Taj Small Fries Surfing Groms

A new year is here!

Now, if your New Year’s resolution is to get out of the house and have some serious fun in the south west, then you are in luck! January brings with it the best beach weather plus an impressive array of events big and small. From the Festival of Busselton and Karnidale Circus Festival to Taj’s Small Fries surf comp, 2023 may have just turned up but it is already serving us some mega good times.

Busselton Festival
Festival of Busselton

Festival of Busselton | 31 December - 31 January


A south west summer staple has arrived – it’s the Festival of Busselton! Spanning the whole month of January, this festival has it all from family-friendly water fights to an all-out, no holds barred Battle of the Bands. It all starts with the New Year’s Eve Celebration featuring retro surf tunes from the Stingrays. Then on to a whole host of events including free outdoor cinema screenings, sand castle competitions, gymnastic and circus performances, carnival rides, and three different Eats & Beats evenings.

All the usual suspects will be there as well such as Pirate Dress-up day, Dogs Day Out, the Duck Drop, the Log Chop and the iconic Petticoat Lane Twilight Markets. For the perfect cherry on top of an incredible summer escape in the region, head to Busselton for guaranteed good vibes this January.

Watching the outdoor movies at Cape Mentelle, Margaret River.
Outdoor movies at Cape Mentelle

Cape Mentelle Movies | January - 1 February

Margaret River

Catching a movie with mates just got so much better because Cape Mentelle Movies are back! Every summer Cape Mentelle’s immaculately manicured lawn transforms into the outdoor cinema of our dreams. Think cosy bean bag chairs and a big cinema screen set under the stars, with a lush vineyard as your backdrop. Sip world-class wine and savour some Little Hands Dumplings or opt to bring your own gourmet picnic. With new releases as well as classics there is a whole range of films to enjoy! Doors open from 6pm and the movies begin from 7.30pm – 8pm (sunset depending).

Cowaramup Brewery
Cowaramup Brewing Company

Locals Nights at Cowaramup Brewing Co | 6, 13 & 27 January


What’s better than a local’s night with pizza, $10 pints, and live music a warm summer evening? We’d say, not much! Make the Locals Nights a staple Friday event in the January calendar and come down to Cowaramup Brewing Co for some well-deserved maxing relaxing after a busy festive season.

Howard Park Wines Summer
Howard Park's Oysters & Riesling

Oysters & Riesling at Howard Park | 8 - 9 January


Nothing says summer like seafood and sunshine! Add in some zesty, crisp white wine and you’ve got Howard Park’s fan-favourite event, Oysters & Riesling. The iconic and indulgent culinary pairing of fresh-shucked oysters and vibrant Riesling is at the centre of this event, but it is the live DJ, food trucks, and gorgeous cellar door setting that have cemented it as the ultimate south west summertime event.

Entry is free so there is no excuse not to swing by and live the lavish life, even just for one weekend. Bring your friends, play some bocce, and lounge on the lawn for an unforgettable way to spend a sunny day.

Karnidale Circus Festival 2022
Karnidale Circus Festival

Karnidale Circus | 13 - 14 January


After the summer school, it is onto the main event… Every January, on an unassuming, backroads country estate in Karridale, the big tops go up, the bars assemble, the stalls converge and magicians, circus, cabaret, and comedy performers descend for two full days of frantic, frenzied, wacky and wonderful fun! You will not believe the jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring international acts that grace the stage of this utterly unique and unparalleled celebration of all things carnie, sideshow, and spectacular.

The days are filled with kid-friendly fun from magic shows to rock paper scissors competitions and workshops, while the nights are dedicated to risqué burlesque, death-defying stunts, and DJs that play til the early morning. You can truly choose your own festival adventure! With local food trucks serving up mouth-watering fare and bars overflowing with the region’s finest brews and booze, you are in for a doozy! Get your tickets quick, the 2022 event sold out.

Taj Small Fries
Taj's Small Fries

Taj's Small Fries | 13 - 15 January


It may have ‘small’ in the name but don’t let that fool you, this is hands down WA’s biggest, best and most prestigious junior surfing event. Started in 2006, this comp was named after Yallingup local and international surf legend, Taj Burrow. Now in its 18th year, Taj’s Small Fries is still the spot to catch the most promising young surfers before they are catapulted into the big leagues. With eight separate divisions from 16 and under to 10 and under, these guys and gals will be giving it all they’ve got. Come cheer on this incredibly talented crew as they shred their way to the top!

Ocean Swim Festival & Australian Open Water Championships
Margaret River Ocean Swim

Margaret River Ocean Swim | 14 January


The Margaret River Ocean Swim is back at the tranquil waters of our beloved Gnarabup beach. This is a 1km swim that is open to anyone, anyone that can swim that is. All about inclusivity, encouragement and community, the start of the swim is staggered, removing any stress from the very beginning. There is a prize for first place but also lots of spot prizes because everyone who gives it a go is a winner.

Cheese Course - Haloumi and Ricotta
Cheese Course - Haloumi and Ricotta

Cheese Course - Haloumi and Ricotta | 14 & 28 January


Who doesn’t love squeaky cheese? And creamy ricotta, always served best fresh! Well, here is your chance to learn how to make it yourself at Jardin Estate. Master the art of Haloumi that is smooth with that delectable hint of salt. Then waste not, want not! Use the whey to make traditional Italian ricotta that is so light, fluffy, and heavenly that you will never want to buy it from the shops again. Complete with a decadent cheese-focused lunch to teach you how to best serve the treats you have just crafted. The perfect afternoon for any cheese-lover!

Busselton Battle of the Bands

Busselton Battle of the Bands | 21 January


Head out to any pub at the weekend and you will notice the outstanding musical talent that is spread across the region. Well, now it is time to put these musos to the test with the City of Busselton’s annual Battle of the Bands Competition! With $1500 on the table for the one that rocks out the hardest, this is sure to be an epic, head-banging night. Set on the stunning Busselton Foreshore, this is your chance to catch WA’s next big thing! Saturday 21st January is the heats, then come back on Saturday 11th of February for the grand finale. This is one you won’t want to miss.

Lunar New Year Jazz in the Vineyard 2023
Lunar New Year Jazz in the Vineyard 2023

Lunar New Year Jazz in the Vineyard | 27 January


Year of the Rabbit is nearly here, and Passel Estate is making sure we celebrate in style. An afternoon complete with live jazz, Má Là’s Chinese-style dumplings, and, of course, some of Passel’s award-winning wine, all set against the beautiful surroundings of their cellar door. Grab your friends and loved ones for a laid-back afternoon of summertime fun with Lunar New Year Jazz in the Vineyard. Please note, this is an 18+ event due to service of alcohol, strictly no BYO and sorry, no dogs.

For the Diary

Busselton Jetty Swim Elements
Busselton Jetty Swim

Busselton Jetty Swim | 11 - 12 February


Now if you loved the Margaret River Ocean swim, look out because the Busselton Jetty Swim is just around the corner. This is an annual 3.6km ocean swim around the iconic Busselton Jetty. Spread across two days, this event is open to swimmers of all levels from pro to ‘give it a go’. With multiple options from the full solo swim around the Jetty or do it as a team in a relay. There is also a one-mile swim, Simon’s Shortcut (500m) or a kid’s swim of 222m. The focus is having fun at whatever level you choose.

If you would rather stay dry and cheer on the athletes on the day, good news, there is lots of family-friendly entertainment & activities all weekend long on the Busselton foreshore.

South West Craft Beer Festival Busselton
South West Craft Beer Festival

South West Craft Beer Festival | 25 February


With fabulous breweries dotting the region, of course, there is a stellar local beer festival and it is coming back this February – the South West Craft Beer Festival. The best south west craft breweries will converge upon the Busselton foreshore to celebrate the region’s amazing produce, food, music, and best of all, brews! With over 175 beers to taste from at least 25 different breweries and cideries including Rocky Ridge, Colonial, Eagle Bay, Boston and Brewhouse Margaret River, you will be spoiled for choice. All your fav spots will be serving up their classic range with a few wild and wonderful gems and new releases thrown in. With delicious local bites and groovin’ DJ beats to round things out, this is a festival you will be frothing on for years to come!

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