Skip to main content

Jetstar have just launched the first direct flights from Sydney to the Margaret River region of Western Australia.

CAROLYN TURNBULL, Managing Director of Tourism WA, was in Sydney to attend the launch but took the time to speak to Traveltalk about the move and why visiting her State has never been easier.

Q: Let’s start from the beginning. Why are you here in Sydney?

A: With Jetstar, our airline partner, and I think this presents a great opportunity to engage with our media and travel trade partners to really ensure that the awareness of this new service is front and centre.

Also to share other exciting things that are happening in the great state of Western Australia.

Q: So with the new direct flight, what will it mean for travellers? Is it about opening up a whole new destination or making it easier for people to get to that destination? 

A: I think it’s a combination of both.

To be honest, I think the Margaret River region is already a well established name, not just in Australia, but all over the world as a premium food and wine destination on the coastline of the magnificent Western Australia. 

And while we haven’t had direct flights between Sydney and the Margaret River region previously, people have found their way via Perth with a short, easy and relaxing drive three hours south of Perth to the Busselton area. 

But, what this flight does represent is a great opportunity to fast track visitors entry to the southwest of the state. And so what does that mean? It gives people more time. 

It gives people that ease of access, ease of transport and it really builds awareness as well. 

So while somebody here in Sydney might be thinking of their next short getaway, maybe Margaret wasn’t top of mind because they haven’t thought about how easy it would be to get there. 

And so I think through the affordable price point that Jetstar is offering and the frequency to the Margaret River region, it just gives Sydneysiders an exciting, different opportunity to explore something that they wouldn’t otherwise do.

I also think the Margaret River region presents a diverse range of experiences and something that’s different to the east coast of Australia and different to other parts of the world as well.

Q: What does the destination offer during different seasons?

A: I can definitely and confidently say that it is a year round destination. Even in the cooler months, there’s nothing nicer than being in an environment with an open fireplace and a beautiful bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Exploring further south there’s a lot of emerging wineries that are popping up in that great district.

We’re also looking forward to welcoming back Kelly Slater and many of the world’s best surfers who return for the World Surf League Championships every April. I hear from the surfers that they think Surfers Point in Prevelly is the best spot in the tournament. 

Q: With plenty of international flights it seems like Western Australia is also becoming a gateway to Europe and other parts of the world?

A: You’re spot on. I think in the mindset of east coasters, maybe sometimes Western Australia might be seen as challenging to get to. I think we’re showing that through new direct flights such as this Busselton service that we’re making it easier for visitors. 

Likewise, we’re making it easier for international visitors. 

We’re really building momentum around that narrative of the Western gateway to the nation. It’s proving truly successful with the ongoing popularity and viability of the Qantas direct flight to London, which continues to thrive.

Equally the seasonal service to Rome and off the back of that, Qantas continues to have confidence in Perth as a true gateway city with the launch on July 12 of the Paris to Perth flight.

Those three flights alone give us a unique selling point to say that we are the only city in Australia that has true point-to-point connection with continental Europe and the UK, in parallel. 

That is not cannibalising the success of our Middle Eastern airlines and connectivity via the likes of Dubai, Qatar and Abu Dhabi for example.

Q: Being able to say in Europe that Australia is just one flight away is marketing gold, isn’t it?

A: It’s really amazing.

If you’re sitting in London or Paris or any major capital city throughout continental Europe, the desirability of exploring a new bucket list destination such as WA is very high.

So we’re putting a lot of marketing and awareness through our key distribution partners and trade partners throughout Europe to complement these direct services to really make WA front and centre and top of mind in that dreaming space, all the way through to conversion with our trade partners.

In a post COVID world, people are really striving for that off the beaten track destination with rich experiences. They’re wanting to get out into our great regions that offer world-class experiences, and that’s underpinned by our amazing cultural heritage as well as 60,000 years of Indigenous stories to be told.

And again. to be able to say that we’re the only city in Australia that has that point-to-point 16 hours from London. I mean, a few movies in a row and you’re here!

Read more about Jetstar’s first flight to Busselton here.