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What's on 

Located in the heart of the picturesque Avon Valley, Northam is home to a diverse range of tourist and heritage attractions, including hot air ballooning, cultural experiences, wildflowers, tours & trails, historic buildings, horse racing, white swans, and much, much more. Alongside a vibrant calendar of local events, Northam often also hosts larger scale external events such as a variety of national and world ballooning championships, the start of the annual Avon Descent, and the annual Northam Motor Sport Festival. 


Avon Decent

51st  Running of the Avon Descent
10-11 August 2024

The Avon Descent is held annually on the first Saturday and Sunday in August. The two-day course starts with a 52-kilometer stretch beginning in the Shire of Northam, just outside the Northam Visitor Centre at the famous Avon Descent Start Tower. The course proceeds downriver through the town of Toodyay into the upper reaches of the Darling Range escarpment. The overnight stop is the Boral Campsite located at Cobbler Pool 20 kilometers west of Toodyay.

Day 2 is 72 kilometers long and sees competitors tackle the valley containing the major white-water obstacles and challenges of the event including Supershoot, Emu Falls, Championship Rapids and Bells Rapids. The rush of the valley leaves competitors with the marathon 30-kilometer, flat water stretch to Bayswater. While the victorious burst their way over the Finish Line the achievers are happy just to finish. 

The Avon Descent was first held in 1973 with just 49 competitors, no rules, no officials, no checkpoints and very few spectators. In the years since, over 35,000 people have competed in the Avon Descent, from novices and families, to World Champions and Olympic competitors.

Northam Bilya River Festival

9th August 2024

The Avon Descent weekend kicks off each year on the Friday evening with the Northam Bilya River Festival. The action begins at midday when audiences can witness a steady stream of watercraft pass through Bernard Park as entrants register for the race. A themed community float parade takes place to start the evening’s festivities, followed by a blessing of the river to welcome the coming race.


 The Northam Bilya Festival is a unique way to highlight the importance of the River in cultural terms as well as celebrating the start of one of Australia’s most exciting events, and includes fun family entertainment, a side show alley, marshmallow toasting and live performances throughout the evening.

Northam Motor Sport Festival

28th of April 2024

The Northam Motorsport Festival is a free classic car event for all ages. The main streets of Northam are transformed into a circuit with classic racing cars competing in regular time trials.The event incorporates the Mount Ommanney hill climb, SCBC Motokhana on the Saturday, and the Northam Flying 50 around the town on the Sunday. You can also freely access the car display areas, market stalls, retail, cafe and hotel outlets as well a huge show in the Sound Shell, and children's rides and activities in the family fun area. 

The Northam Motorsport Festival is a major highlight on the Shire of Northam annual calendar and is a great opportunity for all ages to enjoy the history and spirit of classic racing cars.Please note that a number of streets will be closed for the Sunday of this event, and as such, traffic through the centre of town will be disrupted. Crossings will be opened between races to allow pedestrian access and egress from Fitzgerald Street.