If you have friends and family visiting, Kings Park is always right up there with one of the top things to do in Perth.
As one of the largest inner city parks in the world, visited and loved by more than 6 million people a year, there's plenty to see and do all year round, especially in September which sees the 400.6 hectares of cultivated gardens and untamed bushland turn into a hive of activity for the annual Kings Park Festival.
A Brief History
The Kings Park Festival's history traces back to 1964, making it one of the longest-running festivals in Australia. It's aims haven't changed a bit in those 56 years, the festival is a celebration of the diverse plant life in WA while promoting great beauty and a pressing need for its conservation.
Most of the activities are centred around the Western Australian Botanic Garden which has an array of stunning native flora, many of which you can only see here in WA.
Around half a million people visit the festival each year, which is more than the population of Tasmania. The dedicated staff and volunteers ensure everything runs like clockwork and deliver many of the free walks, talks and activities during the festival.
2019 Festival Highlights
Where the Wildflowers Are Trail
This trail is a good starting point to the Kings Park Festival with more than 40 different wildflowers along the self-guided walk around the WA Botanic Garden. In true "choose your own adventure" style, you can pick from the supplied 30 minute, 1 hour or 90 minute walks in the Design Your Own Walk guide.
All walk trails are also suitable for wheelchairs and prams so you can bring the whole family along. To see the best of the flowers it’s advisable to explore the trails in September, however they can still be enjoyed in October as the weather warms up.
Treasures of the Botanic Garden
There's a free guided tour each day, run by the wonderful Volunteer Guides at Kings Park, which will help you discover the glorious diversity of the plants to be found from the coast to the desert. The flora’s natural habitat ranges from the harsh climate of northern WA to the southern forests of the Southwest.
The walks are around an hour and a half so make sure you've slip, slop, slapped before you arrive, and bring plenty of water and a hat to keep the dehydration at bay.
The tours not only run during Kings Park Festival, but all year round too – barring Christmas Day – so there's plenty of opportunities to bring friends and family from out of town to show off the best bits of Kings Park. No registration is required. Simply meet the volunteers at Fraser Avenue, just outside Aspects Lawn and you're all set!
Stretch 'n' Spring Wednesdays
Is there a better way to start the day than a yoga-inspired wellness class right in the heart of nature? The benefits of yoga are plentiful. Derived from the Sanskrit word "yuji," meaning yoke or union, it incorporates breathing exercises, meditation and poses designed to encourage relaxation and reduce stress.
Makita Gabriel from Soul Vida is running Stretch 'n' Spring every Wednesday morning during the Kings Park Festival which will help with your movement, flow, stretch and breath awareness.
The class is suitable for all fitness levels and a free tea or coffee from Zamia Café is included in the $5 entry cost. Sessions are undercover at the Vietnam Memorial Pavilion so come rain or shine, this class will run. Don't forget to bring your yoga mat along and, once finished, you'll be ready to take on whatever the day has in store!
The Botanical: Beauty and Peril Guided Tours
Kings Park and the Art Gallery of WA join forces to bring you The Botanical: Beauty and Peril – which combines nature and art in a neatly packaged free tour.
Explore the exhibition down at the gallery at 11am, where you can expect to see botanical art exhibitions from the Janet Holmes à Court collection as well as the Art Gallery’s own pieces. They explore the abundant beauty of the botanical world and the modern day threats that assail it.
Once you're finished, enjoy a leisurely lunch in the CBD, hop on a free bus and head into Kings Park for a guided wildflower walk at 2pm. It's the perfect way to spend a sun baked spring day in Perth.
To add to the atmosphere of Kings Park Festival there will be a series of talented local musicians taking to the stage to perform relaxed acoustic sets on Aspect Lawn for visitors to enjoy. Upcoming Festival Tune events:
- Trouvaille will have you grooving to all your favourite dance tracks as you enjoy the classic beats and show off your dance moves on the lawn.
- Alex Turner is a Kings Park Festival regular and will get you moving to his lively beats from his large eclectic repertoire of contemporary and popular songs.
- JMQ has performed all over Perth and Australia as a soloist, a duo act and in local indie-electronic outfit, Our Man in Berlin. The WAMi nominated artist will mash the upbeat sounds of Jason Mraz and chilled-out vibe of Jack Johnson to entertain and delight festival goers.
- Matt Foti will entertain you with his blend of acoustic folk and pop hits accompanied by his unique voice. His dynamic live set will have you singing along from start to finish.
Painter in the Park
Head on down to Kings Park from mid-September and there’s a high chance you’ll bump into talented landscape artist Rowena Keall-Walsh slaving away at her canvas creating her latest work.
Rowena will be using the garden’s natural inspiration of flora and the world surrounding it to paint her next masterpiece, which will explore her love and concern for the natural world.
If Rowena inspires you, or your child, to pick up a brush then you might also be interested in her drawing workshop where she'll guide you the world of observational drawing. There will be a chance to learn how to create a variety of textures, colours and shapes that represent WA's most beautiful wildflowers.
Nature in Art Walk
There's lots to see and do in Kings Park, but sometimes you need a helping hand to better understand the natural environment and how the aesthetics and meaning of sculptural plants play a role in garden design.
The Nature in Art Walk is run by the knowledgeable Kings Park Volunteer Guides and takes you through the WA Botanic Garden where you’ll see beautiful artwork, sculptures and mosaics inspired by iconic banksia and acacia plants.
Places on this tour fill fast and spaces are limited so registration is recommended to avoid disappointment.
The beloved wildflower characters, the Adorable Florables, return to Kings Park Festival with their unique brand of mischief, chaos and brightly coloured flower inspired outfits. They've been a common sight for the last few festivals, but will return for one day only in 2019.
With their own unique personalities to match their bloom, the Adorables will be roaming the park for the day so make sure you get in there for a cheeky #selfie before they disappear!
For more things to do in Perth in Spring, go to: Spring In Perth.