8 Ways to Spend Winter in Western Australia
There are few secrets more derided than Australia’s winter. In a continent that has made its name selling incredible summers, the quieter winters have been left to grow into its own form with many nooks and crannies worth exploring. CheapTickets.sg dives into the cosy corners of Western Australia to seek out your next life-changing experience, no matter what role you play in your book of travels.
As you plan your next great escape, be sure to work your wallet as hard as you work your itinerary! CheapTickets.sg is currently offering an instant discount to Perth, so grab your tickets before all they’re all gone!
For the Urbanite: The Winter Village Perth
Fancy being at the forefront of Western Australia’s city scene? Perth’s cultural centre transforms into a contemporary take on the winter wonderland concept this June. The Winter Village Perth packs transparent plastic igloos that double as bookable private living spaces, a similarly shaped grand dining hall (complete with hourly snowfall), and a repertoire of food, beverage, and retail acts that stay true to Perth’s colorful culture.
Expect an Alps-themed spread including share platters, loaded fries, kranskies and pretzels, hot chocolates, warm gin cocktails and mulled wine. The party doesn’t stop as the sun goes down - DJs will play sets on Friday and Saturdays nights, and booths will continue to serve alcohol till late. Immerse yourself in the transformed cityscape as the lights come on past twilight, and appreciate the city’s beauty in the comfort of your retrofitted modern igloo.
For the Reveller: SOTA 2019
Music is core to Perth’s society. It’s so important that an exclusively Aboriginal music festival, SOTA 2019, is playing on a national holiday. On WA Day (3 June 2019), the best and the brightest from Western Australia will return to their roots to play a show of their lives. Featuring acts from John Butler and Flossy to T$OKO and The Struggling Kings, most of which are returning to Perth amidst their performances and tours outside the city, Perth’s musical masterpieces are home - and you can watch them all for free at Burswood Park.
If you’ve yet to have your fill after the spectacular event, check out the Fremantle Winter Music Festival, held at six stages across Perth’s maritime ports of old. The festival runs the weekend from 28 to 29 June, so book your accommodation early and focus only on the music when you’re here!
For the Connoisseur: Winery Hopping at Swan Valley
The Swan Valley is in a class of its own, and the class stays open through winter. Warm yourself up with a red or white at Faber Vineyard, Lancaster Wines, or Oakover Grounds. Those looking for a more contemporary experience can pay a special visit to Sittella, one of the youngest and most promising wineries in the region - they were selected as the best small producer of the year in 2016 by Ray Jordan's WA Wine Guide! The winery also throws in a North African cooking workshop with head chef Mike Price, where one can learn about wine pairing before tucking into a scrumptious lunch.
Those already in the Perth metropolis can pop by City Wine, Perth’s winter wine festival. With an incredible line up of exceptional wines, beers, ciders and cocktails, one can expect to mingle with like-minded aficionados while sampling some of the best pours Western Australia has to offer.
For the Gastronome: Chocolates, Chocolates, Chocolates
The vineyards at Swan Valley aren’t just known for their tipples, as some creative vineyard owners have roped in chocolatiers and cheese makers so travellers can indulge in two vices at once. Coward & Black’s partnership with the Margaret River Chocolate Company means more joy for wine and chocolate lovers - sip wine, eat all the chocolate you want, or enjoy both at once with a unique selection of chocolate liqueurs. One cannot eat his or her way to happiness, but a healthy dose of cocoa and Cabernet comes pretty close.
If you’re looking to reserve your calorie intake for just one sin, chocolate is a culture in Perth - vegan chocolate marquise at Measure, chocolate gelato complete with chocolate sauce taps at Chicho Gelato, and Rochelle Adonis’ signature chocolate cake. Your pants won’t thank you, but your heart certainly will.
For the Historian: Fremantle Waterfront
Perth’s harbour town has got character, and a ton of culture to boot. The active port sees plenty of traffic throughout the day, making for a quirky sight of yesterday’s colonial architecture mixing with today’s cargo ships in the distance. Learn more about the city’s colonial roots with a guided tour around the Fremantle Prison (which was fully functional till 1991), and delve further into darkness at the WA Shipwrecks Museum. Looking for a more light-hearted immersion into Fremantle’s history? Go free and admire the city’s 3000 heritage listed properties in your own time, featuring the city’s town halls and other historical landmarks steeped in history.
All that walking may get a little chilly, so end off with a quick pick-me-up at the bustling Fremantle Markets! The region features food, drink, and entertainment for all. The Yard and main hall in particular house never-seen-before concoctions that may put travellers off the first time - try them out, and you’ll be back for more in no time.
For the Ground-Pounder: Winter Walking
Winter in Australia isn’t all snowstorms and cold drafts - there are many days where the sun is out, but the winds are cool. Such weather calls for some exercise, and hiking through one of Western Australia’s many natural wonders combines the need for adrenaline with great sights. One particularly scenic trail starts at the Penguin Experience Island Discovery Centre, which shadows the coast and is home to the world’s biggest Fairy Penguin colony. Sitting a little closer to the city is the John Forrest National Park, which takes hikers through a decommissioned train tunnel that once ferried passengers out of Perth into the countryside.
Want to get your cardio in within the confines of the city? Kings Walk is one of the largest inner city parks in the world, and the lattice of trails within it will be sure to satisfy any hiker. Check out the Lotterywest Federation Walkway, an hour-long journey through the Western Australian Botanic Garden amongst the treetops. Packing a spectacular elevated 52 metre glass and steel arched bridge suspended among a canopy of tall eucalypts, you’ll do the trail a couple more times just for the views.
For the Blueblood: Glamp Out the Cold
Camping is always a polarizing subject, whether or not there’s a harsh winter involved. But what if you could keep out the cold, all while throwing out all the burdensome issues usually associated with camping? Enter glamping - popularized in 2018, but still very relevant when you’re trying to enjoy the great outdoors in less-than-great conditions. Experience falling asleep under the stars inside one of Mile End Glamping’s transparent domes, set up in a private space along Margaret River. The best part? The creepy crawlies stay outside.
If you’re more of a coastal camper, Soul Camping is stopping by at just the right time with a glamping experience ready at Coral Bay, a marine sanctuary that sits between the reef and the beach. Right next door is Sal Salis, a remote beachside safari camp in Cape Range National Park on the shores of Ningaloo Reef. They feature solo wilderness tents, as well as communal long dining tables, snorkel equipment, and anything else you might need to get your luxe up.
For the Nomad: Meet the Locals
Every city is defined by not only its attractions, but also its people. For Western Australia, that extends to its thriving wildlife, and a friendly local that every traveller must meet is the quokka, which has built a community over at Rottnest Island. These lovely critters will be more than happy to share their homes with you, but remember to maintain a respectful distance and follow all Australian wildlife rules!
The quokkas and their trusting nature have not gone unnoticed - the #quokkaselfie has become a thing, and you can become a part of it! The guys watching over the island have a useful infographic about how to get the quokkas nestling up to you and your camera. It’s become so popular that even Chris Hemsworth has paid them a visit. Who knows - you might spot the God of Lightning on one of his days off as well!
The many facets of Perth are all worth exploring, no matter what you’re into during your travels. If you’re looking for the experience for a lifetime and more, there’s no time to waste - we’re sweetening the deal with a city-exclusive promo, so take full advantage and grab your next cheap ticket to Western Australia today!