Fremantle Street Arts Festival

It’s that time again. Easter – yes! Long weekend – yes!! But in Freo we are also gearing up for the annual Fremantle Street Arts Festival.

The biggest and best festival of its kind in Australia is on from Saturday 26 to Monday 28 March 2016; it is the perfect excuse to cruise down to Freo for some FREE live performances, including some at the Esplanade Hotel itself!

Our resident performers, Bogomila and Son will be set up in the Esplanade Alfresco area from 1pm on Saturday and Sunday, and noon on Monday. Be amazed, intrigued, bewildered…, as you step into their tent offering gourmet wares, psychic services, personal beauty care, handcrafted charms and more. Make sure you also check out the Esplanade Hotel Pitch on the Esplanade Park from noon every day, sponsored by yours truly.

Make the most of the long weekend with our Easter Weekend Family Fun events including the roving performers, family style buffet dining and Easter egg hunt plus specials in The Harbour Master like $5 kids meals! Looking for something more adult? Head to the Ball & Chain pub for live music and plenty of beers.

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South Beach Sunset Market’s

Let us introduce you to the South Beach Sunset Market’s,  a festive mix of delicious street food, live music, art and market stalls on every Saturday, 5pm to 9pm, starting November 28 and rolling all through summer.

2015 marks the fourth year of the market’s operation, previously located at Bather’s Beach the Sunset Markets have been known to attract  up to 5,000 people a night! With it’s inspiring combination of culture and artistic flare all by the sunset, it’s an event not to be missed!

This is a great outing for the whole family, chill out and enjoy the atmosphere including camel rides on the beach and of course the beautiful sunset over the Indian Ocean. Remember to pack your bathers too.

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Bicycle hire on your doorstep!

Exploring Fremantle has never been easier, with convenient bicycle hire, that’s fun, healthy and good for the environment. Esplanade Hotel Fremantle – by Rydges and Spinway have partnered to bring this fantastic  service to locals and visitors alike.

The automatic bicycle station, which is solar powered, is located outside the entrance of the Esplanade Hotel Fremantle on Essex Street. Simply insert your card, grab a bike and go. Return your bicycle to the station, 24 hours a day. It’s that easy!

World leading bicycle manufacturer Avanti has shaped the bicycle to be comfortable, robust and hassle free featuring puncture proof tyres, low step frame and adjustable seat making it suitable for a wide range of riders.

So why not make the most of the Summer and hire a bike to explore all that Fremantle has to offer!



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Fremantle – 7th Best City in the World

We already know that Fremantle was a special place to visit and now Lonely Planet has made it official, naming the port city as the 7th best city in the world in the “2016 Best in Travel” list.

Lonely Planet’s experts have searched the globe to select the best cities to visit in 2016 and beautiful Freo has made the top 10! In fact we’ve come out ahead of Manchester, Nashville and even Rome. Lonely Planet writer, Charles Rawlings-Way described Fremantle as “a raffish harbour town with sea-salty soul to burn,” and credits the live music, small bars, hotels, breweries, beaches and buskers as some of the key reasons for the high ranking.

“Fremantle dragged itself out of the economic doldrums in 1987, scrubbing itself up to host the America’s Cup yachting race. Once the yachties left town (the Americans taking the cup with them) the city faced the question of ‘what now?’. A process of reinvention began, with investment in the arts, the establishment of Notre Dame University and the consolidation of the city’s waterfront at the fore. In 2016, Freo is bearing the fruits of this process, with thriving urban culture and a string of awesome arts events celebrating the city’s essence.”

The article goes on to talk about our beloved Fremantle Dockers, the AC/DC connection, the famous Fishing Boat Harbour cuisine and the unique shopping experience to be had at MANY6160.

If you’re keen to visit our little slice of heaven, stay in the heart of Fremantle at the Esplanade Hotel Fremantle – by Rydges. Use the Hotel as your base to explore the 7th best city in the world with everything you’ll want to see within walking distance. The two bars and restaurants offer a sample of WA’s freshest produce, local beers and wines. Check out our special accommodation offers here; see you soon in thriving Fremantle.

Read more from the Lonely Planet’s article click here.

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Hotel Award Success

Esplanade Hotel Fremantle – by Rydges celebrated great success at the Australian Hotels Association 2015 WA Accommodation Industry Awards at Crown Perth. On 10 August 2015, the 4 ½ star Esplanade Hotel Fremantle – by Rydges proudly accepted the Marketed Accommodation Hotel Award and Management Team Award.

The Hotel’s staff also enjoyed success in the Management Employee Awards. Belle Johnstone, Wedding Sales Coordinator, was the recipient the Conference and Events Award, and Eliza Caldwell, Ball & Chain Bar Manager, won the Food and Beverage Award.

Esplanade Hotel Fremantle – by Rydges General Manager David Bornmann said, “I was overwhelmed with the Hotel’s success at the AHA Awards and very proud of my team with their achievements!  The Hotel has been trading strongly albeit with the mining downturn; Fremantle remains an excellent destination for both corporate and leisure travelers and the work we have been doing at the Esplanade Hotel Fremantle over the past two years is certainly showing with this recognition.”

The prestigious Australian Hotels Association Accommodation Industry Awards recognise accommodation business excellence and management success in accommodation hotels throughout Western Australia.

Located in vibrant Fremantle, the Hotel offers 300 guest rooms and suites, resort style facilities, restaurants, bars and WA’s third largest convention and exhibition facility. Since purchasing the Esplanade Hotel Fremantle – by Rydges in January 2013, owners Primewest and Management Company Rydges Hotels & Resorts have committed to engaging with the Fremantle community in its marketing, events and fundraising initiatives.

A full event’s calendar including Fremantle’s Chilli Festival, Fremantle Street Arts Festival, Fremantle BeerFest and many more, Esplanade Hotel Fremantle – by Rydges is at the heart of Fremantle’s festival culture. This is also reflected in the Management Team’s fundraising initiatives including Movember and the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave.

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Cruising Fremantle

Are you cruising to or from Fremantle, Western Australia? We can’t wait to welcome you to our unique, port city – one of Australia’s most popular cruising destinations. If you’re looking for pre or post cruise accommodation, you can view all of our rooms and packages at

Want to know what you can do with your time in Fremantle? The Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges is right in the heart of the city within walking distance to fantastic tourist attractions, beaches and public transport to get into Perth City, check out our Things To Do In Fremantle page for details. PLUS we have fantastic restaurants and bars right here in the Hotel.

See you soon in Fremantle.

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Circus Oz is touring

Circus OzThe wonderful Circus Oz is touring NSW and ACT and you can catch the show in Canberra, Parramatta and Bathurst in September and October. Dates and venues are:

Canberra Theatre Centre from Wednesday, September 23 to Saturday, September 26

Parramatta Riverside Theatre Thursday, October 1 to Saturday, October 3

Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre on Wednesday, October 7

But Wait…There’s More is the name of this show, which recently played to standing ovations across America and wowed Melbourne audiences.

Circus OzThis show features a creative bunch of fabulous weirdos… there are graceful men, strong women, intricate and innovative jugglers, lyrical and virtuosic unicyclists, brazen hula hoopers, hilarious flying trapeze artists, booty shaking hip-hoppers, highly musical acrobats, highly acrobatic musicians and all the performing animals are 100% human!

But Wait… There’s More is two hours of pure entertainment for all ages – punchier and gutsier than ever with exuberant circus performances presented at increased velocity and electrifying original live music.

This is that rarest of beasts: a performance that everybody can enjoy.”  Brisbane Times

Here is a link to the Circus Oz website. If you are travelling to see Circus Oz and need accommodation, Rydges can look after you at Rydges Capital Hill in Canberra, Rydges Parramatta and Rydges Mount Panorama in Bathurst.

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The Queenstown Jazzfest

The 38th edition of the Queenstown Jazzfest promises to deliver an exciting four days of live musical entertainment when it happens from October 23 to 26.   Some events will be free and some ticketed and will be in various venues around Queenstown.

The Queenstown JazzfestThe festival has grown from humble beginnings back in 1978 to become one of Queenstown’s most popular music events, featuring world class musicians from throughout the country and around the globe.   The Festival Organisers are currently planning a stunning line-up of international, national and local artists who will showcase their talents across all genres of jazz. From smooth blues to big band swing, Dixieland to funk bands, traditional jazz to ground breaking contemporary concepts, there will be something for everyone, young and old.

There’ll also be outstanding dinner shows for dining and listening pleasure and some fantastic concert events that will appeal to all ages.   There will be over 40 different free events and ticketed concerts keep checking the official Jazzfest website for the full program.   There will be plenty of opportunities to get involved, to be inspired, and most importantly, to be thoroughly entertained.

If you are visiting Queenstown, Rydges Lakeland Resort can look after all your accommodation needs.

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Kiwi Birdlife Park

A lot of visitors to New Zealand never actually get to see a Kiwi – the bird that is, not the locals – and the Kiwi Birdlife Park can get you up close to this wonderful iconic bird.

The main reason no one sees this elusive bird in the wild is that they are nocturnal, so during the day they are curled up underground having a sleep in their burrows.

Kiwi Birdlife ParkYep, they live in burrows. They are also the only birds in the world with nostrils at the tip of their beaks. The friendly and professional staff at the Kiwi Birdlife Park will fill you in on all things to do with Kiwis, including what they have for breakfast.

The great thing about the wildlife park is that they have reversed time for the critters – they live in enclosures that simulate night during our daytime so visitors can see them while they are actively foraging, grooming and going about their usual business. There are Kiwi feedings every day at 10:00am, midday, 1:30pm and 4:30pm.

The Kiwi Birdlife Park has 30 species of animal including some of NZ’s most endangered birds and reptiles (like the tuatara, right) and the Park is easy to get to – set on five acres, it is located at Brecon Street in Queenstown. Here is a link to the official Kiwi Birdlife Park website.

If you are visiting Queenstown, Rydges Lakeland Resort can look after all your accommodation needs.

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Some Great Walks

For a nice break from the slopes or the adrenaline-packed things to do in Queenstown there are a some great walks to take in the magnificent scenery. One is the Ben Lomond Walkway (behind the Skyline Gondola). Fabulous views – take comfortable walking shoes, a camera, some water and a jacket in case the weather changes up there. Allow at least a few hours.

Some Great WalksQueenstown Hill is a nice walk from town – a tad steep in places it is very rewarding, especially when the pine forest trees clear and the views open up. (Allow a couple of hours and start from Belfast Street in Queenstown).

And if you visit lovely Arrowtown, a stroll along the Arrow River makes for a very rewarding walk (or cycle), especially in autumn when the trees are full of gold, brown and red leaves. No doubt you will work up an appetite and you’ll find a café or two in the quaint, historic town for a snack, meal or coffee/hot chocolate.

And, if you are really serious about your walking, there are multi-day walks with Ultimate Hikes (based in Queenstown) including the famous Milford Track, Routeburn Track and the Grande Traverse.

If you are visiting Queenstown, Rydges Lakeland Resort can look after all your accommodation needs.

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