Finally after so many years I/We have finally made it to Perth! It even took us living in another country to make the trip. In an odd way it felt closer to Singapore than it ever did when we lived in Melbourne. Maybe the reason was also knowing that close friends of ours were living there and after all these years we still hadn’t met each others kids. After a brief sub 5 hour flight with Singapore airlines to Perth, WA who are also in the same time zone as Singapore, we were picked up by an arranged chauffeur to take us back to our friends place in the Cottesloe Beach area . This is definitely a great alternative to taxi transport and ones like the one we used can be found here. The drive set us back each way $80.00 but it was a comfortable ride and was enjoyed on the return trip at 5:30am in the morning. Instead of sharing with you what we did day for day, I will share with you my Top 10 things to do in Perth and surrounds when you are visiting for a short little break.
1. Head straight for Cottesloe Beach
We grabbed our friends car keys and drove down to the beach for a 2 hour play. No metered car parking in sight, Perth must be one of the few places I know of who don’t charge for parking! We chose the entry to the beach which had a large playground so a great little activity before you move on from the beach. Don’t forget the sun cream and rash vests!
One of the best parks that I have been to to date. We only took in a snippet but could have visited daily. Apart from the natural vegetation of the park, other areas have been thoughtfully designed for its various users. Multiple playgrounds with shaded areas for the little ones to educational playgrounds for the bigger kids and lots more for the even bigger kids like you and me. Kings Park link here.
3. Kings Park – Ivey Watson Playground
This playground is perfect for little ones aged up to 5 years of age. They’ll have lots of fun on the swings, pirate ship and slides, located off Kings Park Road. Very well shaded in all areas and a cafe “stickybeaks” on site.
4. Kings Park – Synergy Parkland
Perfect for kids aged 5 and above. My kids had a real blast here especially Master L. who loves, loves loves dinosaurs! Synergy Park map here. Plenty of room to hops, skip, jump, run and climb around. Don’t forget the swimmers or a spare change of clothes once they’ve discovered the water misting forest great way to cool off too when it’s sizzling.
Working full-time as well as running Simply for Flying often doesn’t leave much time to sit down and research a destination before arriving, so the idea that Fremantle was just around the corner was a little of a surprise. After a quick 15 minute drive from Cottesloe we parked the car (metered parking) and made a run for Little Creatures. I couldn’t wait to sit down a have a pot of pale! As I was the designated driver I couldn’t taste the range but the pale ale was the one! Now the other fantastic surprise was the sandpit. Although they are already 5+7 years they were happy in the pit with all the little ones and hubby and I could have a lovely lunch! Little Creatures link here.
6. Fish & Chips on the beach
Nothing better than packing all the kids in the car and heading down to the beach for fish & chips to see the sun go down. Even though I was with a local the Fremantle Doctor known as the “cooling afternoon breeze” had slipped her mind and we were all getting whipped from the sand. You can’t tell from the pictures but we all had a good laugh while the kids were eating Fish & chips with sand and we were drinking Veuve Champagne with sand!
7. Rottnest Island
Our lovely hosts had organised this wonderful day for us ahead of our arrival. Other family and friends had raved about it so it was our time to test it out with our kids. We were travelling on the Rottnest Express located in Fremantle ( B-Shed). Parking was super easy but you have to make sure that you park in the all day bays which add a little to your walk to the ferry. If you are bringing bikes with you all will be explained on location if like us you have a booking, just take your copy and hop on board! On arrival in Rottnest we had a booking for 2 adult bikes and 2 kids bikes as both L+G can ride however the size of the bike just wasn’t suitable for Miss G. I was worried after being told that all the adult bikes with a kids seat at the back were all booked out. Solution? Place a towel on the back bit that can hold a bag and sit your child on top and tell them not to let go of you! My daughter who does like to complain a bit didn’t make a peep the whole day, pure mummy amazement! But for those of you interested in undertaking this trip make sure you have the right bikes/seats from the start.
We had a ball riding around the island I think we rode around 15km. As soon as we left Thomson Bay where you arrive we turned left towards the Basin, one of a number of beautiful beaches. As this was the first one it was a little crowded so we rode on further to Armstrong Bay. Great location to snorkel and climb rocks as well as making lots of new Quokka friends along the way.
Towards the end of the ride and I mean we were exhausted, we decided to make the 2:30pm viewing of the Wadjemup lighthouse. Suitable for children over the age of 5 years and for those wearing thongs like me you have to leave them at the door! Informative tour walking up some 20 meters and enjoying and incredible view over the island and Perth.
So we were on the home stretch stopping off at Hotel Rottnest to enjoy a quick beer & tasting plate. The beer was great but the sharing plate was trying a little hard to look hip but consisted of cured meats which were cut to thickly instead of being shaved and pickled vegetables.
8. Swan Valley Winery
So we didn’t quite make it to Margaret River and opted to head to Swan valley for lunch and visit a few wineries. The few wineries ended up only being two as they start to close at 4:00pm on a Saturday so you need to really plan ahead. We visited the wineries Upper Reach and Lamont’s. Lamont’s was fantastic and Markus who organised the tasting for us was a real hoot! Also known as the Gordon Ramsay of Swan Valley! Don’t forget to grab a pack of their olives, very tasty!
9. Surfing & Paddleboarding
Making use of the last full day in Perth and another trip to two different beaches, this time Floreat Beach and another I’m sorry I can’t remember. Master L had a go at surfing and at aged 7 years managed to stay upright and catch a few small waves. My husband had a try at paddle boarding while I dug further holes with Miss G.
10. Relax enjoy a wine, bbq and friends
The final night was spent enjoying wine from all corners of Australia, eating fabulous meat and enjoying each others company.