In the South-East of the Perth metropolitan region, there lies a land few have dared to discover. A land of peace and tranquillity. A land of stunning natural beauty: rolling hills dotted with wildflowers during springtime; regional parks with walking trails that will give you a respite from the stress of everyday life. A land with a rich tapestry of history and heritage. For all the explorers and adventurers of Perth, here is your opportunity to discover a local area full of hidden gems during the 2016 Spring into Armadale Festival.
Only in its second year running, the Spring into Armadale Festival will be taking place from 1st August to 31st October 2016 at a wide range of locations across the Armadale region. Whether you're into art, farming, music, food, wine, markets or the outdoors, there is bound to be an activity or event to suit you! Indeed, the festival events have been separated into 6 main categories:
1) Music, art, festival and culture: For those with a passion for culture and the arts, Spring into Armadale will not disappoint. From one-act plays and gala concerts at the Roleystone Theatre, art exhibitions, fashion shows, live music, craft demonstrations and meet-ups, the festival is packed with all sorts of local artistic delights.
One of the highlights of the festival is the Armadale Hills Open Studio Arts Trail taking place from 8th to 11th September and 15th to 18th September. During this time, local artists will be opening their private studios to the public, providing visitors with an insight into their creative processes. This trail is the perfect opportunity to discover an incredible variety of water colours, pastels, textiles, ceramics, wood turning, photography and more – enough to make any art lover's heart stop.
Charlene O'Brien – one of the artists whose studio is open for the Armadale Hills Open Studio Arts Trail (photo supplied by the City of Armadale).
Another major event taking place during the festival is the Spring into Armadale Fashion Show (Saturday 29th October) at the Araluen Golf Course. The models for this show are from the Fashion Advocate Life Skills program which utilises art and fashion as a platform to empower young indigenous women in Western Australia. Creations ranging in a variety of styles from urban streetwear to top-end couture will be modelled.
For fashion lovers, the Spring into Armadale Fashion Show should be on your calendar! (Photo supplied by the City of Armadale).
Other festival highlights include the Highland Gathering & Perth Kilt Run (Sunday 18 September), WA's largest celebration of Scottish culture as well as the Kelmscott Show (Friday 14th and Saturday 15th October) – a two-day event with all sorts of excitement for the family including freestyle motocross, exhibitions, market stalls and a Minecraft competition for the younger ones.
Discover the beautiful outdoors in the Armadale region (Photo supplied by the City of Armadale).
2) Sports, Trails & Walks: With the picturesque hills of the Darling Ranges as the backdrop, the Armadale Region is the perfect setting for discovering the outdoors, especially while the weather is still pleasant. Throughout the festival there will be opportunities for guided walks in Jarrahdale as well as a Wildflower Walk (Sunday 28th August) in the Anstey-Keane bushland.
While you're in the Armadale region, be sure to pay a visit to the beautiful Araluen Botanic Gardens (Photo supplied by the City of Armadale).
There are also a number of large sporting events taking place in the area, including the Australian University Games Rowing (Sunday 25th – Friday 31st October) and the City of Armadale Duathlon (Sunday 2nd October), both taking place at Champion Lakes. And if you're a golf lover, be sure to check out the Araluen Golf Resort in Roleystone.
3) History and Heritage: Armadale has an incredibly rich history and there are a number of festival events providing the opportunity to learn more about the region's past as well as visit heritage attractions such as Armadale Settlers Common, History House Museum and the Bert Tyler Vintage Machinery Museum. If you're a budding historian, perhaps get involved with the local genealogy groups or book your attendance at the Royal Western Australian Historical Society's – 90th Anniversary Conference (Friday 2nd September – Sunday 4th September).
4) Food, wine and markets: There are a large number of markets popping up all over Armadale over springtime - think country markets in Jarrahdale and Serpentine; twilight markets in the main Armadale city area; bush markets in Bedfordale; art and produce markets in Byford and markets full of local and unique handmade items in Roleystone. Or if it's a gourmet experience you are after, treat yourself to a five-course meal with 10 wines at the Millbrook Winery Spring Degustation Luncheon (Saturday 1st October).
5) Experiences and activities: For those who enjoy a hands-on approach and developing new skills, there are plenty of interactive workshops on a variety of topics such as reducing kitchen waste, preserving food, self-publishing and learning how to work with natural dyes. Or pay a visit to History House and bottle your memories as part of an exhibition called Memory Lane which runs from June 21st to November 13th. If you're not afraid of getting your hands dirty, volunteer to help Landcare with planting native shrubs and trees around the area.
For the locals, take part in the book club meetups at Kelmscott and Armadale Libraries or check out the weekly Games Mornings and enjoy some board games with other like-minded people.
6) Kids Activities: While most of the activities above will keep the children well-entertained, there are also several child-specific events such as story time sessions, Baby Rhyme Time and the Lego Brickworks and Encounters.
The Spring into Armadale Festival provides you with the perfect excuse to bring out your inner adventurer and visit this stunning region. No matter where your interests lie, you are guaranteed to find an event or activity that you will enjoy. To make the most of your time in Armadale, perhaps combine your attendance at the festival events with stops at the many local cafes, pubs and restaurants, and maybe even check out some of the walking trails, attractions and landmarks in the areas – check in with the Armadale Visitor Centre for some inspiration.
For a full list of events, visit this link or download a printable pdf here.