R ather than fighting the cold, the Margaret River region celebrates it. Some might say it’s when the region shows off its true colours: whether through a wine and food event, or one full of art, music and cinema.
The region is home to a whole host of winter events, all of which are worth travelling for – even from Singapore! Whether you want exclusivity or to experience the region like a local, there’s an event for you, and it’s almost guaranteed there’ll be some great food or wine on offer no matter what.
Check out the events below and plan your trip around one of the region’s vibrant and enticing winter festivals. Which event will you be at?
Jazz By The Bay
We would argue that the Margaret River region is the place to be on any weekend – what could be more ideal? Nevertheless, every June we exceed even our own expectations and become the only place to be for jazz lovers everywhere, as the now famous annual Jazz By The Bay event swings round. Promising everything from roving street performers to special shows, the event begins on Friday 1 June and winds its way through to Monday 4 June where the followers lounge, listen and gently rock to moody blue notes of piano, sax, bass, and drums.
Surrounded by beaches, wineries, and gourmet food, lovers of swing jazz will dance the night away, blues lovers will keep the beat, while others will simply soak up the sounds of improvisational rhythms as they sip on a glass of Cab Sav.
It’s a feast for music lovers everywhere and this year the sweet sound of soul and funk will echo through the capes. In the words of Dave Brubeck, ‘Take Five’, and go where the in-crowd go this June.
Check the program to book events here.
Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival
Set in the stunning surrounds of Voyager Estate, and entering its tenth year, the 2018 Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival is the biggest regional literary event in Western Australia. The three-day storytelling spectacular is held from 1 – 3 June on the beautiful grounds of one of the region’s oldest wineries. Voyager will become a hive of activity over the weekend, with up to 50 writers and presenters hosting exciting workshops, panel discussions, and collab events.
This year’s theme for the event – ‘Stories that Shape Us’ – will see an impressive line-up of international and Australian authors and presenters flock to the region. Investigative journalists will add a new dynamic this year, with Sarah Ferguson (Four Corners), Tony Jones (Q&A), and Peter Grieste (Foreign Correspondent) included in the mix. There is also a strong female presence this year with outspoken crusader, Rosie Batty headlining, along with screenwriter Marieke Hardy, and author and columnist Nikki Gemmell.
And since the event takes place in one of the best food and wine regions in Australia, there is of course room for a little bit of foodie writing. Jude Blereau, a wholefood enthusiast, Ian Parmenter – well known for his local food, wine, and travel writing – and Holly Davis (co-founder of Sydney’s Iku Wholefoods) will inspire you to eat sustainable.
The multi-dimensional event offers a jam-packed three days where you can attend sessions as you please, including author talks, interviews, Q & A sessions, panel discussions, and book signings.
For book-lovers and writers, it’s a must attend event, but for everyone else, it is an equally valuable chance to hear some quality stories from inspirational people, that will leave you mentally satisfied, and reflective of some of life’s bigger questions. Take some new ideas home and get started on that book you’ve always wanted to write!
Truffle Kerfuffle | 22 – 24 June
For ultimate winter wayfaring, Truffle Kerffufle is a weekend-long celebration of one of the world’s most luxurious ingredients: the black truffle. The event takes place in Manjimup, making the Margaret River region an excellent launching pad for a scenic 100km drive through the Southern Forests – through Nannup, and then on to Manjimup, an idyllic rural hamlet surrounded by National Park land on all sides.
Manjimup is the heart of truffle country in Western Australia and is quickly establishing itself as a renowned gastronomic centre. Join the morning walk to unearth endless amounts of truffles, and be consumed by their heady aroma. You can even head out with the Australian Truffle Traders, who’ve got the best truffle dogs in the Southern Hemisphere and will share with you all there is to know about the truffle trade. Or, head to one of the extremely tempting satellite events, such as the four-course Hunter’s Breakfast with Scott Brannigan of Fremantle’s Bread in Common. Soak up the artisan vibes at the Festival Village all weekend, meeting farmers and growers and tasting your way through the creations of world-class chefs.
Photo credit: Jessica Shaver
Championing the universal need to add some extra weight for the winter weather is Cabin Fever Festival, who work with local businesses to put on an incredible program of food, wine, chocolate and cheese experiences for ten days throughout July.
Whether you’re after impressive locations and premium, exclusive experiences, or want to hang out with locals at some of the region’s most loved venues, there’s a Cabin Fever experience that’ll have you booking flights faster than you can say ‘yum!’. The one thing all of these events have in common is that they all feature world-class, delicious local produce; some in the form of long-table dinners and banquet style feasts, others in the form of melting whole-wheel cheese around the fireplace, all of them featuring a wine or three.
Check out this list of ten incredible food and wine experiences that you can only have at Cabin Fever in the Margaret River region this July.
Celebrate over ten years of CinefestOZ Film Festival from 22- 26 August with a jam-packed program of Australian and international cinema, sidebar events, and spectacular galas.
CinefestOz is Australia’s premier destination film festival focused on Australian and French film.
Naturally, the festival attracts filmmakers, celebrities, and movie-buffs to the region, who relish in the beautiful seaside setting of Busselton, and the eclectic communities of Dunsborough and Margaret River. Attending the event is made easy, and you can select tickets to red carpet premieres, cosy sidebar short film selections, film lunches, free community screenings, or industry soirees. Events take place throughout the region’s wineries, small bars, and galleries – making it a feast for the senses and an unforgettable five-day getaway worth flying over for. You’ll definitely return to Singapore feeling inspired!
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