Hello from Australia’s West Coast!
After a five hour to flight from Sydney, we made it to Perth; the furthest major city from our hometown! The Prins also joined us in Perth; so while Cory and Kyle had to work, the girls and Teddy hit the road with me behind the wheel. It’s been about a year and a half since I drove on the wrong side of the road. Luckily we were heading out of Perth to Yanchep National Park which makes it easier to drive outside the city. The park was amazing with sightings immediately upon arriving of galahs which are pink and grey cockatoos. We took the Koala Board Walk to find many koalas sleeping and eating; some were extremely high up in the trees. Usually where there’s koalas there are kangaroos and here was no different with gray kangaroos. We found a mob of kangaroos just resting in the grass. They watched us but we didn’t seem to bother their slumber! Finally we took a tour of the Crystal Cave which has amazing crystals dating back 500,000 years old. The kids really got into hearing the guide explain about the stalagmites and stalactites too.
I safely drove us back to Perth to meet the working guys for a fancy supper recommended by Brittany (who always has the best restaurant recommendations) at Flour Factory where we all tried the octopus. My son is the biggest fan! Speaking of Teddy, his fifth birthday is the next day and per tradition at our house we place balloons in the bedroom of said birthday child. So tonight all the adults blew up balloons before going to bed for the impending day of celebration.
As you would imagine, the birthday balloons were a hit by the birthday boy and his sister! The rest of the day wasn’t quite what we had planned as my husband had waked in the night with symptoms of a possible heart issue. Cory’s not an alarmist so I knew he was in pain when he said he needed to go to the ER. Thank the good Lord our friends were with us so they could take the kids to King’s Park and I could be with Cory. The staff at the Royal Perth Hospital were outstanding…efficient, thorough and friendly. They ran a gammut of tests and concluded that he had no major heart issue but were unsure what was causing his pain. With that he was released and we knew we needed a calm afternoon. First things first was lunch as Cory hadn’t eaten any breakfast. However, we waited too long to feed my lumberjack husband and after a coffee, he proceeded to pass out on me! Again, thank God for friends around! Luckily a little food was all he needed but what a crazy day and it was just 1pm! After lunch, we drove to Caversham Wildlife Park for a leisurely afternoon. It was an unexpected, super cool park where we started with the farm show seeing Australian cattle dogs work by rounding the sheep. Then they sheered a sheep in one fell swoop! They pull the sheep on their backs so they wouldn’t fight that you’re holding them. It was crazy cool to see! Then the birthday boy, lest we forget today was supposed to be about celebrating him, got picked to feed a five-week old baby lamb! He was so pumped as his birthday wasn’t going quite like we planned but you wouldn’t have known by his sweet attitude. We also saw bats, which is hard to do without it being a dark, nocturnal section of a zoo; they have quite big wing spans. Then we were able to take pictures with a wombat, blue-tongued lizard, Australian opossum, olive python and koala. My favorite part was getting even closer with their kangaroos and wallabies. We hung out and fed these marsupials for a while and boy were they hungry. A few kangaroos would even hold your hand to get a better angle on their food. It was a super fun afternoon of enjoying Australian animals!
On Saturday, we decided to give Teddy’s birthday a do-over calling it his “American birthday” since we’re a day ahead in Australia anyway and yesterday wasn’t exactly a celebration. Thankfully Cory was also feeling better so off to Fremantle, a cool harbour town with a lot of old buildings, we drove to catch our ferry to Rottnest Island. The ferry was the fastest ferry I’ve ever ridden plus the water was “sloppy” as the captain called it. Oh mercy, that made for a rough 30 minutes. For the way back, we found some Dramamine. Back to the fun, Rottnest Island is a quokka preserve as they are critically endangered so we got bikes and hit the paths to find quokkas in the wild! So you’re not supposed to pet the quokkas but they would eat leaves out of your hand. Actually they’d pull it out of your hand! It was crazy cool to be this close to these wild animals! It was supposed to rain today and it surely did but not before we got a quick walk on the beach by the Indian Ocean. We had an outstanding lunch at Thomson looking out over the ocean and watching it pour. Teddy got another birthday dessert with candles, singing and all! He was so sweet about all the craziness that had happened in the past couple of days. We encountered one more Australian wildlife before heading back the mainland in the form of a huntsman spider. He was about half the size of my iPhone and almost decided to jump in our souvenir bag. Yikes!
To round out our time in Perth, we chose to go to the Perth Mint to see where Australia used to make currency. The Mint now shows how gold is melted down and turned into bars as well as seeing the world’s heaviest gold coin at one ton. They make collector’s coins here now too. We all really enjoyed it including our funny and entertaining tour guide! Grovesnor’s Hotel was our lunch spot for pub food before flying back to Sydney. Luckily the tail wind makes it a shorter flight by more than an hour.
Perth was a last minute addition to our Australia travels. Regardless of our unexpected chaos, it is so awesome we got to experience a bit of Western Australia! Back to the East Coast!
Kangaroos at Yanchep National Park
Caversham Wildlife Park
Quokka on Rottnest Island
One Ton piece of Gold at the Perth Mint