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!
Fremantle Heritage Festival
Get your dose of all things cultural across this long weekend at this year’s Fremantle Heritage Festival, a celebration of the custodians, makers and creators of our beautiful Port City! It’s into its final four days in June, so you need to get along and soak it up while it lasts. Head to Beer & Creatures for a taste of Little Creatures history (and their beers), jump on a Fremantle Prison Art Tour, or catch Between Wind & Water, a play written from the accounts of a number of long-time Freo locals!
Mulled Cider, Music And Merriment At Core Cider House
We love WA and all, but this Sunday is also World Cider Day which if you ask us, is a pretty important calendar item. The crew at Core Cider House have got it all sorted though, so a sneaky day trip to Pickering Brook is obviously in order. Go get yourself a bottle of their limited release and probably never-to-be-repeated mulled cider (you heard us!) on Saturday, and then camp out to enjoy a Sunday full of live music in celebration of all things Cider! If you’re really keen, you can cruise through to Monday still sipping on that sweet apple juice and taking in those rustic winter orchard vibes.
Exhibition: Carla Adams // Wade Taylor At Nyisztor Studio
Ever wondered how bad it would be to line up everything anyone’s ever said to you on Tinder and plaster it on the walls? Well, that’s basically what’s happening at this exhibition, for which Carla Adams has documented the first words typed by her Tinder matches and now displays them for all to revel in. Wade Taylor joins her with his portrayal of the idea of disaster in Perth, showcasing how a place not usually beset in tragedy deals with events that have rocked us.
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
HUNTER’S CHOICE @ HUNTER AND BARREL
Winter is only one day away and the only way to prepare yourself for the cold is by warming your belly at Hunter & Barrel. For a limited time only, these kitchen magicians will be serving up the Hunter's Choice that features a 1kg T-bone steak you neeeeeed to sink your teeth into. Best served with a full bodied red, book your seat here and never leave.
Where: Hunter & Barrel, Whitford
When: Limited time
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!
Walk For Reconciliation At Elizabeth Quay
Mark National Reconciliation Week by joining Perth’s Walk For Reconciliation around Elizabeth Quay. Bring your workmates, your friends or your family down to share the experience together! During the walk, learn more about the six Noongar seasons and enjoy live music and dance performances by Urban Indigenous.
Flamingo Fridays: Long Weekend Silent Disco At The Blue Flamingo
Your quintessential Friday night party Flamingo Fridays will be easing you into the long weekend with a very quiet lil’ Silent Disco party! Expect all the same bangin’ tunes you know and love downstairs while the upstairs will be converted into a silent rave cave for those wanting to dance like no one’s watching.
Kanye Party At Jack Rabbit Slim’s
Kanye’s had a bit of a fall from grace lately, so it might be time to go celebrate his classics at Good Friday’s Kanye Party. Don’t worry, you won’t have to listen to Kanye all night—DJs are spinning all things nineties and noughties, so the likes of OG Beyoncé, Rihanna, TLC, Snoop and Biggie Smalls will be given a spin too, right after they finish playing Graduation.
Saturday 2 June
Spice Mastery At Matters Of Taste
Ian (Herbie) and Liz Hemphill are the gracious owners of the iconic Herbies Spices based in Sydney. They are pretty much rock-stars in the spice world, and now they are bringing Perthlings Spice Mastery, a mind-boggling journey into the mystical world of spice. This workshop will seriously up your spice-usage game!
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
Mega Indoor Market At HBF Arena
If the idea of 178 stall holders offering artisan wares, handcrafted goods and handmade clothing tickles your fancy, you need to get along to this Mega Indoor Market! Grab anything from candles and homewares to handmade jewellery and gifts, to soaps, succulents, socks and skin care products.
Champagne Sundays At Bistro Guillaume
The only thing better than champagne on a Sunday is champagne on the Sunday of a long weekend! Dial your long weekend up a notch with Champagne Sundays. Enjoy a delicious two-course lunch with flowing Champas, all while enjoying the river views from Bistro Guillaume!
Sunday Favourites At Odyssea
All your prayers have been answered: Odyssea is bringing back all your fave’ menu items for Sunday Favourites, and you can hit it up this long weekend without worrying about work the next day. Get there to enjoy their beloved fish tacos, crispy pork belly and lamb gnocchi, just to name a few! What better way to indulge on a long weekend than with a full belly and salty air?
Local & Vocal At Petition Beer Corner
The State Buildings are reinvigorating the CBD weekend vibes with this perfect Sunday Sesh, featuring local musicians from across Perth. With craft beers from $7.50 and a heap of them home-grown, what better way to celebrate WA Day can you think of?
Wine Down At Petition Wine Bar & Merchant
If you’re feeling less like a Sunday Sesh and more like a refined evening with your besties this weekend, Wine Down is probably more your scene. You’ll enjoy the luxe and intimate surrounds of Petition Wine Bar almost as much as the wine at takeaway prices!
SNACK At Elizabeth Quay
If you want to get around the WA Day festivities but the family-friendly activities hub isn’t really your vibe, your prayers have been answered by the living legends from Bar Pop. They’re bringing you SNACK, a cheeky little pop-up celebration of confetti and colour all putting a new spin on your classic Sunday party-vibe. We’re talking Perth’s best DJs, hyped up visuals and psychedelic colours, not to mention the free entry.
Gay Prom At The Court
Throw on something fabulous and head straight to The Court upstairs lounge, Verdict, for this year’s Gay Prom. Live diva vocals and seductive DJ sets will dominate the stage—that is, until the Prom King and Queen are announced. Party like there’s no (work) tomorrow!
Leederville Block Party 2.0 At Bill’s Bar, Babushka, Blue Flamingo & The Garden
Block Party is back at their old digs to facilitate major long weekend shenanigans at Leederville Block Party 2.0, spanning Blue Flamingo, The Garden, Babushka and Bill’s Bar. Drink specials include $8 sangria (say que?), there’s $5 pizza slices and fries going down all night for those tipsy cravings, and a whole host of DJs to shake ya’ booty to.
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