Saturday, 27 December 2014

A is for.....Agricultural Show

**A-Z South West and A-Z Perth is an occasional series where we are tourist in our home state and explore WA with new eyes**

There is nothing like an Agricultural show to show of a community and its industry! Like the Perth Royal Show, but on a smaller scale, local producers enter and show off their prized cattle and (tradionally) the wives bake their best cakes.

"An agricultural show is a public event exhibiting the equipment, animals, sports and recreation associated with agriculture and animal husbandry." (Source:

These events are hugely important for the local community, they give a sense of pride and unity, they allow for a break from day to day business and they provide a social aspect for the locals young and old.

This weekend I went along to the Bridgeown Agricultural Show and enjoyed the festivities and even won some prizes.

Cost: children under 16 free and Adults $15
          Food: a range of vender type food options available, a very busy bar on site.
          Rides: $8-$10 Assortment, mostly suited for teens and above
          Other entertainment: Assortment of free and low cost entertainment

TIP: if you have small children, look for the "passport" type activities. Many shows have them and they are usually a cheap way to go around the show and collect/learn new things.

TIP: You don't always have to be a local to enter some of the events. Sheaf tossing anyone?

Entertainment: As mentioned above, rides, passport type activities. Many free exhibits. Market type stalls.
The Bridgetown Show had a closing fireworks display which was much enjoyed.

Many of the towns have annual agricultural shows and are worth checking out or marking in the calender. This site is handy, but do check the websites/facebook pages for dates and details of individual events.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Test taste

We road tripped again last weekend.

Another trip down to Bridgetown to visit the lovely Lela and her babies. I am calling it a meeting. We met and we talked.

The view from our South West Office

We saw a pantomime (despite the way it may seem, yes I do have a other things on in my life other than attending performances), featuring my gorgeous Goddaughter (aka Lela's beautiful daughter). She was a fairy. I am pretty sure I am now a fairy Godmother!

Most importantly for the purposes of our travel blog, Lela took us on a taster tour of Greenbushes. What a stunning town! I didn't take any pictures, because Lela and the girls were taking heaps. I am expecting some will surface soon. We have made a date to go back and visit and do the walking tour properly, and I will post more then.

We had a quick stop in Donnybrook. Mostly because we saw that there was a Cafe Tiffany, and while we didn't have breakfast, the urge to visit just couldn't be resisted. Plus I needed coffee. I also had peppermint hedgehog slice which was divine, and the girls' gingerbread men passed the teenager taste test.

The girls have requested that we go back for breakfast one day. Breakfast at Cafe Tiffany (Donnybrook) is now on my travel list as well as Breakfast at Tiffany's in New York. I suspect one will happen a lot sooner than the other!

Cushion. Being held weirdly so her face is all skewy.

Some more driving tips:

  • Miss 11 suggests that you find out what station plays "cool" songs before you leave.
  • I suggest packing snacks so that you don't have to deal with grumpy children.
  • Make sure you stop and stretch so you don't get too sleepy.
  • Christmas carols will either be very exciting, or a call for mutiny. Hopefully the car vote isn't a 50/50 split.
Happy adventuring everyone.

Cath xx

Monday, 8 December 2014

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

This weekend was all about Christmas celebrations for me. I attended two local events, one massive family orientated one, and one smaller but still awesome adult one.

Firstly was the Channel 7 & The West Australian Christmas Pageant (which I have probably named incorrectly despite my best efforts, and will henceforth be referred to as "the Christmas Pageant").

An annual event down the streets of Perth, the Christmas Pageant is a free event; there is no cost to attend. That said, most parking in Perth is paid parking. Public transport would be my recommendation.

I would also suggest going early. The streets are packed. Take a picnic blanket and/or chairs to sit on. I sat straight on the pavement this year and I would not recommend it. I would also strongly suggest taking a picnic and anything needed to keep children entertained in the wait.

While it is super crowded there are also some free activities, and some pre-pageant entertainment.

The Christmas Pageant was a day time event for around 10 years, so I never got to take my girls to a night time pageant when they were little. This year we went with a group of Girl Guides aged 8 to 15, and the look in the younger girls' eyes was magical. They were so excited and were busily telling me about all the best floats. In their view the main guests were Fat Cat, the Telethon Kids, and Santa. This seems pretty reasonable to me.

Fun night! A bit of Christmas magic, and worth the effort if you have children who appreciate the magic.

Here comes Santa Claus! Here comes Santa Claus! Riding on Santa Claus' sleigh.!

My second event was not a family friendly one. However it did support a good cause, and it was lots of fun.

The Freo Santa Fiesta is an annual event that raises funds for the Princess Margaret Children's Hospital. It is also annual event where you get to dress like Santa (or an elf, or one girl was a gingerbread man) and go on a pub crawl around Fremantle.

It is an event that is lots of fun with lots of friendly people. I went to one place I had never been before, and it even included a free sausage sizzle.

This year it was a $10 to participate. I strongly suggest thinking about the weather before you don the actual full Santa suit. This year the hat was hot enough.

Information on both events could be found via Google in November.

Happy celebrating! Let us know what fun events you have found.

Cath xx

Monday, 1 December 2014

Road trippin'

My daughters and I went on a mini-road trip this weekend. Orginally we were just going to go to Bridgetown to visit Lela and her tribe, but we ended up detouring via Boddington to visit the girls' dad at work (Miss 14 is currently in Singapore, and he wanted to see her before she went. Plus her camera was in his car).

Boddington is not on the way to Bridgetown, so it meant that we got to travel some new roads and see some new things. Unfortunately this time we had time constraints, but it was still fun.

I had been intending on writing about how we amuse ourselves on long car trips, but this time Miss 15 stayed at home to babysit for a friend, and Miss 11 had been at a sleepover the night before so she slept most of the time. When she woke up, we fed her and she went back to sleep. Miss 14 and I had a great time with Car-e-oke (aka she played songs and we both sang along).

A favourite place to stop on the Albany is the roadhouse at Bannister (there is also one at North Bannister, don't get confused). We like the Bannister Roadhouse because of the alpacas. There is seating so you can have a coffee while the kids stretch their legs, and for a few dollars you can buy food to feed the alpacas.

From our first visit to the alpacas. Four years ago, and we still love visiting.
Lunch was at the Boddington Hotel. For $20 I got a massive chicken bacon schnitzel. Miss (Starving) 14 couldn't finish her massive meal. Warning. Very limited option for vegetarians, as Miss 11 found out, but her $8 serving of chips was massive.

On the road between Boddington and Bridgetown, via Collie (thanks googlemaps), we saw lots of churches and cemeteries. We also saw a castle in a "moat", which is on our list to visit next time as we didn't want to wake the sleeping tiger (I mean pre-teen), a dam which was so blue we are still discussing it, and lots of wildflowers, sheep and cows. It was a really lovely drive.

Travel tips
  • I love having a roadhouse meal when traveling, but nothing beats McDonald's for a $1 frozen coke and a $1 waffle cone to soothe grumpy travellers.
  • It is very hard to get lost in South West WA. I suggest knowing which towns you need to travel through, and then follow the signs. I am pretty sure I didn't actually go on the roads I was planning on using, but we found our way no problems.
Interesting side note, I have worked out I judge the size of a town by if there is a fastfood chain. I automatically decided Collie was big when there was a McDonald's. There is not logical or reason behind this; it is my own prejudices.

We are planning our next South-West adventure in two weeks, so stay tuned. Happy travelling everyone.

Cath xx