Food, Wine & Travel in Style

Mai Tai Magazine

Airnorth Cable Beach Polo

  • Written by Alison Balch


Western Australia's Most Glamorous Sporting and Social Event Returns to Cable Beach in May 2019

WA's most glamorous sport and social event, Airnorth Cable Beach Polo, will celebrate a special milestone on Broome's famous white sands this year.

Each year, thousands of patrons including elite polo players, celebrities and other high-profile guests flock to Broome's magnificent Cable Beach for a star-studded weekend of polo, fashion and entertainment.

The three-day carnival will be held from Friday 17 May to Sunday 19 May 2019, with an exciting calendar of events to enjoy across Broome's key venues.

It's now a decade since event producer Marilynne Paspaley AM introduced beach polo to Australia, citing the town's iconic beach as the best location for beach polo in the southern hemisphere. 

“The huge tides that wash Cable Beach twice a day create a beach polo playing field better than any prepared by man or machine,” Ms. Paspaley said.

“The sand is compacted naturally by the tide, forming a firm but giving surface ideal for a vigorous polo game with fast-moving ponies and ball.” 

Attracting guests and professional players from around the world, including well-known Australian and NZ professionals like Rob & Jack Archibald, Sam Hopkinson and Tom Hunt, the Airnorth Cable Beach Polo is heralded as the birthplace of beach polo in Australia, also providing a tourism boost to the Kimberley region and charity partner, Royal Flying Doctor Service.

In 2018, the event raised a total of $33,345 for the charity through the inaugural Blue Balls for RFDS challenge.

The 2019 festival is full of thrilling events to delight guests, with a jam-packed itinerary featuring two brand new events to the schedule.

The carnival kicks off with the brand-new Cable Beach Polo Ladies Luncheon hosted by Kimberley Sands Resort & Spa.  Guests will enjoy a spectacular meal amongst a catwalk showcase of Western Australian designers curated by stylist Peta Preston, modelled by local indigenous empowerment modelling academy, Kimberley Girl.

On Friday evening, guests will gather for the official launch of Airnorth Cable Beach Polo, featuring an exclusive invitation-only cocktail party at the Paspaley Boutique followed by the official welcome reception at the historic Pinctada McAlpine House. The public open-air launch party will commence at 6:30pm at the Mangrove Hotel.

Saturday morning's festivities begin with a special gathering at the Kimberley Bookstore featuring Nine Entertainment Co. Getaway presenter Catriona Rowntree signing her book release 'The Best of World Cruising', which includes a chapter on her cruise through the Kimberley region. 

Ms. Rowntree said she is ready to “get the party started” for the 2019 Airnorth Cable Beach Polo.

“When I was in Broome last year, I noticed an ad for the Airnorth Cable Beach Polo and dared to dream that the stars would align and I could attend... well, I must have a guardian angel because I'm now all booked to go. Polo, pearls and perfect weather? Count me in!”

The Tournament

The two-day tournament will take place over Saturday and Sunday, with the VIP marquee providing the ultimate lavish experience for guests, boasting unrivalled beach views, live music, gourmet cuisine from local chef Nick Wendland of The Aarli and a selection of premium beverages including the award-winning Bunnamagoo Estate wines and Perrier-Jouët champagne. 

Sunday will mark day two of the exciting polo tournament, culminating in a nail-biting showdown on the sands as players compete for the Paspaley Australasian Beach Polo Cup.

Spectators can choose a more casual approach on Sunday, with the Polo Beach Bar offering Aussie craft beers and wines and food options from vendors on site.  Also brand-new for 2019 is the Havana Club Lounge, a marquee boasting a luxe cocktail bar experience perfect for enjoying all the fun and excitement of the tournament finals.

Dinner Under the Stars with Banksii's Hamish Ingham

Saturday evening will see the return of the exquisite Dinner Under the Stars, a once in a lifetime experience on the stunning Cable Beach.

Stepping up to the plate to host this year's event is guest executive chef, Hamish Ingham. In a career spanning more than 25 years, chef and restaurateur Hamish has established a reputation as one of the Sydney dining scene's strongest advocates of local ingredients, indigenous foods and sustainability.

In 2019, he and his sommelier wife Rebecca opened Banksii Vermouth Bar & Bistro to rave reviews, this year earning the coveted Chef's Hat in The Australian Good Food Guide Awards 2019.

Ticketing Options

Spectators keen to experience the full Airnorth Cable Beach Polo three-day VIP treatment can opt for the all-inclusive Pearl Passport which includes special invites to the exclusive cocktail parties, access to the VIP marquee on Saturday and Sunday, and an invitation to the Dinner Under the Stars. 

The Tournament, Silver, Gold and Platinum Packages represent a flexible way for guests to experience the carnival, while the luxe Havana Club Lounge offers a single day alternative to the full VIP experience.

As always, the Airnorth Cable Beach Polo tournament is free to watch from the sand.

To purchase tickets or for program information visit www.cablebeachpolo.com.au.

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