The whole point of staying fit and active is so that I can enjoy life to the fullest and recently I have had interstate visitors in the form of my sister-in-law and niece. They were only visiting for 7 days so I wanted them to make the most of their visit to beautiful Perth while still having time to just hang and enjoy each other’s company. Here is what we did in 7 days….
1. Kalamunda Town Square, Zig Zag Scenic Drive and Lookout.
After a red eye flight into Perth I did not plan much for their first day. We spent a quiet day having a look at the lovely Kalamunda Town Square near where we live, taking the scenic Zig Zag Drive, and stopping at the Lookout to give our visitors their first glimpse of Perth City.
2. Visit Fremantle
We had to do the express tour of Fremantle as we had to be back to pick the kids up from school. Initially we did a bit of a drive around just to look at the beautiful old buildings that make Fremantle so engaging. We of course drove up Monument Hill, past the Fremantle prison and Fremantle Oval, and past some amazing schools and churches.
Then it was off to lunch at Ootong & Lincoln which was delicious and the cafe had a really great vibe about it. Of course we did admire the street art on the side of the building, those amazing zebras. Street Art in Fremantle and Perth is just amazing.
After parking at the harbour, we took a wander through the park past the great skate park and parkour area, and admired the view of the big ferris wheel amongst the tall pine trees.
Off for a quick look at the Round House, the oldest building still standing in Western Australia, before wandering down the cappucino strip and grabbing an icecream.
3. Poke around Guildford before heading to Swan Valley
We decided that we must visit some wineries in Swan Valley, the oldest wine region in Western Australia, however as we headed off after school drop off we thought we may not get away with drinking wine at 9am in the morning. Instead we decided that we would stop in at the little quaint town of Guildford first.
‘The history-rich village of Guildford in Western Australia was one of three towns established during the founding of the Swan River Colony in 1829. Perth was the administration centre, Fremantle the port and Guildford the market town.’
It has lots of old colonial buildings, antique and nic nac shops, and some lovely coffee shops. You can also do a self-guided heritage walk trail about the small town as it has some fascinating history. These walks start at The Swan Valley Visitor Centre. It is worth stopping in here as they gave some great advice about which wineries we may want to stop in at, although I don’t think you can go too wrong.
We only had time for limited stops so we chose to visit Sandalford Winery which is one of the oldest and largest wineries in WA. It was beautiful and we ended up with several bottles of wine from here. Next stop was Yahava Coffee….mmm, coffee….followed by a trip to The Margaret River Chocolate Factory.
Seriously, how could we go wrong with this day? Wine, chocolate, coffee…but wait there’s more. The second winery we visited, Lancaster Winery, had cheese tasting as well. I did happen to add another rather nice Verdhelo and a chilli club cheddar to my ever growing loot. Next stop was the Honey House. This was great too, they have a viewing window into a small portion of the hive so you can see the honeycomb and the bees working. Sooo many beautiful products, honey tasting galore, and they even have honey ice cream. Last stop was Whistler’s Chocolate factory with the chocolate fairy land….awesome!
4. Twilight Hawker’s Markets Murray Street Mall
Friday was hubby’s fly in day this week so we decided to brave the busy Hawker’s Markets in Perth City for dinner before picking hubby up from the airport.
It was really busy and in hindsight we should have gone a little earlier with the kids as we couldn’t really get a good look at what was cooking and ended up going tried and tested things that we knew the kids would like, which defeats the whole point doesn’t it?? But live music was good, the smells were delicious, and all in all I am glad we did it. Would love to go back without the 5 kids in tow!!
5. Kings Park – Anzac memorial, Tree Top Walk, and Synergy Playground
What’s left to say about Kings Park Perth? It is beautiful with so much to explore. Everytime I visit I find something new to see and I still don’t think I have seen everything. This is a must visit for everyone who comes to Perth.
6. Rottnest Island
I have had Rottnest Island on my ‘To Do’ list for some time and having family visit was the perfect excuse to visit. It was a lot more expensive than I expected, especially for a family of 2 Adults and 4 Children. We elected to travel from Fremantle on the early bird ferry at 7.15am and come back on the 2.10pm ferry. In hindsight, I wish we had chosen the extended day trip because we didn’t have nearly enough time. Initially we thought 6 hours of sun and sand on the island would be enough for us and the kids, however, we found that by the time we had arrived (about 8am), waited in line to purchase bus tickets, and then waited in line to purchase some snorkelling gear, we missed the first bus to view the island. Buses only run every hour so we had to kill some time in Thompson Bay, which lets be honest was not too much of a hardship.
We decided not to do bikes this visit (although I would love to go back and ride around the island) because our visitors were not hugely confident on the bikes, the thought of five kids riding crazily all over a place we didn’t really know was a little scary, and of course the cost and time factor played a role too. The bus tour was awesome, the driver really informative, and it was a great way to see the island. Once the sting over the cost of everything wore off we had a fantastic time. We saw dolphins on the ferry ride over, quokkas, lizards, and the beautiful clear blue water against the white sand was stunning.
If I had my time again I would seriously think of staying the night. Looking after the fact, there are some great accommodation, ferry, bike, and snorkel packages that I think would give a much better experience to explore all the island had to offer. Oh well, you live and learn and we still really enjoyed our visit.
7. Bell Tower and Shopping on Murray and Hay Street
It is a novelty to have girls in the house and I took full advantage of the fact and dragged them along for a day’s shopping in the city. Didn’t take much arm twisting let me tell you. After a quick look at the sights it was all about the shopping! Love the old London Court in the middle of Hay Street as well.
What do you think? What are your favourite spots in and around Perth?