Travel Dreaming

Perth, Australia’s Wild West

What is is about that land down under the equator that appeals to the traveler so very much? The great accent, the furry marsupials, Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef- they all play a part in making Australia a bucket list moment of every traveler’s dreams. However, Australia is so much more than these icons.

Koalas down under
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Operation Perth!

The Perth-Freemantle area is surrounded toward the south by wine country and to the east and north by bush country. To the west is the Indian Ocean.

Our visit to Perth coincided with a port call by the USS George Washington. In fact, it was the GW that was the main catalyst for our trip. I had three kids that missed their dad terribly and a few Summer days off to take advantage of the opportunity. Our first stop was the town of Freemantle where the ship pulled in. Step one: get Dad! Check. Step two: enjoy the next five days! Operation Perth was underway!

One of our more delightful stops in Perth was our first dinner together at George’s Meze Cafe. The food was amazing! Seated with all of our friends, we enjoyed absolutely everything from dolmades (lamb and rice stuffed grape leaves) to spanikopita. Our host, George was thrilled to have a few customers who had been to the homeland! He took us all to the upper mezzanine and plied us with ouzo and stories from “back home”. Lovely!

Elizabeth Quay

We loved Elizabeth Quay! There was plenty of room to run around and use up some energy as well as tons to see and do. We particularly enjoyed the Island where we ate while enjoying views of the Swan River. Our last stop was the ferris wheel. When we were up and over the river a small group of dolphins put on a little show for us. When we went, the Tourist Wheel, or ferris wheel, was close to the quay. It’s now located down in Freemantle.

Elizabeth Quay
The Tourist Wheel with complementary dolphin show.
Elizabeth Quay
Elizabeth Quay

Shipwreck Museum

Question: What’s more fun on a rainy day? Being cooped up in a hotel room or GHOST SHIPS??? My kids totally agree that a spooky ghost ship museum is far more fun than any hotel experience. Check out the entrance gallery with all kinds of relics from the days of pirates and traders. Then make your way into the Batavia Gallery to check out the most amazing shipwreck and learn its spooky and storied past. This is that great activity to keep in your back pocket for when other things don’t work out as planned. Western Australia has plenty of other museums to explore. Check out their website.

Shipwreck Museum
We are convinced that we had a “visit” from the past and they photobombed all of our pictures!
The Freemantle Arch
The Freemantle Arch

Freemantle Markets

To get our shop on, we headed for the super fun Freemantle Markets. With tons of fun stalls both inside and out, The Markets were a great stop to eat and collect those Aussie treasures. We, of course, put our hands on a didgeridoo after one of the buskers taught my kids how to beat box on it.

Market
Photo by julie aagaard on Pexels.com

The Pinnacles

If you have wondered where hide and seek was invented? It was here. While other pinnacle phenomena exist in other parts of the world, the pinnacles down under seem to exude a magic unlike any other. With limestone pillars up to 13 feet tall, there are plenty of good hiding places. The adjoining dunes are home to a couple of very cool sports including sand surfing and going over the dunes in 4×4’s. You can wind up your day with a walk on the beach and dip your toes in the Indian Ocean.

The Pinnacles
The Pinnacles
sand surfing
On the beach
On the beach with one of our besties so we could dip our toes in the wintry water.

The Australia Trifecta

If there is one thing we all think about when we dream of going to Australia, it has to be the unique wildlife. Between koalas, quokkas and kangaroos, you’d think there would be no room for more! Like most of the country, Western Australia has just the spot to interact with them. Caversham Wildlife Park takes its mission very seriously. All of the animals that are at the park are there because they need tlc and human care. Along with ‘roos and koalas, you can find other Aussie residents like Tasmanian devils, wombat, and wallabies.

‘teen ‘roos
A friendly ‘roo
Koala meeting
Mama and Baby

Fishing On The Freemantle Jetty

Sometimes the simplest things bring the most joy. After four jam packed days, the kids just wanted to spend their last hours with their dad. So, we bought a few fishing poles and headed out to the jetty. With the ship in the distance, we fished and enjoyed each other before dad had to pull out again. What a lovely way to end our time down under.

Where We Went: Perth and Freemantle, Australia

Perth and Freemantle Australia offer so much!
Travel Dreaming

Travel Dreaming: The Three A’s

Sometimes, you’ve got to hang up the reality phone and relax. I mean, it’s always important to be pragmatic but, sometimes, you’ve just gotta be a travel dreamer! For all the obvious reasons. With travelers being grounded around the world, we have to use this time dreaming and when I dream, you better believe I’m on my way some spectacular travel destinations. I think when we dream those big travel dreams the three A’s seem to suddenly surface to the top of the list. So, c’mon dreamers! Let’s check them out!

Land Down Under…

Australia has some amazing, once in a lifetime, experiences to be had from the highlights of the Opera House and Uluru to the unique wildlife and unbelievably friendly locals. Aussie life is fun, lighthearted and full of interesting adventures! However, it can be awfully overwhelming to try and fit an ENTIRE continent into one trip. My advice? Don’t try! Australia is just too big. Instead, make a list of your top priorities and then select a region that meets your needs. For example, Brisbane offers lots of animal encounters and access to the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef.

Aussie residents are always ready to greet visitors

Antarctica…

I know! But, I said it! I do think that Antarctica is a solid dream that is achievable. Here’s why: this star of the south has always felt inaccessible to all but the heartiest of adventurers. Not so fast! There is a way to uplift your inner explorer and still see all the wonders this amazing part of Earth has to offer. Take a cruise! Exploring by ship allows you to experience as much of Antarctica as possible without leaving huge human footprint on the actual continent. So don’t leave it to be the last continent you visit! Take on Antarctica now!

Travel to Antarctica is more of a possibility than ever before!

Safari…

Africa: another big, bold move and just like Australia, it seems almost too big to conquer. However, one option to lasso in how to manage all of the choices is to look into some voluntourism choices. Look for programs that will allow you to contribute to a local community in countries like Zambia or Botswana where the government takes its direction from its eco constitution. Combining this with a traditional safari that explores conservation could be the perfect 10 days. I don’t want you to think that I’m forgetting about exotic Morocco or the splendors of Egypt, they are amazing! But, if I’m honest, I think kids will appreciate those latter destinations as they get a bit older and a bit wiser.

Travel to Africa offers everything from pyramids to penguins.

So, there you have it dreamers! Those three travel destinations that make us dream big. The beginning of the alphabet holds a lot of potential and a lot of dreams! I guess the only thing to add is: where to next?