Enjoy wine tasting and a 4 course meal at Cape Lodge. Credit Russell Ord

What’s Happening in October?

Your most reliable guide to what's on in October: from music makers and spring shows, to pedal power and something for the foodies.

As wine industry insiders know, spring in the vineyard is what vintage is to the winery. Read: frenetic! Spring crucially sets the scene for the growing season and harvest ahead; it’s when a lot of the sweat, tears and groundwork is laid down.

The good folks behind Fine Vines Festival have tapped into this collective adrenaline rush to bring you a curated selection of events, honouring all things grape-related in Margaret River’s dedicated wine celebration. They promise to cater to everyone from ‘no idea’ to ‘knowledgeable’, with events ranging from masterclasses through to bicycle tours, open vineyards, garden parties, quiz nights, degustation dining and more. Get up close and personal to the people, passion and places behind the Margaret River wine industry.

Equally this October, Margaret River is showcasing an industry of an altogether different kind with Strings Attached: The West Australian Guitar Festival. Over 90 different events will make for a guitar and string-lovers wonderland, with all genres of music celebrated and represented. Expect local ukulele troupes and luthiers to brush shoulders with guitar royalty like Katy and Rick Steele, Kav Temperley and Grace Barbé.

It’s just a taste of what’s happening this month, not to mention garden shows, dance performances, a French film festival, competitive fishing, jazz, mountain biking and more!

Mammoth Cave Megafauna Nightstalk

Megafauna Nightstalk at Mammoth Cave | 1, 4, 6, & 8 October

Boranup

Mammoth Cave has organised the perfect school holiday event – as prehistoric as it sounds – this month. At twilight, scope out giant replicas of the extinct megafauna species and learn from the cave tour guides about the life and death of these supersized animals. Then head into the cave on a private tour to discover how fossils from 38 species were uncovered here in the early 1900’s. The tour finishes with a walk through the forest at torchlight for maximum adventure! Suitable for ages 7 and up.

Strings Attached: The West Australian Guitar Festival | 8 – 10 October

Margaret River

It’s back! After a covid-imposed hiatus, Strings Attached returns for its highly anticipated second year – the festival for all players, makers and enthusiasts of a stringed persuasion. Think three days to celebrate guitar talent from all genres, with a whopping 90 entries on the program. As well as live performances, the program includes string-related workshops, masterclasses, Q&As, luthier demonstrations and exhibitions.

Live Music - Strings Attached

Sunday Series: Bettenays Fishing, Wine and Music | 10 October

Cowaramup

A veritable carnival of fishing is happening at Bettenays winery! The big dam will be stocked with “plate-sized rainbow trout”, and for the competitive, there are two tagged fish in the mix worth $100 and $200. Otherwise, enjoy food from Hooked Up Fish and Chips, live music, wine, champagne cocktails and face painting.

Fine Vines Festival | 15 – 24 October

Margaret River Region

Unveiled for its inaugural year is the hotly anticipated Fine Vines Festival: a curated selection of 30 events that convey the quality and depth of the local wine scene. There is something for afficionados and occasional drinkers equally, with serious masterclasses through to bicycle tours, open vineyards, garden parties, quiz nights, degustation dining and more. Tickets are on sale now!

Cape To Cape Mountain Biking Event

French Film Festival: Margaret River HEART | 18 – 23 October

Margaret River

Cinefest Oz has partnered with Margaret River HEART to bring a touch of joie de vivre this October, with a festival screening of four French films. First up is the Jean-Luc Godard classic Breathless, fully restored for its 60th anniversary! The rest of the program is a slew of recently-released films, including Eiffel; a period drama based on the true story of the man behind the iconic Parisian tower; The Rose Maker, following the trials and tribulations on a rural rose farm; and finally The Kids Are Back; a story of mid-life crisis mixed with an intergenerational living situation.

Cape To Cape Mountain Biking | 21 – 24 October

Margaret River Region

Australasia’s longest and biggest mountain bike multi-stage endurance race has returned. Growing from 100 riders in 2008 to around 1600 participants, the race starts at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse in Augusta and finishes four days later. The race is renowned for its variety of terrain, from private trails, vineyards, farmland, forests, national park and breweries. Each day includes 45 – 65km of riding, for a total of 210km and a climbing total of 2500m. One for spectators and participants alike.

Busselton Jetty Sunset

Jazz Under the Jetty | 23 October

Busselton

The sophistication of the jazz lounge takes a new turn in this highly unique setting – eight metres underwater in the Indian Ocean, under the Busselton Jetty! The Underwater Observatory is the host venue for this jazz series, featuring star vocalist Paula Renee. Saunter around the observatory, watch the underwater world of sea life, sip on Wills Domain Wines and enjoy seafood canapes in this unforgettable evening.

Augusta Garden Club: Spring Show | 23 – 24 October

Augusta

Enjoy a beautiful display of local flowers and gardening in this traditional weekend village show. Come for the horticultural classes, home-made jams and preserves, cooking, arts and crafts, spinning and weaving, woodwork, metalwork and photography. The kids will love the children’s classes and pet show!

Dance of Life | 23 – 24 October

Dunsborough

Experience a specially choreographed show of dance from ballet to Spanish to contemporary styles. World renowned choreographer Seamus Hughes has collaborated with three other dance performers and teachers of international backgrounds to put on this unique show.

FOR THE DIARY

Busselton Jetty Swim | 12 – 13 February

Busselton

It may seem a long way off, but key registration dates have been released for next year’s Busselton Jetty Swim – after this year’s record-breaking 3600 swimming spots sold out in under two hours! The fixture is one of the region’s biggest and longest-running sporting events, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020, and attracting 7500 spectators. As a result of unprecedented demand, the booking system has changed slightly for next year’s event. The participation ballot opens on Friday, 1st of October at 6am, closing on Sunday, 10th of October at 11.59pm. On Friday, 15th October, all entrants will be notified of the ballot results thanks to a random shuffle draw, resulting in confirmed entries and a waitlist.