Thursday, July 10, 2014

Off to Perth in December!

Just as I'm still recovering from my wonderful Melbourne trip and trying very hard to retrieve that missing part of me that's still left behind in the beautiful city, I had just booked my family flights to Perth from 3 - 11 December!  Woohoo....what an awesome year of Aussie trips!  :)

The main reason for going to Perth is of course to get a well-deserved family holiday after our last trip to Bali in end 2012, and secondly to give Eponine a pat on the back for working so hard for her PSLE.  Another major reason is to meet Gary's uncle in Perth to discuss options for our Aussie migration, which we've been pondering and procrastinating for the past few years.

Perth is Australia's sunniest city in Western Australia, with beautiful and pristine beaches, inner city parks and exciting outback adventures.  I've been reading up about Perth over the past few days, and have generated a list of destinations we would like to visit:

Fremantle


Fremantle is a 19th century port town and Fishing Boat Harbour offering all the delights of modern cafe culture, just 20-minute drive from Perth's city centre.  Situated at the mouth of the Swan River, this multi-cultural city has a charm of its own, with its world-famous heritage buildings and a fascinating maritime and convict history.  Some attractions include the Fremantle Prison, WA Maritime Museum and the Roundhouse.  History aside, it hosts the Fremantle Markets, one of the city’s most iconic and visited places, where over 150 stalls selling a wide variety of goods such as handmade soaps, souvenirs, local artworks, jewellery and exquisite antiques and collectables can be found.  Fremantle is also home to Western Australia’s only waterside market, the E Shed Markets on Victoria Quay and the Mad Hatter Markets in Kings Square.  For arts lovers, the Fremantle Arts Centre is a place not be missed, as it presents a carefully sourced selection of Western Australian art, craft, books and design objects and a host of music events.  The Cappuccino Strip is legendary for its many outdoor cafes and restaurant, great for food lovers.

Swan Valley/Darling Range


This region houses vineyards of Western Australia's oldest wine region and it would be interesting to go on a wine & food trail to sample their fruits and wines, feast on award-winning local produce, discover local heritage and relax in the natural bushland of the Darling Range.  Just 25 minutes east of Perth, we can reach it by road, or take the scenic route aboard a Swan River cruise from Perth's Barrack Street Jetty.  Besides a gastronomy experience, the kids would enjoy Caversham Wildlife Park - home to one of Western Australia's largest collections of native Australian wildlife where close encounters with koalas, wombats, kangaroos and a whole array of farm animals can be found.

Margaret River


Margaret River is 280km south of Perth, which takes approximately three hours by car. It is another haven for wine & food lovers and recognised as one of the world's best fine wine regions, with over 150 wine producers and many cellars offering free wine tastings.  This marriage of world-class wines and fine, fresh produce makes dining out in Margaret River a gastronomical delight. For the adventurous, the region offers some of the most unique and stunning cave experiences in Australia.  Along the spine of the Leeuwin Naturaliste Ridge and beneath soaring karri forest lie more than 150 caves including the famous Lake, Mammoth, Jewel and Moondyne Caves.  It is also a boutique shopper's dream where eclectic shops selling clothes, souvenirs, gifts, books, gourmet food items, vintage accessories are found tucked around every corner. 

Wheatbelt/Wave Rock (Golden Outback)


The Western Australian Wheatbelt is home to the world-famous Wave Rock, as well as character townships, miles of golden fields, charming rural farms and great outback self-drive adventures.  It is about a four-hour drive east of Perth, along the Brookton Highway. Wave Rock, near Hyden is the most recognised tourist attraction in the region – an amazing rock formation stretching 100 metres and standing 15 metres high in the shape of a giant wave about to crash over the surrounding bush. Great photo opportunities await!

Rottnest Island 


Famous for its laid back atmosphere and beautiful beaches, Rottnest Island lies just 18 kilometres offshore from Perth surrounded by the sparkling Indian Ocean. This is where the locals go to swim, boat, surf, snorkel, fish and relax in its 63 beaches. Besides the water and coastal fun, this island hosts other interesting activities such as walking tours and trails to learn about the island's rich cultural history, flora & fauna and nature & wildlife.  It is easily accessible from Fremantle, Perth or Hillarys Boat Harbour with a 30-40 minute boat rid.  One interesting fact about the island is that it's a car-free zone and visitors usually hire a bicycle to get around and explore the island.  There's so much to do here and it seems like a day trip is not enough!

Adventure World


Adventure World is Perth's favourite family theme park, hosting 30 rides and attractions for kids and adults of all ages.  I'm not a theme park person as I'm afraid of heights, but my girls have specially requested for this to be on the itinerary!  The theme park categorizes its rides on a scale of 1 to 5, to cater for young kids to the daredevils and includes both dry and water rides.  I read somewhere that the roller coaster is among one of the scariest in the world!  There's even a wildlife park where families could get up close and personal with Aussie native animals such as koalas, wombats and emus.

I was earlier paranoid of doing more itinerary planning as the Melbourne trip really drained me out.  But seeing these exciting places really perked me up once again!  There's still about five more months to go and lots of time to plan.  I could foresee the planning for this trip more tedious than ever as most of those regions I had listed above are by no means near to the Perth city and lots of travelling is required.  Need to find the best way to get around that works for my family.

Stay tuned for more updates!  ;)

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