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Albany & Esperance Roadtrip Summer 2018

Where we went, what we did, what we ate!

We love exploring WA this trip was one of our favourites so far! If you haven’t visited Albany and Esperance before be sure to add it to your list.

Little Beach, Two People Bay

Leave from Perth Stopping at Williams for lunch

Day 1 – Beach swim at Frenchman’s Bay Albany. Lunch at Whalers Galley Cafe

Frenchman’s Bay Albany

Day 2 – Beach swim & picnic at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, Little Beach

Field of Light – Avenue of Honour light display in Albany

Field of Light, Avenue of Honour, Albany

Day 3 – Day trip to Denmark

Climbed Monkey Rock (30 min easy walk – great for kids) Amazing views of Denmark and surrounds.

Swim at Elephant Rocks & Greens Pool

Floating the day away at Greens Pool

Day 4 – Day Trip to Denmark

Denmark Animal Farm – so many animals, llamas, goats, kangaroos, horses and more.

Lunch at Denmark Bakery

Denmark Animal Farm

Day 5 – Hiked Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Ranges (1 hour out of Albany, 3-4 hour hike)

Bluff Knoll from the summit

Movies at Orana Cinemas, Albany

Visit to the Anzac Centre Albany

Anzac Centre Albany

Dinner at Hooked on Middleton Beach Fish & Chips – best in WA!

Day 6- Boatshed Markets (Open Sundays 10-1)

Walk along the Albany foreshore

Beach swim at Frenchman’s Bay

Albany Foreshore

Day 7- Beach swim at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, Little Beach (so good we had to go twice!)

Day 8 – Explored the Amity Ship (free entry)

The Amity Ship

Albany Wind Farm

The Gap & Natural Bridge, The Blowholes

The Natural Bridge

Eyre Park Playground – awesome nature playground

Day 9 – Drove to Esperance (5 hours)

Walk around town and Foreshore. Coffee at Downtown Espresso Bar

Esperance Foreshore

Day 10 – Visit to Cape Le Grand National Park (Lucky Bay, Thistle Cove and Hellfire Bay)

Meeting the locals at Lucky Bay

Sunset walk along West Beach

Day 11 – Beach Swim at Blue Haven Beach

Blue Haven Beach

Visited the nature playground on Esperance foreshore

Esperance Nature Playground

Dinner at Fish Face Fish & Chips

Day 12 – Home to Perth, stopped at Wave Rock Hyden (halfway between Albany & Perth)

Busselton Foreshore Adventure Play Space

🌿 Name: ‘Sea Play on the Bay’, Busselton Foreshore Adventure Play Space

🌏 Location: Busselton Foreshore directly in front of the iconic Busselton jetty.

✔️ Good: Lots of shade from surrounding trees, picnic areas, toilets close by.

✖️ Not so good: Unfenced, busy wide open area close to the ocean. Many climbing areas have large heights. Need to watch smaller children.

☕️ Coffee: Many restaurants and kiosks as below

🍴 Cafe/Restaurants: Restaurants and kiosks close by including Equinox and The Goose, Salt Burger and BBQ

👶🏼 Ages: 2 +

👫 Kids score: 👍🏼

👩🏽 Mummy score: 5/5

This is a spectacular nature scape playground inspired by Busselton city’s maritime history and coastal landscape. It was newly opened on Nov 2nd 2018. The centrepiece is a giant wrecked clipper ship leaning over to one side with a whale head and tail (with water feature) appearing from beneath the ship. The ship has above and below decks to explore, a ship wheel, bell and fire cannon. There is a rope net climb up to a lookout point within the ships sails. On the jetty side of the playground is a giant orange squid climbing feature, climbing poles, net swing and slide. The play space is part of Busselton foreshores re-development which on completion will include a skate park, amphitheatre, toddler playground, carousel and family restaurant/microbrewery. It will be fantastic to see it all completed and it will keep the whole family entertained.

Tompkins Playground, Applecross

School holidays are here! For us this means playgrounds and more playgrounds. Yesterday we found this amazing little spot while taking the scenic route home. And it’s a new favourite. Ticks my top two playgrounds wishes, fully fenced and a view! (Oh and good coffee close by ✔️)

🌿 Name: Tompkins Park, Applecross

🌏 Location: Corner Dinkley & Cunningham Street Applecross

✔️ Good: Fully fenced, swings (including toddler swing) monkey bars, two slides, toilets, BBQ, picnic tables in shade, river views, during the week it’s quiet, we had the playground to ourselves!

✖️ Not so good: Minimal shade

☕️ Coffee: Health Freak Cafe Applecross is less than 5 minutes away

🍴 Cafe/Restaurants: Garden City Shopping Centre is 5 minutes away and has a large range of family friendly dining venues

👶🏼 Ages: 2 +

👫 Kids score: 👍🏼

👩🏽 Mummy score: 5/5

Christmas Entertaining on a Budget at Ocean Keys

Christmas should be a relaxed, fun and happy day with family and friends. Less time in the kitchen, more time in the sunshine. In the lead up to the big day I head to Ocean Keys Shopping Centre as everything I need for Christmas is under the one roof. They have so many options to find affordable gifts for the whole family plus a great range of food retailers to cover all your Christmas entertaining needs, while still sticking to a budget.

This year I’m going to share my tips for affordable, easy and fun Christmas entertaining.

  1. Keep it simple – My love of grazing boards is well documented on Perth Play’s Instagram. So this year it’s going to be all about easy yet decadent grazing boards for our Christmas feast. And as for dessert, you won’t have any complaints with this delicious chocolate grazing board, no baking required!

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Easy Christmas Grazing Lunch

  • Starting with a large tray (Kmart Bamboo Tray $10) place spinach leaves around border. Then add a selection of cheeses, olives, pate and dips around the tray. To keep costs down stick with 2-3 good quality items.
  • Roll cold meats (sliced leg ham, hot chorizo and Italian salami from Coles) and chop vegetables. I chose red & green veggies for that festive feel. Capsicum, celery and cherry tomatoes from Ocean Keys Fresh. Assemble meat and veggies.
  • Then place a selection of crackers around the board. To keep costs down purchase variety packs with an assortment of crackers. (I used OB finest Cracker Variety Pack $10 from Coles)
  • Fill any gaps with a selection of salted cashews, almonds, soya crisps, yoshino crackers and rice crackers. (Sold from The Source Bulk Foods by the kilo, this is really cost effective as you are only buying what you need to fill your platter)
  • Top with some fresh seasonal fruit like strawberries, blueberries and grapes (Ocean Keys Fresh) and dried fruits like goji berries and apricots (The Source Bulk Foods)
  • Decorate with Christmas decorations and fresh flowers. Baby’s Breath was $8 a bunch from Bud & Bee Florist, Assorted Christmas berry and holly wreaths $4-$6 from the Two Buck Shop & More, White Christmas Tea Lights and Snow Storm Candle Holders ($12.99 & $10 each from Dusk)

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Chocolate Heaven Dessert Grazing Board

  • Starting with a large tray or board assemble large items. I used Christmas donuts from Donut King, gingerbread men from Pat-a-cake Bakery and Christmas tree cake, lemon tarts and fruit mince pies from Bakers Delight
  • Place a selection of chocolate blocks broken up into rows. Go Vita have a great selection of organic chocolate (I used Loving Earth Organic Raw Caramel Chocolate and Organic Raspberry Cashew Chocolate $7.95 each and Raw Organic Chocolate Coated Cranberries $7.95)
  • Fill any gaps with cashews, cinnamon roasted almonds, strawberry slice, chocolate mix and freckles. (The Source Bulk Foods.)
  • Top with some fresh seasonal fruit like dragon fruit, strawberries, blueberries and grapes (Ocean Keys Fresh) and dried fruits like apricots, raspberries and pineapple (The Source Bulk Foods)
  • Decorate with Christmas decorations like candy canes and flowers.

Ocean Keys 12


  1. Keep it fun – Get the kids involved making these special holiday drinks, you’ll be in the Christmas spirit in no time.

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Kids Christmas Fruity Fizz

My kid’s love this red fruity drink, the sparkling water gives it a nice fizz while still being healthy.

  • 1 Cup New Zealand Phoenix Organic Apple & Guava Juice (Coles $4.50 a bottle)
  • 1 Cup Bickfords 100% Pomegranate Juice (Coles $6.48 a bottle)
  • Top with sparkling water for some bubbles. Add Ice and a Candy Cane to garnish ($1 for 8 from Kmart)

*Adults version – top with prosecco instead of water (Available at Liquorland)


Christmas Creamy Hot Chocolate

The Source Bulk Foods sells Loving Earth’s Organic Creamy drinking chocolate by the gram. Save money by only buying what you need and while you are there stock up on delicious toppings like coconut and chocolate freckles.

  • Heat choice of milk in a saucepan
  • Once warm stir through 1 tablespoon of drinking chocolate per cup of milk (or more if you like it extra chocolatey and who doesn’t?)
  • Pour into mugs and let the kids decorate with their choice of yummy toppings.


  1. Keep it family –

Involving the family in every aspect of the Christmas preparations is win/win. You won’t be short on volunteers for the dessert grazing board, just be prepared for lots of taste testing! Here are two affordable but fun Christmas activities that were a hit at our house.


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Christmas Flower Crowns

Bud & Bee Florist has a stunning range of fresh flowers that will complement your grazing boards and are perfect for this activity.

  • Gold and pearl look wire headbands (Kmart $12)
  • Selection of flowers (I used Baby’s Breath) cut into small pieces
  • Let the kids make their own Christmas crowns using the wire from the headbands to tie flowers together.


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Chocolate dipped strawberries

  • Melt Lindt Couverture Milk Chocolate (The Source Bulk foods) in a bowl above a pot of boiling water, stirring until melted.
  • Wash and dry a punnet of strawberries
  • Prepare toppings (I used chocolate, nuts and freckles, along with coconut, chocolate and fruit toppings)
  • Let the kids take it from here. Add to your dessert board, if you can resist eating them all!


There you have it, my top 3 tips for an affordable and fun Christmas!

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe holiday season

Cara xoxo

Ocean Keys 3

Cara wearing Woven Primrose Prairie Pinafore Dress $39.95 Cotton On Ocean Keys

Girls wearing Jacquard Rose Print Dress Ollie’s Place Ocean Keys $29.99 (Available in sizes 2-6)

Belmont Forum Nature Playground

We love this outdoor nature playground located at Belmont Forum Shopping Centre. It’s located outside the fresh food precinct.

Playground features climbing frames and net, musical instruments, teepee, makeshift hill and more. Plus it’s partially shaded.

Reading cinemas are across the road, all tickets at only $10. The centre’s newly opened dining precinct features 6 new restaurants and a lovely outdoor alfresco area. Lots of family friendly dining options.

Mullaloo Beach Foreshore

Love this newly revamped playground at Mullaloo Foreshore 🙌

🌿 Name: Mullaloo Beach Foreshore

🌎 Location: Oceanside Promenade, Mullaloo. We went to the playground on the north side (Another pirate themed playground is on the south side)

✔️ Good: Amazing views, nature play area, water play, toddler area, gazebos, BBQ facilities, toilets close by, beautiful beach to head to after the park.

✖️ Not so good: Not fenced and the carpark is close by, the shade sails aren’t up yet, swings are currently under construction

☕️ Coffee: Our absolute favourite restaurant in Mullaloo is Swell Cafe and it’s located right next door to this playground. Grab a coffee from the takeaway window or stay for a meal. Kids options include; Mac & Cheese, mini burgers, fish & chips and pizza ($15 inc. a drink)

Ages: 2+

Kids score: 👍🏼

Mummy score: 4/5

Jackadder Lake Reserve

🌿 Name: Jackadder Lake Reserve
🌏 Location: 9 Jackadder Way, Woodlands
✔️ Good: Lake view, large climbing structure, monkey bars, flying fox, swings, some shade, toilets, BBQs, bike path

✖️ Not so good: Close to road, limited shade
☕️ Coffee: Bada Bing Cafe is just across the road

👶🏼 Ages: 2+
👫 Kids score: 👍🏼
👩🏽 Mummy score: 4/5

Blasta Brewing Company, Burswood

I’ve been dying to check out Blasta Brewery since it opened earlier in the year. I’m always on the look out for great places to eat and drink that have fun kids play areas too. Everyone wins!

We got a table right near the sandpit, which was perfect to watch the kids and enjoy the glorious Perth sunshine. We then moved inside to make use of the 3 TVs showing the Eagles game. Inside there are long hall style tables, booths and a bar area. Kids were entertained with books and games available at the venue.

Kids meals were $13 and includes Ice-cream [pictured] and a drink.

We couldn’t fault the service. Staff were so accommodating when we asked to move tables and when we needed cupcakes and candles to celebrate all of our families August birthdays 😂

Highly recommend!

Open 7am daily until midnight.

88 Goodwood Pde, Burswood

High Coffee at TWR, Crown Towers

I knew it was going to be amazing when I heard TWR at Crown Towers were offering High Coffee. Some of my favourite things in life together: coffee, cocktails and high tea! I finally had a chance to check it out yesterday when some lovely friends and I headed to Crown Metropol for the weekend 💃🏽 And wow did TWR exceed all my expectations!

The beautiful lounge area at TWR is elegant and luxurious, with high ceilings, amazing views and opulent interior, it was the perfect setting to sit back and enjoy our afternoon together.

Our lovely TWR waiter was so friendly and knowledgeable. After hearing our cocktail options, we decided to try them all. As you do! The Caramel Espresso Martini, Tropic Thunder and Bittersweet Symphony were all as amazing as they sound.

Then there were the four decadent desserts, the hardest part was deciding which one to try first. I started with the passionfruit bruleé with white chocolate crumble topped with coconut sorbet, then onto a delicious chocolate cigar with passionfruit crisp and white chocolate snow followed by my favourite, a chocolate dome with caramel whiskey mousse and then finishing with a Grand Marnier macaroon. Seriously dessert heaven!

TWR High Coffee is available 12-5pm daily.

Walk ins only. Bookings not required.

$39 includes one cocktail

$55 includes two cocktails

Non-alcoholic options are also available.

It’s the perfect location for afternoon with the ladies, and if you are like us continue the celebrations into the night. School mums sure know how to have fun!

Until next time Crown 🥂


Koombana Bay Foreshore Playground, Bunbury

🌿 Name: Koombana Bay Foreshore Playground Bunbury

🌏 Location: Koombana Bay, Bunbury

✔ Good: Large Steam ship themed large slide and climbing frame, water mill and interactive water basin, impressive flying fox, smaller child slide, swings, inbuilt trampolines, plenty of sand to play in, facing the beautiful Koombana Bay swimming beach, 4 BBQ’s and tables for picnics, and toilets close by at the nearby cafe

✖ Not so good: Playground is not fully gated off to the car park

☕ Coffee: Freshly brewed coffee @ Hello Summer Beach kiosk 50 mtres from the park

🍴 Cafe/Restaurants: Hello Summer beach kiosk great food with a view!! Full range of ice creams for the kids too 🍦

👶🏼 Ages: 3+ Some play areas and flying fox are quite high so better suited for older kids.

👫 Kids score: 5/5

👩🏽 Mummy score: 5/5