Let me preface this by saying, there are a lot of blogs out there with information on what to do with children in Perth and, I am not one of those ‘super mummies’ who can (or wants to) jam pack a million and one things into a few days, just to ‘show’ I’ve been there and done that… so, if you want to know what to do with kids, google it.
As for me, I didn’t do a whole lot and I’m glad for it. Not always having a lot of quality time with my baby, I relished in the playtime we had in our small apartment, and learned that he is too much of a ‘mover and groover’ to spend hours in the pram. I was able to delight in my almost one year old and reflect on how he’s grown. I even bought a gorgeous journal to start writing letters to him, which I hope will be an annual tradition, so no matter what happens to him or I when we are older, there will always be a recollection of how much I love him and my favourite memories.
The fight itself- despite the lack of a bassinet, was actually quite good. No, we didn’t get a movie in, but that’s because I chose to read instead while my husband nursed our little man for his two hour nap. He then happily bounced around in our laps in between feeds. On the way back was a little more trying as he only slept for half an hour but our flight time was also reduced to 3.5 hours with a strong tail wind, so we couldn’t complain about that! He was a little more testy being confined but happily charmed anyone in the isle as we walked him up and down, sharing the space with other bubbas on the journey. My main worry was he’d scream and carry on for take off and landing, but this wasn’t the case (this time) so I’m thankful for that!
As for Perth itself? Well, it’s been 18 years since I’ve been there. That honestly makes me feel SO old. I remember visiting the Perth Mint and seeing the medals being made for the 2000 Olympics. So yes, it was a while ago therefore no, I don’t remember much even if I was in upper high school. Initially what struck me was how green Perth was. Apparently they’ve had their highest winter rainfall in 50 something years, so I’m sure that helps, but it was lush and the wildflowers… everywhere. My dream!
We stayed in the Adina Apartments right in the city of town. I couldn’t fault it for location. Literally, right in the heart of Perth next to their two malls and a 10-15 minute walk from Elizabeth Quay (with a great playground for older kids). Unfortunately it was also directly next to the TAB and a strip club, so you can imagine the ‘friendly’ people hanging out the front- at all times. Thankfully my son is confined to a pram and not of an age where he could head to Woolies on his own (which was a 5 min walk tops)- that I would not have been comfortable with, but having no car and needing access to things like the train, bus, malls, water and library (cultural centre), this place was tops. There were lots of works going on- upgrading a big shopping centre and part of the Cultural Centre a few streets away, but it was just fantastic to walk around and despite some of the riff raff (and a lot of homeless people… like, a lot…) I felt quite safe walking around.
We did lots of morning walks as our son was awake roughly around 4:30am local time (he didn’t get the two hour sleep-in memo) so after breakfast and a play, we’d head off for a walk before he was taking his ‘midday’ nap! I can’t say I attempted public transport but it was right there. Frankly, I didn’t want the hassle and was happy to stick relatively close to home when my husband was at work.
So, what were our highlights and baby friendly activities?
- The Botanic Gardens. We walked around for ages, mainly because I couldn’t stop taking photos of the INCREDIBLE wildflowers and we enjoyed the Lotterywest Federation Walkway for the views over Perth city. My husband also thought the State War Memorial rivaled the Lincoln Memorial which is a big call! It was an absolutely stellar day though so no doubt that helped. There were so many places to stop and enjoy as well as a famed Rio Tinto naturescape playground (which we didn’t even get a chance to stop at) and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
- Coastal Tourist Route. We ventured down to Fremantle for a Father’s Day breakfast though struggled to find a restaurant that had a free high chair (and wasn’t freezing due to their ‘industrial’ looks). We found Fremantle quite ‘hipster’ and very en trend but enjoyed driving around and checking out the docks all the same. We then headed north up past Scarborough and North Beach to the Aquarium of Western Australia where Noah enjoyed his first aquarium experience. It wasn’t spectacular but it was good (I’d say it’s comparable to the Aquarium in Cape Town… if you just happen to have been!) so we enjoyed a few hours there as Noah spent more time showing off to tourists than he did admiring the fish!
- London Court. Ok, this was the cutest little laneway I’ve ever seen and just happened upon it by chance. You literally feel like you’re in London. It was beautiful! Absolutely worth a walk to view.
- City of Perth Library. We missed a bit due to an extra long sleep, but on Tuesdays they have a baby/toddler Rhymtime and a whole floor (mezzanine) dedicated to children. It was absolutely packed when we arrived, but we sung along and Noah was thrilled to be able to wander around and socialise with other children. Following this half hour session (words and books provided) was playtime so we enjoyed playing with all the different equipment and making friends.
- Cape Peron. On our last day hubby finished work a little early so we thought we’d go for a drive. I had my heart set on Penguin island (I also think Rottnest Island would have been great but the weather wasn’t and the there was only one return ferry time for Elizabeth Quay and I wasn’t quite prepared to spend 6 hours plus 3 hours on the ferry ride with Noah in the potential rain. Next time!) but unfortunately we were a little too late for the feeding. Instead we head to Cape Peron where I insisted we do a few walks around the cape despite the freezing wind and sporadic but stinging rain. It was a beautiful little spot.
Naturally, there are a tonne of other things to do in Perth, especially with older children, but that’s what I managed in our few days there and I loved it. I absolutely can’t wait to go back and enjoy more of the water parks, beaches and islands.