Fremantle Rocks! School Holidays Part 1

Our time in Fremantle seemed to be divided equally between the Little Creatures Brewery and our caravan park at Woodmans Point.

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Little Creatures is the best place to have a pizza and a pint of Pale Ale while the kids play quietly in the giant sandpit and watching the sun set over a pirate ship in the Fremantle harbour.

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Sounds idyllic right? It’s not often we have to drag the boys away from a pub, usually they are the ones dragging us away! We visited each evening just to keep the kids happy!

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The cafe scene in Freo is centered around some big institutional cafes run by the same family of Italians that have been there for generations.

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And that means fricken fantastic coffee! The streets are funky style but there’s a distinct feeling of history and roots here. Of European and Asian immigrants who made this place what it is today with an awful lot of hard work.

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Then there is an emerging sub-culture of hipsters who co-exist with the original inhabitants in a fragile balance of old vs new.

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This is what makes Fremantle such a charming and eclectic kind of place.

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The shipwreck museum was worth a visit

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and it was lovely just strolling around the docks soaking up the atmosphere, on the way to Little Creatures again!

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We changed caravan parks after some cranky old ladies asked us if we were going to put our child to bed because it was 830pm and he sounded tired….

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Actually, the problem was he had had a huge daytime sleep so he was anything but tired, but I wasn’t about to explain that to the rude old biddies. It made me feel like getting on the piss and cranking up the tunes just to spite them. But I didn’t. We were so cranky because of all the times we have wanted to complain about inconsiderate campers who are loud and drunk at midnight, but we don’t. To have someone whinge about our low level of noise so early in the evening was laughable really. I hope they got some really noisy school holidayers with 10 kids after we left!

But, the Karrinyup Waters Resort ended up being one of the nicest parks we have ever set foot in so it was well worth the move.

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We spent our days by the pool or 3,

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checking out the sights, fish and chips by the beach at sunset,

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or just chilling out.  This was the first time in ages we really felt like we were having a holiday!  Perhaps it was the vibe of the hundreds of other campers who had just started their school holidays that we were picking up on.

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We found the Perth City to be a bit corporate and soulless and better enjoyed from afar!

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 A lot of steel grey mining company buildings on the skyline overlooking a wide expanse of the Swan River.  Fremantle was obviously where all the cool kids were at.  But we did find Synergy Parklands at King’s Park to be an oasis, an entertaining oasis with the most beautiful green grass in WA!

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There were dinosaurs, ducks, play equipment and, above all, miles of clean soft lawn for Daisy to explore without little bits of stuff to pick up and eat.

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 That’s her new trick, crawling.  She got so good so fast!  Time to buy a playpen I think!  We have become even busier parents.  As if we weren’t already busy enough!

The Swan Valley Wine Region is the oldest and most established in WA, but we thought it lacked the personality and vibrance of the Margaret River region.

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 The Houghton Winery was pretty awesome though and we checked out the Hop Hog Brewery to taste the ‘Beer of the Year’.

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It was so good we had to take some home with us!

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We have come to realise that the end of our trip is in sight.  And with that, comes a dichotomy of emotion.  Happy and sad, relieved and anxious.  It is still a ways off, but our trip no longer feels like it is never going to end.

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There are still plans to hang for a while in Darwin, but that’s as long as there is any work that Brian can just step into.  Our tenants are renewing our lease until October, so we should end up home in Mackay around about then.  Probably.  Maybe.  We’ll see!

We thought the Rottnest Island cruises were marginally overpriced, and the holiday season also turned us off so we instead did the budget (cheapskate) ‘sunset cruise’ to the Island.

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It ended up being just run out and back on the last passenger ferry of the day so we went over in the twilight, and back in the dark.  The free Corona was a small saving grace.  Could have done with another to deal with Jasper and Dash turning wild on the way home.

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Meantime, we were a bit worried about the Easter long weekend coming up and somehow managed to fluke a spot in a caravan park in Geraldton, Sunset Beach.

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The drive here was about 420kms so it was one of our longer trips but there were a few things to break up the journey, and luckily the boys have mastered the art of movie watching in the car!

We visited the Pinnacles Desert just outside Cervantes.

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What a super surreal landscape dotted with thousands of these limestone spikes and pillars.

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 It was a little bit spooky to be honest!  Do you remember a movie that was The Wizard of Oz sequel?  I think it was ‘Return to Oz’.  It reminded me of that movie.  There were heads in jars in that movie too.  Hmmm.

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At Lancelin we paused for a hot-cross-bun break and were greeted by the sight of about 15 dolphins frolicking right next to the shore catching fish in the seaweed infested water.  They were so close you could have reached out and touched them.  Of course, they had moved down the beach by the time we went back for the camera!

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We arrived in Geraldton and found our place at Sunset Beach.  It really lives up to its name!

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 The families were steadily rolling in with their assortment of vans, trailers and tents to join us this Easter.  My whole family went to Hamilton Island without us.IMG_7697 (800x600)

Sometimes I wish I had a teleporter!  They made me feel a bit homesick.   Happy Easter!

The kids had a great Easter morning of course, and the Easter Bunny did find us luckily.

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 There was a bit of a dodgy playground at the park but the boys still managed to spend ages at it each day.

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The weather is gradually turning cold at night, but warm during the day so Brian has got a new favourite shirt!

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Flannelette: the shirt for all seasons!  Unfortunately, I put all our warm gear away in the vacuum bags while we were in Perth, it seems I was a little premature!

Geraldton was a bit of a wierd town.  It has spent millions of dollars on a war memorial for the HMAS Sydney which was sunk in 1941 by a German warship off the coast here.

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The memorial has so many aspects, it was a little confusing.  But was poignant in its remembering the 645 lives lost, 1 seagull per soldier.  Jasper sort of got it:  “So, did the soldiers all turn into seagulls?”

There is also a fairly impressive foreshore area with a great playground and waterpark, but being school holidays, this was getting feral so we came to avoid it.  Apart from the money spent on these things, the rest of the town was lacklustre with broken down buildings, unkempt and untidy mid-city blocks and a few condemned buildings in what you would think of as ‘prime’ positions.  Odd.  But it was windy, and that kept Brian happy!  And it had a cool retro lighthouse!

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He was even happier when we headed a little bit further north (only 20kms) to the famous (in the right circles) windsurfing hub of Coronation Beach…….   to be continued………

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