Our recent family trip Down Under!
So the other night I suddenly felt awfully inspired lol to write a post here and thought that I should let you guys choose the topic.
The topic that was most requested for turned out to be my recent (or not so recent?) Perth / Western Australia trip. (The next topic by the way, was about my pre-school selection hahaha which I might write about next.)
This isn't Nate's first trip to Perth actually. We previously went when he was 8 months old and boy, it's soooo different (for both him and us!) and we all had so much fun I think we'll just end up going to Australia and Japan every year till he's 18 and in NS lol.
Also, I got sooo many requests for my Perth itinerary and unfortunately, I didn't plan any for the trip wtf. I basically had a list of stuff that we can do and every morning we will decide accordingly based on Nate's wake (and hence nap) timings and the weather. As well as how lazy we felt lol. But before you dismiss this as #fakenews haha, I promise I'll share a lot about what we did and some travel tips that will hopefully make your trip as great as mine!
I know I just said I didn't have an itinerary but I couldn't find a better title for the header haha.
So anyway, we spent 2 weeks in Western Australia in the following manner:
Day 1 / 2 - Perth
Day 3 - Drive from Perth to Smith's Beach Resort.
Day 4 / 5 - Enjoy life at Smith's Beach Resort. Please read my blog post linked above. It's really THE ultimate beach life.
Day 6 - Check out after Nate's nap and drive to Margaret River town (about 30 minutes)
Day 7 / 8 / 9 - Margaret River
Day 10 - Drive from Margaret River to Perth
Day 11 / 12 / 13 - Perth
For my first trip, we stayed at Intercontinental Hotel because I wanted to be right in the shopping district given Nate's shorter wake time as a baby. We also didn't need to do extensive cooking for his meals then so my electric lunch box was good enough.
But this time round, Nate is now 19 months old and requires a bigger space to run around plus his meals require more preparation. We hence decided on serviced apartment Fraser Suites and it worked out really well for us! I love their full kitchen facilities (actually all the accommodations we booked have this) and tbh, the location is still pretty good. It's only like a 7-minute (?) drive to the shopping belt.
For Margaret River town, I recommend Central Avenue Apartments! It's so so so pretty but the only bummer is that they only seem to have 2-bedroom apartments.
It's about a 3-hour drive from Perth to Margaret River and we stopped at Busselton Jetty along the way for lunch at The Goose and for Nate to play at the jetty, ride the train and see the dolphins.
And sea gulls too fml.
(If you didn't already know, I'm TERRIFIED of birds. But yes, I went this close to 'em just for my son. If you are reading this in your rebellious teenage years, Nate, I hope it makes you feel guilty.)
Anyway, I had timed the long drives during his nap hours hoping he will sleep throughout the drive but sad to say, he didn't. So the break at Busselton Jetty was quite a much-needed one for an active toddler trapped in a car seat. They had a pretty good playground too, with sand and trains iirc.
For the drive back from Margaret River to Perth, you can stop at The Crooked Carrot for lunch - it is exactly halfway between MR and Perth.
While we used to plan our travels around food pre-kid, now food for us takes a backseat. All our meals now revolve around 2 things - i) is there anything for Nate to eat? and ii) is there anything for Nate to do while we eat lol.
Here are some of our favourite food haunts this trip:
- Cheeky Monkey (the playground here is the MOST kids-friendly imho for Nate's age so we ended up coming here thrice during our stay. Fish & Chips here are really good.)
- Settler's Tavern (BEST FOOD of our trip! Everything was so so so good I am damn sad we didn't get to go back there again. They also provide a colouring sheet and crayons for kids.)
- Simmos Ice Creamery (good ice cream, sprawling big lawn with a pretty extensive playground)
- White Elephant Cafe (the most Instagrammable breakfast spot in the region)
- Margaret River Bakery (damn good breakfasts and pastries. We went there every morning.)
- The Berry Farm (well, I'd expected a berries plantation but there were many animals - good for kids, but not good for my anxiety. Nate had fun while I tried miserably to have some fun.)
- Colonial Brewing Co (lovely place. There's a lake with geese and a playground too. But I personally feel that the playground is better for old kids, maybe for those 3/4 years and above?)
- Vasse Felix (Touted to be MR's best vineyard. Reservations are essential.)
And of course Woolworths and Coles. The vegetables, fruits and meat there were all so so so fresh and tasty it made cooking such a joy.
(The closest I can get to their produce here in Singapore is from Sasha's Fine Foods but as expected, you'd have to pay a premium.)
- Good Fortune Roast Duck House (damn good roast duck and siu yok and Hong Kong style milk tea. Please go here when you miss your Chinese food. We had 3 meals here I think.)
- Toastface Grillah (who doesn't love grilled cheese sandwiches?)
- Stickybeaks Playground Cafe (this is in King's Park itself and right next to the playgrounds.)
- Hampton & Maley (kids’ meals are just $5 each)
- We also adventurously went to Little Creatures at Fremantle one evening - tbh, while Nate loved it there (he kept dancing to the music lol and there's a little sandpit with tons of excavators in them), I personally felt quite uncomfortable with the loud-ish music though the food I must say, was reallyyyy good.
Sorry my points are kinda all over the place cause I'm really rushing to get this post out before I have my 4th child wtf but anyway despite the seagulls and the tourist traps, I think it's really lovely to spend a day at Fremantle. Nate enjoyed the playground (is this getting predictable?) there and the ferries wheel rides (please go up at sunset, it's AMAZINGLY GORGEOUS) and we had also visited the WA Shipwrecks Museum on his first trip. In fact, most people recommend staying at Fremantle instead of the city centre for families, but oh well, I am really just a city girl.
Plus, I need my shopping too.
Other random tips
1) Please purchase maximum insurance coverage for your car rental. As some of you might know, our car was smashed into one night and thankfully with the insurance plan we had purchased, it was very fuss-free, we didn't have to pay for anything and even got a replacement car quite quickly.
2) Please rent your car seat from Hire for Baby. They will help you to install it in your rental car etc and when you pick your car up from the airport, it's already in it. Renting from them costs almost the same as getting one from the car rental company but it's much much much cleaner. For our first trip, I didn't know about them and the car seat we got from the car rental company had some dubious stains on it wtf that made me quite uncomfortable.
3) Nursing in public - no one bats an eyelid.
4) Water: We gave Nate bottled water, mostly spring water and mineral water on some days though some people say that you can't boil mineral water so I don't use it for cooking. Tap water is supposedly drinkable so I wasn't too worried about using it. If your baby is younger and you're worried about sodium levels, their supermarkets stock a particular brand of drinking water with ZERO sodium. Doesn't taste great but not unpleasant either.
5) Bring your own travel kettle. Read this if you don't intend to.
6) Flight timings wise, I think Singapore Airlines has the best timings for infant for young toddlers. I had also previously shared some tips about flying with a baby and you can read them here!
Ok that's all! I will blog again to share the pictures from my first Perth trip (when Nate was just a smol boy) - I didnt want to include them in this post cause the editing style is different for both sets of images and aesthetically, it bugs me lol. So if there's anything I forgot, I will probably include it in that post, or if there is anything you want to know, please lmk and I'll write about it there! xxx