Thursday, 27 March 2014

Our Trip to Sydney NYE 2012- Part One

As we have named this a 'Lifestyle and Travel' Blog we have decided that it would probably be a good idea to do a post and some reviews on when we visited Sydney for New Years Eve in 2012/2013 (god that sounds like years ago!!)

In 2012 I was working for a very large software company. I was doing really well under the guidance of my work mentor and because of this I managed to earn a large amount of commission in the first quarter. Instead of saving this commission and paying off my debt (which would have been sensible!) I decided to book a once in a lifetime, or so we thought, trip to Australia. We were both so excited and managed to bore everyone with our weekly countdowns until we left!

The trip that I booked was from London - Perth, stay in Perth with family for 4 days, fly to Sydney for NYE, stay there for 2 weeks then fly home. The trip cost us £4589 in total including flights and accommodation. We didn't pay for accommodation in Perth as we were lucky enough to stay with family.

We flew with Malaysia Airlines for the long haul trips and with Virgin Australia for the flight from Perth - Sydney. Scott had never flown long haul before, the furthest he had flown was to Greece, so this was a huge experience for him. I had flown to New Zealand back in 2010 when I moved over there for 6 months so this trip was familiar to me.

We went with Malaysia Airlines because they were the cheapest at the time. I had flown with Singapore Airlines before and found the service 5* however their flight prices do fluctuate so you cannot always guarantee cheaper flights. The flight was pleasant and the food was 'ok'. As we flew on Boxing Day we did get to enjoy a Malaysian style Xmas dinner and American pancakes for breakfast.

Scott enjoying the in flight entertainment!

The stop over was in Kuala Lumpur, an airport neither of us had visited before, and it was great for shopping! We didn't have a very long stop over so we grabbed a bite to eat and headed to the departure lounge.

We arrived into Perth around about 2/3pm and boy was it hot! We were not aware when dressing for the flight, that Perth was currently going through a long summer heatwave (plus 40 degrees for more than 4 days) so arriving in jeans and a blazer wasn't a great idea!

We were made to feel very welcome by our family in Perth and their house was absolutely beautiful with gorgeous views! We enjoyed a lovely family BBQ on the first night and then hit the sack as we felt very jet lagged.

The Parker Family 


Simon showing Scott how to be a man and cook an Aussie BBQ


View from the house overlooking Perth City


We only had a few days in Perth but we did manage to go and do a few sight seeing trips and enjoy some lovely restaurants.

View from Kings Park







Monday, 21 October 2013

Fremantle Markets

If your visiting Fremantle on the weekend you must take a visit to the Fremantle markets. Situated on the Corner of South Terrace & Henderson Street the Fremantle market plays host to approximately 150 stalls both in the hall and in the yard. 

These stalls vary from your typical fruit and veg stalls to indigenous and independent products. You will also find a small pub in the corner of the hall, big enough to sit around 30-40 people. 
You could spend at least an hour or more looking around all of the different stalls, we had around 30minutes to look around and to purchase some early christmas gifts to send back home. 

Our favourite stall was Maison Saint Honoré located along the left hand side if you enter via the Henderson Mall entry. This stall sold the best french macaroons we have ever tasted! So good we bought them by the box load.  You can visit their website at www.maisonsainthonore.com AND the do home delivery! 

We would love to share with you some of the other goodies we bought at the markets but I'm afraid that would spoil the surprise for everyone at home. To find out more about the history of the markets visit the Fremantle Market homepage.




Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Fremantle Prison

Seeing as we are 'on holiday' we decided to do the tourist thing and check out Fremantle Prison. To my surprise most of our family and friends who live in Australia haven't been to visit the prison, those that have been visited whilst on school trips. 

We arrived around 12:30 and only had to wait 15 minutes or so before our first tour started. We chose the Great Escapes Tour and the Doing Time Tour and in total is cost us around $26.00 each. Each tour lasted 1 1/2 hours long. 

Decommissioned as a maximum-security gaol in 1991, the Prison was continuously used as a place of incarceration for almost 140 years.  With death row, solitary cells and gallows, it is a monument to a system of punishment that is uncomfortably recent.

Both of the tours were fantastic and full of educational stories. Our favourite tour was the Great Escapes tour as the whole tour was story after story. The weather was also perfect for walking around outside the prison. The Prison Time tour was mainly inside and took you on a journey through how the prison had changed from the middle of the 1800's up until it closed in 1991. 

Below is a short YouTube clip of the prison, it gives you more of an insight into where we went. 




The only thing which might have helped us understand more about the prison would be a small fact sheet on some of the 'famous' criminals that stayed in Fremantle. As we aren't locals we had never heard of some of the criminals that the tour guide spoke about. 

All in all the tour was well worth the money we spent and left us wanting to know more about Australia's hardest prison. 

If you are travelling to Fremantle and you have a spare couple of hours, make sure you go visit the Prison and take part in one of the tours. We will be back next time to take part in the Tunnels Tour. 


Piece of prisoner uniform left in the razor wire after trying to escape



Glass was put on the top of the walls to prevent people escaping

What the cells looked like in the 1860's

Solitary Confinement 





Friday, 11 October 2013

Lesmurdie Falls


On Tuesday after Scott finished work we decided to take a stroll down to the falls seeing as it was a nice day and we live opposite it. I was expecting a little stream (as thats all we can see from the front garden) which lead to a little water fall.


I was wrong.


Its a huge damn waterfall right in our front garden. I should have known they do things bigger and better out here. Myself and Scott were totally blown away by the view and the sound of the fall when we came across it. We only did a short 20minute walk as we had other things to do but we will defiantly be looking to do the hour long walk around the track when we have some spare time.

If anyone is looking for somewhere to take the kids, go for a nice walk or take the dog out this is such an ideal place. It has a small car park, toilet facilities and a few benches along the way if you want to take a picnic or take in the view. I also think its going to be a great place for me to sit and work when i need some time away.

Here are a couple of photos we took, next time we will take the big camera and get better photos.


View from the front garden - the bush is where the falls are

This is all we expected to see


Scott looking out to the city 

From the top of the falls

This is an image i have found online as we didn't get to the bottom of the falls
http://www.kirkhillephotography.com


Fremantle


Fremantle (Freo)

Fremantle is one of my favourite places in Perth to go (so far). The atmosphere is really relaxed, you get to meet all sorts of wacky people and also the restaurants and coffee shops there are sublime. 

Fremantle is a city in Western Australia, located at the mouth of the Swan RiverFremantle Harbour serves as the port of Perth, the state capital. Fremantle was the first area settled by the Swan River colonists in 1829. It was declared a city in 1929, and has a population of approximately 25,000.

Fremantle is renowned for its well-preserved architectural heritage, including convict-built colonial-era buildings, an old jetty and port, and prisons; presenting a variety and unity of historic buildings and streetscapes. These were often built in limestone with ornate façades in a succession of architectural styles. Rapid development following the harbour works gave rise to an Edwardian precinct as merchant and shipping companies built in the west end and on reclaimed land.

We would recommend anyone visiting Perth to take the trip down to Freo and check out the harbour and fantastic fish and chips!