I'm a freelance writer living in Perth. Having 2 young kids with endless energy, we are always on the lookout for new outdoor activities.
Published March 17th 2013
Fun choices to fill the long weekend in or near Perth
Easter Long Weekend
The busiest holiday season in our country has got to be the Easter long weekend. Although Christmas is arguably more popular, as a holiday it occurs over a longer period of time until New Year, so the holidaying effort is more spread out, whereas in Easter it concentrates in just one long weekend.
Therefore it's not surprising that many accommodations would have been booked out long before this article is written. If like me, you haven't had anything planned yet, you have two options. First, you scramble right now to organise accommodations using whatever left-over choices you have. Second, you just chill out and decide to fill each day as it comes. For that purpose, I list some activities available out there, all could be accomplished as a day trip from Perth.
The 2013 Fremantle Street Arts Festival returns with performers from within the country as well as around the globe invading the streets, turning them into multiple stages to amuse and amaze. Claiming to be the biggest street arts festival in Australia, it will showcase the world of busking, street theatre, comedy, circus, and cabaret. You could choose to get involved or just watch the acts.
o Fadunito (Spain/Catalan): A roving wheelchair reminds us of our shared humanity and vulnerability. o Dado (Canada): A vaudeville featuring original props, physical comedy, and unusual instruments of eccentricity. o Gabez (Japan): A duo dancer who spin, flip and burn up the pavement with their synchronised dance moves. o Grant Goldie (UK): Glass balls moving weightless across the body, suitcases float in mid-air and a broomstick stands on fingertips.
o Le due e un quarto (Italy): Two big babies with their prams invite passers-by to join in their mischief making. o The Primitives (Belgium): The law of the day is laughs first, safety second to celebrate the Day of the Carpenter.
o Rob Torres (USA): Physical comedy and circus demonstrates the hilarity in the everyday world.
o Les Vitamines (Canada): Street theatre entertainment with startling acrobatics and serves of laughter.
o Bilbobasso (France): Flame work combined with Argentinean tango.
o Vhils (Portuguese): The wall of the Norfolk Hotel becomes his canvas through grafitti.
o The Chipolatas (UK): A mix of circus, music and madcap theatrics on the streets.
The Chipolatas performed at Perth Cultural Centre during CHOGM Festival 2011
When: 30-31 Mar Where: Egan Park, Donnybrook (approx. 200km south of Perth) Cost:
o Children < 12yrs: FREE
o Children 12–15yrs: $5.00
o Adults 16yrs : $10.00
o Family 1 Day Pass (2A, 2C): $25.00 Website:donnybrookapplefestival.com/
It may sound corny but here goes... Bring your granny to Donnybrook and 'grab a Granny.' (Feel free to groan out loud.) Granny Smith is just one of the many apple varieties available in Donnybrook Apple Festival. The main attraction within the Fresh Produce Tent will be continuous tastings of different fruit varieties and other local produce, as well as audio visual displays of fruit production activities.
Other than fruit-related activities, there will also be a range of other entertainment for the family including log chops, agricultural and machinery displays, wine tastings, live music, animal exhibits, street parade, Sideshow Alley, market stalls and a fireworks display on Saturday Night.
Kids would love to cuddle a bunny on Easter weekend
Although children under 12 could enter free (when accompanied by a paying adult), it doesn't mean that they won't be entertained once inside. The organisers have already lined up skateboard & BMX demos, face painting, pony rides, baby farm animals (I have a feeling bunnies and chicks would be popular), climbing wall, and more to ensure entertainment for the young ones. And if they're not satisfied, you could always stop by Donnybrook's famous Apple FunPark playground on the way home.
Avon Valley Vintage Festival
When: 30 Mar – 1 Apr Where: Northam Rec Centre, Northam (approx. 100km east of Perth). Cost:
o Children < 12yrs: FREE
o Adults: $10.00
o Weekend pass: $25.00
(Tickets available online or at the door) Website: avoneventsandmarketing.com
Like any self-respecting Vintage Festival, there will of course be vintage-related items in this inaugural Avon Valley Vintage Festival, such as antiques and collectables, vintage clothing and jewellery, as well as vintage cars and cycles. If you have any antiques of your own, you can bring them along for valuations by Mat Donnelly who will be around on Sunday and Monday 11am-2pm.
But more than just vintage and antiques, everyday from 10am to 4pm there will also be various other activities to suit all ages such as kids rides, market stalls, arts and crafts, swing dancers, poker den (not real money), wine tastings, and a licensed bar.
And if none of you are willing to be the designated driver, no worries. The Avon Link train service will be running Easter weekend from Perth to Northam via Midland and Toodyay. The service will depart East Perth Terminal at 9.00am, arriving into Northam at 10.45am. Return services will depart Northam at 4.00pm and will arrive into East Perth Terminal at 5.55pm.To book your train ticket, you could visit TransWA's website.
Yamaha National Band Championships
When: 29 Mar - 1 Apr Where: UWA, Crawley. Cost:
o Band Event : $10.00
o Season Pass : $25.00 Website:nationalbands2013.com
If you think that watching and listening to big bands like WAAPA is a treat, then you should definitely put this one in your calendar. The Yamaha National Band Championships is where the cream of Australia's brass and concert bands come together for a weekend of music making and friendly rivalry.
This year, it will be held in Perth for the first time since 1979, in the beautiful surroundings of the University of Western Australia, Crawley Campus. The main venue for A & B grade Brass bands will be the Winthrop Hall, whereas C & D grade bands will be banging away at the Callaway Auditorium. Additionally, Octagon Theatre will also be used for the performances of the Concert bands. Lastly, the Solo and Parties events will be held on Monday 1 April at the Music Faculty of the University of WA.
The broad schedule for the weekend is as follow:
o Fri 29 Mar – Open Brass, Hymn and Test Piece, Junior Brass
o Sat 30 Mar – Open and Junior Concert Bands, Gala Concert Event
o Sun 31 Mar – Open Brass, March and Own Choice. Closing Social Event
o Mon 1 Apr – Solos and Parties
To see the detailed program, you could purchase an official Contest Program for $10.00.
In addition to concert performances, there will be a colourful street march in James Street, Northbridge, around 11am on Easter Saturday. The route of this Parade of Bands begins in Russell Square and finishes in Northbridge Piazza.
Did you know the difference between an orchestra and a band? The answer lies in the types of musical instruments involved...