Friday, May 4, 2012

Downunder - Perth!

I was looking through my FB photos and I realised that my last decent family holiday was about 1.5 years ago! Granted that we did a staycation recently but unfortunately, I was down with gastric flu and OMG, it was a horrible horrible experience. :/

When I first started planning for the trip, I was stumped over where to bring Dumpling to. Anything too long on the plane (read: 6 hours or more) is a no-no for me. I was also not keen on any place which is crowded. Availability of food choices, etc., was also a great concern as Dumpling was on half solids and half milk then.

We finally shortlisted Perth and though it was a short trip, it was enjoyable. Now, depending on what you look for in a holiday destination, Perth may or may not be for you. It is definitely a much slower-paced country but I wanted to get out of a city landscape. At the same time, I was very keen on going to somewhere which has lots of space for Dumpling to just roam and run about. What I wanted very much to do originally was to try a farm stay but as I booked it too late, they were all taken up. Nonetheless we still found much to do. 

We decided to stay in Swan Valley as it was a short drive from the airport. Instead of a hotel / resort, we chose a service apartment because I wanted to be able to cook for Dumpling if I need to and not have to worry about meals for her. This turned out to be a great choice as we enjoyed a lovely BBQ on one cool cool night (10+ degrees) and we had many pleasant meals in the apartment since Coles was just less than 15mins drive away. (Did I mention that I have an obsession with supermarkets? :p)

The service apartment we stayed in was Burgundy Retreat and these are some photos from our morning walks :) The beautiful thing about this location is that it is next to the The Vines Novotel Resort and we were separated only by a small gate. 

So beyond this gate, every morning, we were greeted literally with tens and tens of kangaroos lounging around the golf course, when we headed out for our morning strolls. The morning strolls were sometimes led by Dumpling's paternal Grandpa while I "busied" myself preparing breakfast for Dumpling. :)

We also went to some nearby vineyards where it was just such joy to watch  Dumpling run and groove around with all that open space! What can I say? Dumpling's got the moves! LOL

And of course, we had to visit the Cuddly Animal Farm!

Like most kids, Dumpling enjoyed this visit tremendously. The smaller animals were kept in an indoor "shed" and the entrance fees includes small buckets of vegetables which visitors can feed these animals with.

The free range animals like ducks / goose can be found outside while the larger animals such as the goats and ponies were kept in enclosures.

Visitors could feed bunnies at the bunnies enclosure too 

We took the chance to also catch up with some cousins who prepared a lovely dinner for us. (Check out the homemade Pavlova cake!!!!!) Dumpling had a lovely time playing with Duke which was just a puppy then while the adults had a great time chatting and catching up in the garden.

For chocolate lovers, The Margaret River Chocolate Factory is of course another popular spot. A clear glass panel on one side reveals the various stages of the manufacturing process. But nothing beats attracting the visitors to...

THE SAMPLING STATION! (The counter in the top left photo!)

Other "must-visit" places are Fremantle Fisherman Wharf for just a nice relaxing morning as well as the weekend market there. I love the bright colours, buzz and the wide choices of organic food at this market along with som really nice handpainted / handmade wooden puzzle toys for young children. I have those pics somewhere and will try to search for them and upload. But for now, I shall leave you with some of my favourite photos of us both! :)


  1. Hi Alicia, great to know of your blog through I'm also homeschooling a 3+ year old (boy) and our journey started from baby signing too! :) My second boy is 6 months old and we've started signing to him. And yes, signing seems to have helped my boy's speech development tremendously. He loves to talk and sing. Look forward to your next article! :)

  2. Hi MieVee,

    Thanks for stopping by and thank you for your sharing! Your boy is the same age as my Dumpling! :) Its so nice to know like minded parents who has enjoyed your HS journey too. And wow, you are a signing family too! I miss some of the signing AHA moments when our babies were suddenly able to make a new sign and communicate their needs. :) And yes, it does aid speech tremendously right?

    I personally feel that it is because as signing parents, we speak to our child(ren) a lot more and hence, it encourages the child to want to communicate more with us too as his / her confidence build up.

    Please do drop by again and leave your thoughts and comments. I respond to all comments, just maybe within 2 days. :) Happy weekend!

  3. Lovely post, Alicia. Perth is a wonderful family spot - the relaxed atmosphere, the animals, the vineyards, the beaches...drool.

    I've been wanting to go back to Aussie for the longest time, but the hubby is not too keen, and I guess with Javier being so little, it's also a bit hard for us. But I would really love to go on a farmstay when the kids are older...hopefully the time will come and we'll still be as adventurous then. :P

  4. Thanks June! Yes, it was a great vacation and I am sorta itching to head back there but to a different part.

    It really is a nice place to unwind (ok, on this note, I have to say you need to look for "evening" activities as malls / shops are closed) for a few days with the kids and get back to nature. I love the space, the air and the farms. (Well, the affordable yet yummy choc helps too! :p)


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