Saturday, August 30, 2014

Australia - Perth - 4 Days 3 Nights (Part 3 - To Eat/ To Stay)

To Eat with review and recommendations:
Generally, i find the prices for dining in Australia more expensive than Singapore. 

Breglia's Piccolo Cafe
Address: 28 High St, Fremantle, Western Australia 6160

Chance upon here for breakfast at Fremantle when the cafe we wanted to try out was actually a pack and go coffee joint. 
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Bellafontes Italian Restaurant -  3 stars, mid range
Address: 28 Southside Dr Hillarys Western Australia 6025

Honourable mention of the fisherman's bag of gold. This the best dish i tasted that night and i have never had something like this before. The bag is well fried and the mixture of prawn, scallops and snapper is a perfect blend of seafood.

The other dishes are quite standard and nice.

Little Willys - 3 stars, mid range
William St, Northbridge WA 6003, Australia
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Food is nice.


Kallis - 3.5 stars, mid range
Address: 46 Mews Road, Fremantle, Western Australia 6959
Whenever i go to Fremantle, i will definitely go for fish and chips, oysters and lobsters at the fisherman wharf. This time is no different. The food never disappoint. Much to my chagrin, as usual they are so stingy with the sauces. Every time the mayonnaise for the fish and chips is never enough and if you buy the dipping sauce its too much and they don't have it in smaller sizes. Grrrrl....

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Little creatures brewery -  4 stars, mid range
Address: 40 Mews Road, Fremantle, Western Australia
Went for drinks only. But the drinks and ambiance impressed me. I drink cider which always taste sweet and nice to me. My friend had beer and is absolutely smitten.




The Lane Cafe - 3 stars, budget

Address: Somerville Ave, Rottnest Island, Western Australia

This is located on Rottness island itself. There are not many options on the island for food. The most popular by far through my observation is Sub-way. 

While it stated that this place sells hot dogs,while i receive the hot dogs, they actually look more like burgers instead. Taste wise, its quite different from our usual fare of hot dogs and definitely quite tasty. Though i find it quite a mouthful to bite.

Tuckshop cafe - 4 stars, mid-range

Address: Unit 1/180 New castle street

One of the best breakfast i had at Perth. No wonder its the most raved place at the moment. The cafe is full within minutes of our arrival. And everything is so nice!


From overseas



Viet Hoa - 3 stars, budget

Address: 349 William Street, Perth, Western Australia 6003

Tried the following dishes - Boneless roast duck/ dry egg noodles served with crispy fried chicken and boneless stuffed chicken wings. 


Absolutely love the dry egg noodles served with cripsy fried chicken. We over ordered and have plenty of leftovers while the food taste absolutely delicious.

Red Opium - 4 stars, mid-range

Address: 21/326 Hay Street, Perth, Western Australia 6000

Though the address indicated Hay street, the main entrance of the restaurant is off hay street and to make it more difficult to find, the restaurant is located in basement level. So its pretty easy to miss while walking along Hay street.

The food is asian flavours presented in Western plating and deconstructed. So plenty of surprise and keeps me interested and anticipating on the food.



We tried Yin and Yang Dips, Green Curry Deconstructed, Crying Wagyu and Dessert platter.

Toastface grillah - 3 stars, budget
Address: Grand theatre lane, Perth, Western Australia 6000

This place has plenty of directions along the way. As you have to walk through alleyways, it can be pretty intimidating.

A very warm inviting place which the owner painstakingly decorated. Feels very arty to me. Give it many thumbs up for effort and heart put in.

My husband jokingly ask me if the name has its originals from Singlish. Looks a little like it if you pronouce it as "grill lah"




Burger Edge  - 3.5 stars, budget
Address: located in Harbourtown Shopping Centre

This is most definitely one of the best burgers i've tasted. The beef patty is so juicy, it almost feels like i am eating a steak rather then a burger. Its one of the few burgers that impress me with its taste.



On the list but food not tried:
Blink Coffee Bar - few places to sit
Address: 19A High Street, Fremantle, Western Australia 6160

Friends restaurant - Fine dining
Address: Fortescue Centre, 20 Terrace road, Perth, Western Australia 6004

Rochelle Adonis High Tea (pre booking required)
Address: 2 St Albans Avenue, Highgate, Perth, Western Australia 6003

The Painted Bird Bar & Kitchen Restaurant
Address: Shop 10, Wesley Quarter, 93-95 William Street, Perth, Western Australia 6000

To Stay:
Pensione Hotel

This hotel is located in the city centre. I really like its location as most of the food that we want to eat are relatively near either by car or by walking. 

The rooms are clean and neat. All the basic amenties that is required is provided for. Most importantly, there is wifi access (though chargeable).
 


Travel tips: Do note days where there is extended night shopping or activities. The day is usually Friday.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Australia - Perth - 4 Days 3 Nights (Part 2 - To See)

Warning: Long post ahead.

To See/Do:
Rottnest
Rottnest island is located 18 Km off the WA cost. It was inhabited by Aboriginal people until rising sea levels separated the island from the mainland above 7,000 years ago. 

A popular holiday destination, it's a relaxed car free island offering world class beaches and stunning bays, swimming, snorkeling and bike riding. 

The quokka is native to Rottnest island and looks like a pint sized kangaroo William de Vlamingh who in 1696 was the next recorde European visitor to Rottnest gave the island its name Rotte nest (meaning rat's nes) after the abundance of quokkas he saw, mistaking them for rats.


The trip to Rottnest was prebooked prior to our arrival to Perth to secure the seats on the boat. Tickets can be purchase at the counter at the harbour. The ferry ride is approximately a 25 min ferry ride from Fremantle.

We also booked the Rottnest Adventure tour organised by Rottnest Express. This in a few words is a rollercoaster ride at sea. You will also get up close and personal with seals/ sea lions. Note its not scary and thoroughly exhilarating. The more adventurous can try the snorkel trip (Underwater rottnest) that is also offered.



After the tour, we had our lunch and rented a bicycle to explore the island. We found this beach that looks so beautiful. The sand is so fine and white. We decided to spend a little time and we are duly rewarded. I saw some fishes swimming very near to the beach a jelly fish and a stingray!!! How cool is that!

Address:
Jetty: B Shed, Victoria Quay, Fremantle, Western Australia
Carparks: Near C and D sheds, costing AUD $6.70. *Highly important to bring coins for their parking meter. 





Fremantle
Friendly, cosmopolitan Fremantle is WA's chief port and is situated at the mouth of the Swan River just 25 minutes west of Perth. Fremantle was founded in 1829 by Captain Charles Howe Fremantle, in a cerremony which claimed the entire west coast "New Holland' in the name of King George IV. Convict labour was used to build many of the original buildings in Fremantle and with the arrival of the gold rush, Fremantle soon developed into a thriving port. 

The round house*: The roundhouse is the oldest public building in WA. Opened in 1831, it was built to hold any person convicted of a crime in the settlement until 1886. Today it's a popular historical tourist attraction with sweeping views over the city, the Fishing Boat Harbour and the Indian Ocean. Volunteer guides is on duty at the site every day from 10.30 am to 3.30 pm. Apart from interpreting the history of the site, various flags are flown on the signal station and the national flag of visiting ships is hoisted to the masthead as a courtesy to the vessels as they enter the Port of Fremantle.

Fremantle prison*:. See the whipping post, gallows, solitary cells and chapel and learn about the daring escapes on a tour. Tours include prison day tour, tunnels tour adventure or spooky torchlight tour.

* These places were not visited.
 
Fremantle markets

Established in 1897, the famous Fremantle markets is the Grand Dame of heritage buildings and a must see destination with over 150 stalls, including fresh produce such as cheese, honey and bread, jewellery and quirky gifts.

From my previous visits, my family will most definitely visit the fremantle market because of the fresh produce. This time i also didn't give it a miss. I bought fruits for supper.

Address: Corner south terrace; Henderson street, Fremantle, Western Australia 6959

Caversham wildlife park

Entrance fee is priced AUD 25 per adult. 

Its a small zoo with the following main highlights: Farm show , Meet the Wombat and Friends Show, Koala Enclosures and Kangeroo Enclosures.

I did a summary of the show timings as i find the website not very structured. The time table will serve as a guide and for visitors to plan their time. I missed the farm show as we arrive slightly after 10 am and we wanted to spend some time going around. So we did the meet the wombat, meet the koalas and feed the kangeroos. Its another fun experience with the animals and as we are on free and easy. Own time own target feels so good.



The schedules

Meet the wombat
11 am, 2 pm 3.45 pm
Farm show
10 am, 1 pm, 3 pm
Molly’s farm
9.00 – 4.30 pm
Meet the koalas
10 am – 1pm, 2.30 – 4.30 pm1
Feed the kangaroos
9.00 am – 5.30 pm

Address: Whiteman Park, Whiteman, WA, 6068
 
Swan valley

Our swan valley trip starts after our visit to caversham wildlife park. Our planned stopovers are as follows: Margaret river chocolate factory --&gt Cafe lavender --> Sandalford's --> Houghton -->  Talijancich --> Sittella wines

In the end we only managed to cover up till Houghton only as Talijancich closed at 4.30 pm sharp, we reached at 4.35. A real bummer as i was looking forward to tasting their sweet wines.

Sittella wines is also closed as they have a wedding event. So if you're a wine fan, to avoid dissappointment skip caversham wildlife park and immerse yourself in drinking the whole day. tsk tsk.

Do note that wine tasting usually opens after 10 am but varies winery to winery.

Sandalford does provide free wine tour of the facility at 12 pm and its only conducted once for the day.




The address for our stopovers:
Margaret river chocolate factory** (5123 West swan road, west swan,Western australia 6055)
Cafe lavender (right behind margaret river choclate factory)
Sandalford's (3210 W Swan Rd Caversham Western Australia 6055)
Houghton (148 Dale Rd, Middle Swan WA 6056)
Talijancich (26 Hyem Road | Herne Hill, Perth, Western Australia)
Sittella wines (100 Barrett Street, Herne Hill WA 6056)

** must try their chocolate coated honeycomb. I like the cruchy honeycomb and mixed with choclate its like a match made in heaven.

Other places recommended but not included our swan valley itinerary:
Yahava Koffeeworks (4752 West swan road, West swan, Western australia 6055)
Lanchester (5228 West Swan Road, West swan, Western australia 6055)

Blue house


 

People living in perth may not even know where is this place or so we discovered. :(

According to instructions, you should drive along mounts bay road, Crawley Western Australia 6009. But a more precise location based on the apartment building will be 8 mounts bay road, crawley, western australia 6009. From here, its is less than a minute walk to the blue house.

As its quite a popular place for family and wedding portraits, you will probably need to wait for your turn to take beautiful pictures.


Rockingham

Home of the beautiful Shoalwater Marine Park, the many offshore islands are added attractions with their sculpted limestone rocks, little coves and reef areas are ideal for diving, snorkelling and kayaking. There are roughly 260 resident dolphins in Shoalwater Marine Park.

Usually, this is a 45 mins to 1 hour to drive from Perth. However, we are unable to take their freeway (expressway) due to a cycling event in the morning and we spend more then 20 minutes figuring out a new route and getting stuck in a jam due to the event. 

We had to re-route the GPS to take a longer route and it became a 1.5 hours drive instead. Fortunately, we finished our breakfast early and a easy ride became a mad rush to the departure jetty instead.

 


The highlight of the tour was seeing the dolphins living in the wild. The dolphins also did surfing for us. Amazing! The other animals that we can to see from the tour are the sea lions and penguins.

Tour is conducted by Rockingham Wild Encounters.
Address: 153 Arcadia Dr, Shoalwater, Western Australia 6169

Jetty:  Mersey point jetty is a short 1 minute walk behind gift shop where tickets can be purchased.
Carpark: Free parking onsite. 

King's park
The park has sweeping views of the city and the swan river and showcases an outstanding collection of WA flora. 

I went to king's park for the sole purpose of looking at the giant boab. This tree is 750 years old which travel a distance to be replanted at king's park. It is located at the two rivers lookout at the end of the forest carpark. The boab tree is huge but not as huge as i envisioned.

The aerial view from kings park is good though. Overlooking the rivers with the deep blue sky, a picture perfect spot.



Harbourtown Shopping
Can be reached via Yellow Cat- Number 17 or 22 or Green Cat - Number 9 or 13 (to check any revisions in bus stops).  

Shopping time is almost always a requisite for me. So at least i can have some hauls back. If you know what you want, shopping her can be quick and fast. i.e like buying adidas or sheridian (all the nice sheets has no stock for King size).

 
Pinnacles Day Tour*
The Pinnalcles at Nambung National Park are located 200 km north of Perth (2 hours by car) and provides a natural habitat for an extensive array of native animals and bird life.

These amazing limestone structures, some standing as high as 5 metres, were formed approximately 25,000 years ago, after the sea receded and left deposits of sea shells. Over time, coastal winds removed the surrounding sand, leaving the pillars exposed to the elements.

The variation in colours against a backdrop of constantly shifting sand dunes creates an eerie landscape often best viewed at dawn or sunset when the shadowns created remarkable patterns that riper over the sands. 

Visiting the place is like looking at rocks and formations. I had visited the pinnacle in my previous trip with a tour (very expensive! almost 200AUD per adult) and en route we did some sand boarding and also visited caversham wildlife park.