Back in 2019, we had planned a Disney trip to the US as one last big holiday with all the Australian Nallawallas and our partners before we start having kids and whatnot. This was set for September 2020 and obviously became unviable due to COVID-19 ruining international travel for quite some time. Instead, we chose to delay a large family trip and Kayla and I had Charlie instead. By the time he is old enough to go on Disney rides, the US should be back to normal.
Monday 26 December 2022
With our non-refundable flight deposits or credit from the US flights, we looked at a few places we could go over New Year of 2022/23 and found that Perth had flights for 6 adults and a baby during the time we wanted to travel. Most of us had never been to Perth and my parents had previously lived here, so here we are!
The flight was in the afternoon, which was nice given our previous holiday to Sydney was very early.
We had to check in the stroller with the rest of our bags so Charlie had to walk or be carried around the airport. It was not very convenient for us.
Without the stroller, Charlie was climbing all over the place in the food court whilst we waited for our flight. We saw a few other kids with their Bluey dolls.
The Flight from Melbourne to Perth on Virgin Airlines
We sat near the wing of the plane, with Keith at the window, then Kayla + Charlie and Lesley. Then the next row was Ash, Adam and Kate.
Charlie was a little terror on the plane, not enjoying the 4-hour trip. Luckily there was a spare seat in front of Kayla and Charlie, so he wasn’t kicking someone.
I found the trip to be super hot and uncomfortable, with the little air jet fans doing very little.
Our arrival at Perth Airport went smoothly. We didn’t have to wait too long for our luggage and nothing got lost. From here we found the car booking place that we had booked with and Ash, Adam, Kayla and Charlie went in the rental car and Lesley, Kate and I took a taxi to our Airbnb. The taxi ride wasn’t too long and cost about $30.
The rental car has a baby seat for Charlie in it. We will be using a combination of the rental car and taxis or Uber to get around as there are too many of us for one car.
Our Perth Airbnb
We arrived first and found the hidden key. It is 2 story house amongst many smaller units in a subdivision. Kayla, Charlie and I have a room with a big cot in it. There’s also a spare bedroom which we are using to store our bags so we can find things without disturbing Charlie if he is napping.
Soon after everyone arrived back with the car, we realised the shops were closing at 6pm, so a quick supermarket run was organised. This Airbnb is quite inconsistent with others we have stayed in, with a very well-stocked butler’s pantry but hardly any bathroom amenities. I used to always bring shampoo with me to Airbnb only to find they had communal supplies provided.
The staircase is a bit scary as Charlie loves climbing stairs, but it was good there is a toy room full of baby toys for Charlie to play with.
Freaking Good Pizza Perth
For dinner, we had pizza on Ubereats from a place called Freaking Good Pizza (East Victoria Park, WA) as it had about $5 off each pizza. It was quite good with thin bases and fancy ingredients, though some family members complained the toppings weren’t so generous. When looking up the place to leave a Google Review and some photos but found it didn’t exist. We noticed the Pizza Boxes are actually from Sinatras Pizza and Pasta. I assume, Sinatras this second account to offer discounted pizzas without cannibalizing the regular customer base who will happily pay full price.
Meat Lovers Pizza
This had very fancy meatballs and salami.
Includes added chilli flakes and jalapeno.
Perth Time Zone Difference
After the plane trip, the day seemed to go forever. Perth is 3 hours behind Melbourne. It was very hot in the house, but it has a good air conditioner. I couldn’t wait to go to bed when it was about 10pm Melbourne time. I tried to get Charlie to go to bed as well, but the only way we could get him to sleep was on the main bed with me.
Charlie slept with us the whole night.
Tuesday 27 December 2022
I woke up quite early to give Charlie a bottle and debated going back to sleep but I eventually did. For breakfast I had some of the leftover pizza since I couldn’t each much of it last night and I wasn’t interested in crumpets or other breakfast food that everyone else was going to be having. There was a second shopping trip for half of us whilst we got Charlie showered and fed.
Kayla drove my mum, Charlie and myself in the rental car and the others got an Uber. It was impressive how simple driving to the Perth CBD was from where we were staying, about 13 minutes and very light traffic. It is still a public holiday weekend, but I think Perth is always going to be a lot less busy than the cities we are used to travelling to.
Myer Perth CBD
Wet met up with the others at the Myer near the car park. We realised that we may have left Charlie’s hat in Melbourne, so we found a new one for him at Myer. I bought a cheap Lego set for nearly half price.
A rare photo of Charlie actually wearing his hat.
As we walked to Elizabeth Quay, we cut through Stirling Gardens. Charlie kept taking his hat off along the way, causing us to stop constantly. He saw some backpackers napping under a tree and kept yelling “oh no” and pointing to them.
It was now around lunchtime, so we looked at the nearby restaurants and I realised we were very close to The Hilton Perth’s Double Tree restaurant, which is home a restaurant and bar that I’ll be doing some marketing work for in the new year. Only the bar was open for lunch, but we went and checked it out anyway.
18 Knots Perth
On the 18th floor of the Hilton Double Tree is the 18 Knots bar which has views of the whole river and city areas. It was quite impressive. We sat in a couch area and got a high chair for Charlie. He was missing his nap time so he was quite noisy. I took him out to see the view but it was very windy and he didn’t like it.
3 of us had the chicken BLT.
Pulled Chicken Burger
2 of us had the pulled chicken burger.
Pork Belly and Buffalo Chicken Skewers
I had the skewers and they were really good. I probably could have gone with 1 more of the pork belly, but luckily there were still plenty of chips to go around.
The truffle fries were great. I got to eat most of them. After lunch we decided to split up since Charlie really needed a nap. Kayla and I walked back to the car park and stopped at a few shops along the way. Kayla went and got some spare clothes as she dropped ketchup on her white shirt.
The Jerky Co
Tomato Lake Park
To try and wear Charlie out before dinner, Kayla and I drove to Tomato Lake Park. It was a big lake with a bike path around it and a few playgrounds and exercise areas. After half a lap (using a bridge) and looking at the ducks and ibis (Bin Chickens) we went to the playground for quite some time. It was quite busy and Charlie did 20-30 laps of the staircase and slide of the kids’ area.
He also went on a see-saw with his mum.
Pasta for Dinner
We came home and dinner was almost ready, Adam cooked pasta and garlic bread for everyone. Afterwards, Lesley, Kate and Adam started a jigsaw puzzle on the kitchen table. We were hoping to play some games once Charlie went to bed, but we couldn’t because he refused the cot again. I went to bed with him at first and Kayla came to bed at one point before he was asleep and hyped him up again, so she slept in the spare room. I think this is the night the family watched the film Enchanted.
Wednesday 28 December 2022
Charlie was a real bed hog. I got up at 5.30am to beat the shower rush as we had to arrive early for a ferry to Rottnest Island. We thought we had to get there extra early as we thought we had to check in Charlie’s pram.
For breakfast, everyone had crumpets but I still had 2 pieces of pizza left from the first night, so I finished that off.
Sealink Ferry to Rottnest Island
Oddly, the multilevel car park nearest Elizabeth Quay wasn’t open today, but we found an outdoor one nearby and were not late. We got a good seating area for 6 with a table and 2 more seats next to it.
Charlie made a big mess with Pringles and Bluey Snacks. He kept getting out of his seat and running up and down the aisles.
After many laps around the boat being chased by various family members, he started to crash. The later part of the journey on the open sea was very bumpy and Kayla was sick all over the place. The staff should have made vomit bags available earlier.
The Dock at Rottnest Island
The first thing that surprised me about Rottnest Island was how absolutely packed with bikes it was. Some of the tour boats even brought over boats for all their travellers. We didn’t really take many photos that illustrate this, but it was worse than the bayside suburbs of Melbourne.
Wild Quokkas at Rottnest
We saw the wild quokkas very soon upon arrival, which was quite impressive and fun.
We took some photos of the Quokkas and went into a few shops. Kayla got some motion sickness tablets from the general store and we got some drinks there too. We walked around the main street area which was quite busy. I was surprised to see chains such as Boost Juice and Subway there. Pretty soon after arriving something got stuck in my eye causing me a lot of discomfort for ages until Kayla got it out.
Hotel Rottnest for Lunch
For lunch, we looked around for somewhere quiet as the main street area was absolutely packed and no nowhere to sit. We found a higher-end side of the island with fancier restaurants, but the first one we saw, Isola Bar e Cibo appeared to be booked out online (it wasn’t open yet). But then we saw an empty but open Hotel Rottnest. it was nearly 11.30am when food would be starting soon.
Hotel Rottnest opened for food about 15 minutes after we arrived there which gave us time to check the menus and order drinks. Adam bought everyone a round of drinks which was nice! from 11.30 there was their all-day menu then at 12pm their lunch menu was going to start but we couldn’t wait that long and went with the all-day menu items only. Here is an archive of their menu.
100% Albany grass-fed beef burger
Kayla had the burger without pickles.
Beer Battered WA fish and chips,
There were 3 orders of Fish and Chips
Mushroom Pizza + Pepperoni
I had the mushroom pizza with added pepperoni and it was pretty good!
Rottnest Island Bay Seeker Tour
Even if you are a cyclist, I highly recommend the Rottnest Island Bay Seeker Tour as it does a lap of the whole island and will show you all the best beaches and other places for you to return to later by bike, or by the shuttles.
There are several little beach areas that you’re allowed to go to. Some areas are not easily accessible.
Ice Cream Time
After the bus tour, we went to the bathroom and then to the Rottnest General Store for ice cream. I think I had an almond Magnum.
There was a sleepy quokka out the front that got a lot of attention.
The cruise back to Perth
People lined up very early for the cruise back, so we didn’t get to sit all together, but we did get to sit in a spot where we could keep Charlie in his pram, which was very beneficial. This time, the start of the trip was very rocky, Kayla had her vomit bag ready and Charlie was in front of a window and he had a great time, laughing as the catamaran bounced around and waves splashed the window.
When we got home, we had another quiet night. When we got home, we noticed someone had brought in the bins for us, which was good.
Kayla had been wanting Thai for dinner, so I ordered from the nearest one.
Monstera Thai Kitchen Perth
The food ordered was Pad Thai with Prawns, Massaman Beef with Steam Jasmine Rice, 2x Green Curry with Coconut Rice, Pad See Ew with Chicken and I had Chilli Basil with Beef.
Since Kayla and Ash ordered the same thing, they ended up sharing so they could have leftovers tomorrow when the others go to the cricket.
Here’s what I had, the chilli basil beef.
Charlie had a great time eating rice, Kayla also sliced up some grapes for him when the first container of rice ran out.
Thursday 29 December 2022
Ash and Adam drove to some museums in Fremantle whilst the rest of us stayed at the Airbnb. I had planned to catch up on some work and articles whilst Kate and Mum did a 5.5-hour Pride and Prejudice marathon and did puzzles. Charlie and I took a big nap and later once the car was back, we went shopping. Below are some random photos from the museums
WA Maritime Museum
Ash out the front.
WA Shipwrecks Museum
A model of a ship that probably crashed.
Big piece of a sunken ship.
Aviation Heritage Museum
When we got the car back, we went to the Belmont Forum Shopping Centre, where we checked out shops such as Big W, Kmart, JB Hifi, EB Games, The Reject Shop, Cotton On and Coles, where we did supermarket shopping for more supplies. I bought some Nintendo Switch games – Rabbids Party of Legends, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader and Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope (Steelbook Edition) all at Boxing Day prices. Also, Charlie stole a ball from a store that we found in his pram later.
I also saw a plush Bulbasaur Pokemon doll with no eyes or nose.
Leftovers for Dinner
In the evening, Lesley, Adam and Kate went to the cricket and we had leftovers + some Indian food dad had bought earlier.
Since we were having rice again, we ate outside since Charlie is very messy with it. Charlie insisted on trying a spicy samosa and was not a fan. It was pretty funny.
Cricket Big Bash League, Perth Scorchers vs Melbourne Stars
Here are some pictures from when Kate, Lesley and Adam went to the cricket that night.
Perth won the cricket.
Friday 30 December 2022
Charlie woke up at 6am local time to everyone’s delight. Everyone but me had a late night last night so I had to entertain him until others got up. As usual, his main interest was going up and down the stairs.
Afternoon Delights Cruise Tour
We parked at the same outdoor car park near Barracks St Jetty for the Afternoon Delights Cruise Tour which is a bus tour to around several wineries then a boat cruise back to the river.
The Providore / Coward and Black Vineyards & The Margaret River Chocolate Co.
The first stop was these two locations.
The Providore had various sauces and foods as well as chocolate liquors by Coward and Black Vineyards of which they did free samples.
The chocolate factory was crazy busy. I wasn’t particularly impressed with the free samples.
The Lancaster Winery was my favourite stop on the tour.
They do very nice Make Your Own Grazing Platters.
The guy working here introduced the wines, then let us go nuts on self-pouring our own sensible sample-size drinks (so that everyone gets a try) then can go back for seconds, thirds etc.
We met a large family group from Mauritius here.
Above is a grazing board that was shared by everyone. I really liked the cheese with the black dots in it. The chilli one was also good.
Kayla bought some cheddar and crackers and we ate the whole thing.
Sandalford Wines are one of the oldest wineries in Australia and host up to 5 weddings per day. It’s quite a big place.
They also let us pour our own drinks. I preferred the previous place’s flavours.
Lots of people were getting photos like this, so I got one as well.
The gift shop at this winery was really nice. The tour group got 20% off everything here but I don’t think too many people bought stuff.
Captain Cook’s River Lady.
The cruise back was 2 hours and was very smooth and comfortable.
My parents used to live in that brick prison-looking building over 40 years ago.
For dinner, Kayla made really good nachos which impressed everyone. Maybe I’ll attach the recipe here later. I went to bed early with Charlie again, we had tried to put him in the crib but he wasn’t having any of it.
In the morning was very stressful. Kate, Adam and Lesley went to the shops to get items for our grazing board for NYE. Kate and Adam went out for the day in the city, Ash went to the Perth Mint and Kayla, Charlie and I went to a petting zoo.
Swan Valley Cuddly Animal Farm train ride
On the way in, it cost $20 per adult and kids under 2 were free, which is good as Charlie is still under that age.
Charlie feeding a rabbit.
These are baby turkeys. I think a chicken or duck near here bit Charlie when we weren’t looking.
I liked the big hermit crab tank. I had hermit crabs when I was a kid.
I liked the Guy Fieri Hermit Crab.
Charlie kept pushing the seats close so he could climb up to see the animals. Kayla got this guinea pig out for a cuddle.
Charlie yelled “hello” to these goats too many times and annoyed them.
Charlie cannot read.
There was a little tractor ride for the kids, was very cute to see him wave to me each time he went past me.
Every hour there was a free Ferris Wheel ride. Charlie gave me lots of high fives on it.
Charlie got worried whenever he saw an animal that wasn’t in a particular cage or enclosure.
I had a lot of fun feeding the emus, got a few little bites though.
Lunch at Mash Brewing
We weren’t totally sure where we wanted to go for lunch, so we set our GPS to an Italian place, but said we’d stop anywhere that looked cool along the way if we see something.
I had really good Pork Belly, Kayla had Bao Buns which were ok and Charlie had a kids’ meal of “nuggets” and chips” and the nuggets were actually slices of good quality schnitzel, so that was impressive.
Whilst this looked dark, it didn’t seem burnt, which was good. Charlie just ate the chips and Kayla and I ate the chicken.
I had a peaches and ice cream cocktail and a purple beer called Gose-Ade Plus+ which is a grape Gatorade-flavoured beer that was really good. Charlie was not on his best behaviour here but behaved better once the food came, but once it was over he was a bit rowdy again.
Charlie tipped out his chips when he was finished and licked the paper it was sitting in to get to the salt.
Ash’s Trip to the Perth Mint
My dad used to be a bit of a coin collector, so he went to the Perth Mint whilst the rest of us were out and mum stayed back and held the fort.
Since I wasn’t there, here are some photos that he took and some guesses about
This tells you about gold and silver bullion.
This is probably where the coins are pressed.
Quokkas are the classic Perth souvenir.
This appears to be a million-dollar coin and is not of a practical size.
Kate & Adam’s Trip to Perth CBD
Adam and Kate went to Perth’s CBD for lunch and to play mini golf at Holey Moley. Holey Moley is a great mini golf franchise that’s popping up all over Australia.
Kate is ready to lose.
Willy Wonka Mini Golf
A delicious place to lose at min golf.
Harry Potter Mini Golf
A magical place to lose at mini golf.
Not sure what the theme of this is, but Kate probably lost.
Who won? According to Kate: “Well technically Adam won but I got better value for money, so did Adam really win?” I’m not sure what this means, but it sounds like she cheated.
Italian Street Kitchen Perth
Very nice decor at Italian Street Kitchen Perth
Honestly. I wasn’t there, but this pasta looks great and I wish I was invited!
A Few Games of Monikers
Lesley, Kate, Kayla and I played a few games of Monikers whilst Adam played with Charlie and Ash was on his laptop. Monikers is a cross between Celebrity Heads and Charades and is a lot of fun.
A Grazing Board for NYE Dinner
For dinner, we had a very large grazing board. We will be eating the rest of this tomorrow. I think we could have successfully catered a party with this, not just 5 adults. Ash had Singapore noodles instead.
Charlie found it difficult to keep his hands out of everything. Charlie and I went to bed reasonably early again and had a bit of a rough night with Charlie waking up a lot and also rolling out of bed.
Sunday 1 January 2023
This was our last full day in Perth. Kate and Adam went shopping at Belmont Forum and my parents went to and Indian restaurant with some of Ash’s Facebook friends. Rather than staying home and chasing Charlie up and down the stairs all day, we went to check out SciTech Perth.
We took Charlie to SciTech, which is like Science Works Museum in Melbourne, but this place was very targeted towards young children. We found it a lot more hands-on than Science Work and preferred it for someone Charlie’s age. Another thing that made SciTech better than Science Works is that all the shows there were free instead of an additional ticket.
We watched a show about liquid nitrogen and Charlie was on the only kid who wouldn’t stay still and kept trying to run away until a while into the show when the host started to get his attention.
Charlie probably saying “oh no” after a balloon popped or shrunk – many items would change states and return to normal after the liquid nitrogen or heat was applied.
A popular attraction was this race track, where you could construct your own cars and race them.
I spent a lot of time playing with this water game, where you could experiment with different walls to adjust the flow of little canals to make the boats pass through.
I also really enjoyed these air pipes that would suck the neon pieces of fabric through it. You could switch the airflow to make them go in different directions and exit out of different openings above our heads. Charlie wasn’t very interested in this, I think he found the dark area scary. There is a similar activity at Science Works in Melbourne, which he liked better.
The Mighty Machine Zone was another fun feature of SciTech Perth, the objective is to pass balls around a circuit using various types of conveyor belts and similar systems. We had lots of random kids come and join in with us to make all the stations operate at once.
Charlie had a lot of fun pushing around wheelbarrows and stacking bricks. We had a good laugh when Charlie made all the bricks fall over.
Here’s the full activity in the construction zone.
Kayla and I got really carried away with this parachute activity and Charlie ran away and some other dad was asking if anyone’s boy in a striped shirt just ran off. Yep that was Charlie. Luckily he didn’t get far.
Afterwards, we went to fill up the rental car with petrol and considered finding a Chicken Treat restaurant for lunch, but there weren’t any nearby. We grabbed food at Hungry Jack’s next to the 7-Eleven where we filled up. Petrol was cheaper than in Melbourne. I had a Bacon Deluxe and Kayla tried the Jack’s Fried Chicken burger.
For dinner on the last night, we were just finishing off all the leftover food such as the cheeses and meats from the night before. Dad is eating his Singapore noodles again.
At night we all showered and packed our bags as much as possible. Packing was quite tricky as we actually had pretty full bags to begin with, so adding anything new we bought wasn’t fun.
Monday 2 January 2023
I got up at 3am for our flight as we had to leave the Airbnb by 4am to get to the airport and drop the car there by 4.30am. I squeezed the last of my stuff into my bags and had to get mum to put a few of my things in her bag too. Dad forgot to press complete when booking a 4am taxi but luckily there were Uber drivers available. When we were waiting for the plane I had a Bacon Deluxe from Hungry Jack’s for breakfast.
When I was boarding the plane, I felt something freezing on my skin behind me, it turns out that when I tightly packed my backpack, my deodorant can had leaked massively in my bag, a very annoying thing to try and clean up whilst everyone is boarding the plane. Luckily nothing appears to have been damaged by it.
The trip back was faster, only 3 hours but Charlie was very active for most of the trip, we felt really bad for the lady in front of Kayla, but luckily she was a mum of 3 and knew all about babies on planes.