesan and rosemary chips!
The Dressing Room Markets At The Rosemount
Need a new outfit for all the WA Day festivities you’ll be hitting up later? Head to the Dressing Room Markets, a monthly affair bringing you an incredible selection of vintage and designer clothing, accessories, homewares and furniture! Browse for free before grabbing a beer and a seat in the courtyard.
WA Day Festival At Elizabeth Quay
Diehard WA fans will congregate at Elizabeth Quay on Sunday for the annual WA Day Festival, featuring live music, delicious eats, a Bar Pop pop-up offering local beers and wine and, of course, the all-important fireworks display over the Swan River at 7pm! There are spin-off WA Day Festivals happening regionally all over the state, so if you happen to be elsewhere for the long weekend, you still might be able to catch one of these!
Celebrate WA Festival At The Fremantle Boat Harbour
The fireworks are back at the Freo Boat Harbour, for the multicultural celebration that is the Celebrate WA Festival! There’s talk of Aboriginal music and dance performances, plus Italian, Greek and Latin dancing in and around the harbour, and a performance from the Chung Wah Association Lion Dance Troupe.
Monday 4 June
State Of The Art Festival (SOTA) At Elizabeth Quay
The obvious way to top off your long weekend this WA Day is to hit up SOTA, a free music festival boasting a pretty awesome local line-up that hosts names like Birds of Tokyo, San Cisco, Mama Kin and The Southern River Band. Enjoy a delicious WA brew, spanning views of the beautiful Swan River, and boogie to local musical talent.
Image credit: Elle Borgward