Nov 25th

Christmas Carols in Perth

By Buggybuddys Jennie

Here's a list of Carol Services taking place across Perth for Christmas 2014. 



Carols by Candlelight - Carramar
Sunday 30th November. St Stephen's Oval. Gates open 6pm, Program starts at 7pm.

Featuring performances from Tapping Primary School and St Stephen's School. Food drinks and candles will be available for purchase. BYO blanket or chairs. 




Sunset Carols - Cockburn Central
Saturday 6th December 7.30pm - 9.30pm. Town Centre, Linkage Drive, Cockburn Central

Live Band from 7.30pm, Free face painting from 6.30pm, Food sellers and surrounding stores open for business. BYO picnic rugs and chairs welcome. 




Rockingham RSL Carols by Candlelight
Rockingham Village Green, cnr of Patterson Road & Flinders Lane. Saturday 6th December 5pm - 8.30pm.




Carols at Sunset - Booragoon
Sunday 7th December 6.00pm - 8.30pm. John Creaney Reserve, Centennial Park, Benningfield Road, Bull Creek

Bring a picnic dinner or enjoy a sausage sizzle available at the event. Glow stick candles available and songbooks provided. Father Christmas will be attending. $2 donation to enter. Children free!



Carols by Candlelight - Armadale
Sunday 7th December 6pm - 10pm. Memorial Park, Orchard Avenue, Armadale

Pre-show entertainment and Parade of the Toys at 5pm. Celebrate the spirit of Chirstmas at the City of Armadale's Carols by Candlelight, in the leafy Memorial Park amphitheatre. The evening wil feature a stunning Parade of the Toys, a visit from Santa himself, the Roleystone Theatre Choir and the award winning Armadale City Concert Band.




Carols in the Park - Cloverdale
Friday 12th December 6pm - 9pm. Faulkner Park, Cloverdale

Celebrate the spirit of Christmas in Belmont this December as local primary and high school students come together and perform the annual 'Carols in the Park'!
Sing along to your favourite Christmas carols and  enjoy a spectacular fireworks display. There will even be a special appearance by Santa!
Bring a rug or pack a picnic chair and enjoy the evening with family and friends. Light refreshments will be available for purchase.




Carols by Candlelight - Bayswater
Saturday 13th December 5pm. Halliday Park, Coode Street, Bayswater

Childrens Activities 5pm - 7pm. Carols starting 7pm. Pack a picnic and invite your friends and family along the celebrate the festive season. Programs and candles will be available for gold coin donation.




Christmas Carols and Craft Fair
Spice Grove Road, Cannington. Saturday 13th December 10am - 10pm. Carols at 7.30pm.

Spend the weekend wandering the range of gift stalls for those last minute presents. Be sure to bring cash as there are no ATM facilities. Exciting rides for the kids and plenty of food and drinks for sale. Parking available directly next to the event space. Candles will be available for purchase from the TS Canning Cadets for Carols. Carols begin promptly at 7.30pm and run for approximately 80 minutes. New addition this year - multi faith readings.




Freedom City's Carols on The Esplanade
Esplanade Reserve, Fremantle Saturday 13th December 10am - 10pm. Family Festival starts at 5.30pm. Carols at 7.00pm.

A great, free evening for the whole family.Starting at 530pm: Family Festival. Bouncy castles, Kids rides, Face painting, Balloon twisting, Petting zoo, Prizes.
6.00 pm: Santa & his sleigh 
7.00 pm: Christmas Show 
Christmas carols performed by some of Perth’s best singers and musicians, 50-piece choir, Kids choir, Entertainment, Plenty of laughs. Food + Coffee available for purchase throughout the entire evening.The evening will conclude at 9.00 pm.



Carols in the Park - Burswood
Sunday 14th December 6.30pm - 9.00pm. Burswood Park Foreshore.

Burswood Park Board proudly presents the 20th annual Carols in the Park on the Burswood Park foreshore, off Resort Drive, Burswood.  Entertainment commences at 6.30pm, with the special Christmas story and carols concert from 7.30pm.  Bring a picnic and blanket, and purchase a song book and candle for a gold coin donation. All proceeds to the chaplaincy of Kent Street Senior High School and Riding for the Disabled.  




Secret Harbour Carols in the Park
Secret Harbour Primary School Oval. Sunday 14th December 4pm - 8pm.

Come join us for the annual event of the Secret Harbour Carols in the Park.
The carols feature talent from the local primary school choirs, Secret Harbour Primary and Comet Bay Primary, local artists and the Kwinana Children’s Choir all performing Christmas Carol Hits!  
There will also be a variety of gourmet food available to purchase on the night along with a special visit from Santa.The Secret Harbour Residents Association would like to thank the City of Rockingham, Secret Harbour Pty Ltd and Secret Harbour Shopping Centre for supporting this event.




Carols in the Park
Braithwaite Park, Mount Hawthorn. Sunday 14th December 6.30pm. 

Join in on the Christmas festivities at Carols in the Park, come early for a BYO picnic and games and enjoy the carols, with guest performances by the Mt Hawthorn School Choir.
Bring an optional gold coin donation to support School Chaplaincy for Candle and Carols Booklet.
This family friendly event is run with Mount Hawthorn Community Church.




Kwinana Christmas Carols
Town Green, corner of Sulphur Road and Gilmore Avenue.  Sunday 14th December 4pm - 8pm.




Kingsley Community Carols Festival 2014
Creaney Oval, Kingsley Park. Sunday 14th December 6.30pm - 9pm. 

All welcome to come along to the Kingsley Community Carols Festival on Sunday 14th December. Enjoy Carols, music and entertainment for the whole family.




Heathridge Carols in the Park 2014
Heathridge Park, Sail Terrace, Heathridge. Sunday 14th December 6.30pm - 9.30pm. 

All welcome to come along to the Heathridge Community Carols Festival on Sunday 14th December. Bring a picnic and enjoy Christmas Carols, music and entertainment for the whole family. Children's activites from 6.30pm, carols program from 7.30pm with fireworks finale at 9.15pm. 




Carols by Candlelight, Kalamunda
Stirk Park, Kalamunda. Sunday 14th December 5pm - 9.30pm. 

Small fee for programmes and candles. 




Carol Singing in the Square, Fremantle
Kings Square, Fremantle. Friday 19th December 7pm. 

People are invited to come along early, bring a picnic, and spend the evening with family and friends singing Christmas Carols. For a gold coin donation people will receive a carol book and a battery operated candle.




Carols at Hartfield Park, Forrestfield
Saturday 20th December 6pm - 8.30pm. Hartfield Soccer Park Ground, Forrestfield.

Cost: Free - Donations Only
Free Sausage Sizzle
Can Drinks for Sale
Proudly supported by the local churches, businesses and the Kalamunda Shire. This is an alcohol and drug free event.




IGA Carols by Candlelight
Sunday 21st December 7.30pm - 9pm. Supreme Court Gardens

Bring a rug and picnic and sing along to your favourite Christmas carols with friends and family under the stars at the Apex Club’s 70th annual Christmas variety concert fundraiser. Join thousands of families celebrating the Christmas spirit, with children’s activities from 6.30pm.The event will commence at 7.30pm with the gates opening at 4.00pm.Bring a rug and picnic and sing along to your favourite Christmas carols with friends and family under the stars at the Apex Club's 69th annual Christmas variety concert fundraiser.Join thousands of families celebrating in the Christmas spirit, with children's activities from 6.30pm. Ticketed event, all proceeds go to local charities supporting people in need.Cost: $10 per person or a family ticket (2 adults and 2 kids) for $30. Tickets available at the gate.This is a ticketed event, with proceeds going to local charities supporting people in need.



Carols by Candlelight - Bassendean
Sunday 21st December 7.30pm - 9pm. Success Hill Reserve, Bassendean

Carols by Candlelight is a great community event that celebrates the festive season rejoiced in song. The Carols are set in the beautiful surroundings of the Success Hill Reserve and organised by the Bassendean Church of Christ.




Carols by Candlelight, Cottesloe
Sunday 21st December 6.00pm 

BYO own picnic on the lawn from 6pm. 

Return to the Christmas in Perth page

Nov 24th

La Veen Coffee & Kitchen Perth CBD

By Buggybuddys - Lorraine
After a visit to Santaland at Myers in the CBD and an unplanned "very wet" play in the Forrest Chase water fountains we decided to check out La Veen Coffee & Kitchen with the girls.  It was brunch time and the girls were exhausted after all the excitement of visiting Santa :-) 

It's only a short walk from Forrest Chase and the girls were happy to see the sights of the City.


The cafe has wooded wall panels, flooring and wooden tables and chairs.  There are also window seating options on stools which were a bit tall for our little Miss 4 year olds.  We picked up a menu and were showed to our table, it's counter service so make sure you peruse the freshly baked goods on offer as well as the menu.

Ooooh how could you resist these billowy babies!

A selection of freshly baked pastries, muffins, slices and cakes.  I could have easily quoffed one whilst ordering!

The menu is reasonably priced for the CBD and offers plenty of signature dishes.  Jennie chose the La Veen signature Waffles with house Ice Cream, Berries, Chocolate and POP ROCK's.  Beautifully presented and very very rich and unctuous!  The Pop Rocks were a little sparse but this didn't deter the girls sampling them and feeling the tingle on their tongues.  Jennie was keen for a more healthier option but alas I persuaded her otherwise :-)

Our sweet toothed ladies fancied some Chocolate studded Banana Bread from the menu, there isn't a specific kids menu but lots of yummy delights to keep them happy.  

My Sundown tea with Balm Flowers, Peppermint, Lavender, Rose and Orange for $4.50.  I would have liked a bit more tea to be honest but it was pleasant and served beautifully.

Freshly squeezed juices (on the right) Celery, Carrott, Giner and Lemon.  Very filling, zingy and fresh.  (Left) Jennie went for the healthy iron boosting Beetroot, Kale, Apple and Lemon juice which was very earthy and wholesome.  A nice healthy option to wash the waffles down!

Find other family friendly restaurants and cafe's in Perth

La Veen Coffee & Kitchen on Urbanspoon
Nov 24th

Santa Perth - list of the best places to get Santa Pictures Perth

By Buggybuddys - Lorraine

Santa Perth - the best places to visit for Santa Pictures in Perth

Guide and list of the best Santa pictures in Perth for kids and pets!

Getting your childs' Santa Perth pictures seems like quite a stressful and costly experience, so Buggybuddys has taken to the shopping centres to do a spot of research to help all the families out there have an enjoyable and cost effective experience.


Tops tips for Santa Pictures in Perth:

  • All the Santa experiences we talked to allow your kids to visit Santa without having to have photographs taken, don’t feel pressured if you don’t want to have pictures done
  • Go with a budget in mind – use our guide below to give you an indication of what you’ll be paying.  Prices start from $19.95 for one printed photo
  • Think about what to dress your kids/babies in before you go to visit Santa
  • Talk to your kids about visiting Santa before you go, tell them what the kids do when they get there etc..  Visit the centre/store with your child/children and have a look at Santa a few times before going to have photo’s taken to make them feel at ease
  • Be prepared to sit in on the photo to make your child feel more comfortable.
  • Prepare a letter to Santa to post in the post box – a great experience and all the centres that do this promise to write back if you have a return address on the letter and envelope
  • Don’t be afraid to tell the photographer if you don’t like the photo’s, ask for more to be taken or go back later and try again

santa pictures perth - harvey norman.jpg

Here is a list of shopping centres that are offering Santa photography. We'll be adding to this list as we keep receiving more information.

Karrinyup Shopping Centre
Saturday 8th November until Christmas Eve.

Our Santa photo company, ‘Scene to Believe’, are supporting the CREATE Foundation by donating $1 from every photo package purchased throughout the campaign. In the spirit of giving, a cool snake puzzle will be given to every child who visits Santa (while stocks last). In addition, thanks to Australia Post, we will also be giving out Christmas postcards.

Saturday 8th November to Sunday 23rd November
10am - 4pm (Mon, Tues, Weds, Fri & Sat)
10am - 7pm (Thursdays)
12pm - 4pm (Sundays)
Monday 24th November to Wednesday 24th December
10am - 5pm (Mon, Tues, Weds, Fri & Sat)
10am - 7pm (Thursdays)
12pm - 4pm (Sundays)

For all full price list click here.

A few mums I’ve spoken to have had a great experience here and love that the Santa has a real beard. Best time to go is around 1pm when most of our little one’s are sleeping. Santa can also be visited at Myer in Karrinyup Centre.

santa photo perth

Lakeside, Joondalup
Santa photos 9th November - 24th December
Everybody loves Santa 'Ken' with families coming back year after year to visit him. He is a lovely chap and has a real beard. We have had a sneaky peak at his rota and he is mainly scheduled to appear from 9am - 1pm must week days and in the afternoon on Saturdays. 

santa pictures in perth.jpg

This year's Santa set is a cute Toy Village with moving puppets in each of the 'shop' windows.


Myers Santaland, Perth CBD
Opens from Friday 15th November.

Myers Santaland claims to be the next best thing to Christmas morning for kids, with FREE interactive games and activities for kids of all ages.
Santaland is on the 2nd floor through the Christmas shop area. This year you can book your Santa session online which means no queuing for hours. Hurray! You can visit Santaland without having to visit the man himself and it's totally free.

You can park your stroller in the buggy park, then you’re given a gold train ticket to use for the train as you enter Santaland.  The train itself is a great experience if you can get your child to sit on it on their adults and your child must be able to sit upright throughout the train ride.

 There’s also a TV which was screening Frozen when we visited accompanied by some rather funky Santa Boot stools so you can take a pew and watch the movie.

There is also a small playframe. 

There’s a huge chimney stack where you can write, post or email your letter to Santa and drawing and paper made especially for the occasion.


When it's your turn to visit Santa one of the friendly elves will come and escort you to his room. A nice touch is that the elves will ask your child their name before they enter the room so once they get to see Santa he is able to greet them by their name. 

You don't have to pay for a picture taken to have some time with Santa. If you are opting for the photo package (which start at $24.95) then your child can opt to sit on Santa's knee or on one of the cushions next to his chair. My daughter was quite happy to have a chat with santa but refused point blank to have her picture taken. The photographer and Santa were very accommodating and did try to coax her but she was having none of it so we left without a picture! 

We loved the Rudolph that was sleeping by the fire. His chest moved up and down as he breathed and every so often he would flick his tail. 

More Shopping Centres where Santa will be making an appearance

Armadale Shopping City - From the 1st December
Garden City - From 17th November. Free snake puzzle. 
Lakeside Joondalup - From 9th November. 
Mirrabooka Square - From 29th November
Santaland Myer - From 15th November. Book a time online to see Santa
Ocean Keys Shopping Centre - From 29th November
Rockingham Shopping Cente - From 22nd November

Southlands Shopping Centre
Westfield Carousel - From 8th November
Westfield Innaloo - From 11th November. Pet Photography from 16th November. 

Westfield Whitford City - From 8th November. Pet Photography from 11th November

 Related Blogs
Christmas Markets in Perth
Christmas Events in Perth
Christmas Carols in Perth
Christmas Lights in Perth

 Return to Christmas in Perth page.

Nov 24th

Real Christmas Trees Perth

By Buggybuddys Jennie

Nothing says Christmas like a real Christmas tree so here is a list of places to buy real Christmas Trees in Perth.


Christmas Trees of Wanneroo
99 Rousset Road, Mariginiup, Wanneroo. Open from November 29th until 22nd December 10am to 6pm. Prices: $65 - $320

Over 2,000 trees to choose from and cut down yourself.  A saw is  supplied for the cutting down of your tree along with a free tree trolley to transport your tree from the fields to your car. Trees can be reserved and then be picked up at a later date closer to Xmas.
611 Great Northern Highway, Herne Hill. Open from TBA Weds – Sun, 10am – 6pm Prices: $35 - $130

You will be given a measuring stick and armed with a saw and then the fun begins. Wander through the Xmas tree forest to choose your own tree. When you have found the perfect tree, you can check the price by using the measuring stick which indicates not only height but also the price. Then cut the tree as close to the ground as possible. There is help available, if required, for loading the trees into trailers or onto cars and roof-racks.


Santa Pines
3441 Toodyay Road, Gidgegannup

For an extra charge, Santa Pines' little helpers can deliver your tree, set it up in a special Xmas tree stand that holds water. Or if you would like the whole experience of xmas, you can come to the farm, pick your own tree, cut it down and take it home yourself.

Swan Valley Christmas Trees
143c Wilson Road East, Middle Swan
Prices: From $69. Open every Saturday and Sunday from 29th November.

Imagine your home filled with the beautiful aroma of a fresh pine tree this Christmas. We are proud to offer the freshest trees in Perth. Find us at Farmers Markets around Perth, or come out to our farm and select your tree. We also offer home delivery! Visit our farm in the beautiful Swan Valley and buy a tree for the family to enjoy at Christmas. Bring the kids and your camera so that you can take home a phot of the family with our elves. And the kids can have a bag of lollies!

Wilbury’s Chirstmas Trees
8350 West Swan Road, Henley Brook. Open from 30th November 9am – 7pm.

Prices: From $55

Come to Wilbury's to buy your perfect real Christmas Tree. Enjoy a real Christmas tradition and purchase your fresh, traditional Xmas tree from Wilbury's Christmas Trees. Create the Christmas atmosphere in your home with that fresh aroma of pine, that your family will love. Add your Christmas decorations & ornaments for a perfect memory.

S & G’s Christmas Trees
Order online. Prices from $179

S&G will deliver and set up a real tree in your home. They come in a range of sizes from 6 – 12 feet. Each comes with a stand. For an additional fee they can even decorate yours and they come and remove it for you in January.

Tom’s Pine Christmas Trees
Enquire via email.

Related Blogs
Christmas Markets in Perth
Christmas Carols in Perth
Santa Photos in Perth
Christmas Events in Perth

Return to Christmas in Perth page.  
Nov 23rd

Ootong & Lincoln, South Fremantle

By Buggybuddys Jennie

Ootong & Lincoln is a quirky café based in South Fremantle. It is open 7 days a week from 6.30am – 5pm for breakfast and lunch.


They make everything on their premises, using local organic ingredients including preserving their own jam.


The décor is retro shabby chic with mismatched chairs, exposed brickwork and tricycles arranged on a ledge above the windows.  

The café caters well for large groups and families. For kids there is a small play area with a selection of toys and a child sized table and chairs.


There is a small menu accompanied by a range of daily specials, sandwiches and salads on display in the chiller cabinet.

I very much enjoyed Char Siew Pork Burger ($17) Pork Shoulder, pickled veg, egg, hoi sin, and mayo.


I couldn’t resist trying the Lychee Slushy ($7.5) which was a cocktail of lychees, watermelon, mint and ice. It was divine!


The kids menu is limited with 2 choices on the breakfast menu, Egg and toast ($7) or ham and cheese toastie ($7). Our kids opted to share a ham and cheese toastie between them, which they heartily enjoyed.


Ootong & Lincoln is located at 258 South Terrace, South Fremantle. Visit for more information. 

Ootong & Lincoln on Urbanspoon

Find more family friendly restaurants in Perth 

Nov 21st

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes

By Janelle

My daughter Mairéad tells it like it is.  Always has.

The other night as we were eating a casserole I’d made, I said (mostly to myself) as I tasted it ‘This dish is just missing something....’ ‘Yeah,’ she said, ‘Yumminess.’

Then there was the time we were at the supermarket and she pointed at quite a large lady in another checkout aisle and said ‘Look, Mum!  That lady has a baby in her tummy!’  The lady in question was easily in her mid-sixties, and the only thing she had in her tummy by the look of it was cake.  Mortifying.

And I mustn’t forget to mention the time when she spotted a man with a completely bald head and she pointed dramatically and shouted across the Murray Street Mall ‘Look, Mum!  That man with no hair doesn’t eat salad!’  I have to take some (all) responsibility for that one.  Telling Mairead her hair would fall out if she didn’t eat greens was the only way I could get her to eat lettuce.  Don’t judge, it works.  Well, it did up until that incident, anyway.

There was the time she lost her mind in a giant maze, stamped her foot and screamed ‘Mum! Why did you bring me to this boring place?!’ The time we were at a friend’s place for dinner and she sternly told everyone at the table ‘Less talking, more eating.’  The time she pointed at the lady in the full burqa on a plane and loudly told everyone to watch out for the Lego ninja.

She’s a shocker.

This week before her swimming lesson, I let Mairéad go into the pool by herself.  My little one Maeve was getting over a cold, so I kept her in the pram next to me by the side of the pool, and let Mairéad make her own fun (within a safe distance, of course) in the water before her class started.

I watched my girl play in the water, happy and content and I thought about how she was growing up.  Then I caught her watching another boy intently, a little way away from her.  This boy was probably in his mid-teens, and was plainly mentally and physically disabled.  He was making big splashes in the water, and shouting sounds and stamping and grinning and having fun. Mairéad couldn’t take her eyes off him.  I watched her, watching him, wondering what was going on in her head.  Her little face softened, and she wore an expression of maternal sweetness, the kind of face she usually reserves for tiny animals and sleeping babies. My heart swelled with pride at her obvious compassion and sensitivity. Then she stood up in the water up to her waist, cupped her hands around her mouth and shouted across the pool at top of her voice ‘HEY MUM! THAT BOY GIVES ME THE CREEPS!’

‘Be nice’ I tried to instruct her quietly, wishing the concrete floor of the pool would crack open and swallow me up. ‘Mum, he keeps SPLASHING! Why is he DOING that?’ I said ‘Maybe it’s a game he’s playing? Why don’t you go and see if you can play it too?’ ‘Oh YUCK!’ she screamed ‘NO WAY!’

‘Come here, now!’ I hissed at her.  She came out reluctantly while I frantically tried to work out how to explain disability and acceptance on the spot to a 5 year old. ‘Listen,’ I began, ‘that boy is.... (different? I didn’t want to say seemed too negative - she already knew he was different and didn’t like special.  Listen, you know how Pa was born with a wonky finger and the nail grew funny?  Well, when that boy was born, I think maybe he had a wonky brain, and that made him grow up a little funny.’ She’s not buying it at all. ‘But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk to him or play with him if you both want to.  He might like to make a new friend.’  She’s still looking sceptical. ‘And it’s definitely not nice to shout out things like you think he’s creepy - would you like it if someone shouted out about you?’ ‘No, that would hurt my feeling’ she admitted. ‘Ok, Mum.’

So she got back in the water.  She didn’t try to talk to the boy, or make friends with him, but  she also didn’t just stand there pointing with her nose screwed up.  She just let him get on with his splashing.

I’m going to go back early next week and get in the water myself with both the girls and hope that the boy and his carer are there again and maybe we can introduce ourselves.  Maybe we can all play the splashing game.

I’ll have to get new bathers though with an underwire, though.  Last time Mairéad saw me in my old ones she told me my boobs looked too long.  

My daughter Mairéad tells it like it is. Always has.

Janelle Koenig is an accomplished comedian, a mum of two little girls (aged 5 and 1 and no there won't be any more thanks for asking) and mediocre guitarist. She’s proud to consider herself a ‘real woman’ but keeps her skinny jeans ‘just in case’.       


Nov 19th

Rottnest Island

By Buggybuddys

Review of Rottnest Island – November 2014 – Kate Vallance

Rottnest Island (Rotto) is a little piece of paradise… the beaches are unspoilt and it is so relaxing to ride around by bike without the worry of cars. Rottnest has also just been named WA’s top major tourist attraction at the 2014 WA Tourism Awards.  As the website says, ‘with a choice of over 63 secluded beaches and 20 bays, you will be spoilt for choice’.

Rottnest is a wonderful place for a family holiday or day trip. We have been several times over the years both before children and with children and we really love it. Less than a half hour ferry ride from Fremantle or a little longer from Hillarys or Perth City, Rottnest is very close but seems a million miles away. There are no cars allowed on Rottnest other than service vehicles and a few little buses so most people cycle around the island which is quite small and there are no end of beautiful beaches. It is also home to the Quokka, a small cute marsupial, after which the island is named.

Rottnest is a great place to go with children and there is plenty to do. The beaches are mostly very calm and shallow which is great for young kiddies. If you are going for the day, it is worth getting as early a ferry as possible as the last ferries go back in daylight. In summer ferries start at around 7am and the last ferry back is around 6pm. Check details and availability on the individual ferry websites as the times depend on which location you are travelling to/from and the time of year. Ferries sometimes need to be booked in advance at busy times.

It is really worth having a good look around the Rottnest Island website in advance of your trip as you can download maps of the island and get lots of information about all the different things to do. The website is fantastic and contains pretty much everything you need to know, including links to ferry services, tours, accommodation booking, special events, what’s on, attractions, bike hire, bus timetable, etc. Having said that, it is certainly possible to just turn up and go with the flow particularly at off-peak times. 

Visitors Information Centre
When you arrive at Rottnest you disembark at Thomson Bay, the Main Settlement. The first thing you come across at the end of the jetty is the visitor’s centre which is really worth a visit as you can pick up maps, bus timetables and information about what is on.  They can also direct you to the bike hire shop, give general information about any special events and they can also give you the details of any tours that are on around the island (some are free).

A map of the main settlement can be found at

And a basic map of the whole island at

The visitors centre is also where you check in and pick up keys for your accommodation, if staying on the island. You can also make accommodation bookings in person. There is a little café/kiosk to one side where you can get a snack and there are also toilets at the back and some lockers.

A short walk from the ferry, behind the visitors information centre is the main street and a short walk to the left of the visitors centre is the cycle hire shop (Pedal and Flipper) where you can hire a whole heap of things as well as bikes. It is also possible to hire bikes as part of your ferry package, or bring your own over for a handling fee of $15 per bike.

If your children are confident on bikes you can spend a lovely day cycling around the island stopping at different bays. The island is a little hilly so for smaller children this can be more of a challenge. You can also hire adult trikes or a kiddie trailer, kiddie seats, etc. You can hire snorkel gear, stand up paddle boards, surf board racks, etc If any of your party has a disability there are also gophers, beach wheelchairs and disability buggies. See the website for more details

You can buy a day ticket for the Island Explorer bus which stops all around the island and allows you to get on and off as much as you like. If you are staying for a while you can also buy tickets for a few days or even an annual ticket. A day pass for a family (2 adults, 2 children) is $50.

There is a free shuttle bus that goes between Longreach/Georgie Bay – the airport – the barracks – the Main Settlement. There is a trailer at the back of the bus in case you have anything bulky like a pushchair, etc but you need to load and unload it yourself. The shuttle bus is new and air conditioned so very comfortable.

Things to Do
Apart from the island itself which is really the main attraction, there are a number of things to do during your visit.

There are a few shops:

·       A pharmacy which also sells t-shirts, hats, sunnies, etc

·       A wellness centre (where you can get a massage, hair cut, etc)

·       Indianic Surf - a shop selling rather nice beach/summer clothes and swimwear for adults and children

·       The Rottnest General Store – a supermarket selling a wide range of food and drinks including wine and beer. They also sell souvenirs, books, magazines, fishing equipment, etc. The store also offers free delivery to your accommodation if you are staying on the island at approximately 11am and 4pm each day

·       BankWest ATM

And some places to eat:

·       The Rottnest Bakery – selling bread, various cakes, snacks and other food to eat in or take away

·       Quokka Joe’s – a good quality café which sells fresh juice and does lunch and breakfast, including gluten free options

·       The Lane – a coffee bar also selling fresh juice and freshly made wraps

·       Subway

·       Simmo’s Ice-creamery

Along the beach there are a few more options:

·       Dome Café

·       Aristos Seafood Restaurant and pizza bar

·       Hotel Rottnest

And behind the main street:

·       The Lodge which has a restaurant and a pub style venue

At Georgie Bay there is also:

·       Another smaller version of the general store and bottle shop

·       Geordie’s – a great café/restaurant which does coffee, fresh juice, breakfast, lunch and dinner some evenings


There are a few playgrounds on the island:

·       Next to the bakery there is a large rope climbing frame

·       There is a large playground right on the beach front next to Aristos restaurant which has shade sails

·       Just beyond the Rottnest Hotel, near the beach, if you are walking away from the visitor’s centre (I have not been to this one but it is on the map)

·       There is a shaded playground at Georgie Bay near the café and general store

Paid Attractions

·       In summer there is a water park called Just 4 Fun Aqua Park which is on the right as you get off the ferry. It has a shallow area for little ones (under 7) and a deeper area for older children.

·       There is a deckchair style Cinema some nights, held in the cinema hall in the main settlement

·       Mini golf/family fun park – Shady mini golf course, trampolines and arcade games.

·       Mini train ride up to the army guns on Oliver Hill (there was an army presence at Rottnest island during the war)

·       Lighthouse tours

·       There are various tours of the island both on foot and by bus - some you pay for, some are free

·       Rottnest Museum – entry is a gold coin donation

·       Various boat trips for whale watching, island tours, etc

·       Scenic flights by helicopter

·       Massage, fitness sessions, etc

·       Rottnest Island Country Club – this has conference facilities, a bowling green and golf course

·       There are a couple of tennis courts on the island and you can also hire racquets

Free Attractions

·       Wildlife on the island: there are lots of birds, lizards, snakes and of course Quokkas to look out for. Underwater there are heaps of fish, crays, rays, crabs, etc and also the odd shark or sea lion. You can also see whales during the whale season.

·       The snorkelling is great all around the island. A snorkel trail can be followed at Parker Point and there are also plaques on location at Kingstown Reef.


·       The fishing is excellent although you have to make sure you stick to areas which are not sanctuary zones and you need a licence which can be obtained from the Department of Fisheries. There are also heaps of crayfish if you have cray pots or know how to dive for them. As with the mainland you need to observe bag limits and have the relevant licence where applicable. Spear guns are not allowed in the marine park.


·       The Salt Store – a mini one room museum

·       Lomas Cottage

·       Pilot Boathouse

·       There are usually special activities put on for children during school holidays some are free and some at a cost

·       Some of the walking tours are free – see tourist information for details or the board outside the Salt Store or the visitors centre


Getting to Rotto

Most people get to Rottnest by boat. Some use their own private boats, but most get the ferry. You can also fly by air taxi or helicopter. Full details are on the Rottnest Island website.

We usually go by ferry which for a family of 4 from Freo costs $84 each way plus a $50 government fee which goes towards the upkeep and conservation of the island (a total of around $218). There are often discounts available and you can get a discount of about 25% if you have the Entertainment Book. On this trip we had a 30% discount from the Perth Royal Show so we paid. $167 plus luggage, bikes and parking at the ferry terminal.

It is often possible to turn up and buy a ticket on the day you travel but at busy times it is worth booking in advance as ferries can get full. If you book more than 8 days in advance of your travel date you will be mailed a set of personalised luggage labels (2 free luggage labels per person). If you book less than 7 days in advance you have to pay for labels but they are only $2 each. For day trips luggage labels are not usually necessary as you would usually pack light if cycling around the island. There are also lockers at the visitors information centre on the island.

Luggage that you ‘check in’ with the ferry company is delivered to your accommodation for no extra cost which is fantastic. However, it is left outside your accommodation and not inside.

Because there are no cars on Rottnest most people either hire bikes from the ferry companies or from the bike shop on the island which has a huge range of bikes. If you prefer you can take your own and it costs $15 per bike on the Ferry.

Rottnest Express luggage information can be found at

You can park at the terminals at Hillarys and Fremantle and we tend to go from Freo’s Northport terminal as you can park very close to the ferry. However, it is important to check the ferry times as they differ depending on the terminal you are going from and Northport has limited departure times. So, if you are going for the day you may prefer to use another terminal so that you can go earlier and stay later. You pay for parking at Fremantle’s terminals so it is important to factor this into the cost of your trip. 6 days parking cost us over $70 at Northport on our most recent trip. If you go from the main Freo terminal you can get to the ferry by public transport so you don’t need to park at all. The terminals also have cafes so you can get a drink or a snack.


There is quite a range of accommodation on the island. From camping at the campsite, dormitories, various standards of self-contained accommodation and hotel accommodation at the Rottnest Hotel and The Lodge. The majority of the accommodation is around the main settlement but there are also options at Longreach/Geordie Bay and also Kingstown Barracks. Details of the accommodation types can be found on the website and bookings can be made online or over the phone. Bookings must be paid for in full at the time of booking.

Accommodation bookings for school holidays periods used to be by way of a public ballot but now bookings open approximately 18 months in advance and it is a case of first in best dressed. During peak times it is essential to book accommodation in advance and Easter and Summer school holidays often sell out very soon after booking opens so at times you will need to book 18 months in advance! This is also the case with Leavers weekend which usually happens around the end of November. Most people avoid visiting the island during Leavers weekend as it is very busy and full of mostly school leavers!

However, outside school holidays and Leavers week you can often get accommodation at short notice. If you want a particular villa or an ocean view room you may need to book further in advance.

To book the Hotel or The Lodge, you need to contact them directly or book directly through their websites.

Our current favourite place to stay is at Longreach as it is very beautiful and you can stay right on the beach. It is a short bike ride or bus trip away from the main settlement so is a little quieter.


Some Tips

·       If you are going for the day go as early as you can and stay as late as possible to make the most of your visit. Try to go on a day that is warm but not ridiculously hot, especially if you are planning to cycle around the island

·       Make sure you factor in all costs when budgeting for your holiday (ferry, parking, luggage, bike hire or transport cost if taking your own bikes/bus ticket, accommodation, eating out, food, any attractions, etc) as it can all add up

·       Stay at least one or 2 nights if you can seeing as the ferry costs a fair bit and is not much cheaper for a day return. There is plenty to do and it is a very relaxing place to stay

·       If staying overnight, try to book accommodation over-looking the ocean as I think it makes a big difference

·       Check in is at 2pm but check out is at 9am at the accommodation we stayed at in Longreach. Our luggage had to be ready to be collected by 8am

·       Get your groceries delivered by the general store if you are staying, it is great to get to your accommodation to find your food already in the fridge including beer and wine J

·       Quokkas are very easy to see, particularly if you go to the main shopping area near the bakery or eat in a restaurant. You will find them hopping around your feet in no time! However, feeding and touching quokkas is discouraged.

·       When eating outside watch out for seagulls. They will not think twice about stealing any unattended food! This goes for eating at restaurants and on your balcony too. I also had a lizard once eat some fruit I forgot I had left in a bag outside my accommodation.

·       There is also the resident peacock which can often be seen wandering around the main settlement area

·       If you do not want to go far, The Basin is a great place to visit. It is a short bike ride from the main settlement and is great for snorkelling and has shade, an outdoor shower and toilets. Without even going in the water we saw lizards, a very colourful crab hiding in a rock cave and a sea lion sunning itself at the end of the beach.

·       Carry plenty of water and snacks as there may not be water available if you go outside the main settlement

·       Bring your own shade if moving away from the main settlement as there often isn’t any on the beaches and it can get very hot

·       If you are planning to ride around the island by bike, make sure your kiddies are comfortable going up and down hills. Unfortunately, one of ours was not and this made for extremely slow progress!

·       If you are not sure about riding around by bike then the bus is a great option and very easy.

·       Watch out for snakes. Snakes on Rottnest Island are dugites and are extremely venomous. However, they will usually stay away from people as they are shy. They would only usually bite if trodden on or harassed. I have only ever seen one there once but only because someone pointed it out to me and it was just slowly gliding past.

·       Bring a bike lock just to make sure your bike doesn’t get ‘borrowed’ while you are away from it!

·       Keep a note of emergency contact numbers just in case

·       Relax and enjoy, it is a truly beautiful island and we love it there!


Nov 17th

Blank Canvas Gifts

By Alisha
Blank Canvas Gifts is the "brainchild" of a Perth mum. Budding artists from age three can create their very own personalized works of art on projects like t-shirts, library bags, sunhats, pencil cases, and even dresses.

What a surprise yesterday to come home to three gift bags from Blank Canvas Gifts on our doorstep. It was like an early Christmas for my kids as they hurriedly opened the canvas bags to see what was inside.

I loved the way the gifts were packaged in a reusable drawstring bag.  There was a gift tag on each featuring a cute Blank Canvas Gift character. 


Inside the bags the kids found a blank canvas, or project, suited for them to complete with all the tools necessary for them to unleash their creativity.

My 13 year old daughter received a cushion, my 11 year old son a T-shirt, and my 4 year old son a Santa Sack.  It was so much fun watching them open the bags. They squealed with delight when they pulled out the paints, brushes, glitter and gems from their bags. 

My daughter's Blank Canvas was a cushion with a removable cover for her decorate.  Her gift bag contained paints, a little palate, paintbrushes, gems and glue.

My eldest son's T-shirt project came with 3D paints, brushes, and some very special glow in the dark paint.  He was pretty excited about that!
My younger son's project was a "Santa Sack" complete with a blank letter and envelope to mail to Santa himself.  I love this idea for Christmas gifts this year!  His Santa Sack came with paint, brushes, and a "finishing touch" of red glitter.  

I loved these brushes for my youngest.  They were perfect for his little hands to grasp onto!
Letter to Santa


It was a beautiful day outside, so I set up a crafting table on the patio, and the kids eagerly got to work!

Each project came with a blank piece of card for the kids to plan and practice drawing out their masterpieces before putting it on the actual canvas.  It gave me such joy to see them concentrating so hard, and putting so much effort into their projects. 

This handy little pamphlet was full of tips descriptions of all the different projects and supplies. 

It wasn't long before the Blank Canvas projects started looking like amazing, personalized works of art!  I loved how each project was so completely different from the other, just like each one of my kids! 

My 11 year old son took the longest with his project.  I found him mixing his primary colors to create new paint colors when he needed them.  

The paints and supplies provided in the kits were top quality!  The projects themselves were high quality 100% cotton.  The paints, brushes, glues, and embellishments were all renowned brands I had heard of and used before such as Scribbles, Tulip and Aleene's. 


I was very impressed with the quality of all the paints and supplies, and we had plenty left over for future projects.  In fact, my teenage daughter has already used the paints on a white pair of canvas shoes she had that needed some personalization! 

Blank Canvas Gifts were a huge hit with all of my children.  It appealed to my 4 year old, on up to the teenager.  I plan to buy some projects for Christmas gifts this year, and it will be my new go to gift for birthday parties!

Here are my kids showing off their works of art:

This Santa Sack will sit under our tree waiting to be filled for years to come!

My kids were all so proud of their work, and were thrilled with themselves... a definite self esteem booster!  I know we will cherish these projects for years to come!

Gift packages range from $30-$45 and include everything needed to create a self inspired work of art. Each pack comes with fabric paints and brushes or markers to complete the project.  There are also a variety of "finishing touches" which you can add to your gift pack, such as the gems, glitter and glow in the dark paint. 
To see all the Blank Canvas Gifts has to offer, check out their website, or find them on Facebook.

Nov 17th

Run Amuk Hotdogs Unleashed Fremantle

By Buggybuddys - Lorraine
Hot dog hot dog hot digity dog!  My kids LOVE hot dogs, my 4 year old can easily consumer 2 full sized hotdogs with all the trimmings in one sitting.  So when I heard about Run Amuk Hotdogs Unleashed in Fremantle I knew I had to take little Miss 4.

After an energentic swimming session at Frementle Leisure Centre we drove a few minutes to South Fremantle and found street parking directly outside the restaurant.

At 11:30am, it was already getting busy proving that these guys do a mean hot dog that keeps the customers coming back for more.  We weren't disappointed either!

Choose from alfresco seating on the pavement outside, fun printed tables and stools and 70's style bench booth seating next to the wall of cars.  Yes it's a wall of mini cars!!

No Miss 4 they DON'T come off the wall...that's the point, it's arty :-)

After studying the menu hard we all decided a Hotdog would be good - that's all they sell so we were in luck.  Choose from a variety of well thought of combinations.  I follow a Paleo (no grains or dairy) low carb diet AND I'm allergic to potatoes (NO CHIPS for me!) so I was super pleasantly catered for by the manager who mustered up a beautiful looking and tasting lunch for me that wasn't on the menu.  I had my sausage, sauerkraut, avocado, pineapple, bacon and fried onions and it was delicious.  Big thanks for catering for people with ridiculous allergies.

My friend ordered the Scoundrel Hotdog which is served in it's own little silver tray and napkin looking so deliciously scrumptious, which it was. 

The kids had a Puppy Dog Hotdog complete with Cheese and Chips.

Hard at work on the Hotdog train! Love watching other people cook my food, makes a refreshing change from my kitchen at home.

Cloudy homemade Lemonade with Ginger, very refreshing and good for replacing all that burnt up energy!

I think it's safe to say the girls had a blast at Run Amuk and we would most definitely be visiting again.  Happy tummies and mummies!


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Run Amuk Hotdogs Unleashed on Urbanspoon
Nov 16th

Taylor's Art & Coffee House, Swan Valley

By Buggybuddys Jennie

Why oh why oh why have I not visited Taylor’s Art & Coffe House until now??? This gorgeous café is an absolute hidden gem!  Its rustic charm sums up everything I love about the Swan Valley.


Step through the entrance and discover the quaintest courtyard garden, shaded by gum trees and overhanging vines.  Mismatched tables and chairs tucked into nooks and crannies around the courtyard add to the charm.


The charm also extends inside where you’ll find an array of cosy dining areas catering for small to large groups.

They have several high chairs available including this cute retro one. The toilets have baby change facilites plus a boaster seat for the toilet. 


There is a large sandpit filled with sand toys that kept our kids busy for the whole time we were there.


Taylor’s Café are passionate about serving fresh, organic food and quality coffee. There menu changes with the season so there are always new dishes to enjoy.  

The café is open for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. They do not hold a liquor licence but you are welcome to BYO at a cost of $2.50 per person. Breakfast is served 7.30am – 11.30am and lunch 11.30am – 3pm.

We arrived at 11am so we ended up ordering items from both the breakfast and lunch menu which meant we had to wait a few minutes extra for the lunch menu items to come out from the kitchen.


It was hard to make a choice from the menu as everything sounded so good! In the end I opted for the Grilled Chicken Salad ($24) which consists of marinated free-range chicken breast with a feta, pear and walnut salad, roasted pumpkin, fresh cucumber, capsicum, mixed greens and candied walnut. The portion was a great size and it was so yummy!


My companion went for the Bacon and Eggs ($17) which a side of avocado.


Taylor’s Café also offer a kids menu.


We went for the Kids Pancakes ($10) which are 2 pancakes served with maple syrup, banana, strawberries, cream and icing sugar. The portion was huge!


We also opted for the kids bacon and eggs ($9).


Lunch options include burger & chips ($13), Risotto ($13) and a ham and cheese Panini ($10)

Kids juices, smoothies and milkshakes are all priced at $3. Our kids went for the Chittering Valley orange juice which was freshly squeezed and tasted divine!


If you are just popping in for coffee and cake then you won’t be disappointed with the amazing array of cakes that are baked fresh in the kitchen each day. All coffees are served with two shots.


Taylor’s Art & Coffee House is now firmly on my list of favourite places to visit in the Swan Valley.  If you choose to experience it for yourself I am sure it will make it on your list too!


Taylor’s Art & Coffee House is located at 510 Great Northern Hwy, Middle Swan. There is a large car park to the rear of the café. Opening hours are Tuesday – Sunday 7.30am – 4pm.


For more information visit

Taylors Art & Coffee House on Urbanspoon

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