On our first day in Perth, Western Australia with baby (7-8month old), it was love at first sight! Gorgeous beaches, extremely friendly and relaxed “no-worries” mentality people.
Second day: everything around you wants to kill you! The first sign when walking down the beach was “beware of (venomous) snakes”. Perth is probably the most dangerous place to swim due to shark attacks. The last 2 attacks were just a few months prior to our arrival. There is a site (sharksmart.com.au) where you can see when they spotted a shark and where. Around our Cottesloe beach we found almost every day shark listings. We found a memorial at this beach for a guy who died after a shark attack standing in hip-deep water.
Third day: it is very baby friendly here. I went to mum meetups and met really friendly girls. We took our first swimming classes, which our baby absolutely loved. The city and the beach is less crowded than Australia’s east coast. There are family friendly beaches, e.g. the Hilary Harbour. Particularly the Canteen at Trigg beach is always flooded with mums and their babies.
We rented a car (drivenow.com.au) on the weekends and used public trans or Uber the other days. Car rentals are – contrary to all other expenses – quite cheap in WA.
From Perth you can go on great trips around Western Australia with baby. It is especially great for endless unspoiled beach hopping. We also made a daytrip to Perth’s vine region, the Swan Valley. It is a charming area with restaurants among vineyards and Aussie country live music, if you’re lucky.
The Lancelin Dunes are stunning white sand dunes. Unfortunately, we arrived quite late to do the sand boarding or drive a buggy. That looked like loads of fun and like the end of the world scenario.
The best trip we did was to “Rotto” (Rottnest Island). It is such a beautiful island with loads of wildlife! Several Australians recommended it to us and it was definitely our favorite trip in Western Australia. There are Quokkas (a small Kangaroo type), Pheasants, Pelicans and many more running around you, not difficult to spot. A similar vibrant life can be experienced underwater. The flora is also quite special filled with Australian green bush. Everything looks different and exotic. Around the island there are numerous wrecks that may be explored while snorkeling. As you can see, we fell in love! We rented bikes with a baby trailer, which was the perfect way to get around. We regularly found shade for our Bub and the ferry was also very baby friendly.
Apparently, there were a lot of ships that wrecked at the coast of Western Australia. We also found a very special museum dedicated to the exciting stories behind the wrecks.
We also tried to go to a public lecture at Uni with baby (never too early to start with good education ;). But our baby started to talk “blablabla”after 15 minutes. She obviously had some more interesting thoughts to share than the professor. So we needed to leave.
We were living in 4 different Places around Perth: Cottesloe (our fave beach so far), Fremantle (funky area), Rockingham (great for Kitesurfing & Pinguin Island) and in Subiaco at the end.
Just a few minutes after we arrived at our apartment in ‘Subi’, we heard a voice from a loud speaker “Xy street, house xy, unit xy, the unit is surrounded by Police! All habitats of the apartment, please leave your apartment slowly with your hands up high…“. We went on our balcony and saw several Police cars in front of our building! A proper SWAT team on the street, as well as men and women in botton-down shirts and CIA-like badges further down the street. It literally looked like Homeland! Were they talking to us? Did we move into a gangster apartment? Well, they were aiming at a house opposite of ours. Or were they just shooting a movie?
After a month in and around Perth this is my conclusion of what mum life looks like, if you are on maternity leave: go to a baby swim class in the morning; drive to the beach/park and have some BBQ at the public BBQ stations; have a coffee at a mum meetup; go for a walk along the beach and finally meet your husband after he finishes work. Definitely a tough life 😉