DH, DD(9) and I are coming to Perth next December (hoping to get Ashes tickets) and visit relatives. However, we do want to spend some time doing some sightseeing.
We last visited 8 years ago when DD was 1 and at that time went south to the Margaret River, so this time we thought we would go north. Does anyone have any recommendations as to things to visit/see, places to see? As it will be WA school summer holidays whilst we are there we want to get things booked sooner rather than later.
Also, we will be hiring a car and am wondering about the car seat policy - DD currently uses a high back booster. Is it more cost effective to buy one locally for the 3 weeks we are there and know the provenance or should we just pay the hire cost (I have no idea how much these would cost locally)?
New Year: we were planning to be back in Perth for New Year: I looked into what happened in the City last December - I just wondered if any of you went and, if so, how family friendly this actually was.
I'd recommend you hire the car seat to avoid the annoyance factor and make sure you get the correct one. I went through hire for baby.com (no spaces) as they will fit it as well into your hire car and you can just pick it up at the airport.
How far north do you want to go? If you don't mind flying, or driving a long way,, there's Broome, (which is pretty awesome), Kalbarri, the wild dolphins at Monkey Mia, and some amazing snorkelling at Ningaloo Reef (think a reef the size of the Great Barrier Reef but less touristy) plus whale sharks and good fishing. There's also the Bungle Bungles, some posh eco tourism at some of the northern stations, you could do a 4wd trip up the Canning Stock Route...
Alternatively, you could hang around Perth and do day trips to places like the Swan Valley and its wineries, the pocket-sized Pinnacles desert, the old Spanish monastery town at New Norcia, Fremantle and the Freo market by train, with possibly a couple of days spent on Rottnest Island cycling around, eating icecreams, swimming and checking out the quokkas (Australia's cutest native animal).
This is all just off the top of my head, but what sort of thing do you like to do on holiday?
I would second what Lisianthus says about the possible sightseeing options - I did most of those things when I was in Perth 12 years ago and had a great time - it is a lot of driving though - Broome is about 22 hours, even Exmouth (Ningaloo reef) is about 12 hours I think.
In terms of the car seat I thought you no longer need one in W Australia when the children get to age 7 - even in the UK I can't think of any 9 year olds we know who use one (height for having no seat is 135 cm). My DD is aged 8 and 134cm; we have just moved to Perth and decided to stop using the booster. If you do want to use one the best option in my experience (for my 4 yo son and on previous holidays ) is just to bring it with you - won't count as extra luggage.
Thanks for this - we realise that it is going to be hot, so we don't want to put too much in. We thought we would drive, at least up as far as Monkey Mia but I would love to do the reef too - DD is a water baby and I think she would love the snorkelling. We would like to have some down time too - so maybe spend a couple of days at the reef/Monkey Mia.
DD is small - still only around 125cm so we will def still need a booster when we visit.
Iisianthus: would you have any accommodation recommendations?
Well, accommodation is a bit trickier to recommend as I don't know your budget, but what we used to go for when we were visiting perth (now living here) is serviced apartments as I get jittery when I am too far from a washing machine with kids. We stayed in one on Hay Street, but they also have them in Subiaco and Fremantle, which might be more fun. Irritatingly, I can't remember what the chain of serviced apartments was called. Will look it up. I am less useful on this sort of thing I'm afraid as we stayed with rellies a fair bit.
Ok, I think it was Quest. Wotif.com is very good for Aussie accommodation, too.
Nb- if you stay anywhere in the CBD (Central Business District, like the City in London) there is a network of free CAT buses to get around that will take you up to places like Kings Park and the WACA for the cricket.
I would strongly consider flying if you don't have much time and you want to head up north. I used to live up north myself and have done some of these drives and they are LONG. Assume it's an hour driving for every hundred kms and you won't go far wrong. Canarvon is a full two day drive and exmouth is probably a day more at least.
Hi, you definitely don't need a booster seat for your DD. The law here states that up until the age of 7 the child needs to be in a booster. After the age of 7 they just need to be restrained in a seat belt. It does not matter what the height of the child is, it is purely their age that matters in wa.
JUst a thought but if you head south to Denmark, you will see some of the most beautiful beaches you have ever seen! We have visited there for the last 2 years over the summer holidays. It is a 5 to 5.5 hour drive so can be done in a day and it is usually cooler than Perth. The kids want to again next year too!!