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A write-up of a playground visit, a video of a trip overseas or even something educational to help you Bring Your Kid Out! BYKidO Moments are moments for your Parenting Journey!
This week's BYKidO Moment is contributed by Mummy XY who emailed us about her visit to Melbourne, Australia!
We just got back from our holiday in Melbourne. It’s a free and easy trip which we planned to cater for my 2 boys—Julian, 16 months old and Kyler, 4 years 4 months old.
This was the kiddos’ first time on flight for more than 5 hours—we decided to try out red-eye flight on SQ to see how they would fare. We flew out on Sunday night at 23:55 and reached Melbourne at 09:20 (Australia time is 2 hours ahead of Singapore time).
Both kiddos slept throughout the flight, with Julian waking up twice for milk. ‘Buckle your seat belt’ sign was turned on once which I carried Julian out of the bassinet. Red-eye flight was a little uncomfortable for me and my husband, so we didn’t get quality sleep.
DAY ONE: Arrival
Once we arrived at Melbourne Airport, we picked up our car from Europcar (opposite Melbourne Airport) which we had booked in advance together with 1 booster seat and 1 child seat and made our way to Dockland where our Airbnb accommodation (more information on Airbnb below) is located.
Along the way, we had our lunch at Signature Pho Viet before Grocery shopping at Woolsworths.
First cart out from Woolsworths:
- Eggs: we will make hardboiled eggs for the roadtrip just in case the kiddos are hungry
- Mineral water
- Banana: best fuel for the roadtrip
- Small pack of rice & potato to make porridge for Julian
- Other snacks
We then went ahead and checked-in to our Airbnb accommodation with the instruction given.
After bathing and changing into a fresh set of clothes, we drove to meet our cousin who happened to be in town. We had dinner at his hotel and made our way back to our accommodation at 8 pm to rest for the day. All of us were tired from the red-eye flight and I guess the kids didn’t get quality sleep as well.
DAY TWO: Road Trip to Philip Island
The drive to Churchill Island from our Airbnb was about 1 hr 51 mins. My husband took short breaks in between.
Took this photo at Churchill Island, the weather was great!
We had lunch at Churchill Island Café near to Churchill Island Heritage Farm. The kids played with this after lunch:
The tickets for the farm: AUD$32.
Daily farming activities for your planning:
The kids had a great time in the small farm, it was not crowded when we were there. Huge grass field for them to run around while enjoying the cool breeze and blue skies. We played Frisbee and drone before it started to drizzle.
Next, we checked-in to Ramada Resort in Philip Island and then proceeded to Coles to buy pasta and other ingredients for dinner that night.
Penguin Island: This photo was taken before sky darkened. We are not allowed to take photos of the penguins.
My recommendations are:
- Small little penguins start to walk up to the beach at about 7 pm, it’s a little hard watch the penguins in darkness, just to manage your expectation on that.
- The wait can be long and boring (and cold) for the kids. Bring a jacket and lots of snacks for your children so that they can eat while watching.
- Bring raincoats for your kids just in case it rains. Umbrella may not be ideal as you will block other’s view.
- After first few batches of penguins come up the shore, it is the best time to start walking back as you will get a closer look at the penguins making their way back to their nest.
We went back to Ramada Resort, cooked simple pasta for dinner and had an early night.
This resort provides baby crib, has a kitchen and what I like is that the car can be parked right outside of the resort (which means no need to walk in the dark).
DAY THREE: The Nobbies > Moonlit Santuary > Pure Peninsular Honey > Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm > Cape Schanck > Melbourne City
The itinerary for day three was quite packed, so we woke up at 7.30 am to prep and pack up.
1. The Nobbies
The first stop right after we checked-out of Ramada Resort was The Nobbies (17 mins drive). We spent about 20 mins there to enjoy the view, take a few deep breaths and hoping we can spot whales (no, we couldn’t find one, better luck next time!).
2. Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park
We drove from The Nobbies to Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park. The kiddos were sleeping in the car and by the time we arrived, they were all ready for a heavy brunch.
In this park, you will get to see geese (very therapeutic to watch them swim, Kyler likes to chase after them), Emu, owl, kangaroo, Koala (sleeping, as usual), wallabies – view map . I like that the set-up of this park is very close to nature.
3. Pure Peninsular Honey
Pure Peninsular Honey is about 14 mins drive away from Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park—we made a quick stop here to buy some honey for ourselves and our friends.
There is a small set up here for kids to watch the busy bees working which can be quite educational.
4. Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm
One of the highlights for Kyler in this trip was definitely strawberry picking (23 mins drive from Pure Peninsula Honey). Do note that there is seasonality for strawberry picking, so do check their website before including this into your itinerary.
How this works: purchase transparent boxes—2 big and 2 small boxes at AUD 25—and start picking.
The strawberries are not only fresh but also very sweet. We spent the next few days of the trip finishing up these 4 packs.
5. Cape Schanck
A short 15 mins drive from the strawberry farm will take you to a breath-taking view—Cape Schanck. Over here, we attempted the boardwalk with Julian in the baby carrier and Kyler walking by himself with lots of supervision. This is my personal favourite—nothing beats the beauty of nature. Do note that the boardwalk takes about 20 mins to and fro, so you might need to buffer more time here to avoid rushing or disappointment.
Next, we tried out an experience that’s new to the family—we took a ferry (together with the car we were driving) from Sorrento Pier to Queenscliff.
I boarded the ferry without much expectation, but was pleasantly surprised by the child-friendliness on-board—playground, snacks, charging station for your mobile phones, and spacious seating arrangement. You may be able to spot dolphins but if there isn’t, no worries, the sea and mesmerising sunset will make up for it.
After disembarking at Queenscliff Harbour, we drove for about 2 hours to Chinatown to satisfy our cravings for Chinese food.
We were famished and extremely tired from the long drive by the time we reached Jin Dumpling Chinatown (172/179 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia)—we ordered 2 main dishes, 2 side dishes and a plain porridge for Julian. Do note that in Australia, food servings are large. Quite a number of times, I was unable to finish the meals on my own, so do be mindful of over-ordering.
After a full day on the road, it was nice to be back to our comfy Airbnb accommodation. I did some unpacking and had dirty clothes washed and dried. We slept in a little longer the next morning.
DAY FOUR: Queen Victoria Market > Playground > Kmart > Myer
In the morning, we visited Queen Victoria Market. The display of food is so neat, they must have spent a lot of effort working on it. Unfortunately we did not plan to make a trip back to our accommodation right after, otherwise, we could have purchased some fresh seafood for supper.
This place was a tad too boring for Kyler, so much so that he spotted a MacDonald’s outside of the market. Hence, we had MacDonald’s for breakfast (p.s. their pancake set does not come with a ‘Happy Meal’ toy).
We packed some food from Queen Victoria food court for lunch, thinking we will picnic after apple picking at Naturipe Fruits. Sadly, we were 2 weeks early for apple picking, and, no picnic is allowed. There is also no apple picking farms nearby.
What a waste of the 1 hr drive! However, we decided to make the best out of it.
We googled and found out that there is a park nearby, and we decided to give it a try. Turns out, the park has a huge playground made up of wood. Kyler was so excited, he gobbled up his favourite chicken rice and went ahead to play. It is a great place for kids to explore and exhaust their energy. I found a swing that’s made for handicap kids in wheelchair which is super thoughtful—I wonder if Singapore has one?
We went to Kmart at Melton—it operates 24 hours. After a quick shopping at Kmart, we drove back to Melbourne City where we had our dinner at a Japanese café before we checked out Myer.
Then we headed back to our Airbnb accommodation to rest for the day.
DAY FIVE: Werribee Open Range Zoo > Victoria Gardens
Werribee Park was not in our original itinerary, we were supposed to go to Yarra River on this day. With some research and recommendation from our cousin, we decided to head here with much excitement.
This zoo is probably the best zoo I have been to so far. It cost AUD 36 for 2 adults and kids enjoy free entry. We spent 5 and a half hours in this zoo and it kept Kyler fully engaged. Highly recommend including this in your itinerary.
The first thing we did was hop on the safari bus. You will get to watch up close bison, camel, giraffe, rhinoceros, hippo, zebra, and so much more.
After the safari ride, we went for brunch at a café within the premise. The café is spacious and clean with the option to have your meal outdoor, which we did as the weather was perfect.
My husband bought this pack for Kyler for the picnic later.
Here’s my brunch, it was super yummy!
After breakfast, we went to explore the other part of the zoo. This zoo is stroller friendly, which is great! Within the premise, there is baby changing room, play areas at various parts of the zoo.
A map that indicate the animals housed in the zoo.
How about some outdoor water play at 17 degree celcius?
We found a big tree and had a picnic underneath, here’s the view (its gorillas’ habitat):
We later went for our second safari ride—this time round the rangers were out to feed the giraffe. Lucky us!
We left the zoo with the tired kiddos, who slept in the car on our way to Victoria Gardens, a shopping mall that has Kmart and IKEA. It is a child friendly mall that comes with Parents and Children toilet. We took our dinner at the mall, went to Coles for a 3rd grocery shopping trip and drove back to our accommodation.
This is the parking rate for Victoria Gardens
DAY SIX: Collingwood Farmer’s Market > Shopping @ DFS Essendon > Melbourne Central/ Emporium Melbourne
On day six, we woke up to a totally different weather. Rainy, windy and cold—the car showed the weather to be 13 degree Celsius. My husband suggested we check out Collingwood Children’s Farm Farmer’s Market—the café there serves kids meal too!
After breakfast, we walked around the market to take a quick look. We didn’t spend much time in the market and the children’s farm as the weather was really too cold for the kids (what a pity!) and it was drizzling. With such weather, the only places we could head over to were shopping malls.
DFO Essendon—the carpark is open air, which is not ideal for rainy days. The best buys from here are the bag and pouch from Crumpler. A simple sling bag cost AUD 19, while a black half of A4 size pouch cost AUD 5. The reason we didn’t go to DFO South Wharf was because we understand that the parking there can be quite expensive. We spent about 1 to 2 hours at DFO Essendon before we drove back to CBD area for another round of shopping.
We drove back to CBD area and parked at St Francis carpark—with a weekend flat rate of AUD 14, it might not be the cheapest parking around the area, but it provides shelter to big shopping malls like Melbourne Central, Emporium Melbourne and a bridge that links to Myer—definitely recommending to park at St Francis!
There is a big food court in Emporium Melbourne that sells a wide variety of food. If you crave Asian food, like me, you can check out this Malaysian tze char stall (Chinta Ria Soul) within the food court.
Kyler had Japanese.
We went back to our accommodation post dinner because all shops closes early in town.
DAY SEVEN: Brighton Beach Boxes > Shopping @ Westfield Southland > Koko Black > Woolshed
It was yet another rainy day. Not an ideal weather to visit Brighton Beach Boxes but we decided to go ahead. We had breakfast at The Baths Upstairs—the scramble eggs were very salty.
It was freezing here with the rain and strong wind. Between myself and my husband, we took turns going down to take a quick look before heading back to the car.
If you only have time for one shopping mall, Westfield Southland is the one you should visit. It has Target, Kmart, Myer, Big W, Coles, all in one place. Parking is free for the first 3 hours. It is about 11 mins drive from Brighton Beach Boxes.
We drove back to our accommodation and parked our car there so that we can ride the tram. We had a direct tram to the city area from our accommodation.
We chilled at Koko Black with hot chocolate and cake, perfect for the rainy day! Then took a stroll around the area before deciding to head back to Colin Street via the tram.
We had our dinner at Woolshed, a place with a kids menu that comes with ice cream and goodie bag. Woolshed was located near our accommodation. We walked back, enjoying the last bits of the cooling weather in Melbourne.
DAY EIGHT: Home Sweet Home
We checked out of our Airbnb accommodation and drove to the airport. Our flight was at 12.40 pm Australia time, reaching Singapore at 6.30 pm. Both my husband and I agreed that an 8-hour day flight is much more manageable than the red eye flight with the kiddos.
This was our first Airbnb experience and it was a great one. We were first attracted by the view, the facilities (cooking + washing machine + dryer) and free parking.
Here is my review:
The Airbnb owner was very fast at responding to my questions via Airbnb app and sms. This apartment has a great view. It is comfortable, spacious, child friendly, we love the free strong WiFi connectivity, free carpark and a tram right next to the development that will bring you to CBD area. Very homely.
- Kettle may be a little dirty. For those with kids, perhaps you might want to bring your own kettle.
- The washing machine comes with dryer function which takes a long time to dry and it didn’t came out fully dried. So take note of this and perhaps avoid washing your clothes before check out.
- The pillows are a tad too soft for my liking 😝
Check in instruction was sent on the day on our flight, so do ensure you have the information offline.
You can check out the Airbnb accommodation we booked here.
- Remember to apply Visa for you and your family
- Weather: it is best to bring along an umbrella and rain coats – I was there from 9 Apr to 16 Apr and it rained 2 days out of 8.
- We used Google Map and Here WeGo map interchangeably (we brought our own mobile phone holder). Here Map—you can download the map and enjoy it offline, just in case you run out of data. During planning, I marked out the various places we want to go in the map:
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