Falling leaves

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on March 11, 2019.
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Rejoice in the cascade of autumn leaves and explore the enchanting scenes in Western Australia during autumn

The weather in the southern hemisphere is approaching cool, comfortable autumn, and a great place to enjoy this spellbinding season is in extraordinary Western Australia. Just a five and a half hours flight away from Kuala Lumpur, it does not take long to enter an entire new world that is Perth to experience activities ranging from monumental natural attractions to exciting events. Here are the six best things to do in Western Australia during autumn.

 

Get close and personal with the world’s largest mammal

Each year, the elusive blue whales gather to feed on krill at the Perth Canyon — which is larger than the Grand Canyon, except it is under water. Between May and December, follow the epic annual migration of these rare whales as they make their way along Western Australia’s coast. You can even get up close to the tail-slapping action by hopping on a whale-watching cruise across various regions from Perth’s Canyon to the north of Kimberley coast. One of the best times to observe these gentle giants of the ocean is at midday, when the sun is directly overhead, so don’t forget sunscreen and a wide hat.

 

Take Instagram-worthy pictures at the largest outdoor sculpture exhibition in the world

Known locally as the Sculpture by the Sea, this annual outdoor sculpture exhibition returns to transform the famous sands of Cottesloe Beach until March 18. During this exhibition, the beach is graced with some of Western Australia’s leading sculptors, including Anne Neil and Tony Davis, who will showcase their unique creations. Now celebrating its 15th year, the exhibition is one of Perth’s largest events that is open to the public for free. Cottesloe is located 15 minutes from Perth by car. Alternatively, you can reach it via train, bus or taxi.

 

Experience the natural wonders at Rottnest Island

If you are looking for a picturesque scenery with a balance of adventure and casual atmosphere, sunny Rottnest Island is where you’ll want to be. White sandy beaches that seemingly span forever and crystal-clear water makes it a serene place, perfect to unwind and soothe the soul.

Cross your fingers and you’ll get to spot what has been dubbed as the happiest animal on earth — the quokka! We heard they’re camera shy, so approach them slowly, or you could miss the chance to take a selfie with these incredibly photogenic marsupials.

For those who prefer a little adrenaline rush, you’ll want to head to Strickland Bay, Salmon Bay or even Stark Bay — amazing locations for surfers, bodyboarders and stand-up paddle boarders.

The best way to get around Rottnest is by renting a bicycle as the island is only 11km long and 4.5km wide, making it easy to explore all the great trails. If not, there’s also an option of exploring the secluded bays and secret hideaways in an air-conditioned coach. To get there, you can take a short ferry ride from Fremantle, Perth City and Hillarys Boat Harbour. Alternatively, smaller groups can opt to travel by air.

 

Great food, fantastic music and amazing company at the Fish & Sips Festival

Foodies will know that any trip would be incomplete without sampling some local delicacies. Fortunately, there’s the annual Fish & Sips Festival, which is scheduled to be held from March 29 to 31 in North Freemantle, a suburb of Perth. At the festival, Michelin-star chefs will serve an array of mouthwatering Western Australian seafood dishes, all in a refined palate which will keep the tastebuds wanting for more. To complete the experience, there will be plenty of entertainment, including mermaid shows during the day and live music from the DJ at night.

 

Indulge on healthy, juicy fruits, fresh from the tree!

Since fruit seasons in Perth change from stone fruits in summer to apples and pears in autumn, tourists will be able to get their hands on some of the most delectable fruits in Western Australia. Located only 30km from Perth’s central business district, Raeburn Orchards has long been a local favourite and is considered as one of the pioneers in the orchard community. Tourists can even try free samples of in-season persimmons in May! Raeburn’s unique attraction lies in the exquisite red hues and gleaming golds of seasonally changing leaves creating an Instagrammable photo opportunity. Don’t miss out on this seasonal opportunity and make your way through the picturesque Perth Hills which is easily accessible by public transport or self-drive.

 

Witness Kylie Minogue on Stage

Calling all Kylie fans! Are you ready for behind-the-scenes access to one of Australia’s biggest icons? The Kylie on Stage exhibition at the WA Maritime Museum will be celebrating the superstar’s 25-year international concert career with extravagant costumes and monumental moments to relive her singing career. And what a better way to do it by celebrating it with the locals. The museum is within walking distance of Fremantle Station, at the port of Freemantle. It opens daily from 9.30am-5pm.

 

Sing Along to A Classic Tale of Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ and Symphony Orchestra

This autumn, Perth welcomes one of Disney’s favourites, The Little Mermaid, to Crown Perth, an integrated hotel and casino. Accompanied by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, the show celebrates 30 years of this iconic animated movie and gives you the chance to sing along to all your favourite songs including Under the Sea, Part of Your World and Kiss the Girl as you relive this classic “tail” of Ariel. There will be only three concerts — on April 26 evening and April 27 afternoon and evening.