Adventures Down South, with a dog and a baby

on Food, Travel  

During a Perth heatwave in December we escaped for a short trip down south, where it was slightly less hot and far less crowded at the beach!

This was our second road trip south with both Felix and Jasper, and we’ve gotten a lot better at travelling with a dog and a baby. This time our strategy mostly involved sticking to beaches and picnics, but we still managed to squeeze in some wineries and breweries as well.

We stayed at a dog-friendly AirBnB studio in Gnarabup, which had a separate room for Felix to sleep in uninterrupted. He spent a lot of time commando crawling around, wiping the floors with his belly. Having accommodation with a cot, high chair and bath provided made packing the car so much easier, definitely something for us to keep in mind next time.

Photo of a baby crawling on the floor of a living room

Places we went:

Beaches

Gnarabup Beach – lovely quiet beach close to our accommodation, with some dog-friendly stretches, near White Elephant Cafe.

Dad with baby in carrier and mum at the beachPoodle cross dog walk on leash along a beachDad with baby in carrier and a dog at the beach

Dunsborough foreshore – I love the still, shallow waters here. Very baby (and scaredy-dog) friendly!

Baby closing eyes as water is poured over his headCloseup of wet dog in shallow water at the beachDog running along a beach, with dad carrying baby in the water in the background

Cafes & Bakeries

White Elephant Cafe – an old favourite by the beach; we got our morning coffee here everyday since it was near where we were staying.

Dad holding dog and mum holding baby with beach in the background

Berry Farm – another old favourite, we go for the (huge) scones and the friendly blue fairy wrens.

Plate with scones, cream and jam with a milkshake and an iced coffee

Margaret River Woodfired Baker – fantastic bread, hot from the oven from 3pm. Kind of a strange unassuming place in an industrial area, but the huge pile of firewood gives them away.

Margaret River Bakery – we grabbed a few things and some coffee for a picnic. Fantastic bread of course, but the extremely loaded salad I got was also somehow amazing. I would go back for that salad.

Yallingup Gugelhupf – delicious traditional cakes baked in ceramic moulds, and a convenient park to picnic in across the street (this trip was full of picnics). I want to go back to try all the other flavours.

Dad holding baby with dog sitting nearby, in a park

An escargot and a gugelhupf, on a plate on a picnic blanket
Gugelhupf on the right

Wineries, breweries & pubs

Stormflower Vineyard – this lovely organic winery has a cellar door that actually allows dogs inside! We had the place to ourselves when we visited, and were shown to some comfy armchairs to taste their excellent wines, whilst Felix crawled around. Definitely one to visit again.

Dad, dog and baby at Stormflower cellar door

Stella Bella Wines – another excellent winery that welcomes dogs at the cellar door! The last time we visited Jasper was a tiny puppy.

Puppy on leash
Jasper’s first visit to Stella Bella
Poodle cross dog on leash
Jasper this trip, almost 4 years old

Cape Mentelle – we’d already reached our wine tasting limit by the time we got here, so just had our picnic outside whilst I wistfully admired their wine list. So I can’t comment on the wine, but as a picnic spot it was stunning (and they let you bring your tasting glasses outside if you have a dog). Definitely need to come back here for the cellar door.

Look how nice this outdoor area is!

Clancy’s Fish Pub – not sure how we’ve managed to have never visited the Dunsborough Clancy’s until now? The place is beautiful and huge, with a great view of the flying foxes from the ropes course next door. I had some delicious prawn tacos.

Two prawn tacos with beer in the background

Wild Hop Brewing Co – great beer and gorgeous outdoor area. Also a big fan of popcorn as beer snacks.

Beer tasting board, a large salad and a pulled pork burger

Felix’s birth story

on Motherhood, Pregnancy  

I read a lot of birth stories during my pregnancy, something that I’d been avoiding until then. They always feel deeply personal and I didn’t think that I’d want to publish my own experience, even though reading the experiences of others really helped and encouraged me. But I figured no one really reads this blog anyway, so I might as well!

This isn’t a negative story although things didn’t quite go according to plan, so if you are reading this whilst pregnant and can’t handle that right now, or just don’t want TMI (although seriously don’t read birth stories if that’s the case) feel free to just scroll through to the cute newborn pics. (more…)

Adventures in Japan – Mt Fuji

on Food, Motherhood, Travel  

Some of my best memories of the previous times I’d visited Japan were staying at traditional ryokan, with tatami rooms, kaiseki style meals, yukata to wear and an onsen to bath in. This time I was set on staying near Mt Fuji, the shy mountain I’d only seen shrouded in clouds.

We had an epic six leg journey from Osaka to Lake Kawaguchi one of the Fuji Five Lakes that surround the mountain. There we splurged on a ryokan with views of Mt Fuji over the lake – the best chance (but not guarantee) of being able to see it. As luck would have it, the weather on our second day in Kawaguchiko was clear and perfect with amazing views. We went up the rope way on a nearby mountain to get more views, but the ones from our accommodation were my favourite.

We also had beautifully laid out dinners served in our room, which was perfect for Felix to roll around on the soft tatami.


This was my third time to Japan and I think I should probably explore some other parts of the world, but I loved getting to experience it again with my little family.