I had worked out many itinerary permutations before the trip and finally settled on one that would see us driving straight to Margaret River (MR) after being fresh (no pun intended) off a red eye/ 5am landing. This would allow us to only break up the trip once and be back in Perth after 5 days in MR.
Travelling with kids on a road trip called for a lot of advance planning eg. Where would we be stopping for meals or breaks? Unlike the couple road trips where we could do many spontaneous stops or leg stretches. With kids, we had to ensure that we got to the destination in the least amount of time possible but still having sufficient meal breaks and possibly even an ‘entertainment’ or ‘attraction’ break.
We landed in Perth at 5am and proceeded to bundle the kids up in their winter jackets + ski gloves. Yes we looked ridiculous and kiasu in that airport but I reckon we looked really smart and warm :p once we hit the 5deg cold to get to our rental car.
It was going to be a 4 hour drive and so we decided to stop enroute at Rockingham for breakfast. The drive was about 1.5hours long because we had to travel pretty slowly in the rain and with foggy windows (took us awhile to figure out how to get the anti fog on).
We settled for a warm ham and cheese crossiant and hot chocolate at Lulu’s cafe. It was nice to be out of the cold and in a warm toasty cafe with a electric fire place next to our table. Almost didn’t want to leave. There is also a nice playground across the road from the cafe which would have been an ideal run around for the kids if the weather was warmer.
With our tummies full, we continued our drive towards MR and intended to take a lunch and ‘entertainment’ stop at Busselton Jetty.
We drove another 2 hours before we got there, thankfully the kids dozed off on that leg of the journey. We normally don’t allow sleeping in the car but this time we were glad they were getting some rest and we were getting some quiet and were able to focus on the road. And I honestly enjoyed the adult car conversations we were finally able to have without a child either interrupting us or having to have ‘speed’ conversations or updates while on our way to pick the kids. No guilt, the kids were in the car (asleep) and we had 2 whole hours of conversation time. 🙂
We got to Busselton just in time for the 11am jetty train ride. The train ride about 2+km down the jetty would take about 45 min there and back with an approx 8 mins stop at the end of the jetty. You can also choose to walk if you like. It started pouring almost as soon as we got out of our car so we were super glad that our beanies and gloves were all accessible in our handcarry and not packed away. Yes even for the adults! Phew! The kids love the train ride and the cold didn’t bother them as much as it did us.
Everyone was ready for some lunch after our little train adventure and we headed to The Goose which is a restaurant right next to the jetty. We have been to this restaurant many times over the years. It used to be a restaurant that serves tapas but serves mostly your usual mains now.
We only had a 1 hour drive left from Busselton to MR after this (easy peasy) and we got to our accommodation just shy of 2pm and just in time for our afternoon nap. If your kids don’t need a nap then you would still have lots of time to explore some vineyards or taste some local produce.
So this was pretty much how we survived 18 hours on the ‘road’- from leaving home at 8pm till we settled at our MR accommodation at 2pm the next day. To be honest it was really an awesome Day 1 with these kiddos and we couldn’t wait for Day 2!
More coming up…:)