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Think summer is over? Well think again! Thanks to the hot weather lingering long after summer has officially ended, you can keep enjoying all the best that WA has to offer.

For a perfect summer break, Rottnest springs beautifully to mind. Just saying ‘Rotto’ brings up images of the beach, bikes and barbies (the food kind, not the doll!)

Every year families and friends head over to Rotto. The beauty of it is that you can go for a just day or stay even longer. Don’t forget your hat or sunblock though!

Highlights include

  • The beaches!
  • Family Fun Park and Mini Putt-Putt
  • Just 4 Fun Aqua Park (It has a section called Little Kids Knee Deep Park for 7 years and under)
  • Snorkelling
  • Fishing
  • Diving
  • Bike exploration
  • Wadjemup Walk Trail
  • Visit museums and galleries
  • Perhaps the most important one of all; have fun and relax!

For more information visit

www.rottnestisland.com

www.just4funaquapark.com.au

The Quokkas of Rottnest

The quokkas are probably the most well-known animal on Rotto. Kids love spotting them, and it can be quite competitive to see who spots them first! However, it is really important to teach children not to give them food or water, as this can be very detrimental to the quokka’s health. In fact, the Rottnest Island Rangers may issue infringement notices to anyone who does this.

 

Where to stay

Rotto has come a long way over time and now has accommodation ranging from camping and hostels to premium self-contained cottages. The camping area was renovated in 2013 and the ablution blocks now also have wheelchair access.

Top tip

If you’re planning a group booking at the campground, call Rottnest Island Reservations on 1800 11111 or 08 9432 9111.

If you like something a bit more private, then the self-contained cottages may be the way to go. Some are even heritage listed!

If you’re travelling with family and friends, they can be a great place to unwind at the end of the day while enjoying the barbie and a glass of wine.

Top Tip

Rotto is VERY popular and in the past had a ballot system for booking accommodation during peak periods. This system is no longer used, however, reservations are open approximately 18 months in advance and it is recommended to book as early as possible for any time of the year.

For more information visit

www.rottnestisland.com/accommodation

A couple of other options are the Hotel Rottnest and the Rottnest Lodge. Both offer different types of rooms as well as having a licenced restaurant on site. The Rottnest Lodge also has its own swimming pool.

Interesting fact

The Hotel Rottnest’s original building was the summer residence for the Governors of Western Australia from 1864. In 1912 Sir Gerald Strickland became its last tenanted governor.

For more information visit

www.hotelrottnest.com.au

www.rottnestlodge.com.au

Getting there

It’s very easy; you can travel by plane, ferry or even your own boat if you have one. The ferry is the most popular means of transport and you can leave from the city, Fremantle or Hillarys Boat Quay.

For more information visit

www.rottnestexpress.com.au

www.rottnestfastferries.com.au

www.rottnestairtaxi.com.au

www.ozwestaviation.com

If taking your own boat email the Rottnest Island Authority Administration at enquires@rottnestisland.com or phone 08 9432 9300

Interesting Fact

In 2014, Rottnest Island was a winner in the ‘Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards’. It won Gold in the ‘Major Tourist Attractions’ section plus silver in two other categories. Go Rotto!

Have you ever considered a family holiday relaxing by the beach, snorkelling, or cruising in pristine ocean? A trip to the Ningaloo Reef and Exmouth may just be the holiday for you. With plenty to do, you’ll never be bored!

 

Exmouth

Exmouth is ideally situated to explore the reef and its many attractions. Exmouth was originally a support for the communication base in the North West Cape, however tourism has now taken over as the town’s major contributor.

Exmouth is great for:

  • Swimming
  • Snorkelling
  • Scuba diving
  • Cruising on a glass bottom boat
  • Fishing
  • Coral Tours
  • Whale sharks

For more information visit

www.exmouthwa.com.au

www.ningaloodreaming.com

Ningaloo Reef

The Ningaloo Whale Shark Festival will be held May 24-26 this year. Did you know the largest living fish is the Whale Shark? It can grow up to 18 metres in length! The festival is a great way to celebrate the yearly visit of the whale shark.

Some activities on offer include:

  • Circus workshops
  • Entertainers
  • Beach activities

For more information and tickets visit

http://www.ningaloowhalesharkfestival.com

Getting there

Exmouth is approximately 1270 kilometres from Perth. If you are planning on driving with children, then it’s advisable to allow for stopovers en route. Two main towns along the way are Geraldton and Carnarvon and both are good places to stop, refuel and refresh. Why not even consider stopping for a few days in each place and enjoying the local hospitality?

For more information visit

www.geraldtonvisitorcentre.com.au

www.carnarvon.org.au

If driving isn’t for you, then flying is the way to go. Currently, Qantas and Skywest fly to the nearest airport, which is Learmonth. The airport is located 36km from Exmouth and there are a few ways you can head into town. You can hire a car or the Exmouth Bus Charter company can be booked to pick you up at the airport.

For more information visit

www.qantas.com.au

www.skywest.com.au

Accommodation

There are a variety of accommodation styles to choose from, ranging from backpacker to the Novotel Ningaloo Resort.

For more information visit

http://www.novotelningaloo.com.au

Another popular option is the holiday parks which offer several styles of accommodation including chalets, bungalows, cabins and powered and unpowered sites.

For more information visit

www.australiascoralcoast.com

If you prefer somewhere quieter than Exmouth Coral Bay is a great option. It’s approximately 120km south of Exmouth and is a popular holiday destination, especially in the school holidays.

For more information visit

www.coralbay.org

** During our colder months the northwest can get booked out quite early. It is advisable to plan and book as early as possible. **

A magic touch goes a long way: How expecting mothers can now experience the benefits of day spa pampering, such as pregnancy massages, specifically for mothers-to-be.

Pregnancy. A time of joy, glowing health and a blooming figure. Not to mention cankles, backache, heartburn, piles and, at times, a less than serene temper. It’s a life event that has always fascinated Amy Mitchell, from when she was at high school and guessed there was a pregnant girl in her class, weeks before anyone knew. “I can pick a pregnant woman a mile away,” she says. “It’s something I’ve always been tuned in to. I don’t enjoy being pregnant myself, but I love helping women through it. You never have that time again that you have with your first baby. It’s such a precious thing.”

Amy studied massage therapy after leaving school, completing a business unit as part of her course. “That was a real light bulb moment,” she says. “Marketing and business development are my thing; I have idea after idea.” She started work as a therapist at the age of 19, and particularly enjoyed working with expectant mothers. “I’d get all warm knowing that there was a baby in the room, benefiting from the massage, too.”

But it was only while pregnant with her first child that she spotted that elusive gap in the market. “I felt so sick in my first few weeks, and all I wanted was a good massage, but every spa I approached refused to treat me because they didn’t touch anyone who was less that 12 weeks pregnant.”

I’d get all warm knowing that there was a baby in the room, benefiting from the massage, too.”

After the birth of her daughter Macy, Amy started talking seriously with her husband, Dan, about establishing a pregnancy spa. Taking a leap of faith, they sold their house and the proceeds – their life savings – went towards establishing the first Yummy Mummy Pregnancy Day Spa in Leederville in September 2010. The day the family moved out of their house Amy realised she was pregnant again, with son Fraser, now two. “I know my brain turns to mush at six months so I worked incredibly hard to establish the spa in the first few months. Luckily, we got busy really quickly.”

Since then the business has steadily expanded, with the original spa followed by ones in Woodvale and Kalgoorlie in 2012. “I only ever planned to have one, but the opportunities have just fallen into my lap. I’m now thinking of a franchise across Australia,” she says.

Taking a leap of faith, they sold their house and the proceeds – their life savings – went towards establishing the first Yummy Mummy Pregnancy Day Spa in Leederville in September 2010.

Like many self-employed mothers, Amy has mastered the art of working in short bursts, and switching from work to parenting as required, with a bit of paid childcare thrown in. “Being my own boss means I’ve been able to find the right work-life balance. It hasn’t always been like this, I’ve had to learn along the way. I once sent out 30,000 flyers with the wrong telephone number on them, and that was when I realised I couldn’t do both mum and work at once, so about a year ago we found some part-time childcare for the kids. I generally do a couple of hours a day and have two full days when the kids are at day care. I have a very short attention span so it happens in spurts, and then the rest of the time I’m just Mummy.’

She’s also highly appreciative of her husband, who provides both practical support and a patient sounding board for her endless business ideas. “He’ll take the kids to the park if I need to get something out fast. And he’s the polar opposite of me, more of a details person. I’ll come up with an idea and he’ll say, ‘So how are you going to do it?’ He’s been an awesome support, I couldn’t do it without him.’

“Being my own boss means I’ve been able to find the right work-life balance. It hasn’t always been like this, I’ve had to learn along the way.

And her number one tip for success?

Prioritise. My To-Do lists are huge, but I have to be content with what I can realistically achieve – I do absolute essentials, and just try and take a couple of steps forward each day so I am constantly moving forward.”