Top Events

Perth Festival, February

Fremantle Festival, July

Kings Park Festival, September

Margaret River Gourmet Escape, November

Blues at Bridgetown Festival, November

January

The peak of the summer school holidays sees families head to the beach en masse. Days are hot and dry, except in the far north, where the wet season is in full force.

Perth Cup

Perth's high-society players flock to the annual Perth Cup, a party-prone day of high-heels, expensive suits, champagne and fascinators (oh, and there's a few horse races happening too).

Lancelin Ocean Classic

In early January tiny Lancelin's legendary bluster attracts thousands for its world-famous windsurfing event. Held over four days, the event hosts wave sailing alongside jet-skiing, beach runs and good stuff to eat and drink.

Fringe World Festival

A month-long arts fest in Perth, dipping into weird, quirky, embarrassing, hilarious and sometimes offensive terrain. How refreshing! Runs from mid-January into mid-February.

February

The kids head back to school, freeing up some room at the beach and taking some of the pressure off coastal accommodation. It's still hot and dry in the south, and soggy in the north.

Leeuwin Concert

Leeuwin Estate in Margaret River hosts top-flight performers on its winery stage (James Taylor, Diana Krall, Sting, Paul Kelly) during this annual event in mid-February; other concerts run from January to April.

Perth Festival

Held over 25 days from mid-February, the Perth Festival attracts an international line-up, spanning theatre, classical music, jazz, visual arts, dance, film, literature – the whole gamut. It's worth scheduling your trip around it.

Laneway Festival

International bands on the rise, mostly with a boho indie vibe, entice WA students and hipsters to Freo's West End for the annual Laneway Festival.

March

It's still beach weather, but it's not quite so swelteringly hot down south. It's steamy in the north, however, and the rain is still bucketing down. Accommodation prices shoot up over Easter.

Margaret River Pro

This World Surf League (WSL) event sees the world's top surfers duke it out in the epic surf at Margaret River (...unless there are sharks around, as there where in 2018 when the event was cancelled).

Nannup Music Festival

The sleepy southwest forest town of Nannup erupts into life with this annual festival, which hosts up to 30,000 fans of folk, blues and world music. Buskers make the most of the opportunity.

April

A peerless month in Perth, with temperatures dropping to the mid-20s and a little refreshing rainfall. Up north they're finally starting to dry out; it's a great time for a Kimberley fly-over.

May

Temperatures creep down and Broome and Exmouth both finally drop below the 30s, making them particularly appealing – especially now the box jellyfish have retreated. Autumn showers are more common in the south.

Ord Valley Muster

For 10 days Kununurra hits overdrive during the annual Ord Valley Muster, a collection of sundry sporting, charity and cultural events leading up to a large outdoor concert under the full moon on the banks of the Ord River.

June

Winter hits Perth with plenty of rain and even the occasional dusting of snow on the Stirling Range further south. The warm, dry north, however, heads into peak season. Whales arrive offshore from Augusta.

Festival of Voice

Rousing choruses banish the winter blues in the south-coast town of Denmark during the Festival of Voice, held over the June long weekend. The town is flooded with soloists, duos, choristers and their admirers. It's accompanied by a workshop program.

July

It's wet and cold in the south and beautiful in the north – sparking a winter-break exodus from Perth. Whales congregate in the bays around Albany.

Fremantle Festival

Ten days of parades, performances, music, dance, comedy, visual arts, street theatre and workshops. Founded in 1905, it's Australia's longest-running festival. Highlights include the Kite Extravaganza on South Beach and the Wardarnji Indigenous Festival.

Kullarri Naidoc Week

Indigenous art exhibitions and performances take place throughout WA during National Aboriginal & Islander Day Observance Committee week (NAIDOC; www.naidoc.org.au), which celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Indigenous people. One of the best happens in Broome.

Boab Festival

Little Derby in the northwest goes big-time berserk with concerts, mud footy, horse and mudcrab races, film festivals, poetry readings, art exhibitions, street parades and a dinner out on the mudflats.

August

Lovely in the north, but still damp and cold in the south, though temperatures do start to edge up. Manjimup truffles come into season, to the delight of Perth's chefs and their customers; whales continue to hang out along the south coast.

Avon Descent

Northam and Toodyay both crank up the festivities to coincide with the Avon Descent, a gruelling 124km white-water-rafting event for powerboats, kayaks and canoes between the two towns. Toodyay's party takes a foodie turn: the Toodyay International Food Festival.

Broome Race Round

The local fillies and stallions dress up and drink insensible amounts as the Broome Race Round climaxes with the Kimberley Cup, Ladies Day and the Broome Cup – all held in early August.

CinéfestOz

The snoozy southwest town of Busselton assumes a cinematic sheen with this festival celebrating Australian and French cinema, lifting the lid on winter. Look forward to events and screenings in venues around town.

September

Spring brings a frisson of excitement across WA, with wildflowers blooming and whales shimmying up the coast. Broome pops back into the 30s and the tourists turn around and drive south.

Shinju Matsuri Festival of the Pearl

Starting in either late August or early September, Broome's Shinju Matsuri festival celebrates the town's pearl industry and multicultural heritage with a carnival of nations, a film festival, art exhibitions, food, concerts, fireworks and dragon-boat races.

Kings Park Festival

In September and early October, Perth's Kings Park & Botanic Garden are in bloom with technicoloured wildflowers in the annual Kings Park Festival, celebrating WA's unique and spectacular flora. Expect plenty of walks, talks and live music shindigs.

Red Earth Arts Festival

Over 10 days, Karratha and the surrounding coastal Pilbara towns kick into gear with the Red Earth Arts Festival, an eclectic mix of live music, theatre, comedy, visual arts (film, photography, sculpture) and storytelling.

Listen Out

Aficionados of beats shuffle over to Perth's Western Parklands for this long day of dance. Big-name national and international selectors and scratchers grace the stage. Remember to drink some water.

October

The last of the whales depart the south coast and hit the west-coast leg of the Humpback Hwy. The weather is noticeably warmer and drier now, the WA crayfishing season opens and the wildflowers are bloomin' marvellous.

Blessing of the Fleet

This popular traditional Catholic festival, marking the traditional opening of the crayfish season, was introduced to Fremantle by young Italian fishermen in 1948. It includes the procession of statues from St Patrick's Basilica to Fishing Boat Harbour, where the blessing takes place.

Sunshine Festival

It started in 1959 as a tomato festival, but now Geraldton's solar celebrations include dragon-boat races, parades, sand sculptures and parties. It's held over a week in early October. Sunshine guaranteed.

Perth Royal Show

The country comes to the city for the west's biggest agricultural show. For the local kids it's a week of funfair rides, too much sugar, creepy toothless carnies and showbags full of plastic junk.

November

A great time to be in Fremantle, with temperatures in the mid-20s, very little rain and a convoy of whales passing by. In the far north, it's the start of the box-jellyfish season. Look before you leap.

Mango Festival

Broome celebrates the mango harvest with four days of mango-themed everything: a quiz night, a fashion parade and a Great Chefs of Broome Cook-Off. If you don't come away with sticky fingers and an orange stain on your shirt, you ain't doing it right.

Blues at Bridgetown Festival

Now into its third decade, one of Western Australia's longest-running music festivals infuses the southwestern centre of Bridgetown with blues, folk and roots music on the second weekend of November.

Margaret River Gourmet Escape

The culinary world's heavy hitters (Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein, Heston Blumenthal et al) descend on Margaret River for four days of culinary inspiration. Australia's growing crew of celeb chefs usually put in an appearance as well.

December

Ring the bell – school is out! Summer arrives in WA and the kids hit the beach, while a Christmas shopping frenzy ensues in downtown Perth. Rain clouds gather up north: here comes the wet.