Get weird at the most unique, quirky and colourful events around Western Australia

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As anyone living in the eastern states would tell you, we’re a colourful and quirky bunch over here in the West.

Article by Aimee Glossop

Our eccentricity has certainly got its upsides though, with Western Australia being home to some of the most unique, high-spirited, and unorthodox events you could ever dream of.

From vibrant displays of our diverse culture to the spooky and downright strange, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite unique events happening around Western Australia.

Blazing Swan (Kulin)

Why jet off to the desert plains of Nevada when you can experience the magical world of Burning Man right here in our backyard? Taking inspiration from that iconic festival held annually in Black Rock City, Blazing Swan was created in 2013 by a group of festivalgoers eager to bring the experience to Australian shores. The seven-day event is dubbed an experiment in temporary community, encouraging attendees to ditch the rules of the outside world and instead embrace 11 principles centred around community, environment, and self. Let’s not forget about the burning of the effigy, which takes place on Saturday night as a towering art piece is set ablaze during a ritual-like party. This year’s event will run from March 27 to April 2, with tickets on sale now.

Blazing Swan
Image Credit: Blazing Swan (Via Facebook)

Medieval Carnivale (Balingup)

Here ye, here ye! Take a journey back in time to the Middle Ages at this enchanting medieval fair in Balingup. There are knights in shining armour and fair maidens galore, and a bustling marketplace filled with minstrels and artisans to explore. Feast on a hearty meal fit for royalty at the King and Queen for the Carnivale Feast, or revel in the adrenaline-inducing excitement of the many medieval battle reenactments. Leave your sweatpants at home this August 24 and 25, and come adorned in your best medieval finery for the full immersive experience.

Balingup Medieval Carnival

Fire & Fable (Pickering Brook)

Bid adieu to cold winter nights and usher in the spring at this annual winter festival, hosted by Core Cider in Pickering Brook. This pagan-esque event is based on the ancient practice of Wassail, which was believed to scare away evil spirits and promote a fruitful harvest. Bask in bonfire flames under the night sky as you’re treated to performances from drummers, musicians, dancers and storytellers, and feast on a delicious meal accompanied by Core Cider’s signature beverages. Little ones are more than welcome to join in the fun too, encouraged to don their best pagan finery for a chance to be crowned King or Queen. Core Cider is yet to announce the 2024 Fire and Fable event, but keep your eyes peeled as the leaves start to fall.

Fire Fable Feast Core Cider

Armadale Highland Gathering (Armadale)

Pop on your Braveheart DVD and get into the Scottish spirit because the Armadale Highland Gathering will likely be back for another year of old-fashioned Scottish fun around October. This vibrant event in Perth’s south-east is jampacked with entertainment including pipe band competitions, highland dancing, live performances, and a medieval fair. Participants will even take to the track for the annual Perth Kilt Run, racing through Armadale in a sea of plaid. Pants need not apply!

Kilt Run Perth Hills

Truffle Kerfuffle (Manjimup)

Set in the epicentre of Australian truffle country, Manjimup’s Truffle Kerfuffle is one of the most important events on the calendar for fine dining connoisseurs. Attendees are delighted to three whole days of truffle-tailored events, including tasting their way through the mouth-watering Festival Village, experiencing a food and wine masterclass from world-class chefs, and getting their hands dirty on expert-led truffle-hunting expeditions. This festival even partners with some of the region’s best accommodation providers with personalised stays, making Truffle Kerfuffle truly the ultimate winter getaway.

Truffle Kerfuffle 2023

KSWA Annual Koi Show (Oldbury)

There’s something in the water in Oldbury this year, and it seems a little fishy… It’s the return of the Annual Koi Show, hosted by the Koi Society of Western Australia! This year’s event, to be held at King Road Brewery on May 19, marks the 33rd Annual Koi Show since the initiative was launched. The event features hundreds of quality West Australian koi on display, as well as koi and koi-keeping goods for sale. Showcasing the brightest and biggest koi fish in the pond, this event is sure to make a splash with everyone from keen aquarists to curious onlookers.

Koi Festival WA

Shinju Matsuri (Broome)

Shinju Matsuri is the true pearl in the oyster of Broome’s unique culture. Over nine days each year, the remote coastal town transforms into a lively showcase of colours, sounds, and flavours as Broome becomes the setting for the Japanese-inspired Festival of the Pearl. Known for its richness in South Sea Pearls, the area has attracted people from around the world since the late 1800s. The festival offers something for everyone with over 20 unique events, including a Chinatown Feast, a Sunset Long Table Dinner, and a breathtaking floating lantern festival. Tickets are on sale now for this year’s festival, running from August 17 to September 1.

Shinju Matsuri 2023

Strange Festival (Perth)

Brace yourself, because things are bound to become very strange in the City of Perth this June 14-23 when Strange Festival returns for its third edition from June 14-23. The city comes alive for 10 mysterious days and nights as forgotten spaces are transformed into art installations and performance venues. It showcases an eccentric blend of art mediums including visual, aural, experiential, and more, and we can’t wait to see what 2024 has in store.

Pox-Eclipse (Southern Cross)

Ever wondered what it would be like to wake up in a post-apocalyptic world? Pox-Eclipse is the perfect chance to fulfill that fantasy, bringing Australia’s first major Wastelander event to our own backyard. The event is inspired by the Mad Max film series, where the end of civilisation thrusts Australia into a barbaric post-apocalyptic wasteland. Leave the comforts of the modern world behind at Pox-Eclipse, where currency is null and void and survival is the only goal. Though exact event dates for 2024 are yet to be announced, expect to start your doomsday prepping around October.

Pox Eclipse
Image Credit: Benny Bones

Perth Model Railway Exhibition (Claremont)

Last year saw the Perth Model Railway Exhibition return to Claremont Showgrounds for the first time since 2019, and it was a fantastic weekend for kids both big and small! There’s a heap of incredible setups to enjoy and model railway enthusiasts who are more than happy to give you the rundown on how it all works. Plus there’s workshops, kids stalls, places to buy equipment from and more. There’s no word yet on if it it’s returning in 2024, but fingers crossed!

Perth Model Railway Exhibition

Moondyne Festival (Toodyay)

Live like an outlaw at this colourful colonial festival that celebrates the life of the Avon Valley’s most legendary bushranger, Moondyne Joe. Experience live re-enactments of Moondyne Joe’s daring escapades, including robberies, arrests, and escapes from custody. This unmissable free event is complete with a range of entertainment, heritage crafts, and food stalls on offer, with attendees encouraged to come in their best pioneer period getup. Don’t miss this year’s jam-packed event, held on May 5.

Yalgoo Emu Festival (Yalgoo)

Treat yourself to some wacky outback entertainment at this annual emu-themed celebration in Yalgoo, a small town located 500km north of Perth. The Yalgoo Emu Festival kicks off bright and early, with a free community breakfast beginning at 7:30am, followed by all the emu-themed activities you can imagine including emu egg carving, an emu sculpture competition, and a petting zoo. The real crown jewel of this event starts later in the day, as festivalgoers go head-to-head in the emu races while decked out in their featheriest costumes. The Yalgoo Emu Festival typically runs towards the end of the calendar year, so you’ve got plenty of time to get sewing.

Yalgoo Emu Festival
Image Credit: Shire of Yalgoo

Greenough Village Ghost Tour (Geraldton)

For a weekend activity that will send shivers down your spine, check out the annual Greenough Village Ghost Tour. As one of the oldest settlements in Western Australia, Greenough Village looks as though it has been frozen in time since it was first settled in the 1850s. Led by renowned medium and host of Whispers From Beyond, Anthony Grzelka, the Greenough Village Ghost Tour will lead you on a journey through time and the spiritual world as you explore eleven historic buildings. For the brave-hearted, there’s even an opportunity to take part in an intimate séance at the end of the night. Tickets are on sale now for this year’s tour, held on April 6.

Greenough Village
Image Credit: National Trust

Cluedunnit (Perth)

Do you fancy yourself as a modern-day Hercules Poirot? If so, these live-action murder mysteries hosted by Cluedunnit will be right up your alley. Inspired by the wonderful mind of Agatha Christie, Cluedunnit’s murder mystery events bring classic tales to life with a talented cast of live performers. Guests are treated to a three-hour-long fully interactive experience, complete with a delicious three-course dinner as they attempt to unravel the mystery at hand. Cluedunnit runs numerous shows throughout the year, each with a unique theme and storyline, so be sure to keep an eye out on their website.

Cluedunnit Perth

Header Image Credit: Armadale Highland Gathering