The title would probably be reserved to places like skiing on the snowy Swiss Alps, relaxing on the beautiful sandy beaches of Maldives, a culture filled trip to Europe, or anywhere with Disneyland for the kids. To associate it with Perth would be far fetch in most eyes, especially since Perth was named as one of the 10 worst cities on the planet!
Perth was NOT our original holiday destination.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, it became our alternative to our original self drive tour in New Zealand that we planned months ahead. For Perth, I had only 2 weeks to prepare for the trip. Given that it was winter and most of the amusement parks in Perth were closed during this period, our expectation was set at a very low bar.
It was anything but boring during this one week self drive and hastily plan vacation. In fact , we are calling it our best holiday ever. Perth is perfect for families with young kids. Self drive is a painless experience and adds flexibility to our holiday agenda. Considering the short time spend in Perth , we had probably just scratched the surface.
Ride along with us as we take you on a week long adventure in Perth!
Warning : Super long post ahead!
Day 1 : Checking in
The bill from Hertz is about $100 more than what was indicated on our online booking. We were told that these were additional fees not included in the package. Till date we had yet to get a satisfactory reply to the additional cost. This was the first and probably our last time we book with Hertz.
|Hertz Perth - Beware the hidden cost!|
It was a short ride into the City as we checked into our home for the week. Quest on James Street. It was a 2 bedroom apartment that comes with free parking ( a must in Perth City as parking rates can be pretty expensive!
Day 2 : Day trip to Swan Valley
Swan Valley was an easy 30 minutes drive to Perth City. Getting to your location is relatively easy. Either pop in the coordinates in your car GPS or your handphone GPS and you will be there in a jiffy. We used Google map and the car GPS and found no difference using either. If you want to save cost, we think you can ditch the car GPS and rely on the handphone. $100 may not go a long way , but it will pay for a meal for 4 in Perth.
|Taylor's art and coffee house|
|Inside Taylor's Art and Coffee House|
It was a hearty ( but pricey) meal indeed.
|Caversham Wildlife Park|
A repeated trip in the future is a must... at least for us.
Day 3 : Exploring Fremantle
Highlights : The Blue Boat House , Fremantle Market, Fremantle Prison, Fremantle Seafood, King's Park
At least the boys got to view what life is like in a real prison. This would probably discourage them from chasing a life of crime when they grow up. Seeing the 2 by 1 meters room without TV or ipad in sight is a great deterrent. After one visit, The Wacky Duo agreed unanimously that they would walk the righteous path in the future.
I would bring them here again if they started to turn to the dark side.
In a nutshell, we needed more time for this trip. The next time we come, it will be for a minimum of 2 weeks.
Highlights: Get close to Koalas at Yancep National Park, visit a lobster factory, savour yummy lobsters, explore the Pinnacles and slide down Lancelin Sand dunes
It was supposed to be a self drive tour, but I decided to give myself a break and checked the family into a day trip with Explore Tours Perth
Hey it's the family first trip to Perth, so it was forgivable that I had such notions in my head.
That was about it.
The highlight of the trip is not the tour but the Lobster's itself. The lobsters are avaliable at different grades. The grades determine the size of the lobsters . We had the Grade A Lobsters. Grade A does not mean the lobsters are the most expensive. On the contrary, the grade means that is the smallest lobsters on the menu. It may be the smallest, but it was the freshest lobsters I had ever tasted!
|Lobster meal at Lobster shack|
Fine.. next time I will drive.
Since it was Winter, the day ended pretty quickly. By the time we made our way back to Perth, it was already pitch dark. If you are driving , do take note of the time as the stretch of road leading to Perth has NO street lights for most parts.
The day started a little gloomy with rain. Thankfully , the rain did not last long and we managed to head across Swan River for breakfast.
The next time we plan another Perth holiday, this is probably where we would love to stay. It felt alot more relaxed compared to living in the city itself.
Day 6 : Road Trip Margaret's River Day 1
We probably saved the best part of the trip for the last. At first I was contemplating a day trip to Margaret's River and back to Perth. Thankfully senses got to me at the last moment and we decided to make it a 2 days trip instead of one. On hindsight, we should probably double the time spend here, as they are plenty of things to do for the kids
(Disclaimer : Edited in Lightroom)
Whale Watch , Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, Cheeky Monkey Brewery
Within minutes of departing from the pier, we were greeted with pods of whales from all directions. There were pods of 2 or 3 whale swimming next to us while at a distance away, we caught a glimpse of whale breaching. All in all we spotted over 20 whales.
To cap off the experience, one particular whale decided to entertain us with it's breaching. He did it over 8 times within 50 meters from our boat. This was exactly how he looked like below.
We were awestruck.
Best whale watch till date.
Whale Watch at Augusta is only for selected time of the year. We were there in June to catch the whales.
No matter, the famous cheeky burger helps. Besides since I am driving, I can't drink anyways.
'Are we there yet? '
Day 8 : Goodbye Perth!
Ok the T Rex may not be real, but they moved and were life sized!
We will be back Perth!
In the meantime, check out our Holiday Highlights to see what else have we been up to in Perth.
Tips for Perth
It is pretty easy to live in Perth. Here are some tips to make your holidays a little more easier.
1) Get your SIM card at the airport.
Do note the SIM cards does not allow tethering ( at least ours does not). If you really need a shared connection. Changi Recommends outbound wifi is a must based on our past experiences.
2) Rent a car
It is almost a must if you stay in Perth. Forget about the renting the GPS unit as Google Map works just as well. Do note the speed restrictions in the city. The traffic police are very ' on the ball' and you could be fine if you exceed 1 km of the speed limit.
Driving is on the same side as in Singapore, so there is no confusion while driving.
3) Get a pocket full of coins
You would need it for parking. Parking is by meter, so do get your coins ready. As parking is expensive , do prepare alot more coins.
4) Stay in an apartment with a carpark
5) Shop for groceries early if you are getting an apartment
With a meal averaging $20-$30 with drinks EACH, it is best to prepare some meals on your own. If you are willing to splurge, no problem, go ahead. If not, getting some food from Coles is a good alternatives. Coles is also stock with freshly cooked chicken, shepherd pie and more, so you can also buy a meal from there. Staying in an apartment would be great as you probably have a proper dining table for your meals.
6) Learn to relax
Do very little or do alot. It does not really matter. The pace is Perth is much slower compared to Singapore. Just take a deep breath , relax and enjoy Perth!