So what is all about? Well... hopefully, by the time we are done, it will be a comprehensive journal about a family of 5 who have travelled around Australia to see the sights and also do some volunteer work around the country! In Mid 2010 we started thinking about what it would take to fulfil a life-long dream... We wanted to bundle up our 3 kids, pack-up the house, jump in the car and hit the road - probably for about 12 months. It sounds so simple ... At the start of January 2013, after almost 15 months on the road; we finally completed Our Big Aussie Road Trip. We hope that you enjoyed following our adventures, trials and tribulations as much as we enjoyed having them!

13 April, 2012

Perth Part 2...

Our first week in Perth was pretty busy, but it might even be that our second week was busier! We had originally planned to be leaving Perth on Wednesday the 21st of March, but because of all the dentist appointments for Mike, we had to be in Perth a little longer than expected.

In the morning of Monday the 19th, Mike had his third dentist appointment (third in 1 week!) and in the afternoon we went to visit Cottesloe Beach with Nanna and Pa, to have a look at Perth's most famous beach. We took a bit of a scenic route to have a look at a couple of things along the way (Lake Herdsman and a Park area). It was a pretty hot day (again) so we decided that ice-creams by the beach would be a good thing to do. After we'd all picked our flavours we sat down and tried to eat them before they melted with the strong and hot wind.

The 'Sculptures by the sea' exhibition was still on, and so we wandered through the artworks around the area - some were very well done, and others were a little strange, but we had great fun looking at all the exhibits.

Overlooking the 'Sculptures by the sea' Exhibition at Cottesloe Beach

One of the impressive Sculptures on the  beach

Sam's favourite sculpture

Cottesloe Beach

After a good stroll along the beach, we went to have a look at the Cottesloe Sundial, which is a very impressive structure (and also very accurate!). It was a very nice afternoon at the beach. We drove home via Fremantle to try and miss some of the afternoon peak hour traffic (which we managed to do quite successfully).

The Cottesloe Sundial

The Mason's with Nanna and Pa near the Sundial

On Tuesday morning Mike had a forth dentist appointment and the dentist found out that he could not complete the 2nd (or 3rd) stage root canal because the canals were not straight and so Mike needed to go and see a specialist to have the job completed! This wasn't great news, but after a fair bit of organisation, Mike managed to book in a specialist appointment for Thursday the 22nd (normally there is a 6-8 week queue). This meant that we would not be leaving Perth on the Wednesday like we had originally hoped to do. We really wanted to go to the Gravity Centre in Gingin, and also see the Pinnacles, and so we decided we'd make it a day trip on the Wednesday. Therefore we had a quiet day around the caravan on Tuesday knowing that the next day would be a very long and tiring day.
Mike was certainly at the Dentist alot when we were in Perth!
We were on the road by 9:30am on Wednesday morning (having already started a corned beef dinner cooking in our Dreampot, so that we were ready to have dinner wherever we happened to be). We drove North in convoy to find the Gravity Centre in Gingin. The Gravity centre is a 'hands on' discovery centre with lots of 'sciency' things to try out.  It also has a 13 story high "Leaning Tower of Gingin" where you can climb to the top and drop water balloons (much like Galileo did from the leaning tower of Pisa). Anyway we arrived there just after 11am and went straight up the tower to drop some water balloons.  It was a great view from the top, and it was a bit of fun dropping water bombs and watching them splat on the ground below. After the tower we had a good look around at all the other exhibits and also looked at the art gallery too. We were there for about 2 1/2 hours and the kids were entertained the whole time.

The Gravity Centre near Gingin
Natalie preparing to test Gravity with a waterballoon
Standing at the top of the leaning tower of Gingin

Josh enjoying some science in the Gravity Centre

After leaving the Gravity centre, we drove 1 ½ hours north to the Pinnacles in the Nambung National Park.  As we pulled out onto the main road going north, we saw a car towing a caravan which we recognised as Cath and Dean’s car (a couple with 3 girls who are travelling around Australia like we are).  We called them over the radio (which they had just turned on wondering if the car they had just passed was ours!) and amazingly it WAS them and so we had a good chat over the two-way as we drove north.  We get on really well with Cath and Dean and keep bumping into them in VERY random spots.  We said bye to Cath and Dean as we turned onto the road leading to the Pinnacles.  We got there at about 3:30pm, so we went straight to the discovery centre and gift shop to have a look around, then we went for the 1.2Km walk around the Pinnacles.  While we were walking around the Pinnacles we played hide and seek, which was a lot of fun.  We walked to the top viewing platform and then back to the car.

The Pinnacles Desert

Hide and Seek at the Pinnacles

Looking from the viewing platform on our walk through the Pinnacles

We all squashed into the car to drive around the Pinnacles

After a quick afternoon tea at the car, all 7 of us squashed into Bruiser (because the Motorhome was too big to drive around the Pinnacles driving track) and we drove the 4km loop.  We stopped numerous times for photos and more games of hide and seek.  It was a beautiful cloudless day at the Pinnacles, and by this time the sun was starting to drop in the sky, so the heat of the day was mostly over.

When we got back to the motorhome, we thought that we’d better get some fuel before heading back down the coast, so we drove in convoy to Cervantes.  After getting some very pricy fuel, we went down to the beach to have a picnic dinner near the water.  The sun was just setting over the ocean while we were eating – it was a lovely evening.

A beautiful sunset over the Indian Ocean at Cervantes

Dinner at Cervantes
It was quite late when we left Cervantes, so we put on a DVD for the kids and drove into the night (dodging some kangaroos on the way) to get back to Advent park in Perth.  Sam and Natalie slept some of the way home and we got back to the park at about 10pm.

On Thursday morning, Mike went to see the endodontist while Liz and the kids had a quiet morning around the van.  The endodontist decided not to do anything with Mike’s tooth, but said that we’d “wing it” and leave it as is until we get back to Sydney in 6-8 months time.  Although this was unexpected, it was good news and we now just have to pray that it doesn’t flare up again before it gets finally fixed in Sydney.  When Mike got back to Advent Park, we packed up the caravan and motorhome and drove to another caravan park in a different part of Perth to stay for our last 2 nights with Nanna and Pa (and our last 2 nights in Perth).  The Karryinup Waters Resort had swimming pools, a jumping pillow and a playground – which was a real treat after Advent park which was a very basic (and nice and cheap) caravan park.  We had a jump on the jumping pillow and went for a swim in the great pool and spa.  That night, the kids enjoyed an Easter Egg hunt in Nanna and Pa’s Motorhome (because we weren’t going to see Nanna and Pa for Easter).

Sam finding Easter eggs in the Motorhome 
On Thursday night our trusty green table (after months of gluing and siliconing it back together) finally gave up and collapsed (thankfully no one was hurt).  So on Friday morning we headed to the shops to buy a new table and to finalise the last couple of things on our huge list of things to do in Perth,  which included organising a new drivers licence for Mike as his is soon to expire.

Pa and the kids moments before our trusty green table gave way!
Friday afternoon Liz, Nanna and Pa headed out shopping again,  this time to stock up our food supplies before we left Perth and Mike and the kids headed to the jumping pillow and pool. As a special farewell dinner for Nanna and Pa, we decided to go to Sizzler (which none of us had been to for years and years!).  We drove to Innaloo and had a very yummy farewell dinner - where we all ate too much (but had a great meal).

We all had an early start on Saturday.  We got packed up and said our goodbye’s to Nanna and Pa, then we drove north and they headed to the airport to catch their flight home. Thanks Nanna and Pa for coming and travelling with us for a bit, we all had a great time.

Goodbye Nanna and Pa

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