Kalbarri Zest Fest – Spellbinding Fusion of Art, Culture, Performance and History

Kalbarri is preparing for a spellbinding fusion of art, culture, history, and performance for the finale Kalbarri Zest Festival from September 16-18.

The festival brings world class cultural performances alongside local talent in a fantasia of food, art, comedy, music and games under the theme Eendracht, Unity: accepting a world of difference.

This year’s Zest Festival celebrations are the last in a five-year festival which commemorates the 300th anniversary of the sinking of the Dutch East Indies trading ship the Zuytdorp in 1712, on the cliffs north of Kalbarri. The 2016 festival is also part of a year-long celebration of the 400-year anniversary of Dirk Hartog’s landing in Shark Bay.

Opening Night Pleasure Garden
The Zest Festival 2016 kicks off with an Opening Night Pleasure Garden at Rainbow Jungle on Friday September 16. 

Guests will wear Venetian-carnival-style masks and adorn themselves in ornate Baroque attire to listen to the classical music of the Perth Symphony Orchestra String Quartet and the choral music of the Giovanni Consort.

Amid enchanting lighting and sumptuously decorated surrounds, attendees will enjoy sparkling wine and canapes. Buses will ferry guests from the town site to Rainbow Jungle. 

Tickets are $80 available at www.zestfest.com.au and must be purchased before September 9.

Spellbinding Outdoor Performance at Red Bluff
Activities continue the next day, culminating in a free outdoor performance, called the Chamber of Rhetoric, at stunning Red Bluff on Saturday evening.

Under night skies, a projection will light up the soaring cliff face of Red Bluff with images of Kalbarri locals, interspersed with historical paintings from the Rijksmuseum, and photographic portraits by Dutch photographer Geert Snoeijer. He has captured mesmerising images of indigenous people from South Africa, Indonesia and Australia who believe they have a Dutch connection in their heritage. 

Be moved by this beautiful imagery and iconic place while listening to the Perth Symphony Orchestra String Quartet and the Giovanni Consort play hauntingly beautiful music, to mix with the sounds of the night and nearby lapping waves. Hold your breath as aerialist Theaker von Ziarno embodies the powerful trade winds and reflect as we light a symbolic signal fire in memory of all of those who did and did not reach our shores. 

Bring a blanket or chair and be there by 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Free buses will leave from town as car-parking is limited.

Foreshore Activities
Over the festival weekend, the Kalbarri Foreshore will come alive with a kaleidoscope of activity. After having completed a series of comedy workshops with The Comedy Emporium, the Drug Aware Kalbarri Comedy Crew will offer stand-up comedy performances that poke fun at history relating to the Dutch East India Company. 

Festival goers will also be invited to wander through a historical maze, in which they can literally lose themselves in history. They may also encounter the Zest Lady of Honour – a Kalbarri local who will encourage us to reflect on the courage and strength of the women who lived during the heyday of the Dutch East India Company.

The Ricochet Circus will add a carnival atmosphere with spinning plates routines and circus workshops, while the Batavia Maritime Heritage Association will present its discovery globe, with information about Dutch explorers and shipwrecks. 

Then there are hawkers’ food markets, a Nhanda message stick installation, tulip making workshops, an outdoor bar overlooking the foreshore, kite flying, outdoor chess, other games and more. 


The Kalbarri Zest Fest has been made possible thanks to the generous support of ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, the Embassy for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Lotterywest, Tourism WA’s Regional Events Scheme (made possible by Royalties for Regions), Mid West Development Commission Community Chest Fund, the Department of Culture and the Arts Regional and Remote Touring Fund, Country Arts WA and by Healthway to promote the Drug Aware message.