Review by Jacqui Snelgar
Featuring a Flying fox, climbing walls, balance beams, water play, basketball court, huge grass area, BBQ’s, tables and toilets, the brand new Newhaven Robot Park is a fantastic park for the kids to run off steam or to catch up with friends.
The main feature of the playground is a fallen robot head that is a climbers delight!
The robot's body features climbing ramps and a twisty slide.
The walls of the body are designed to be climbed either via the rock climbing wall, ladder or huge climbing net.
Part of the body feature a 'hamster wheel' that the kids loved using and it's fun to watch!
The robot’s feet contains a water play area. It’s going to be a very popular part of the playground! The wheels turn the water on and off and the direction of the water can be changed to create waterfalls and rivers in different areas.
Aside from the robot, a big hit is the flying fox it's huge! Getting onto it at the top isn’t too hard for the smaller kids.
The playground also features a nature play area with fallen logs and climbable trees.
With wooden stepping stones, tyre paths, a variety of swings, smaller slides and plenty of scooter suitable paths … it offers plenty of excitment for all ages.
There is also a large grass area with a basketball hoop, 2 x shaded BBQ areas with seating and toilets. Just the one toilet with disable access and changing facilities but it’s more than what most local playgrounds have.
It’s a fantastic playground that set to become one of the most popular destination parks south of the river!
Newhaven Robot Park
Cnr of Mason Road & Doryanthes Avenue
Miss little 5 year old has become increasingly more interested in horse riding recently so I enrolled her in a few horsey school holiday activities. I came across a local stables in Wanneroo, Centura Riding School who offered a school holiday program specifically for kids of 5 years and upwards.
The "Saddle Up" school holiday program is ideal for newbies to horse riding and no previous experience is required. They offer either a half-day or full-day filled with plenty of fun-filled activities including: how to put the halter on, tie up, groom a pony and how to saddle up the ponies. The kids also get a lunge or group-riding lesson on one of their favourite ponies. My daughter was lucky enough to get 3 turns on different ponies and it was her first time on a pony using stirrups.
Being quite young I asked one of her good friends to join her for the morning "Saddle Up" session. The girls put on their pink lipstick and matching pink docker boots ready for some horsey fun!
Sadly the pink boots had to go and they were given "proper riding boots" to wear as well as these gorgeous pink hats. Pink perfect ;-)
I left the girls in good hands full of excitement for their day. When I picked them up a few hours later they were busy grooming a beautiful pony they'd befriended. The girls had been given tips on where to stand and NOT stand and what to do.
The girls were full of stories and excitement about their morning at Centura Riding Stables, they'd been out on the ponies in the main arena 3 times during the mornings session. They were quite sad to leave and wished I'd booked them in for the full day!
We can't wait for the next school holidays to go back again and perhaps book the whole day so they get to spend more time with the ponies ;-)
Winter Toddlerfest at Scitech - Wendy Turland
Saturday saw the start of Scitech's 2016 Winter Toddlerfest running from 23rd - 31st July. If you have a curious and adventurous 0-5 year old this is a must do day out in Perth right now.
The centre has been transformed into a playground for toddlers. It is packed with exciting activities designed to intrigue, educate and inspire young minds and bodies. As soon as you enter the centre you can feel the energy and excitement of busy toddlers everywhere!
Everything has been well thought out and planned to give children the maximum amount of independence to explore each environment and activity.
The shows have been tailor made for Toddlerfest lasting only 10-15mins, ensuring they capture the imagination and concentration spans of their young audience.
Toddlers love nothing more than being busy and experimenting with everything; and Scitech have created the perfect environment for them to do this!
There are six main areas to visit including the shows plus Discoverland so it's well worth having a look at the program and times of the shows before you go so you can plan your day. There is so much to do. I would head to the areas you want to do first, especially if it's busy or planning around nap times.
Discoverland is the first area you come to as you enter Toddlerfest, this is a hub of activity and one of the busiest areas. It has a wide range of activities and experiments to keep everyone occupied.
The space station area is very popular, watch out for the flying balls as they are launched from the top of the research pod. The equipment uses suction to move the balls up and down the clear tubes. The children can load these up, press the suction button and then release the balls into the room.
Did you know thongs are musical....at Todlerfest you can learn to play "row, row, row your boat" using the musical thong player... So much fun!
Move sail boats, wind turbines and fly a hot air balloon using just the power of wind. Use shadow puppets to tell a story using different coloured lights and puppets. Learn the principles of push and pull, vacuum suction, turning, balancing and cycling. Find the right buttons and levers to operate machinery; it is all here to explore. Total stimulation and discovery.
There is also a quieter seated area with tables for the children to sit at with building blocks, trucks and lego.
The Budding Builder area is also a very busy section with children transporting large foam bricks up and down ramps in wheelbarrows, using pulley systems and posting them through a large wall making a pile of bricks ready to be transported all over again! This is a great space with two benches for parents to use whilst their budding builder gets building...
The final section in Discoverland was the aquatic area with a large fish tank that's the perfect hight for a toddler to stand up in and look right inside the tank! There is also a large periscope and a fabulous bubble sensory light that you can change colour.
Next up was Explore-a-saurus which opened earlier in the year. It's life-like dinosaurs will make you feel like you are on a journey back in time to when these giants roamed the earth. It's a great exhibition for all ages, from those who like to roar to the budding palaeontologist. There is so much in this section, it's a very hands on learning area that actively encourages the children to get involved.
Animal farm was the section that got the biggest reaction for us, it was just adorable. Bunnies, lambs, kids, ducks, a very large sheep dog and chickens. All the animals were just brilliant with the steady flow of toddlers stroking, brushing, petting and generally following the animals around.
There are brushes to comb the animals with and they can help with feeding throughout the day. The staff are all very helpful and hands on with both the animals and the children.
In the main area of the centre there is a chance to explore "Your World" with experiments using hot air, noise, heat, light and kinetic energy. There is so much to do which is great, as there is generally always something available to have a go at even when it is busy.
Most of the activities in this area need a bit of working out, great for a bit of family team work!
The science theatre is also here showing a shadow puppet show called "A Dinosaurs Tale" at regular intervals throughout the day. This is suitable for all ages and is a very interactive performance.
At lunchtime we checked out the Tastebud eating area. There is plenty of seating and highchairs, luckily we had read Buggybuddys top tips before we came and packed our own morning tea and lunch.
There are only vending machines available inside Scitech, selling hot and cold drinks, chips and chocolate everything is priced at $2.50. There are two cafes outside the entrance to Scitech in City West that serve sandwiches, hot chips and refreshments.
The Toddler's Wonderland is towards the back of the main area and has lots of great ideas that you can do at home and cool play equipment. It has everything from pan pipes made from different types of tubes, puzzles, slides, blocks and a ride on car. It is a super tactile area perfect for inquisitive hands and minds.
Grab your white coat and protective glasses to enter the mini Scientist lab! Here your budding scientist can identify with what a real science lab would be like and how to conduct experiments. On week days there is a fabulous opportunity to meet scientists and researchers from the Telethon Kids Institute.
We finished our day at the Planetarium which was very calming. The show called Beyond earth was tailor made for toddlers lasting only 10 minutes and was captivating from start to finish. A perfect way to finish our Toddlerfest day!
In the foyer there is a selection of organisations including Playgroup WA and SDERA providing early childhood information. They have some great leaflets and general advice for parents on everything from car seats to sleep.
Scitech is both pushchair and wheelchair accessible and there are pram parks throughout the centre especially for the event. However, on a busy day there is not much room to manoeuvre, so if possible avoid taking a pram. They have set up a fantastic parent's room with comfy chairs and a play area, plus the toilets are toddler friendly with steps and training seats available.
There is limited parking at City West that allows free parking for the first two hours. If you park outside, 2 hour tickets are available from the nearby ticket machines however, if you plan on staying for longer remember to collect a car parking permit when buying your tickets in the centre. If you park in the undercover car park and intend on visiting for longer than two hours, get your parking ticket validating when you purchase your Toddlerfest entry.
I would highly recommend Toddlerfest at Scitech, it is definitely a captivating day out and so much fun (which is not always easy with a toddler)!
For more information and to purchase Toddlerfest tickets in advance CLICK HERE
Animal Farms provide a fun day out for the whole family. Kids of all ages will love petting and hand feeding the furry, feathered and sometimes scaly residents!
We’ve put together a list of our favourite animal farms around Perth and the South-West Region.
80 Landsdale Road, Darch.
Open 7 days a week 8am to 3pm.
Entry cost $7 per person. Children under 2 are free
Entry includes free tractor rides and access to the sun safe
playground and Gnome Garden. Animal feeding is only
permitted when directly supervised by one of the resident
farmers. The onsite Haystack Café serves a wide range of
Read the Buggybuddys review
Swan Valley Cuddly
128 John Street, Henley Brook
Open 7 days a week 9.30am – 4pm
Entry cost Adults $18, Children 2 – 15 years $13, Children under 2 are free.
Entry fee includes free tractor rides, bouncy castle, bottle and
bucket feeding, playground, Merry-Go-Round and free tea and
coffee for the grown-ups.
Read the Buggybuddys review
Whiteman Park, Lord Street, Whiteman
Open 7 days a week 9am – 5.30pm
Entry Cost Adults $27, Children 3 – 14 years $12, Children under 3 are free.
Visit Molly’s Farm, an interactive farmyard suitable for children
of all ages. Animal feed is provided. Entry fee includes all
shows, talks and animal feed.
Read the Buggybuddys review
Lot 103 Nettle Road, Byford
Open 7 days a week 10am – 4pm.
Entry cost $15 Adults, $5 Children 3 – 13 years, Children under 3 are free.
Native Australian wildlife featuring Koalas and kangaroo plus a
Farmyard area containing ponies, pigs and donkeys. Cohunu Koala
Park also is home is a miniature railway that zig zags its way
through the park. Rides are an additional $4 per person.
Read the Buggybuddys review
5561 Caves Road, Margaret River
Open 7 days a week 9am – 5pm.
Entry cost $12.50 per person.
Over 350 animals including kangaroos, kids, lambs, rabbits,
guinea pigs, chicks, alpacas, dogs, pigs, piglets, cattle,
llamas, clydesdale, emu, goats, chickens, ducks, ostrich,
turkeys, sheep, guinea fowl, geese, shetland pony, horse, pink
and grey galahs and Pommy, the talking long beaked corella!
Animal feed is available for purchase for $3 per bucket.
Read the Buggybuddys review.
1694 Caves Road, Dunsborough
Open 7 Days a week 9.30am – 5pm.
Entry cost Adults $18, Children $16, Children under 2 are free.
Hand feed friendly farm animal including rabbits, goats, guinea
pigs, sheep, ducks, donkeys, ponies, cows, llamas and
alpacas. Entry fee
includes giant bouncy castles, huge inflatable slide, indoor
adventure playground, boat rides, merry-go-round, tots play area,
free tea and coffee, dodgem cars available for an additional
Read the Buggybuddys review.
Wonky Windmill Farm
and Eco Park
218 Yelverton North Road, Yelverton
Open 7 days a week 10am – 4pm.
Entry cost Adults $12, Children $10, Children under 2 are free
Cuddle a rabbit or guinea pig, Bottle feed an orphan lamb, or
sometimes a baby goat, Be amazed by an ostrich, Watch goats and
sheep frolic, Enjoy the soft and gentle ponies, Say hi to a pig,
Watch chickens, ducks and geese scratch about.
Bottle Feeding 10am - 3.30pm most days.
Read the Buggybuddys review
Donating our organs when we pass away is probably something most people haven't even considered. But 40% of families don't consent to Organ donation because they were unsure of their loved ones wishes.
Why register to donate your organs?
Organ donation saves and improves lives of many people. In Australia there are around 1,600 people waiting for life changing organ donations. Some will wait anything from 4 months to 4 years and some alas will never get the donation they need.
How to register to become a donor?
Yes that's right!! You can now indicate to family and friends that you are a registered organ and tissue donor on your Facebook Timeline.
To do this:
- Go to your Facebook Timeline
- Choose "About"
- Click on "Life Event"
- Select "Health and Wellness" and choose "organ donor"
**This Facebook Application is NOT linked in any way to the Australian Organ Donor Register, but does notify your friends and family of your wishes.
NEXT YOU MUST....join the Australian Organ Donor Register, the national register administered by Medicare Australia.
The online form took me around 1 mintue to complete, you just need your Medicare number. Simple!
For further information: http://www.odatwa.org.au/donating/become-a-donor
Make it Muddy with Wild about Nature - Baldivis Children's Forest, Baldivis - Wendy Turland
Baldivis Children's Forest is probably one of Rockingham's best nature experiences! It is a very special place and there is so much to discover. It is public reserve with 49 acres of tuart woodlands situated 50km south of Perth.
You've probably driven passed the forest or seen the sign along the old Mandurah road and if you haven't stopped or wondered in, you definitely should. Especially now that there are amazing groups, work shops and activities taking place in the forest that can inspire children to get outside and back to nature.
We attended 'Make it Muddy', a workshop in the forest run by Wild about Nature. Wild about nature is a creative nature based program located in the Baldivis Children's forest. The workshop we attended was specifically for 2-4 year olds however, they do run activities for all ages.
The sessions are run and facilitated by qualified teachers. They run workshops, holiday programs and children's parties. Their July school holidays program was totally sold out and after attending the workshop this morning, I can see why.
We simply had the best day, it was a beautiful winters morning and we were greeted with a warm smiles by our facilitator Emma who was very welcoming and professional. The workshop was set up under the covered BBQ area and it was so well organised.
We started with a briefing from the facilitator about the location, facilities and how the morning would run. Each child was given a pen and paper bag with a checklist attached , detailing what we had to do and find on our sensory nature hunt in the forest.
We set off on our sensory walk in the forest using the list to explore different textures, objects and collect our treasures from the forest. My 2 year old had the best time mainly climbing trees and getting super excited about finding the objects on the sensory list.
We spent time deciding if things were rough or smooth, bumpy or soft. The walk took about 45mins to an hour depending on how long you wanted to spend in the forest. It was a circular walk and the trail was easy to follow and accessible with a pushchair.
Once we arrived back at the picnic area there was tea, coffee and refreshments for the parents which was very welcome.
We then made paint brushes using elastic bands and the treasures that we had found along our sensory walk.
Each child was given a large piece of card and armed with their natural leaf brushes, hands and feet went over to the painting area that was set up to get creative with mud!
Wild about Nature provide cool coloured mud in blue, pink, yellow and green that the children can get their hands, feet and brushes in to create their very own mud painting!
The cost was $8 which included any materials used by the children to create their mud art work (which you get to take home) tea, coffee and refreshments. You can't beat a hot cup of coffee after a lovely bush walk on a winters morning! Booking and payment was really easy using a link they set via the 'try booking' system.
Excellent toilet facilities and baby change, covered picnic area, BBQ area, fresh water, sinks, bins and many many picnic or morning tea spots.
If you are attending a workshop or holiday program, there is parking by the BBQ area however, if you are visiting during the week or on a weekend there is parking at the entry gate where the walking trails begin.
Dress to get muddy!
Baldivis Children’s Forest, 1399 Mandurah Road, Baldivis WA 6171
Wild about Nature contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
All events and planned events are on the Facebook page www.facebook.com/wildaboutnaturekids
The Holy Smoke Cafe, Pemberton is tucked away from the main buzz of the high street and is managed by the Pemberton Fine Woodcraft Gallery. It is surrounded by beautiful and tranquil gardens with a water feature and pond to keep inquisitive minds and explorers busy.
The Cafe specialises in gourmet smoked products and Pate and serves breakfast, brunch and lunch. They also offer a very tempting variety of cakes and desserts.
We visited early one morning during the Autumn School Holidays and ordered a mixture of cooked breakfasts (the full monty), scones and sponge cake.
Serving sizes are good and everything was cooked to perfection!
I chose a light sponge cake with fresh cream.
The kids enjoyed the scones, made even more exciting as they could construct them themselves with butter, cream and jam ;-)
There's plenty of seating outside along the veranda overlooking the beautiful gardens. We chose to sit in the sun as it was a tad cold!
The gardens are huge and you can easily lose a little one out of sight very quickly. The kids enjoyed playing around the pond and water feature mainly and pretending to be explorers as they ventured further away from us :-)
After our breakfast we had a quick look around the Woodcraft Gallery, there are a few breakables in there but OK for trustworthy toddlers and older ones to wander around.
Orangutan Park in Golden Bay - Wendy Turland
Orangutan Park in Golden Bay is a welcome addition to the area and provides a fantastic green open space and cool new play park. It is in keeping with the other play parks on the development which gives it that distinctive Golden Bay feel.
However, the play park itself is totally different to the others so you feel like you are exploring in your own backyard. It has a great range of play equipment all based on nature play and although the play area is fairly small it has lots of sensory, music, balance and climbing equipment.
There are three main features in the play park. A giant climbing wall, with a fire pole attached to slide down. A rope climber which is surrounded by a textured brick wall which is volcanic looking with a large tunnel slide. There is also a nest swing and large tyres that can be used to climb in or on top of.
The trees all have large climbing ropes attached to them and provide a challenge for older children. They make a great look out point for a game of hide and seek!
There are also two large logs dug into the ground for younger children to balance on and climb over, they are all situated in the sand and rubber which makes for a soft landing.
The open green space is great for a run about, a game of soccer or tiring out a toddler. It is perfect for picnics and morning tea. There is also drinking water fountain situated next to the play area.
There is one covered and one open picnic table with two BBQ areas along side. There are also benches around the outside of the play area.
Creating a bit of musical play, there is a cluster of bongo drums at the far end which are great fun especially for younger children. Here you will also find log stepping stones varying in height and size, great for balancing on!
Lots of natural elements have been used in this play park to inspire adventure, and play in a great open setting.
Situated off Warnbro Sound Avenue it is accessible by foot, cycle path or car and there is parking available around the entrance to the park. There are no toilets at the park however, it is very close to Secret Harbour shopping centre which has both toilets, baby change facilities and coffee!
Hamelin Bay Holiday Park is nestled in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park in the Margaret River Region of South West Australia. The park offers ocean view cottages, ensuite cabins, powered and unpowered camping and caravan sites.
We had a 4 night stay over the long bank holiday weekend in March 2016 and was our first camping trip to the stunning Margaret River / Augusta region.
The park itself is mainly sand based with a few grassy areas, there's plenty of mature trees for shade coverage and privacy. The sites are nicely spaced around and a few areas which accommodated small and large groups together in little nooks. The campsite is full of character with beautiful colourful flowers and bushland.
We had a large pitch for our pop-up and out caravan directly next to the main playground, which did get noisy at peak times but great if you have little one's you want/need to keep a watchful eye on.
Plenty of open spaces for groups and ball games.
These are the en-suite cabins set amongst the trees and main camping area, so a great choice for those who want to experience the camping vibe in luxury glamping style ;-)
The campsite is located a few minutes walk from the sea and offers these amazing cottages with ocean views. They looked huge and had the most amazing views.
The playground is sand based and includes a simple fort, slide, steps layout. It was in full sun for most of the day but being March it didn't get too hot.
Other camp facilities include a kiosk for essential grocery items, milk, break, confectionary, ice creams, bottled water, ice and fishing tackle.
The main attraction of Hamelin Bay is of course the Stingrays. These are fairly tame Stingrays and can be seen swimming up and down the shallow waters of the bay looking for food and attention. We saw many people touching them and chasing them along the shores but this is not recommended for obvious reasons. They are beautiful to watch but I must admit was a bit scared when I wanted to head for a swim and they were swimming directly underneath me!
There's a long boat ramp down the beach from the main car park up at the campsite. The waters are very shallow and calm, ideal for canoeing, snorkelling, paddle boarding etc..
You can catch some amazing sunsets here, the kids just loved being down at the beach at this time for late afternoon skinny dips ;-)
We did venture along the coast and rocks on a few adventure walks with the kids and also managed a stunning early morning run along the cape.
Read more about the Hamelin Bay Stingrays
The Gloucester Tree is one of the must things to do for families whilst visiting Pemberton. The main attraction is of course the tree itself, which is a giant Karri tree situated in the Gloucester National Park a few kilometers out of Pemberton town centre. The tree is 72 metres high and is the second tallest fire look-out tree IN THE WORLD! Which not only makes it a great attraction to see, but also to climb!! Yes that's right you can climb all the way up to the look-out-tower. GULP! Apparently only a small percentage of people make it to the top before bottling it and coming down. There's a comfortable decked seating area around the base of the tree so you can sit and watch everyone else go up and down ;-) There's an official officer at the base of the tree giving you safety and climbing technique advice. My kids aged 5 and 7 made it about ooohhh 4 runs high, hahahahahah!!! As you go up higher there is a (rather flimsy) net, of which stops you falling apparently! Couldn't quite see it myself but hey ho I'm not a big fan of heights and impressed I got this close to the tree to take the picture ;-)
If you make it to the top please send me a picture ;-))
As well as the really tall tree there's a few good nature walks which we enjoyed exploring. There are toilets facilities and water fountains at the main car park and plenty of signage for the walks around Gloucester Park.
We went on the Karri walk which is full of nature treasures including beautifully coloured and shaped mushrooms (aka fairy food), fairy caves (trees with huge holes that you can actually walk and stand in!) and the most amazing emerald green bush.
We had an exciting adventure and took plenty of time to let the kids explore, climb and forage.
This is a great half day out if you take a picnic and enjoy the energy from the Forrest.