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A Guide To Perth/Fremantle With Kids

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The first port of call for our Western Australia roadtrip was its capital Perth.  Having read reports that the Perth CBD was a bit boring, I chose to base ourselves in Fremantle, its livelier neighbour, about 25 minutes drive southwest.  I was so pleased with this decision as it meant we could easily walk out of our apartment and wander around the local shops and restaurants. Fremantle itself also has a lot of interesting sights from the Shipwreck Galleries to the Prison.  We spent two days and two nights in Perth/Fremantle.  The only major thing we didn’t have time for was Rottnest Island but I’ll save that for our return!

What did we do in Perth/Fremantle?

FREMANTLE

You can get round Fremantle easily without a car, something we found out by accident when the Avis office was closed by 11am..!

  • Visited the Shipwreck Galleries which contain an amazing collection of bounty and salvaged boats.  My kids loved this place, there’s even a kids activity area upstairs.  Entry is free (donation welcome).
    Fremantle - Dressing up in Shipwreck Galleries
  • Played at the Esplanade Park which is adjacent to the Shipwreck Galleries. A lovely spot, especially if you are eating at Little Creatures or Cicerello’s close by.
    Fremantle - Esplanade Park
  • Took a tour around Fremantle Prison which was decommissioned as a maximum-security jail in 1991. There are a few tours on offer, we did the one hour ‘Doing Time Tour’ which kept my two captivated as there’s lots of moving around and short explanations.
  • Wandered around Fremantle – there are loads of great boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants.  The lady at the tourist office recommended The Pickled Fairy, an enchanting store selling overpriced fairy goods.  Unfortunately this only resulted in a fight with my 6-year-old when I wouldn’t buy her a fairy dress

PERTH

  • If you like gold, you’ll love the Perth Mint. Not only can you see the world’s largest gold coin but you can also see a ‘gold pour’, where gold is heated to molten temperatures and transformed into a gleaming solid gold bar. We paid up for the hourly guided tour which was well worth it as our tour guide was extremely engaging.
    Perth Mint
  • You can hear the bells ringing at the Bell Tower daily from noon till 1pm. We decided against going inside and just listened to the bells on a patch of grass overlooking the Swan River.
  • Perth Cultural Centre in Northbridge is home to several museums and galleries. We visited Perth during a heatwave and were desperately seeking indoor activities.  I had wanted to visit the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts but it was closed. So we ended up in the Art Gallery of Western Australia which was very interesting. There was even a kids space where they could try their hand at life drawing and hang their paintings in the gallery.
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  • Sticking to the indoor theme, we made a beeline for Scitech, an interactive science museum for kids.  This place is brilliant with loads of hands on activities and an mesmerising planetarium.  Kids under 4 go free.
  • My 6-year-old was desperate to go to the beach. Despite the promise of beaches later on in the week, she wanted it now. So off we went at 8am to Cottesloe, a popular beach for locals.
    Cottlesloe Beach - Perth
  • King’s Park is one of the largest inner city parks in the world and is absolutely stunning.  We visited twice, at the beginning of the holiday for a play in the grounds near the State War Memorial and a picnic on our last night, by the Lotterywest Family Area. Be sure to check what’s on as if there’s a concert in the grounds, traffic getting in & out of the park gets a bit crazy.

Where did we eat?

  • Fremantle’s Moore & Moore Cafe (a mere 5 minutes walk from our apartment), was so delicious that we ate breakfast there on both days.  Fresh ingredients, delicious coffee and even a kids play area!
    Fremantle - Moore & Moore
  • The historic Fremantle Markets is on every Friday, Saturday & Sunday showcasing a wide range of products from local growers.  We had a delicious lunch grazing through all the stalls from Turkish gozleme to healthy kombucha.
    Fremantle Markets
  • I have a soft spot for fish & chips and when I saw Cicerellos had been voted no 1 in Western Australia, I knew I had to try it. The setting is beautiful, overlooking the Fishing Boat Harbour and there’s a big aquarium indoors to amuse the kids.
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  • One of my favourite meals was at Little Creatures Brewery.  Despite being a micro brewery, kids are catered for with a huge sandpit on the outdoor terrace. The food is delicious and there’s a fun buzzy atmosphere.

Where did we stay?

Lately I’ve been leaning more towards self catering rentals.  If you’re traveling with kids, these larger properties (for the same price or cheaper than a hotel) give you the luxury of a kitchen and a separate bedroom / living room.  I found ‘Andrea’s Apartment’ through Stayz.com.  It is a two bedroom apartment, slap bang in central Fremantle.  On arrival late at night it was slightly tricky to work out how to get in to although Andrea does give you very detailed instructions.

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Whilst it’s not high end luxurious, the apartment is perfect for relaxing in Fremantle. There’s a large living room with 2 big windows overlooking central Fremantle.  The host has kindly provided lots of board games, toys, music & magazines.  There’s a decent kitchen and dining table with four chairs.  There are also laundry facilities (I’m literally obsessed with places with laundry facilities).
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There are two bedrooms, each with a double bed and ample wardrobe.  There is one bathroom with a shower.
The apartment was sparkling clean and booking was easy.  Be aware there Is one flight of stairs up if you have lots of luggage.  The only issue we had is that the internet was down but I think we secretly enjoyed some time off our iPhones!
For more information on what to do in Perth/Fremantle

3 comments

  1. MummyTravels

    I’m with your daughter on that beach, heatwave or not it looks very enticing. As does Fremantle, I’ve always heard good things about it and Perth, and I do like a walkable city with lots to do. Worth heading west for, I think! Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  2. Wander Mum

    It’s funny I should read this now… I was just reading Lonely Planet’s list of cities to visit in 2016 and Fremantle was one of them! I must admit that I only knew it as a TV production company (that produces Neighbours!) I didn’t realise it was a city! Sounds great though. Would love to explore western Oz. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

    1. Nicola

      I know I saw that list too! Fremantle was really cool, would definitely go back

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