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First time to Perth with 2 toddlers!

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
First time to Perth with 2 toddlers!

Hello everyone,

I have scheduled a trip from 14 - 24 March 2018. Will be travelling with my wife and our kiddos (5 & 4 yrs) and this will be our very FIRST time in Perth. I have tried planning an itinerary but the fact that I'm not familiar with the geography coupled with the seemingly endless amount of attractions is proving to be quite a challenge (in the most pleasant way of course)! So I will really appreciate whatever kind tips and advice you guys may have to help me get started.

We are particularly keen to stay a night or two at the Diamond Forest Farm which has great reviews throughout (do let me know if you think otherwise). It's in Pemberton and again I'm not sure if the location will work for us in terms of its distance from the more popular areas in Perth.

In a nutshell, our interests/preferences are:

i) Tame/domesticated animals (my kids absolutely love playing with them)

ii) Beaches

iii) Outdoor parks/playgrounds

iv) Shopping (like those in Fremantle)

v) Self-drive

vi) Slow-paced holiday (we don't fancy running and rushing around all the time)

Thank you in advance for all your tips and advice!

Edited: 14 October 2017, 09:03
33 replies to this topic
Fremantle, Australia
Level Contributor
4,497 posts
68 reviews
1. Re: First time to Perth with 2 toddlers!

You have a good amount of time for a leisurely holiday.

Some suggestions:

Stay several days in Perth and Fremantle at the beginning and end of holiday with the middle bit in the south.

Pemberton is a lovely part of the state. From Perth to Pemberton you will be able to stop at little towns and your children might enjoy the Donnybrook Apple fun park playground. It will take you around 3 hours.

You could consider from Pemberton going across to have several days in the lovely Margaret River Region before returning to Perth (3-4 hour return with stops in Busselton and Mandurah). A 6 day time for this loop south would be a ideal for some relaxing holiday time.

Perth and Fremantle have great playgrounds and March is a pleasant time to travel.

Edited: 14 October 2017, 09:51
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
4,343 posts
243 reviews
2. Re: First time to Perth with 2 toddlers!

Sometimes the more you research, the more confusing it gets! Here's a good place to start planning. I would consider printing out these TripAdvisor Traveller Articles and highlight the things that appeal to you to do in your ten days.

Ideas for Perth:

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Travel-g25510…

Ideas for Fremantle:

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Travel-g25510…

Ideas for the Margaret River Region:

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Travel-g25536…

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
4,343 posts
243 reviews
3. Re: First time to Perth with 2 toddlers!

Self drive itinerary for a family:

https:/…

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
4. Re: First time to Perth with 2 toddlers!

Thanks so much everyone for the prompt responses! So if I read you correctly, the overview of my itinerary should be:

Perth - Pemberton - MR - Fremantle - Perth ?

Also, my flight will be arriving at 6am thereabouts. Should I pre-book a rental car or are there other cheaper options to get from the airport to my hotel? From my experience in the US and other countries, it's more costly to get a rental car from the airport compared to the other parts of town. Not sure if this is also true in Perth?

Edited: 15 October 2017, 14:05
rural West Aussie
Destination Expert
for Perth
Level Contributor
25,052 posts
70 reviews
5. Re: First time to Perth with 2 toddlers!

Yes, they add a daily fee to the total if you collect a car at the airport.

Pre book the car but collect it from a non-airport depot either the next day or later in the day after you've had a rest.

Take a taxi to your accommodation in Perth.

Edited: 15 October 2017, 14:47
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
4,343 posts
243 reviews
6. Re: First time to Perth with 2 toddlers!

Personally I would just take the coastal path of least resistance with good roads and travel Perth > Busselton > Dunsborough (Margaret River Region) and explore for a couple of days at your leisure, then move on to Pemberton.

Perth
Level Contributor
117 posts
205 reviews
7. Re: First time to Perth with 2 toddlers!

Depending on how tired the kids are you, and where your hotel is you can take a 380 bus (google Transperth) from the international airport to the the CBD and most days of the week it runs 15 minutely, (or free shuttle to domestic terminal and then 935 bus runs 10 minutely).

Hire car companies all have depots in the CBD and will be cheaper if you pick up the next day. ALL of Perth city is called a Free-Transit-Zone meaning you can get to anywhere in the city centre by bus for free. This includes Kings Park (only a recent change). Unless you really need it I would get the car on day 2 and save the parking fees.

With the time frame you have, Perth 2 days, then Bunbury/Busselton/Dunsborough for a couple of days, a couple more deeper into the Margaret River region, over to Pemberton and back via the inland route through the Blackwood River Valley and all the fun little towns that offers. Finish up in Fremantle before going back to the airport.

Fremantle to International is about an hour at most to drive. Most (not all) hire car companies will not charge extra to drop off at the airport because it's easier for them then carting cars in on the back of trucks) however again almost all the companies have a depot in Belmont / Welshpool which is a AUD 15 taxi to the airport and about 10min if there is an extra charge.

Enjoy your holiday and take your time on the roads

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
8. Re: First time to Perth with 2 toddlers!

Appreciate all the responses everyone!

Questions:

a) From what I've gathered, it would be more economical to use public transportation when getting around the city area? If that's the case, what are my options? I suppose buses? Are they all free or would I need to purchase a ticket? How does that work?

b) What are the recommended (meaning value-for-money) car rental companies in Perth? I'm not on a tight budget but every penny counts!

c) Where's the best place to get groceries? Supermarkets I guess?

Thanks again!

rural West Aussie
Destination Expert
for Perth
Level Contributor
25,052 posts
70 reviews
9. Re: First time to Perth with 2 toddlers!

a) It's mostly buses in the city. Trains go out to the suburbs. Here is link to the page which explains the Free Transit Zone, with a link to the map of the zone and also a link to the CAT bus schedules:

…wa.gov.au/Tickets-Fares/…Transit-Zones

The main Transperth site has a trip planner so you can see the best way to get where you want to go.

In a nutshell there is a free transit zone in the Perth CBD where you can get on and off buses and not have to pay. To use a train in the Free Transit Zone you would need a Smart Rider ticket which is not cost effective for short term visitors. There are also CAT buses in the Perth CBD, Fremantle and Joondalup which are free to ride. They are colour coded so you know which route they drive along as there is some overlap of routes.

For all other trips you will need to purchase a ticket from the bus driver or from a ticket machine at the train station depending on your chosen mode of transport.

b) Bayswater has excellent prices and reputation. I've used them with no hassles myself, and it's probably the only better known company which we never see complaints here about.

c) Depends what you're after and level of quality you want.

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
4,343 posts
243 reviews
10. Re: First time to Perth with 2 toddlers!

<< a) From what I've gathered, it would be more economical to use public transportation when getting around the city area? If that's the case, what are my options? I suppose buses? Are they all free or would I need to purchase a ticket? How does that work? >>

Perth city CAT buses - 4 routes are all FREE, no ticket:

…wa.gov.au/Timetables/Live-Perth-CAT-Times

There are also two CAT bus routes in Fremantle.

Other buses in CBD area are also free. Just get on and off in city area with no ticket, ie along St Georges Terrace. Not sure about trains between CBD stations but I'm sure someone else will confirm.

<< b) What are the recommended (meaning value-for-money) car rental companies in Perth? I'm not on a tight budget but every penny counts! >>

Tips: Hiring directly from the airport incurs an extra daily surcharge so avoid. City parking charges may be more than you expect - $30+ daily - so often best to get a taxi to your accommodation and hire the next morning. There are several globally recognised brands here but Bayswater Hire is most recommended by locals.

<< c) Where's the best place to get groceries? Supermarkets I guess? >>

Major supermarket brands here are Coles, Woolworths and IGA. Google for nearest one to your accommodation.

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