This was the scene as we drove towards Kalbarri. I was hoping for fields of wildflowers and pictures of children romping through them instead we drove into heavy rain. Jamie is so mad at me! Ha! But it did brighten. We stayed at Murchison Station which is a goat farm and camping area. We decided to bush camp on their property which is insanely massive but it was nice to get back to a bit of peace and quiet. We did ruin it for everyone else as the boys have invented a game which involves wrestling and shouting a lot.

Kalbarri is full of little coastal stops and view points, a lot like the Great Ocean Road. I dragged the family down one after the other on the first day, especially one called the Mushroom Rock, because really why not.

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We have realised we are no longer set up for cold weather, we’re all prancing around in shorts and t shirts while every other sensible person is wearing rain jackets and beanies. So the warm clothing is coming off the roof, here’s hoping we still fit into it after what can only be described as months of excess!

Kalbarri is beautiful, I love wild and roaring oceans. We also headed inland to check out a few features, the Z bend gorge. No prizes for why it is named what it is! And the famous Nature’s Window. We got lucky and there weren’t many people when we arrived at it. But as we turned to leave half of Kalbarri turned up, timing is everything. The kids enjoyed clambering near the edges of long drop aways but apparently the best part of their entire stay was discovering the section of the farm with some tame goats, including a few little baby ones. It was full of children climbing trees to grab leaves and attempting to carry goats around.

On our last day we headed to the local Pelican feeding and markets. Love a good free feeding show! Then Jamie got to try out some four wheel driving over the property. We saw heaps of goats, and some impressive rams with huge horns. No pictures as Jamie apparently delights in hooting until they bolt away. I got to see my wildflowers and we ended on a track to the edge of the property right on the coast. We left the car half way back – visions of it sliding into the sea freaked me out too much – and we took off with the kids down over the edge.

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I can imagine in the summer it is gorgeous, especially camped near the river. The boys didn’t get a chance to fish much to their disappointment but hopefully we’ll be back.

So the next day was Abi’s birthday, not sure how I have ended up with a 10 year old. My gorgeous girl. The birthdays this year are only little ones but we began the day with birthday pancakes and there was lots of singing through the day. We finished the day at the Pinnacles. There were storm clouds rolling in which made for a quick visit but great photos. But we are on our way to Perth!

Our main reason for visiting Perth was to see my old University friend, Gemma and her husband Cris who live in Perth. I think I have been in Australia now for almost 7 years and we have never made it to see each other. Rubbish! But now after all this time it finally happened. Best of all as far as the kids are concerned is that they have 2 little boys, Rafi is 7 and Lou is 5 – and a little dog called Cleo and 2 cats – so the entire week was one fun filled play date basically. It was so nice being back in a house, snuggled on the sofa watching weird programs on netflixs with Gem, inside toilet. You know the usual luxuries!

Perth is my new favourite city. I love that everywhere is pretty close, there are parks on every corner and it’s got a nice chilled feel to it all. Probably helped by the company as well! We visited a few parks with the kids, I am not sure how they will go back to Port Fairy after being spoilt here.

We headed out for a day in Freo on Sunday. We visited the Prison and then headed into the markets. Gem and I went for a wander through the shops while the boys took the kids to the beach. I wouldn’t say it was particularly warm but we still ended up with most of them in the water!

Monday was Jamie’s birthday present day. What do you get the man who has every gadget? Kite Surfing lesson of course. He did 5 hours and added another 2 hours on so it was a kite filled week but by the end he made it up and skimmed along the water. The kids were pretty patient although I did become a lovely drawing pad for them at one point! I probably didn’t think the present through properly though as he has found his new obsession – all my computer internet tabs are filled with kite surfing sites.

In between Kite surfing, camera cleaning (massively overdue!) and all the odd jobs you do in a big city we also went to the Scitech Museum and the Maritime Museum to see an exhibition on Pompeii and went exploring all the other bits and pieces.

The week ended entirely too quickly and soon we all packed up and heading to Lane Poole. It’s a nearby park with a Tree Adventure. Gem and Cris took the sensible option and signed up the kid only whereas in all my wisdom I signed the entire family up. You basically clamber into trees and hook yourself onto wires with metal clips and take your life in your hands. Jamie spent most of it cursing me, I forgot he’s not great with heights. But after the initial terrifying moments it was amazing fun! Jack hung out with me as we zip lined and climbed through obstacles. While Abi persuaded Jamie onto a tougher course. He really only has himself to blame! Zachary is desperate to go again so I might have to find one a little nearer to us back home.

We ended up back at the camp in slightly freezing temperatures – not sure I am ready for this yet. The kids all tucked inside and the adults rugged up to the hilt outside. We finished the evening with a completely nutty game of charades before snuggling in for the night.

We took a quick walk in the morning before a sad goodbye. Hopefully this time around it will be less than 7 years till the next catch up!

We stayed another night before heading to another park called Dryandra that Gem recommended for Jamie’s birthday. Jamie got his long awaited fire! We booked into a nocturnal tour in Barna Mia. They have a couple of enclosures where they are creating breeding groups of bilbys, Broodies, Woylies, Quendas, Marls and Malas. Definitely worth a visit, the kids loved watching the animals, and any reason to stay up late is a good one apparently. We tucked the kids into bed and sat under the stars around the fire. It feels like we are on our last bit for the first time. We are back into hot water bottles and fires!