Festivals & Events

Greenpool Denmark

Things to do and see in Albany, Esperance and Denmark

Things to do and see in Albany, Esperance and Denmark 600 450 James Turner

Ok so it’s a new year and COVID-19 is still putting a bit of a dampener on international travel. The thing is though, now is actually the perfect time to explore the South West of Western Australia, especially with the lack of international crowds, unspoiled beaches and some of the best farm to table dining experiences going around. We thought for this month we’d focus on a strip of road that connects Albany, Denmark and Esperance to help you plan your next road trip down south.

Denmark

Starting off strong, Denmark offers a quaint township backed closely by some phenomenal coastline, great coffee and not to mention the Valley of the Giants Tree Tops Walk. Now a quieter alternative to the hustle and bustle of the Margaret River region – Denmark has something for everyone! 

Things to do and see in Denmark

Wineries

Still boasting some seriously good wineries, the climate in Denmark makes for a selection of premium vineyards. We recommend dedicating a day to visiting a few, uncovering how their wines are harvested and bottled. For those who need a quick list – Harewood Estate, Moombaki, Rockcliffe and Rising Star will produce the goods for your day and are located relatively close together.

Beaches

Only a 15 minute, hop, skip and jump out of town you’ll land yourself in the William Bay National Park. The highlight of this park is Greens Pool and is sheltered from the natural elements almost all year round and provides a pristine and calm environment to spend the day! Further up the road will take you to Elephant Rock which brings to the party huge natural boulders that from certain angles resemble a herd of elephants. Finally, for those with kiddos, Peaceful Bay might be your best bet with open sand, quiet bays with shallow entry points and not too much wind!

Greenpool Denmark

Valley of the Giants

A quick 45-minute drive down the highway will transport you to the Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk. You’ll traverse 40 metres up before taking a stroll along the canopy linings of some of the states biggest trees! This has been designed with sustainability in mind where no local flora or fauna is impacted. Once you’ve purchased your ticket, you can complete the 600m loop as many times as you like on that day! Some people opt to have lunch before doing the track in reverse! We just ask that you take into consideration the limits on each platform and respect the signs. 

Valley of the Giants Denmark

Denmark Alpaca Farm

For those that love petting furry Alpacas, the good news for you is that Denmark has a whole farm dedicated to them. While here, you can witness these guys in their natural habitat along with a variety of other farm animals! Hot tip: the farm is only open from Wednesday to Monday from 10 am to 4 pm. 

Albany

Once you’ve finished up in Denmark, the next logical step is over to Albany which is a short 45-minute drive! Albany offers a few different activities and is perfect for those looking for day hikes.

Things to do and see in Albany

Bluff Knoll

If you are all about hiking, Bluff Knoll is the highest point in Western Australia and offers some pretty spectacular views of the Stirling Ranges. The walk will be approximately 6km return but averages a 20% gradient so it can be pretty challenging at points. It’s not a simple stroll that also requires those to come prepared for any change in weather. Sometimes it’s raining and high fog one minute, followed by sun an hour later. So, we really recommend coming prepared. Along the way, you’ll be able to see a variety of Western Australian wildlife and wildflowers. 

Bluff knoll Albany

Whale Watching 

From May to October each year, Albany plays host to the great whale migration of the southwest and features the famous humpback whale. With King George South also providing calm waters for newborns, this area is the perfect location to witness these phenomenal mammals play and interact in their natural habitat. There is a heap of tour companies offering day trips or there are a variety of vantage points to potentially see them on the horizon from land.

National ANZAC Centre

If you are in town exploring the high street, the National ANZAC Centre is worth a drop in to experience your hit of history. Featuring heaps of artifacts from WW1, immerse yourself in the lives of past soldiers using interactive exhibits. Each visitor will take on the persona and identity of 1 of 32 soldiers who will virtually accompany you through the exhibition!

Albany Farmers Market

If you can time your run right, the Albany Farmers Market is held each weekend on Saturday from 8 am to midday and is a great start to the weekend with fresh coffee, artisan stores, food trucks and a copious amount of fresh produce. Ran by locals, use this as an opportunity to get to know a few and find out whats it’s like to live in the Albany region!

Esperance

From Albany, the next stop is Esperance which is a little bit of a drive coming in at just over 5 hours. We would recommend a quick pit stop at Bremer Bay for a dip and a breather to break up the drive. Here, you’ll be graced with potentially the best coastline in the country!

Cape Le Grand National Park & Lucky Bay

Boasting white sand that is so white it literally shimmers in the sun – Lucky Bay is located smack bang in the middle of Cape Le Grand National Park. Surrounded by granite limestone, blinding white sand – this stretch of beach is home to a resident population of kangaroo. They are super tame, friendly and are actually all on board with photos.

Lucky Bay Esperance

Hellfire Bay

Just a little longer along the coast – Hellfire Bay is yet another gobsmackingly beautiful stretch of white sand and is the perfect lunch spot with BBQ facilities. There is something super rugged about this stretch of beach and our hot tip is just to watch for the wind. Although it can add to the wild feeling, sometimes it can get a bit too much to handle. 

Frenchmans Peak

Although this one is only a 262-metre peak, it offers 360-degree views of the flat plains of Esperance. The top requires a bit of scaling with some loose rocks but other than that – most visitors will be able to hit the summit with ease!

Great Ocean Drive

Voted consistently in the list of the best scenic drives in the world – the Esperance Great Ocean Drive is highly recommended while in town. Only a short 1-hour drive will take you along some of the best lookouts, vistas, coastlines and white sand that you’ll likely see in all of Western Australia. 

Cape Le Grand Esperance

If you are also looking for some other road trips around our amazing state including the far north, check out our guide to 8 unmissable road trips in WA.

That’s a wrap! Use this as a guide to plan your next South West trip! If you are chasing group transport too, we can certainly help you out with that one too! Drop our sales team a line who will gladly help you!

Elevate Your Summer Break: 8 Best Day Trips In and Around Perth

Elevate Your Summer Break: 8 Best Day Trips In and Around Perth 800 600 James Turner

With our vaccination rates on the rise, we know borders will be opening most likely in February 2022 (we hope). Although that’s not too far away in the scheme of things most will have some time off over Christmas and NYE. Living in our constraints at the moment, a day trip is a perfect way to break up the break and with Perth offering so many options only a short drive from the metro area, we thoughts we’ll compile a list of the best. We’re talking about a day trip to Rotto to snap selfies with the famous quokka, taking a short drive down to Freo for the day or experiencing new distilleries in the Swan Valley. 

Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is the perfect day trip and not is seriously the best time to visit for a few reasons. Firstly, the weather is heating up but secondary, with borders shut beaches are only reserved for Western Australian locals. You’ll be able to secure some spots on the far tip of the island almost all to yourself! You can easily catch the boat from either Hillarys or Fremantle, grab yourself a bike and follow our day trip itinerary to access some of the best beaches and coves in arguably the whole world.

Fremantle 

Ok so this one is technically not too far from Perth, but it’s certainly worth a day trip with honestly so many eating options, second-hand vintage shops, boutiques and a few beaches threw in for good measure. Start your day at Ootong & Lincoln for some quality espresso before taking your time to explore South Fremantle’s many stores then hit the Freo markets and a dip in the ocean too! Heck, if you want to turn it into a weekend you could even score a night at the brand-spankin’ Warders Hotel. For a complete guide on 48 hours in Fremantle, use our guide to plan your trip.  

Swan Valley Wine Region

This one is our personal favourite and has something for the whole family! Just at the base of the Perth Hills – the Swan Valley wine region boasts rolling vineyards, top distilleries and artisan markets if you time your run right! We recommend starting in the late morning for tastings at Harris Organic Wines before a long lunch at Coward and Black and then an afternoon distillery tour at Old Youngs. Here you can taste some of the best gin in town and discover all the ways in which the perfect gin and tonic is made!

Penguin Island

Another gem just off the coast of Rockingham is Penguin Island – a little less known Rottnest Island equivalent. What Penguin Island offers that you can’t find anywhere else around Perth is an abundance of  Australian sea lions and the world’s smallest penguins. There are feedings at 10.30 am, 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm daily and is just a very short ferry across from the mainland. Once you’ve finished up here, you can always consider Rockingham for a lunch on the boardwalk.

Penguin Island Perth

Serpentine Falls

If you are looking for something that is light on the pocket and not too far from Perth, Serpentine Falls is for you. For this one, we recommend packing a little lunchbox as there are no restaurants close by. There are also paths for everyone, from 15 minutes from the car park with others taking you through a variety of ravines and taking 5 hours. Hot tip: during peak season the short walk gets pretty crowded so getting there before 11 am and potentially choosing a longer walk will mean you won’t be interrupted.

Lancelin

Only an hour and a half north of the Perth CBD, Lancelin is a quintessential beach town with a few unique activities on offer. The local sand dunes on the outskirts of town are a playground for the adventurous types. If you have a 4WD you can take your car up and down the rolling dunes or join in on a sandboarding lesson. While in town we recommend getting a pint at the local Endeavour tavern for uninterrupted views and visiting the coastline for some snorkelling.

Lancelin

Wellington Dam & Diamond Lake

Ok, this one is a little further out of town but CERTAINLY worth a visit. The Wellington Dam and Diamond Lake combo are two very worthwhile activities. Starting at Wellington Dam, this huge water source now boasts a phenomenal 800 square-metre mural that showcases local stories and photographs, including a picture of two locals playing at the Dam as children. There are some fantastic vantage points to witness the artwork from a bunch of angles. From here, the next step is to head to Diamond Lake and soak up the sun before dipping your toes in the pristine blue water.

Wellington dam perth

Mundaring Weir

Continuing along with the notion of large water sources and dams, Mundaring Weir is a little closer to Perth and also has some seriously impressive walks to be had. When you are here you can enjoy some incredible views from the north side of the dam and if you are ok with heights, make your way across the 42 metre-high wall. After you finish up here, the next step is a visit to the iconic Mundaring Weir Hotel for a cold pint and a bowl of epic hot chips. 

So with all the above in mind, now really is the perfect time to get out and experience some of the best day trips in town while it’s only open for WA residents. As always, if you have a large group of people and your need transport options to get to and from the locations above, let’s chat! Our team of sales consultants can help you plan a custom itinerary.

Perth Christmas Light Show

Transform your Holiday Season: 10 Unmissable Perth Christmas Events

Transform your Holiday Season: 10 Unmissable Perth Christmas Events 600 397 James Turner

I can’t believe we are already saying this, but it’s Christmas in just under two months’ time. Apart from the huge Christmas lunches, boozy end of work functions and family outings, Perth has a heap of events to keep you and the family occupied over the silly season. From street parades to long lunches and light shows, the city of Perth is really gearing up for a big December. As always, we want to ensure safety is key when heading to any of the events below, so if you are in need of a driver (potentially donning a Santa beard) our drivers can help you and your group get to and from any event.

Perth City Christmas Lights

DATES: Nov 16 2021 – Dec 30 2021

Perfect for a family night in town, the City of Perth every year puts on a serious Christmas light show in key areas such as Forrest Chase, Raine Square, The Cultural Centre, The Cathedral, Kings Square and Murray Street. If you are also looking to find an easier way to get from each installation, the team at Peddle Perth have rickshaws and entertaining drivers that can help you get from point a to point b. For more information on this event and how to hire the rickshaws – head here.

The Magic of Christmas – Wanneroo Botanic Gardens Perth

DATES: Nov 24 2021 – Jan 16 2022

Slightly further north, the Wanneroo Botanic Gardens lights up its grounds over the Christmas break turning its open spaces into a winter wonderland. This one works well for those keen on playing mini-golf, wandering the grounds and finishing it off with dinner at Leapfrogs. HOT TIP: if you make a reservation at the restaurant, admission is free!

Santa at the Orchard Perth

DATES: Fri, Dec 10 2021 – Sun, Dec 19 2021

Located in Chittering Valley – an easy 45 minutes out of town, the Orchard is gearing up for a big Christmas celebration complete with outdoor pizzas, a copious amount of lights and of course – Santa for the kiddos. While on-site, you can also get a little closer to nature with animal farm enclosures where you can feed the farm animals or plonk the kids in the nature playground while you sit back with a few drinks. Choose your own adventure at the Orchard Perth this Christmas break!

Home Alone Live Concert Edition

DATES: Dec 10 2021 | 6:30 – 8:30pm

The ultimate holiday favourite – Home Alone is coming to the RAC Arena in December accompanied by the very best musicians in town from the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. Tickets for this one will be hard to find and we recommend getting in early. What to expect? The movie in its entirety is projected on the big screen with music matched by live performances. If you are chasing tickets – head here.

Home Alone Live RAC Arena Perth

Bazaar Christmas Markets: Fremantle

DATES: Dec 3 2021 | 5:00pm – Dec 5 2021 | 5:00pm

Ok, so for those that are actually in need of unique gifts for their loved ones, the Bazaar Christmas Markets in Fremantle might just be your answer. Showcasing 50 local designers in the month of December, this one is worth a visit not only to secure one of a kind fashion, jewellery, textiles and ceramics pieces but to taste your way through the food trucks. 

Factory Summer Festival

DATES: Dec 18 2021

For the younger cohort, this one’s for you! We know that COVID-19 has put a serious dampener on live music, but the good news is, local talent is still performing! Optus Stadium will transform on December 18, returning for a three-day event just in time for the Christmas period. Lime Cordiale will be headlining with Broods, Cosmo’s Midnight, Electric Fields, Set Mo and Flexmami, all supporting the party. Tickets for this one can be found here. 

Euphoria Day Party

DATES: 27 Dec 2021

Another one for those chasing a party over the Christmas break – Euphoria is held at the famous Port Beach in Freo where the party will carry across both the beach and the carpark. 2 stages will feature some of Perth’s best DJ’s. Stay tuned for more details coming up in the next month or so! Tickets can be found here.

East Freo: George Street Festival

DATES: 5 Dec 2021

Ok, so technically not a Christmas celebration but nonetheless still held in December, the George Street Festival is one of our favourites for the year. The Fremantle Council put on a show for this one with artisan stalls lining the streets, incredible food from all corners of the globe, interactive photo booths and live music to match. Kids are also kept entertained by an animal zoo and face painters. The best bit? It’s free!

George Street Festival Perth

Urban Wine Walk: Subiaco Christmas Edition

DATES: 4 Dec 2021

This one is actually perfect if you are trying to put together a Christmas Party for you and your co-workers! That, or you just want to drink some top-notch wine on the weekend with your friends. Whatever your motive, vino lovers simply buy a ticket (they start at $75), and you’ll gain access to tastings at multiple venues such as the Storehouse, Refuge Small Bar, BARK and El Peruvian and food vouchers. 

Sandleford Wine Long Lunch

DATES: 17 Dec 2021

Rounding out the list is the iconic Sandleford Christmas Lunch event. The guests will enjoy a three course shared style lunch, created by Executive Chef Alan Spagnolo, served with a selection of wines. Perfect for the corporate Christmas lunch, sit back with live music and lawn games to match! And that’s a wrap! 10 solid Christmas events to entertain both yourself and the whole family. From large scale festivals to local suburban street markets, festivities are a-plenty this holiday season. As always, remember responsible driving is key and if you plan to have a few celebratory beverages, organise transport first! Our team can certainly help in that department.

Araluen Botanic Park tulips

Perth’s Top Wildflower Walks for Spring

Perth’s Top Wildflower Walks for Spring 600 403 James Turner

Spring has certainly sprung over the last week. The sun has suddenly popped itself out from behind the clouds, and things are looking up. The best bit is, for those that don’t know, Western Australia actually hosts the biggest collection of wildflowers in the world! That’s right, in the whole WORLD. Our state offers over 12,000 blooming flora varietals that completely come to life during the months of September and October. For wildflower enthusiasts, this guide can help you plan your next trip with orchid farms, tulip fields, and Australian natives on a famous bush walk up for grabs. 

Kings Park & Perth Botanic Gardens

Kicking things off strong, the pride and joy of Perth – Kings Park is a fantastic starting point for those looking to experience some of the best wildflowers in just a few hours. The team here have meticulously manicured a 3km loop featuring over 3,000 varieties of flora that are 100% unique to WA. When you arrive, just look for the sign titled ‘3km Law Walk’ or ask one of the groundskeepers. For those with a bit more time up their sleeves, you can also do the 7km bush trail. If you are thinking the 7km walk is more up your alley, pack a lunch and snacks because there are a heap of vantage points along the walk to drop a rug and enjoy the views. Kings Park takes wildflowers very seriously, so seriously that if you can get down in September, there is an entire festival dedicated to them. Find out all the details here.

Kings park flower festival

Bold Park Botanic Gardens

With some beautiful vantage points, Bold Park is perched high with views of the ocean and is aptly named the ‘sanctuary by the sea’. Here you can’t go past Zamia Trail Loop, which is just over 5km and takes advantage of Reabold Hill – probably one of the best lookouts in Perth. In terms of wildflowers, you won’t be disappointed in this department either with WA natives on show. Hot tip – drop past the visitors centre for a map and a chat with one of the friendly volunteers (they know the tracks like the back of their hands).

Araluen Botanic Park

If you are all about the tulips, Araluen Botanic Park is your answer. Between August and October each year, there is a festival dedicated to them. Coined the ‘kaleidoscope of colour’, this festival features 150,000 tulips of different colours and varieties. Just on the outskirts of Roleystone, Araluen Botanic Park is one you must add to your list and is a perfect day trip out of Perth. It’s got it all, from walks to waterfalls, creeks and extremely knowledgeable guides who are more than happy to map you out a custom walk depending on the wildflowers you are looking for!

Araluen Botanic Park tulips

Bibbulmun Track

The Bibbulmun Track is also rated one of the worlds long-distance walking trails, covering a casual 1000kms from the hills of Kalamunda all the way to Albany in our deep south. Naturally, this track attracts walkers from all over the state for not only the trail but also the wildflowers along the way. Close to Perth, the marri forests of Mundaring have some of the most incredible displays of native wildflowers on the base of huge towering trees. We really recommend grabbing the guidebook for this one, as those looking to continue for longer than a few hours will need to map out the camping grounds etc.

Bibbulmun Track flowers in bloom

Walyunga National Park – Swan Valley Region

Ok, so, if you are a regular reader of our blog, you’ll know we love the Swan Valley for a variety of reasons, such as wine tastings, gin distilleries and top-notch restaurants. So why not combine these with some light exercise next time by heading to Walyanga National Park? Located close to the Avon Valley, this national park features woodlands, low lying flora and walking trails that range from 3km to 15km. This is our pick for the perfect day trip – exercise in the AM, food and wine in the PM.

Wireless Hill – Melville

This one is our pick for a quieter, less known wildflower walk close to the CBD and is the perfect escape if life is getting a little hectic. Wireless Hill in Melville is just a short hop, skip and jump from Perth CBD and boasts some of the best eucalyptus in town. The council has invested some serious money into making the ‘Wildflower Trail’ extra special for visitors with a reliable walking track and clear signage. This one can be easily completed in only a half-day but is such an underrated option for the flora enthusiasts out there!

John Forrest National Park

Bring home the list this month is John Forrest National Park – a national park that takes its wildflowers very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that they have named a walking track after their famous flora. The ‘National Park Falls walk’ will offer the best of both worlds, where you’ll be able to witness some of Perth’s top flora before hitting a very impressive waterfall. We recommend visiting early in September as the water is still running and is the perfect backdrop for lunch by the riverbed.

So if you are a wildflower enthusiast or simply looking to dip your toe in, Perth has so much to offer. We really are lucky to have such a huge variety up for grabs and with COVID reducing tourists now is a great time to get out and also support local business along the way. If you and your friends are looking at organising a wildflower trip, we can help plan your transport to and from the tracks. Just drop us a line and we can chat.

South Beach Fremantle

Explore Perth’s Port Town: 48 Hours in Fremantle

Explore Perth’s Port Town: 48 Hours in Fremantle 600 375 James Turner

Ok, with setback after setback, we are all too familiar with the effects COVID-19 is having on our ability to get out and about, explore our country or even the world. However, one thing is for sure, when we can move freely in our own state, there is a heap we can sink our teeth into. One such location which is perfect for a staycation is Fremantle – our best kept little secret. This destination really has it all, including insanely good restaurants, great activities and now so seriously impressive accommodation options. So, we thought we would write up a small 48 guide to experiencing this port area. 

9 am: Arrive in Fremantle: Coffee & Breakfast

First things first, espresso is crucial to start your day strong. Fremantle is blessed with a large collection of independent roasters, all paying homage to the coffee bean. Our pick for today is certainly Ootong & Lincoln. Leading the charge is the head chef Kate Gibson who has developed a super eclectic menu where veggie and vegan food is front and centre. Coffee is also taken very seriously. Our pick is the good ol’ steak sangers or okonomiyaki pancakes to get a hit of Japanese tradition in the heart of South Freo.

11 am: Antique Warehouses & Homeware Trail

So it would be rude to not visit some of the amazing antique houses while down in South Fremantle after your awesome breakfast. Take the time to peruse East-West Design – a neverending warehouse filled to the brim with one-off designs. After here, take a stroll up South Terrace to see some smaller designers such as Ginger Morris, Mokoh Designs and some of the best op shops in Perth.

1 pm: Lunch In South Fremantle

Before heading back up to the main drag in Fremantle, you MUST stop for lunch at potentially the best taco spot in Perth at La Cabana. This, for us, is a game-changer. If there was one thing on the list you can’t miss, it’s this one. Make sure you order the burnt corn, a Tommy margarita and a tray of coconut battered local fish tacos. If you are chasing a solid wine to wash that all down, jump next door to Magdalenas. 

La Cabana Fremantle

3 pm: Check in to Warders Hotel

This very special boutique hotel has just opened in Fremantle and occupies the old convict barracks just next to the Fremantle Markets. Coming in hot with all the bells and whistles, rooms are individually designed with sparking and still water taps, a variety of local artwork and amenities, and plush linen. The best part about this hotel is it’s virtually within walking distance of everything and is super discrete. We recommend looking into this one early as it’s becoming very popular.

Warders Hotel Fremantle

5 pm: drinks at the Republic of Fremantle

Ok, for those into gin, this one is your answer. This brand new venue opened recently and really is taking gin to a whole new level. Distilling on-site, you can either choose tastings where they’ll pair the best of their best with great tonic, or you can even lock in a distilling course, where you’ll walk away with your very own bottle. Either way, this one can’t be missed.

7.30 pm: Dinner at Bread in Common

Just a hop, skip and jump from the Republic of Fremantle is your dinner venue – Bread in Common. Hailing from the group that also manages some other big venues in Perth, such as Coogee Common, this location is a special spot. Boasting huge, long communal tables, dark and broody lighting, top-notch local cuisine and really attentive staff, Bread in Common is our pick for dinner.

Bread in common main dining hall

10 pm: Bed Time at Warders Hotel

Back at the Warders Hotel, you’ll actually want to spend some time in the rooms. Obviously full and potentially slightly tipsy, it’s time to get some rest as tomorrow will be a big day.

9 am: Breakfast and Coffee at Gimlet

The best thing about the Warders Hotel is that breakfast and coffee are included (and it’s really yum). Gimlet downstairs from your room has a heap of fresh pastries and coffee to pick from. You’ll also have a nice start to your day as it’s got limited seating, so you won’t feel overwhelmed if you are feeling mildly dusty.

11 am: Checkout Fremantle Markets

After you’ve returned for a quick lie down post breakfast, it’s time to check out (unfortunately) and head to the Freo markets, which backs onto the hotel. This deserves a good few hours to just walk to each stall and even have a second breakfast in the food section. You’ll also be spoilt on a Sunday as there are usually local artists playing around the perimeter which attract some serious crowds as the day goes on.

1 pm: Fremantle Prison

I mean, a trip to Fremantle would not be complete without a tour of Fremantle Prison. The knowledgeable guides are on hand to educate you on why almost 10,000 men were transported from Great Britain and Ireland to reside here. You can experience the jail cells, gallows and even an underground waterway tour. 

3 pm: Rooftop Drinks at Old Synagogue

After you’re done with your education for the day, it’s really now time for a few drinks on a rooftop to watch the sunset. Conveniently situated about 200m from the front door of Freo Prison is a great beer garden, with an even better drinks menu and food. There are actually 4 venues for the price of one within the Old Synagogue so you are spoilt for choice.

6 pm: Transport Back to Perth

Ok, so it technically hasn’t been a full 48 hours in Fremantle, but it’s time to head back to Perth. As we’ve suggested a fair few bars in this article, responsible driving is paramount. If you are doing this weekend with a big group, we can help plan your transport to and from Fremantle and can be your designated driver for the day. Or, if it’s just you and a special other, uber is your way to go. 

A driver in front of a Horizons West bus in Elizabeth Quay

Partnerships with Purpose: Horizons West Joins Forces With Nudge Foundation

Partnerships with Purpose: Horizons West Joins Forces With Nudge Foundation 600 400 James Turner

At Horizons West, we are always looking at ways to further engage with the WA community. One way we do this is to partner with other organisations that are bettering the future of those close to our hearts. In 2021, we’re making this possible through our new alliance with the Nudge Foundation. 

Who is the Nudge Foundation?

In a nutshell, Nudge is a not-for-profit organisation supporting people including local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to find meaningful work. Nudge engages closely with the indigenous community through traineeships and runs far deeper than most programs, offering applicants mentors, work-readiness training and ongoing support. Currently, Nudge is based all across WA, with main centres in the Perth metro area and Southwest. Since the induction of the program, 86 people have been supported with a 92% retention rate!

Nudge training locations

What does this partnership mean?

Supporting local communities is part of our DNA, so we are really excited to be joining forces with Nudge. Results of this collaboration are two specifically designed roles at the heart of our operations. One traineeship works directly with our maintenance team and is based at our Welshpool depot. This program will see the successful candidate undertake a 4-year apprenticeship in Heavy Diesel Mechanics. The other is within our team of drivers and is to be based at either Wangara or Welshpool. Graduates from this program will receive a Certificate III in Driving Operations. These traineeships are a great way to become qualified by learning on the job from those who know the ropes. You’ll earn money while gaining your qualification and get real workplace experience. 

What is required to apply?

Good question. For the most part, we are looking for the following essential skills:

To apply, you should:

  • Have a Driver’s License. This is advantageous but not essential.
  • Be reliable.
  • Be mechanically minded (Heavy Diesel Apprenticeship)
  • Be prepared to clean.
  • Be physically capable.
  • Be a team player.
  • Be self-motivated and willing to learn.
  • Be willing to undergo a pre-employment medical, including drug and alcohol test.
  • Willing to provide a National Police Clearance.

How do I apply?

To apply for either of the roles, you’ll need to head to the links below, where you can fill out key information and tell us why you would be suitable. 

ROLES:

What do some of the Nudge traineeships look like?

It’s always important to get a feel for what the program can offer. Although this is our first alliance, you can view some of the experiences other traineeships have had with other big brands across Perth.

People experiencing the Perth by light festival

Perth’s Best Winter Festivals and Events To Keep You Warm

Perth’s Best Winter Festivals and Events To Keep You Warm 600 315 James Turner

Ok, so it’s fairly cold at the moment, and although there is the tendency to hibernate, stay indoors and binge on the next Netflix series on demand, there is actually a heap Perth has on the boiler in the colder months. We’re talking about a full-blown winter festival, ice skating rink and even a winter beach festival. We’re not saying you get rid of your Netflix account, but it’s just all about balance. So we’ve put together a list of winter festivals in Perth this year which will certainly entice you outside the house!

Winter Village Festival

  • Dates: 28 May – 15 September
  • Location: Ice Cream Factory, Northbridge.

Starting off strong, this brand new winter village has got you covered and is a perfect option for the entire family this winter. The City of Perth has really put on a show with a dine-in igloo experience complete with armchairs and mood lighting, a full-blown ice rink and a ‘snow shower’ daily at 12 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm and 9 pm. The igloos have been the star of the show so far and start from $49 per person and are available for groups of 2-5 people. 

Igloos at the winter village festival at the Ice Cream Factory

Scarbrough Sunset Market – Winter Edition

  • Dates: every Saturday until October
  • Location: Scarborough Beach

You heard right. Scarborough summer markets were so popular, they’ve continued the festivities into the winter months, too. Every Saturday until 30 October, over 50 food trucks will line the coast and DJ’s will also be on hand to keep you warm. Honestly, with our mild winters, a night on the coast is totally doable, especially thanks to the lack of sea breeze in the winter. Bring the kids or your date and stroll along the boulevard (it’s a great people-watching location and just remember to bring a jumper).

Perth By Light Festival

  • Dates: July 3rd – July 24th
  • Location: City of Perth

Lighting up the Perth CBD, the Perth by Light Festival will be showcasing some pretty mind-bending designs. Our top picks include: heading down to the Supreme Court Garden to look up to marvel at the incredible hanging installations by Janet Echelman or, visiting the Light Labyrinth at James Street Amphitheatre to try and escape a vibrant kaleidoscope of colour. 

The Scandinavian Film Festival

  • Dates: July 14th – August 4th
  • Location: Luna Leederville, Luna on SX

So we know so far we’ve suggested outdoor activities, although here is your answer if you want to remain indoors, but still get your dose of culture. Screening at Palace and Luna Cinemas this July, the best in Nordic cinema will be up for grabs and will feature short films from a variety of countries such as Denmark, Finland, Norway and even the Faroe Islands. Our pick here is Wildland, a film set in Denmark’s underbelly crime syndicate. 

Perth Observatory Winter Night Tours

  • Dates: June – August
  • Location: Perth Observatory

If you have ever wanted to know more about the stars above, the team at the Perth Observatory are passionate volunteers willing to show you the ropes. Winter presents the perfect chance for cold nights to gaze into the southern skies. $20 will give you the chance to try your hand at astrology, use a telescope and secure that vital hot chocolate to keep you warm.

Fremantle Festival: 10 Nights in Port

  • Dates: 15th July – 25th July
  • Location: various locations in Fremantle

Culture overload hits Fremantle this July with a heap of events, music, dance and rituals to keep you entertained (and warm). Soak and steam is an outdoor elemental experience where you’ll be invited to get into a hot tub, and you guessed it, soak. Another highlight of this festival is the Off Chops performance. What is Off Chops? It’s actually a West Aussie production company where you’ll be greeted with heaps of comedy, high flying acrobatics and ridiculous group dancing routines!

S&J Cocktail Trail

  • Dates: rest of the winter months
  • Location: various locations in Perth CBD

For those that appreciate the finer things in life, this one is for you. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Perth, the team at Sneaker & Jeans have your night sorted. You’ll bar hop 4 bars that start at Hadiqa before moving onto The Flour Factory, Varnish on King and finishing at Caballitos. Setting you back $70, this will include 4 paired cocktails at each venue and food to match (not bad if you ask us).

Maali Festival

  • Dates: 9th – 10th July
  • Location: Perth State Theatre

Bringing it home strong is the Maali Festival situated right in the middle of NAIDOC week and celebrating our first nations people. In the act of gathering with a huge focus on community, this arts festival incorporates traditional dance, a play titled Bindjareb Pinjarra and music performances by Electric Fields. 

The Maali Dance Performance Festival in Perth

And there we have it. Although it’s cold and sometimes hard to stop Netflix from playing the next episode automatically, there really is a heap you can get involved in outside the house. As always, if some of the events above are ones you want to visit as a larger group, we can help you with the transport. Our mini-vans are perfect for this sort of thing and allow you to ditch the designated driver! 

Latitude trampoline centre Edgewater

Keep the Kids Covered: Your Perth Winter School Holidays Guide

Keep the Kids Covered: Your Perth Winter School Holidays Guide 550 380 James Turner

Over the last few weeks, the mercury has certainly dropped and winter is well and truly in play. We also know that the July school holidays are fast approaching, which means a house full of kids that need entertaining. So, we thought we’d put together a list of winter school holiday activities that can keep the little ones distracted and occupied. We’ve picked a heap that is indoors to prevent the weather from playing a part and thrown in a couple of adult based activities in the event you can secure that elusive babysitter for the night.

Holey Moley Golf Club Northbridge

Address | 53 Lake St, Northbridge WA 6003

Starting off the list is the classic game of mini-golf with a difference. A few years back Holey Moley ventured to WA and now have a few venues scattered around Perth. Our favourite is the original in Northbridge which offers the kiddos with holes complete with shark-infested waters or the famous Homer Simpsons couch. It really is an elevated put-put experience and with the music up and the lights dim, the kids will have a blast. The best bit? There is actually a bar on site so as parents, you can either choose to participate in the crazy or sit back and watch.

iFly Perth

Address | 143 Great Eastern Hwy, Rivervale WA 6103

Although this one might be an expensive day at the office, it truly is a pretty remarkable experience. At iFly the kids will literally levitate in a circular capsule to simulate the effects of an actual skydive. They’ll be supported by top instructors who are all trained up in supporting young ones through a pretty exhilarating process. If you are game, there are special deals on offer for multiple flights, groups or return flyers and they are generally available online to book. 

Kid experiencing iFly Perth

West Side Story

Address | Great Eastern Hwy, Burswood WA 6100

Ok. This one is for the adults who can swindle a babysitter for the evening. West Side Story is coming to Perth in July and can be combined with an early dinner at many of Crown’s top eating establishments such as Nobu, Rockpool or Bistro Guilliam. West Side Story feature a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet; this tragic love story tells the tale of two young people whose happiness is destroyed by the hate of two enemy camps in New York City’s urban jungle. Achieving sellout shows all over the world including Tokyo, Tel Aviv and New York, this is one to get tickets to! 

WA Museum Boola Bardip

Address | Perth Cultural Centre, Perth WA 6000

For those that don’t know, the WA museum just got a whopping upgrade and now features some seriously good kid-friendly exhibitions. One of the highlights is The Blue Whale skeleton, which precariously sits in a huge ballroom and comes in at 25 metres long. Other exhibitions include a whole floor dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and a Dreamtime room where kids are encouraged to lie flat down and watch the curved wall above them. If you are also feeling fancy Epoch Cafe produces the goods for lunch, coffee and snacks.

WA museum design Perth

SciTech 

Address | City West Centre Corner Railway Street &, Sutherland St, West Perth WA 6005

Perth’s old faithful – SciTech is always a great option when the weather is bad and the kids need room to move and explore. A quintessential Perth kids holiday destination – SciTech has some new exhibitions including Moonbase ONE – A virtual reality game, set on the moon or ‘The Perfect Firestorm’ a look into firestorms and how they are created. We promise this one is perfect for adults too. 

Fremantle Prison

Address | 1 The Terrace, Fremantle WA 6160

Fremantle Prison is also a good option if the weather has turned south. The knowledgeable guides can take you through the convict prison spaces, true crime stories, underground tours or even torchlight tours. Find out why almost 10,000 men were transported from Great Britain and Ireland, how they built their own prison and helped shape the future of Western Australia. We also recommend this one from a cost point of view. As family deals are super affordable and well worth the small cost of admission. 

Latitude Air Perth

Address | 35/57 Joondalup Dr, Edgewater WA 6027

This one is full throttle but will make the kids so tired by the end of the day. Latitude Air has something for every kid including indoor rock climbing, a trampoline centre and a parkour area known as ‘The Grid’ which includes a zip line, Ninja Warrior course, a warped wall and a spider wall. If you have active kiddos that need to run their silly’s out, this is your answer. Also, the cafe on site is slightly more relaxed (we promise).

Latitude trampoline centre Edgewater

The Kart Centre

Address | 27 Baile Rd, Canning Vale WA 6155

This one we think is not only for the kids but also for the adults who want to act like kids. The Kart Centre in Canning Vale features the options to cart solo or double up with someone else. The course is in premium condition and karts are French designed and built. They also have the capacity to reach speeds up to 50kph. They generally work in blocks of 10 minutes and we recommend ringing up early to get your hands on a time slot, as they sell out quickly.

Perth Ice Arena

Address | 708 Marshall Rd, Malaga WA 6090

Although it’s winter and you might want to escape the cold, you could also just go the whole hog and head to the best Ice Arena in Perth. Grab your scarves, beanies and get down to Perth Ice Arena for a solid afternoon of ice skating. The best bit here that general admission gives you the whole day so you won’t need to rush. Hire is also on-site to help fit you with the perfect ice skates.

Super Bowl Warwick

Address | 12 Dugdale St, Warwick WA 6023

Finishing out the list is Super Bowl Warwick – the perfect indoor activity to keep the kids entertained for a few hours. Complete with 16 lanes, Warwick bowling has been around the traps for a number of years and is complete with shoe hire, combo deals and low-lighting disco nights. 

So although the weather is freezing at the moment and winter is in full force, there is a heap of indoor activities on offer during the upcoming school holidays. We hope this list keeps them entertained and you a little less stressed. As always, if you are organising a large group of friends and kids for the day, we can help you with your transport. Just touch base with our Sales Team who will help you out!

Rottnest Island bay with swimmer

Your Day Trip Planned: What To Do on Rottnest Island in 2021

Your Day Trip Planned: What To Do on Rottnest Island in 2021 600 338 James Turner

With COVID-19 putting a serious dampener on most international and domestic travel, venturing out locally seems to be all we can work with at the moment. The good news for us though, is that not only are we able to move freely with no restrictions but our state boasts some pretty phenomenal natural landscapes to visit. One phenomenal landscape just a short hop, skip and jump across the ocean is Rottnest Island. Our hidden gem, Rottnest Island offers some of the best-protected coves in WA, the famous quokka, a bicycle only policy, outstanding coral reefs and now some seriously good eating options. If Rotto is on your list this year, we wanted to help with a suggested itinerary for your day on the island. 

9 am – Rottnest Island Bakery & bike hire

When you arrive on Rotto, if you haven’t got yourself a bike, the first step is typically the hire store to get yourself sorted with some wheels for the day. You can also secure some snorkel sets too if you are aiming to get up close with the local wildlife. Post bike pick up, we really recommend a quick visit to Rottnest Bakery to load up on pastries for the day plus a coffee to kickstart the cycle. 

10 am – first stop: The Basin

A very short ride out of the main area will bring you to the Basin. This is the spot to get those snorkels out. Here, you can meander out to the edge of the basin to meet some of the best aquatic animals on the island. This is pretty popular so we recommend a visit earlier in the day before the crowds come in to secure a spot on the small area of sand. 

The basin Rottnest island

11 am – cycle through Longreach Bay to Little Parakeet Beach

Another small cove definitely worth your attention is Little Parakeet Bay. But before getting to the beach, you’ll need to ride through Longreach Bay which also showcases a stunning row of quintessential Rottnest shacks. Once at Little Parakeet Bay, you won’t be disappointed with a pristine lining of sand, protected from all the elements and crystal clear water. Little Parakeet Bay is where we recommend you spend a couple of hours. The best part? It’s a challenge for boats to moor close to the shore, meaning the water is only for you. Here is where you can capitalise on those pastries from the bakery that you strategically stored in your backpack.

1 pm – burn off lunch and ride through the salt flats to Salmon Bay

One of the best-kept secrets of Rottnest Island is the salt flats in the centre of the island. It’s a very different contrast to the turquoise bays that surround it. If you happen to see a few quokkas on the route, they are pretty friendly, but just remember to respect them if you are trying to get a close-up photo. As you move through the salt flats you’ll eventually hit Wadjemup Lighthouse. Climbing up the stairs here will offer a 360-degree view of the island! 

Once back on the bike for a few more minutes, you’ll land at Salmon Bay – our pick of the best beach on the island. Salmon Bay is perfect for the afternoon when the sea breeze hits as it’s so protected that you won’t have any problems fighting the wind to put your towel down. It’s a nice long stretch of white sand so we recommend taking a stroll to the far end where you won’t have too many people around!

Little Salmon bay rottnest

3 pm – ride back to Thomson Bay

Once you’ve officially had enough sun for the day, the next step is riding alongside the cliff faces back to Thomson Bay. Along this well-paved road, you’ll be able to get uninterrupted views of the WA coastline. Once back in Tomson Bay, you’ll most likely be in need of an arvo snack and beverage. For this, the Rottnest pub is your best bet. Here, there is generally live music (especially on a Sunday), a large beer garden and views straight onto the water.

5 pm – dinner reservations at Lontara

After a break from the rays and a few drinks, next on the agenda is dinner. The team at Samphire have you covered. In 2020 they released a boutique accommodation option on the island plus a top-notch restaurant – Lontara. This new eatery manages to strike the perfect balance with fresh South-East Asian cuisine using fresh and locally sourced ingredients from the island. When we visited, we couldn’t get enough of the crispy whole fish with wild ginger, Thai basil and three flavour sauce.

Lantara restaurant Rottnest Island

8 pm – ferry back to the mainland

Full, tired and potentially slightly tipsy, it might be time to head back to Perth. Rottnest Island ferries have later departures most days, especially in summer so all that’s left to do is board the boat back to the mainland. Hot tip: buying a return ticket will always cost less in one transaction so aim to plan your return time to save money. 

How to Get to Rottnest Island

To start with, you have a few options. If you are lucky enough to have friends in high places that own a boat, you could hit them up. Otherwise, Rottnest Express is your go-to. Ohh and us to help get you from a joint pickup location to either Fremantle or Hillary’s Boat Harbour to board your ferry. If you are on the hunt for joint transport for a large group heading across to Rottnest Island, touch base with our reservations team who can help you out!

Driver on route in a Horizons West bus

What’s it Like to Work For Us? Our Driver Benefits Explained

What’s it Like to Work For Us? Our Driver Benefits Explained 600 400 James Turner

Are you on the hunt for a new driving gig? Perhaps you are looking for a sea change or considering becoming a bus driver for the first time. Either or, we know that working at Horizons West is a challenging but rewarding experience for all our team members. We are a passionate bunch of professionals with one overall aim – to deliver industry-leading bus and coach services to the Western Australian community. 

We’ve had a heap of enquiries lately for driver applications and a few have asked what it’s like to work for us and what benefits are included. So, to help those considering Horizons West as their next employer, we thought it was only fitting to write about it. 

Horizons West Driver Benefits

Flexible Working Hours

One of the biggest benefits we hear time and time again from our team is the flexibility that driving for Horizons West provides. We are a family run company, so we completely understand the demands home life can place on your work life. That’s why our shifts can be allocated with both parties in mind – you and us. In other words, if we know you need to be home for school pick up, you might be running the morning shifts and vice versa. 

The Horizons West fleet of buses in Welshpool

Location, Location, Location

A little known fact about Horizons West is we actually operate two depots. One close to the airport in Welshpool and one north of the river. This means that you can have shifts run out of each and it’s generally closer to home.

Modern Fleet

We always get feedback from our existing drivers highlighting how good it is to drive new vehicles. Over the last few years, we have invested heavily in a new fleet of buses, coaches and minivans to ensure you and the passengers are safe. The new fleet also comes with all the bells and whistles, such as ergonomically designed seats, audio systems and all the safety features.

A driver in front of a Horizons West bus in Elizabeth Quay

Supportive Management

We know this is one that most companies talk about, but we truly believe it. We have an open-door policy in terms of management as we have been a family run business for over 30 years. This means that it’s not uncommon for our drivers to approach head office with a variety of feedback which we look to implement. At the end of the day, that’s how we grow and we really appreciate drivers who are willing to let us know their thoughts. Support also extends to when you are on the road. We have a dedicated drivers’ line to handle all types of enquiries from our staff. 

On-Site Workshop

Another massive benefit of working for Horizons West is the on-site workshop and repair centre. Sometimes tune-ups are inevitable, but with the size of our fleet, we continually invest in our maintenance operation to ensure mechanics are always at hand to help you out. Gone are the days of your vehicle being off-road for weeks. We get started on any repairs quickly and efficiently if they occur.

Technology First

Finally, with the size of our driver cohort and fleet, we have digitised a heap of our processes to make your life super straightforward. All routes, driver schedules, rosters, payslips and anything tax-related is all automated straight to our internal employee system. This means you’ll have all the information you need under one roof.

What’s it Like To Work For Us?

Benefits aside, it’s also essential to highlight the actual experiences our drivers have while working for us. We asked a staff member recently to outline what it’s like to work at Horizons West. Here is what they said:

“I really enjoy driving for Horizons. The company is well run, it’s a very social workplace which is good, and the work itself is easy enough yet has its challenges so as to keep you stimulated. It’s the best job I’ve ever had.”

Jereme

What We’ll Need From You

If what you are reading sounds right up your alley, there are a few things we’ll need from you. This includes:

  1. Experience: we’ll expect that you have the required expertise and knowledge for the role.
  2. Certificates & Checks: we’ll need from you, all the relevant certificates such as MR or HR Licence with F endorsement or PTD Authorisation, Working with Children Check and a First Aid Certificate (desired).
  3. Personality traits: A strong willingness to learn, a true passion for transport and the wider Perth community and a solid focus on safety and customer service.

If Horizons West sounds like something for you, our career page outlines all our current vacancies. We’ll need a cover letter and resume outlining why you are suitable for the role.