Melbourne with toddler

I think Melbourne have been the far best place to visit with a baby, toddler or kids, compare to my pass trip with Chloe to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. Why do i say so? there’s plenty of places to visit with young children, parent/baby room every where at the malls or tourist place, it’s convenient and so kid-friendly people are very friendly especially you have baby/kids/children in tow.  There’s basically a children at every corner in Melbourne and i would say Mummies there are superb! On weekdays you can see mummies bringing kids around without any helps no maid no elderly around just mum and their kids, not one but 2 to 3, i don’t see that much in Singapore even i can’t imagine myself going out with more than 1 child. They so steady pushing a stroller, a baby in carrier and a young kid running around, i really wish to be one of them!

Back to the topic, many mummies in IG asked me share my itinerary after seeing my stories i will share a detail one down end of this post. This post will focus on places to visit for our stay, food and car rental will be in another post as i prefer to blog according to topic instead of days. First of all, traveling with kids you can’t be too ambitious and be prepared to be more flexible. So everyday i only set max 2 place to visit and try to have Chloe’s usual routine fix for example sleep time, meal time and nap time, for me i think if these schedule are in good place then my toddler should be a lot less reason to be cranky. I try to keep her engage in the different sights around even in the car while travelling to places or at let her to explore freely when we go to new places.

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We visited this farm on the first day because it’s very near to the city (approx 5km), advice to go before 10am. There’s cow milking 10.15am & 4pm and guine pig cuddling activities so you can plan your timing when visit. There’s also a farmer market every second Saturday of the month from 8am-1pm! collingwoodchilrenfarm.jpgWe went around 11am so we missed the cow milking show, animals you can find in the farm are sheep, different types of chicken, cow, geese, goat and pigs. For sheep and goat actually the gate is not lock, so we can go in to pat them! We do not know that until the keeper told us when we asked where the animals located.collingwoodchilrenfarm2.jpghorse are just near the entrance, we are twining in black and white, too bad the polka dot coat i order for Chloe couldn’t arrive on time if not it will be perfect.collingwoodchilrenfarm3.jpgWe went on a Monday morning so it’s quiet and no crowd we have our own sweet time patting the sheep, set up timer at the goat area.

Collingwood Children’s Farm:  18 St Heliers St, 3067 Abbotsford, Victoria, Australia | Open daily from 9.15am to 4.45pm | Family ticket (2 adults & up to four children) cost only $20.

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Our airbnb located just opposite to the Remembrance of shrine and Royal Botanical Garden. When travel with toddler or young kids, try to leave plenty of down time for her to release and refuel their energy by running in the park, swimming or playground fun. So we are at this beautiful garden right after our home-cooked breakfast.

Royalbotanical1_01A  beautiful park plus the weather was so so good even it’s sunny we enjoy strolling and checking out this stunning garden! Royalbotanical1_02Singapore botanical garden is nice too but i think the weather and mosquitoes just make a lot of different! Royalbotanical1_03My cheeky girl even insisted to lay on the grass for some sunbathing session and refuse to go! Can you imagine a girl who complain on sun shinning on her when she’s in her car seat say that!Royalbotanical2.jpgWe spot some trees are already in autumn colors and failing leaves filled the ground in some part of the park. So our little model have some autumn feel photo shoot here except she’s too engrossed picking and throwing the leave too busy to give the camera a smile.

The only thing we regret was never bring our breakie and picnic mat here for a leisure breakfast at the park!

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria | Birdwood Ave, South Yarra VIC 3141, Australia | Open daily from 7:30AM to 6PM

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we read somewhere that going to this St. Kilda Little Penguins is good enough compare to an hour plus drive to Philip Island. I can’t compare because i never been to Philip Island but my mum say it’s a hassle to her. So we stick with this plan of driving only 20mins to look for these little penguins! We are running out of time because the princess walk up late from nap so we are at the chance of missing these penguins.penguins.jpg

Thanks God we made it! The best time is to be there before the sunset to secure a spot by their rocks homes when the penguins come ashore from sea to their nests at St Kilda pier. You can spot them waddling to their rock homes after sundown by the time we are they they are standing at the rocks. The penguins can be spotted throughout the year! Chloe was so excited when she spotted them but got frighten a little when we go closer. There are 20+ penguins along the pier when we are there, you can spot more when you go earlier (before sunset). Its worth going because it’s totally FOC!

Just search St Kilda Pier in google map or waze there’s parking near the pier then follow the crowd and you will find these cute little penguins!

 

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A famous beach that homed for these colorful bathing boxes, this place is a much check-in place for instagrammable photos. We was there just right before sunset so we quickly set up tripod for some photos.DSC03181-169.jpgActually the beaches was filled with tourist at that time so we just chop find a matching one for photos. Thanks God the little one cooperated! brighton2.jpgBlog is always a good place for photo dump, the sunlight was good and we managed to shoot a few set of photos. We are in matching denim jackets and stripe tee.brigton.jpgSurprisingly Chloe enjoy this beach so much! She named all the colors she saw on the bathing boxes, chasing seagull and pick up the feathers that drop on the beach and also collect seashell! Thanks to Peppa Pig she always wanted a seaside holiday i think that’s why she enjoy the beach so much! The sunset really quick so we couldn’t stay longer for more beach fun, i think we need to plan a summer holiday soon.

Brighton Bathing Boxes | 131 Esplanade, Brighton VIC 3186, Australia | Best time to go: An hour or two before sunset so you have spare time for photos and enjoy the sunset!

 

Werribee Open Range Zoo.jpgThis was the first place in my itinerary when we confirm our trip, going to Africa Safari may be a little too ambitious so this open range zoo at Werribee will do at the moments.zoo_01.gifIt’s an Africa theme zoo so we get encounter a range of African wildlife and get to learn about the communities live alongside these species with all the educational sharing from the keepers when they giving talks.zoo_02.gifThe part where Chloe and Ming enjoy the most the safari bus tour and must do when visiting this zoo, there’s also a Family Friendly Off Road with closer encounter but it cost $40.00 per person (details here) .We just stick with this safari bus ride that come in free with the ticket.  I think it’s good enough for us as we are lucky that most animals actually come quite close to the bus and the keeps who drive and give the talks was funny and entertaining. Animals that we encouter at this safari area are giraffe, camel, addax, ostrich, rhinoceros, zebra and oryx. Sorry no photo because i love human portraits then animals.. #notabloggermaterial By the way these animals live freely in an huge open space so it’s really depend on luck whether they come closer to the bus track when you pass by. zoo_031.gifThe zoo is huge other than safari animals there’s also Australia native animals like Kangaroo, koalas and emu but the animals are all taking afternoon nap.zoo_04.gifWe purposely went to the zoo on Thursday because i did my research that the zoo have this Toddler Thursday every week (9.30am-12.30pm) for the month of April and May  with some fun activities for kids under 5 at the Africa tent. Toddlers can dance, sing, learn and play with activities like face painting, crafts, hair braiding, music, and more. It’s so cute seeing these cute toddlers running around and having fun Chloe had some hula hoop fun and get to paint her face but asked to wipe it off right after..
zoo_04.jpgPula Reserve Walking Trail there’s gorillas, lions, monkeys and cheetahs and also Hippos. We can really see the animals up close with just piece of glass separated. Overall we love this zoo Ming say he will bring Chloe to come again next time.

After spending our day at the looking at these animals we had our late lunch at the Meerkat cafe near the entrance, the food was surprising good! Chloe finished her kids size pasta all by herself and our beef burger was just okay but we are starving so it was polished in a minutes.

Werribee Open Range Zoo | Werribee South VIC 3030, Australia  (30min drive from city) | Adult ticket: 38aud per adult kids under 3 is free above 4-15 is free on weekend!

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An hour drive from city to Puffing Billy Chloe was excited to sit on the train, she goes to bed quickly after knowing we are going to take a train next morning. train_01.gifIt’s a good experience because we didn’t see or take any traditional train before with steam engine and open carriages. The journey from Belgrave to Lakside take about 3 hour to and fro so too spare out extra time for this. Don’t go first trip (10.30am) if you have choice it’s usual filled with tourist group that come in a bus so the train will be full and might not be able to get a ticket but to wait for another train 40min later. We went at 11am so we manage to buy 11.10am ticket the carriage was not that full and less crowded at the station, but with this timing remember to bring light lunch or food to picnic at Lakeside station.train_02.gifToo bad there’s an accident happen in March so the practice of allowing passengers to sit on the carriage sides has been temporarily suspended. Which is quite disappointing honestly i think everyone was so looking forward to have their legs hang outside the carriage! This also made the expensive ticket ($114.00 return ticket for family) less worthy so if you plan to go you can check if the status on Puffing Billy’s website.trains_03.gifThe train passed by forest, houses, school, park, passerby would wave to the passenger in the train, it’s indeed a fun way to see countryside. At Lakeside station we have 1 hour to spend to sit down for lunch, remember to bring snacks, light food and prepare meals for little one as the journey is long at the food they sell at the station was not good(to my opinion). Luckily we brought breads, fruits, cake with us so we went to the lakeside for a picnic.

For me if they allowed to sit on the side of carriage to have our leg hang out it would be more fun! If not i feel i can skip this and replace with other place. For Chloe she was okie throughout the ride not excited or boring, she munch on her snacks and keep asking what is this and that she saw outside the carriage.

Puffing Billy Railway | 1 Old Monbulk Rd, Belgrave VIC 3160, Australia | First train from Belgrave : 10.30am Last train: 2.30pm

 

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We have a full last day in Melbourne as our flight was late in the evening, we decided to check out early at 10am got all our luggage packed and put in the car. Initial plan was do some last minutes shopping but i think i overdo the night before at kmart, Woolworth and some shop at Yarra valley. So we think we’re done with the shopping, have a nice friend in IG tell me that this Museum at Nicholson street is suitable for Chloe so we decided to go there to take a tour.musuem.jpgThere’s few exhibition running in the museum and this is my favorite – Wild Exhibition. I really love how this display they display these animal figures on the white space in vertical array. Panoramic navigators can be used to see which animals are thriving and which are merely surviving. musuem1.jpgPauline Gandel Children’s Gallery is the main reason we are there, Chloe can explore, play and learn with these museum objects. The place is designed with bright colors and interactive features are basically everywhere for young kids to explore and play freely. There’s also a food court and pop up restaurant in the Museum so had our lunch there before heading to the airport.

Melbourne Museum | Entrance Fee: $15 per adult, kids are free | 11 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia | 10am – 5pm

 

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We didn’t have a good view or close encounter with Australian native animals so we decided to go to zoo to look for them. Before we went to Melb Chloe keep telling us and everyone that she want to go Australia to see Kangaroo, Koala bears and penguins and we adults are not satisfied with we went out without looking at these animals up close, so here we are at Healeville Sanctuary – bush land for the Australian wildlife. DSC03730-61.jpgthat day when we visit the weather was the coldest throughout the week we are there, about 14degree with wet weather. We have no choice to but to go with the plan because that’s the last full day we had in Melb.healve.jpgLeft: Our little adventurer here was all gear up in 3 layers to explore this zoo. |  Right: Many asked how we take family portraits erm.. it’s our trusty tripod and phone control. koala.jpgKoala bears situated just next to the entrance and there are so active because it’s time for food! Oh and you can actually purchase a close up session with koalas, kangaroo and wombat and other animals there at the ticket counter or online. Too bad the session ($12 per person) are all sold out when we were there, the later session was too late for us. However we are happy enough to see these active koalas coz even my friend who stay in Australia commented in my stories that she never saw koalas that active herself. Koalas are really cute and cuddly even Chloe can’t stop saying:”oh they are so cute!!”DSC03644-78.jpgyou can go really close to kangaroo like just next to them because the kangaroo are open concept, anyway we didn’t coz it’s drizzling so the kangaroos was hiding at their shed. There’s other animals like wombat that like a giant hamster to me, tasmanian devil, Playpus which is really special species of animal that look like a duck plus a mini sea lion? but a egg-laying mammal? Emu, Dingo (wild dog), many different type of beautiful bird. birdshow.jpgwe manage to watch this bird show named Spirits of the Sky, it’s pretty entertaining and educational. Also a keeper talks about Playpus, we learn something new from all the sharing from the keepers! DSC03570-92.jpgOther than this park you can also option for Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park to check out Aussie animals.

Healesville Sanctuary | Badger Creek Rd, Healesville. If you’re planning a day trip at Yarra Valley this can be one place you can go!

 

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We had a day trip to Yarra Valley and we really love this place, the scenery, the wineries, the weather so much to see there. It would be best if we have a night stay at cottage so we can take it slow and enjoy every bit of Yarra Valley. So after Healesville Sanctuary and a late lunch, we went strawberry picking at Yarra Valley Gateway Estate.It was fun for Chloe and she can’t stop picking them. we did some scissor cutting activities at home on and off so she’s kinda know how to use the scissor now and utilize this skill in cutting the strawberries.yarra.jpgThe concentration on her face ignore mine was little tipsy after a glass of cider from our lunch. The price is reasonable and the strawberry are in average sizes, taste wise of coz still can’t bit Japanese strawberry but good enough.DSC03808-41.jpgWe brought some fresh produce from this place too, include grass-fed aged beef we bring back to Singapore and honey that recommend by the boss. It’s a good pit stop for your road trip to Yarra Valley!

Yarra Valley Gateway Estate | 667 Maroondah Hwy, Coldstream VIC 3770, Australia

That’s the places we went and i think is suitable for Chloe who is going to turn 3, definitely more places we could go if we have more time and day! All in all is a really good trip and the best one so far (travelling with kid). We would definitely visiting Melbourne very soon again as we feel there’s still a lot places we want to visit, and if we need to move another country Melbourne would be first place we love to. Feel free to share with me!

As promise in the beginning of the post below is the itinerary of our 7 Days in Melbourne.MFT-itinerary.jpg You may find too empty for some days due to miscarriage few days before my trip so we take the trip slow and chill also try to slot in time for Chloe to nap. Hope this helps in your planning for your trip.