Perth with an infant and pre-schooler – Day 5

King’s Park and its adjacent Botanic Gardens are sprawling with lots of areas to explore. We spent the late afternoon at Synergy Parkland earlier in the trip. On Day 5 of our trip, we explored the Fraser Avenue end of the Park with breath-taking views of the city. We parked at the Forest carpark, which was a short walk to the Lottery Federation Walkway. The walkway is a 40 minute stroller-friendly walk that brings you through a 222 meter suspension bridge and parts of the Botanic Garden. We finished off our walk at the State War Memorial overlooking the Swan River. We moved on to the Lottery West Family Area (5 minute drive away) for a picnic lunch while the pre-schooler burnt off some energy. Lots of shaded tables, and different play areas for toddlers and older pre-schoolers.

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State War Memorial at Kings Park

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Kings Park

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Lotterywest Family Area

 

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Perth with an infant and pre-schooler – Day 4

The Caversham Wildlife Park is one of the child-friendly highlights when visiting Western Australia. It is a 40 minute drive to the north east of Perth city.  The kids will definitely love the park as there are many opportunities to come up close and personal with different types of Australian wildlife. Parents will be happy to know that there are no added cost for feeding, touching, or taking photos with the animals. A tip would be to check out the timings of the shows and plan your day around those timings. You should also plan to arrive early to beat the tourist buses.

We started our day at the Wombat and Friends meet and greet. The queue to take photos with the wombat was crazy long, so we gave that a miss. As you can only spend a limited time within the arena, I would suggest you do the same, and spend your time interacting with the other animals and their keepers.

Our next stop was to meet the Koalas. But we also found the queues for the photos too long  as well (thanks to tour buses).  A tip would be to go for the earliest or latest sessions of the day to avoid the crowds. The kangaroo enclosure had plenty of free-roaming kangaroos and wallabies, with free flow of animal feed. Do catch the Farm Show as well. But note that the whip cracking segment may scare babies and young children.

There is a small kiosk at the Park serving some snacks, but no restaurant or cafe. So it would be a good idea to pack a picnic lunch. Other then within the park, there is another picnic site at the Whiteman Park nearby, where there is also a playground.

On our way back home, we stopped by Corica Pastries in North Bridge to pick up a famous apple strudel. It comes in only one standard size (LARGE, which is good for about 6-8 people). That meant a lot of apple strudel for us over the next few days. We’ve heard many good things about Corica apple strudels with many tourists carting boxes of them back to Singapore. Honestly, our conclusion was that it tasted pretty much like Ritz Apple Strudel back home. It was nice, but definitely not stellar.

 

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Perth with an infant and pre-schooler – Day 3

We were off on a day trip to Fremantle today. Daddy Bean was a history buff so we decided we should check out the Fremantle Prison. We did the Doing Time tour which was well-conducted by an experienced guide. Even the pre-schooler paid attention. A tip would be to bring toddlers and infants in a baby carrier as you will need to negotiate steps during the tour. There is a small cafe at the Prison if you need some coffee. Although you are better off visiting the cafes in the city itself.

After the prison tour, we headed to the Marine Terrace for lunch. Between the two iconic fish and chips restaurants, we settled on Cicerello’s. There are diverging opinions online on which is better. We can’t comment on Kaili’s as we didn’t try it, but we were reasonably happy with our experience at Cicerello’s.  There was ample seating, brisk service, large servings of fresh and well-fried fish and chips. Little Creature’s Beer was just a short walk away, and serves up wood-fired pizza and beer, if you don’t feel like fish and chips. The area was a perfect spot for us to spend the afternoon as there was also a playground opposite Little Creatures where the LB1 burnt off some energy.

On the drive back home, we stopped by at Seafood Mayeree (488 Marmion St, Myaree WA 6154) where there was a good selection of fresh seafood. We picked up some fresh seafood to cook for dinner. On the way home was also The Good Grocer (36 Ardross Street Applecross WA 6153) where we picked up some supplies for a picnic lunch the next day.

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Perth with an infant and pre-schooler – Day 2

We needed to run some errands in the CBD on Day 2. The apartment was an easy 15 minute walk from the CBD. We had breakfast at Small Print Baker which served up a nice coffee, and a selection of fresh bakes. It opens bright and early at 7AM. Those travelling with children may want to take note that there are no high chairs at this cafe. Also, it is located below street level and a little hard to find.

Other potential breakfast spots in the CBD which came highly recommended on Zomato (but we did not manage to try) are Velvet Espresso at 172 St George’s Terrace,  and Café Brookfield Place at 125 St Georges Terrace.

A travel tip for families with children: Lego is priced significantly cheaper in Australia (compared to Singapore). Pick up some from Target in the city, and keep the kids entertained for the rest of the holiday.

It was back to the apartment for LB1 and LB2’s afternoon nap. In the late afternoon, we explored Synergy Parkland at King’s Park. The grounds are lovely, with two different playgrounds to cater to younger and older children. There’s a cafe there, or you could pack a picnic and enjoy.

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Perth with an infant and pre-schooler – Day 1

Perth is a perfect getaway from Singapore for families with young kids. It’s a 4.5 h flight away, same time zone as Singapore, and is super family friendly. Now that LB2 is one year old, we felt we were finally ready to go on our first family holiday with 2 kids. But this being our first trip with two, the itinerary was intentionally conservative. We elected to base ourselves at one accommodation, rather then pack and unpack every other day.

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Perth CBD from the John Oldman Park

Singapore Airlines has several flights every day to Perth. We took the 930AM flight, and arrived at Perth on a sunny Monday afternoon with a very pleasant temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.

The major telcos all have shops in the arrival hall. We went with Optus which had a relatively good prepaid SIM card deal. The pick-up point for the rental car is a stone’s throw away from the arrival hall, so no worries about having to lug your luggage over a long distance.

We rented an apartment from Stayz at Mounts Bays Water, along Mounts Bay Road. A few tips about renting from Stayz.

  1. Scrutinise the photos closely. Generally the photos are professionally taken to help advertise the apartments. But taking a close look at the photos will give you a better idea of the condition of the furniture, bathroom etc.
  2. Read the reviews. I can’t emphasise this enough. You will find important information about the apartment in the reviews. Eg. whether there were defects or inconveniences reported by previous occupants, were the hosts responsive.
  3. Look for corroborative evidence on other sites like Tripadvisor on the quality of the apartment.
  4. When in doubt, email the owners to find out more about whether the apartment meets your needs.

Our apartment was clean and well-appointed. The owners took the trouble to put in touches that really enhanced the short stay (Eg. snacks, drinks, milk, butter, condiments for cooking, tissue paper, ample supply of toilet paper, kids toys, laundry liquid, even pool towels).Some minus points related more to the facility itself. The lift was rickety and shuddered 8 out of 10 times we used it. The key card pass did not work with the back door despite the owners trying to rectify the situation. And we had to go the long way from the car park back to the apartment every day.

After moving into the apartment, we headed out to grab dinner and groceries. We chose to head to The Park Centre in the South. It had 3 hours of free parking, and also a Coles which opens til 9 pm. It was dark by the time we got there, which made us feel slightly unsafe in the open air car park. We had a quick dinner, and a grocery run to get essential items (diapers and milk powder for LB2), before heading back to the apartment for an early night.

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Tasmania with a Toddler – Launceston

Launceston was the last leg of our holiday. If you ever need a family-friendly accomodation in Launceston, go for 92 Forest Road. This holiday rental is top-rated on Tripadvisor for a good reason. It clear that the owner has put a personal touch into making this apartment THE place to stay in Launceston if you are travelling with children. The child’s bed was specially made up with colorful sheets and soft toys. There is a cupboard full of art and craft material, and toys for a rainy day. There is also a decent DVD collection for the adults. There is even a recipe for raspberry and white chocolate muffins in the kitchen with all the ingredients you need to make a dozen of those. Did I also mention that the apartment overlooks the Tamar River?

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Other highlights:

1. Cataract Gorge 

Cataract Gorge is a geological formation right within the city. We gave the chairlift a miss as it was drizzling, but did the First Basin Loop walk and Cataract Walk along the gorge. Both were highly doable with a toddler. The Alexandra Suspension Bridge gives you a good view over the First Basin. The Basin Cafe is a good place to have a leisurely lunch overlooking the basin.

2. City Park

Lots of open spaces for the little one to burn off some energy. The Japanese Macaque enclosure is a definite crowd pleaser.

3. Tamar Valley Day trip

We took a day trip up north to explore the Tamar Valley region. Tasmania.com provided a detailed self-drive itinerary which was informative.We weren’t much into wineries so we decided to head for the Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre for some history and heritage. There are interactive exhibits for kids. Brady’s Lookout is a scenic lookout enroute to Beaconsfield which is worth a stop. P1000258

Tamar Cove Motel is a good place to stop for lunch. P1000259

We drove all the way to Low Head which was a rather sleepy town, and we didn’t think it was worth the extra drive. There are some coastal views to enjoy and a lighthouse you can walk around. 

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On our way back to Launceston, we stopped at Hillwood Berry Farm for an ice-cream. There’s a large outdoor play area for kids. 

Food places

There is lots to eat in Launceston. A few of the places we enjoyed:

  • Cafe Cuccina (hearty servings of brunch and good coffee)
  • Cafe Culture (brunch place near Forest Road)
  • St Pierre’s
  • Black Cow

Both St Pierre’s and Black Cow were very accommodating of Little Bean despite being fine dining restaurants.  

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Tasmania with a Toddler – Farmstay at Pinner’s B and B

We moved inland from Bicheno to Lilydale where we spent 2 days at Pinner’s B and B. On our way to Lilydale, we stopped at the Pyengana Dairy Company for lunch and their famous milk-shake. Pick up some award-winning cheese and a pint of milk as well. They have a small outdoor play area for kids, and also an indoor toy and book corner.

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Pinner’s B and B was truly a hidden gem, and we were so glad that we went with our gut feeling and booked this place based on the website. This B and B is located on an organic farm run by a lovely couple David and Lyndy.  It delivers on everything it promises on the website and more! The accomodation is a stand-alone building (which means privacy) overlooking the rolling hills. It is new, clean, and well-furnished. Lyndy was an exceptional host and truly pampered us during our stay. The breakfast supplies were amazing: home-made fresh bread, a dozen organic eggs, home-made jams (delicious!), home-made peanut crisps (a hit with little bean), cereal, milk… They also provide a BBQ platter with greens from their garden. Be sure to request for a punnet of strawberries if they are in season. They are the most amazingly sweet strawberries you’ll ever taste! Join Lyndy as she goes about her chores in the morning, milking the cow and feeding the chooks.

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While in the area, consider exploring the Yondover cheeses, cellar-hop or pick organic blue berries at Cherry Top. Our pick was the Bridestowe Lavender Farm, take in the sights and smells of vast lavender fields. Enjoy pancakes with lavender ice-cream. Pick up some nice souvenirs for the folks back home.

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