The Bickley Valley area of the Perth Hills is fast becoming a must go weekend destination. There’s wineries, cafes, mini golf and the popular Core Cider House. To me, the spot nestled just behind Kalamunda is a far prettier drive than the Swan Valley, with its native bushland, winding roads and green rolling hills covered in vineyards and orchards, giving it a real country feel.
The Packing Shed opened up earlier this year. Found at one of Bickley Valley’s vineyards, Lawnbrook Estate, the rustic eatery is a peaceful spot for brunch or lunch all year round.
We’ve previously been there on a sunny day and sat on the patio with a glass of wine.
Little Chef loved to run around on the expansive lawns.
This time we visited for brunch, we spent a winter’s morning sitting inside, by the roaring log fire.
The staff are always welcoming and friendly. The coffee is very good too.
The brunch cut off is 11.30am, but there are a few breakfast dishes that make it onto the lunch menu for late-risers. My top brekkie pick has to be the shakshouka. It’s one of my all-time favourite brunch dishes and the Packing Shed’s version of eggs baked in a spicy Moroccan tomato sauce is very tasty and the fresh bread is perfect for dunking!
On a sunny day in Mandurah we enjoyed a sightseeing cruise with a difference… a fish and chip lunch on-board the “dolphin and scenic canal cruise” by Mandurah Cruises, which sail out of the Mandurah Boardwalk most days of the week. The calm inland waters of the Mandurah Estuary and canals make it a great introduction to boats for little ones or people that are prone to sea sickness.
The cruise was part of our May weekend staycation in Mandurah, and we’d been invited to enjoy a tasty lunch and cruise aboard Mandurah Cruises’ modern boat by Mandurah & Peel Tourism Organisation.
Firstly, we picked up our tickets from the ticket office found at the Mandurah Boardwalk, behind Dome Café. You can purchase tickets online from www.mandurahcruises.com.au or buy them in person from the Mandurah Cruise and gift shop at least 30 minutes prior to your departure time.
We boarded the boat about 20 minutes before departure, to ensure we got a perfect vantage point from our seats. There’s a choice to sit upstairs, which is quite open (and where the captain sits) or downstairs which is more enclosed. For the best views and chances of spotting dolphins, I recommend that you go to the front of the boat. The skipper will let you know when dolphins have been sighted over the loud speaker.
While Mandurah Cruises can’t guarantee dolphin sightings (they are wild creatures after all!), there are between 75 and 100 bottlenose dolphins in the area, giving you a pretty good chance. We’d only been moving for a matter of minutes before we spotted out first pod of dolphins! During our cruise we spotted two or three separate pods.
To me, there’s not much sweeter than finding a gem of a brunch spot. Mandurah locals are lucky to have the waterside Café Moka on their doorstep. Found at Dolphin Quay, the bustling café overlooks the marina, which is a lovely backdrop for my Mothers Day breakfast. It’s part of our May weekend staycation in Mandurah, and we’d been invited to enjoy a tasty brekkie there by Mandurah & Peel Tourism Organisation, who have expert local knowledge for the perfect brunch spot for my foodie family.
Chef and I ordered a couple of flat whites ($4.50). The Toby’s Estate roast really hit the spot! And being Mothers Day I also got given a rose – what a lovely gesture!