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It’s that time of year again! This Australia Day long weekend, why not branch out from the BBQ and (small inflatable) pool, and get to a whole host of events taking place in Perth and WA. From circus extravaganzas and local music festivals to family fun days and open water swimming – you’ll be as surprised as we were at the diversity of activities on offer!

Sounds Like a Party 

These two music festivals celebrate everything that’s good about local music in WA and Australia.

RTRFM’s Distant Murmurs
Jan 27, Rosemount Hotel, North Perth

Returning for its fourth year at Perth’s beloved Rosemount Hotel, Distant Murmurs is a local music festival that features the best in new and local music. There are over 20 acts spread across three stages, so you can expect to see a diverse range of artists including indie bands like Wooly Mammoth and the Brit pop sounds of DIY Rainclouds.

One Day in Fremantle (Free)
Jan 27, Esplanade Reserve, Fremantle

One Day is an all-inclusive celebration of Australian life, history and culture. Following last year’s success, Fremantle is offering ‘One Day’ as an alternative way to celebrate. There’s an amazing line-up of live music, including Kate Miller-Heidke, Baker Boy and DJ Kevin Parker (Tame Impala), plus a range of creative activities such as ochre face painting, henna art and instrument making workshops.

The Coast with the Most?

Perth is heaving with beachside activity. Take your pick of events from north to south and in between.

The Sunset Veranda at Summerset Arts Festival (Free)
Jan 25 – Feb 11, Brighton Reserve, Scarborough

If you’re after a laidback Australia Day weekend, check out this award-winning pop-up venue, which is also open as a Fringe World venue. Opening night is Australia Day Eve, where you can expect cold drinks, tasty eats, ocean views and a smashing sunset. Throw in free entry and a public holiday the next day and you’ve got yourself the perfect Australia Day eve affair!

Swimming WA Open Water Swimming Series 
Jan 26, Sorrento Beach

If you’re the go-getting type then the open water swim at Sorrento on Australia Day morning will be right up your street! From 150m to 10 km swims, the varied distances mean there’s an option for everyone, from first timers to seasoned swimming pros. Sorrento is the official Rottnest Rehearsal event before the Channel Swim on 24 February, so start your Australia Day weekend with some training.

Australia Day Coogee Beach Festival
Jan 26, Coogee Beach Reserve

This free family day has become a staple in the Cockburn annual event calendar. There’s a free sausage sizzle, watermelon eating competition, park rides and live performances by Bindjareb Middars Aboriginal Dance Group. Plus, there are prizes up for grabs, including a family pass to Rottnest Island which will be awarded to the best sandcastle.

Cottesloe Film Festival Opening Night  
Jan 27, Cottesloe Civic Centre

Films in the picture-perfect gardens of Cottesloe Civic Centre? Yes please. This three-week festival kicks off on Saturday night and it’s the perfect opportunity for a family get together. Opening night will show the moving documentary I Am Heath Ledger, which celebrates the life and work of one of Perth’s greatest actors, artists and icons. Bring your chairs, picnic rugs and snacks before settling in for a night at the movies!

Classic Perth

Australia Day in the CBD – these Perth events set our city’s celebrations apart from the nation.

Australia Day Skyworks
Jan 26, Supreme Court Gardens, Kings Park, South Perth Foreshore

Australia Day in Perth means Skyworks! Free to attend, with an amazing line up of family friendly activities. Get in early to nab the best spots at the South Perth Foreshore, Kings Park and the Esplanade. Visit the Supreme Court Gardens for the annual Birak Concert – a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander culture, from 3pm. The epic 30 minute fireworks display will light up the sky at 8pm.

Fringe World Australia Day Opening Weekend  
Jan 26-28, various Fringe venues, Perth CBD

It’s not just Australia Day that’s worth celebrating this weekend – we’re also super excited about the launch of Fringe World! There’s a huge variety of events going on over the opening weekend. Kids will be delighted with Little Pleasures in the Fringe venue Pleasure Garden from 3pm, which features  free programs and entertainment, and party-goers will be ecstatic to hear that Elrow is coming to Perth for the WA premiere of their epic 7 hour psychedelic party being held at Metro City.

Wine and Dine
Jan 26-28, Crown Perth

Crown Perth may have a reputation as one of the fanciest venues in the city, but it’s not necessarily the most expensive one with numerous specials on offer this long weekend. $8 pints and $5 glasses of wine at the Casino bars mean you can enjoy the beautiful atmosphere without breaking the bank. For those who are looking to splash out a little, there’s also an Ultimate Lunch menu being served up over the weekend; 2 amazing courses and a complimentary pass to the swimming pool!

Heading Down South? 

Get away from it all this long weekend and head down south to check out these fun events taking place.

WA Circus Festival 
Jan 26- 28, Lunar Circus, Karridale

Celebrate Australia Day with a very extravagant twist at the WA Circus Festival! Take part in this unique camping festival featuring 4 big tops, a full-size outdoor flying trapeze, dance studio and much more. Don’t miss out on seeing a range of incredibly talented circus performers doing their thing – whether it’s hula-hooping, speed juggling, back-flipping or just clowning around.

Bunbury Skyfest Australia Day Celebrations 
Jan 26, Bicentennial Square, Bunbury

Why not check out the family friendly Skyfest celebrations taking place in Bunbury? Festivities kick off bright and early with a free breakfast, followed by a fun run, and lots of free entertainment for the family. From live music to bush tucker food experiences, this will be an Australia Day to remember. Oh, and don’t forget the spectacular fireworks display to top it all off!

Image: The Sunset Veranda

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