Friday, January 23, 2009


Last Sunday we went to a place called Chipmunks. It's warehouse full of toys and slides and jungle gyms for the kids. Think Wacky warehouse on steroids!

Of course, the kids passed out in the car .............


The flight from Perth to Brisbane took forever! It was about 4 1/2 hours long, but with the kids awake most of the time, it felt more like 2 days. When we arrived in Brisbane we were greeted by Gert, and with a lot of effort we managed to squeeze ourselves and our baggage into his Hyundai Terracan.

When we arrived at their house in Rothwell, about 30 minutes north of the CBD, Elize was there to welcome us with home made (of course) Bobotie, complete with Mrs Balls chutney! The evening Gert and Brett went out to watch a 20 0ver cricket game between SA and Aus.
The next day the hunt for a car started (Gert took the day off work to show us around) ... After driving around and looking at a lot of second hand cars, we decided on a Mitsubishi Outlander, 2007 model, with the remainder of the guarantee. It's a 4x4, but is more like a station wagon. So far we're loving it! The last thing we expected was to buy a car in Afrikaans, but that's exactly what happened! The sales guy pickup up on our accent and started chatting in Afrikaans! We paid a bit extra to get the windows tinted to keep some of the harsh Aussie sun out (it really helps a lot!)

This is our car, sexy isn't it?

Gert and Elize's house
Next thing on the list was to find a rental property. Boy, what a mission! The suburb that I researched and decided on was North lakes, with a very popular state school, nice new houses and lots of parks. Unfortunately a lot of other people also loved the suburb. After phoning a lot of agents we decided to expand the area and look at other suburbs. We saw a couple of crappy rentals, small houses, tiny properties and huge price tags! On Sunday I found 2 rentals in North Lakes with inspection times on Monday. That's basically like "show" days, except that the show is only for 15 minutes and a whole bunch of people rush through the house. It's also not a first come first serve like in SA. You must fill out an application and the the agent will approve you (it works on a 100 point system where you have to supply a couple of documents to identify yourself) I made a bunch of copies of our passports, visas, ID books, driver's licenses, tenant reference, reference from the lawyer that transferred our house in SA, letter from the bank stating our bank balance (because we didn't have jobs), car registration paper, etc. Well, on Monday we saw the 2 houses, loved them both and applied. And on Wednesday we got the good news that we were approved for one of the houses! It wasn't our first choice, but the area is stunning! Very close to a park with a gas braai overlooking a lake. There are currently tenants in, so we can only move in on 11 February.
For some reason I can't find a picture of the house, but it's really not spectacular from outside. For me the area is the best thing about the house.
Ryan hasn't been able to start creche yet, because we're waiting for a reference number from Centrelink for family assistance. Apparently they can't take him in without that. He is devastated and can't wait to start school. His creche, Sesame lane is about 1 km from our new house. They don't have space for Jessica at the moment, but she will be on a waiting list.
I will post more news soon! Thanks for reading, we miss everyone at home, but are having a great time here. Things are still hectic.
Oh, Brett and I both passed our learners driver's license today! Now we want to go for a lesson before doing the practical driving test!
Lots of love,
Margaret’s River.

We booked 3 nights in a house in Margaret river about 300 km south of Perth. Not knowing much about Aus we didn’t know what to expect, but boy were we surprised. The drive down was amazing, watching the scenery change from mostly sandy soil and bushy trees to rocky area's with tall beautiful tree's definitely got us in the mood for holiday. Many times on the trip I could have sworn we where back in SA, the scenery is very similar.

We first got to a town called Busselton. And one thing Busselton has is a long jetty, kind of their tourist attraction. So off we went to walk down this jetty, when we got there the first thing we noticed were the beaches WOW, they're unbelievably beautiful, bright blue and crystal clear, and they go on for ever.
The jetty is long and you have to pay to walk down it (I thing $2) but it looks well worth it, so we started walking down to the end......and we walked.......and walked.......and walked.....and when we felt that we could walk no more! We walked some more. Eventually we reached the end crawling on our hands and knees, pushing a pram and carrying a very ungrateful kid on our shoulders only to find a little shop that have guided tours down to the sea floor with a windowed concrete pillar about 18m in diameter. We couldn’t go on the tour because we had to book, but we where allowed to walk back :) the jetty they say is 1.841km long, but they lie, its spans 2 time zones and you will need your passport at least once.

I would compare Margaret’s river to a little Afrikaans Paarl mixed in with English Knysna, it has a very beautiful vineyards and AMAZING beaches. The whole place has a holiday town feel to it, and allot of rich Aussies buy property there to holiday in or rent out.

The house we stayed in was awesome, a 2 bedroom place with a fire place and wooden floors, the property is surrounded by tall tree's so dense you cant see the road next to you. We used this bunker as our base of operations while we explored the area. The first beach we went to was directly west of the town and WOW, the water is crystal clear with this shallow rock out cropping that lies about 10 cm under water and expands out for about 100m. The surfers use it to launch into the sea. The sand is soft and
We were also able to snorkel just of the beach and surroundings looked just like the Capes "fynbos".

We also went and visited some wine farms but not before we went to a brewery. They make a beer there that is 7.1% and called the Raging bull. What’s nice about all these places is they catered for the kids, and almost all of them have quite elaborate jungle gyms to entertain them.
The wine farms are all very scenic and the wine is very tasty, and it got more tasty the more vineyards we visited.

The 4 days we spent in Margaret’s river went so quickly but they were worth it and I’d go back anytime.

Monday, January 19, 2009


The next morning (Wednesday 7 Jan) we spent walking around in Fremantle, Ryan also had his first (unplanned) swim in the sea.

Fremantle was established in 1829 as a port for the fledgling Swan River Colony and was the major city in Western Australia for much of its early history.
It was the first port of call in Australia for many migrants and visitors and today Fremantle sustains a rich mixture of cultures and nationalities.
Fremantle is Western Australia's major commercial port and handles the majority of the State's imports and exports.

This is the round house:

The Round House is the oldest remaining building in Western Australia. It was built as a gaol and was the first permanent building in the colony.
It was designed by HW Reveley, the colony's first civil engineer, and built in 1830 - 1831. The Round House had eight cells and a gaolers residence which all opened up into a central courtyard.
Bay whaling was carried out from Bathers beach below the Round House. As part of the whaling operations a tunnel was constructed under the Round House to provide whalers with access to the town from the jetty and bathers beach.
When the first convicts arrived in 1850 the Round House was inadequate to house them so the convicts built a new goal which was completed in the 1850's and continued to be used as Fremantle prison through until 1991.
The Round House was not used as a prison when, in 1886, convict establishment became the responsibility of the colonial government. Instead, the Round House was used as a police lock-up through until 1900. It then became the living quarters for the chief constable, his wife, and their ten children.
The Fremantle City Council took over responsibility for the Round House from 1982 when the headland was vested in the city. The building was opened to the public soon afterwards and can now be viewed seven days a week.
A team of volunteer guides who are on duty at the Round House during opening hours.
Round house punishment:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Perth - day 3

Okay, so it's been a while since I've made a post, so here's a summary of what we did in Perth on day 3.

To pick up from my last post, the next day we went back into the city, just me, Brett and the kids this time (the previous time we were accompanied by Collin's parents), caught the bus, then the train and walked to the bank to activate our new bank account.

This is Ryan playing in the park close to the bus station:

Brett and the kids in the train (or the bus??? They look the same inside ...)

Ryan in the bus/train:

Brett and Jess:

After we went to the bank, Collin phoned and told us to meet him on the south so that we could go to the zoo together. To get there, we had to go over the Swan river with a ferry.

Here's Brett showing Ryan jellyfish from the jetty while waiting for the ferry:

Remarkable the mom's and babes on the ferry, and the space provided for us!)

On the other side of the river Ryan played on this jungle gym. There are a lot of parks in Perth, all with wonderful jungle gyms, but all different.

This is the view back to the city, lovely isn't it!

The zoo was lovey, I was really impressed with the exhibits. It is much smaller than Pretoria zoo, but worth going, especially to pet the cangaroos. The following photos were taken at the zoo...