I’m so sorry, I know it’s a fair old while since I hopped on here to write about how our life is going and where we’re up to on our great budget 4wd around Australia.
And that’s because it’s actually a fair old while since we were last motoring around on our great budget 4wd of Australia to be honest.
Yes, that’s right folks, since we last spoke, the boy and I have actually climbed down from our trusty rooftop tent and decamped into a real bedroom to live in a house for a bit.
Currently taking a bit of a hiatus from life in a Landrover to replenish our bank accounts and enjoy more than a week in one place, we’ve now set up temporary residence in the delightful city of Fremantle in Western Australia.
This bustling little market town, full of old buildings with a distinct Mediterranean feel is only half an hour from the city of Perth, in what is essentially a funky little suburb of this urban desert.
Yep you heard me, desert.
For while Perth is home to over 3 million people, it’s also built on the sand dunes of a huge expansive of a hot and barren landscape traditionally owned by the Noongar people.
Perth is, you’ll be amused to know, the most remote city in the world!
I mean, this is me we’re talking about.
As a good friend of mine recently said, if you’re going to live in a city again Steph, it’s typically going to be somewhere pretty out there!
And pretty out there, geographically, Perth is.
The capital of Western Australia, Perth is actually a 4-hour flight away from Sydney and currently operates on a different timezone, not 1, not 2, but 3 hours behind Melbourne.
So yes, we are little behind this side of the country (perhaps in more ways than one), but that’s how we like it!
Perth itself is a typically modern Australian city, relaxed, warm and with a charming mix of colonial and modern buildings.
It has a small central district full of the usual high rises and shops, which is then surrounded by suburbs that seem to sprawl for miles around.
Heading west it’s a short drive to the coast and heading east it’s a stone throw from the Perth Hills and the Swan Valley, both famous wine-growing areas.
To the north is the wonderful Pinnacles National Park and beach towns of the Turquoise Coast, which I spoke about in Week 21 of our Great Budget 4wd Adventure Around Australia.
And to the south is the city of Fremantle, where we live.
Sitting on the edge of the Indian Ocean, Fremantle is a coastal community (compared to Perth which is a little further up the river) and since its inception by early European settlers to the current day, it remains a bustling port city.
Just like the docklands where I used to live in London, the historic port city of Fremantle was traditionally the more working class area. And just like areas south of the river in London, the labour-driven area of Fremantle also became a hub for artists, out-the-box thinkers and alternative types.
And so, fast forward to today, Fremantle has become a very progressive and independent little area, alive with a rich artistic culture, strong conscious values and some great cafes!
Needless to say, I’m in heaven!
When we drove through Perth and into Fremantle, it immediately charmed the pants off us both.
Old cobbled streets bordered by independent bookshops and vintage clothes stores immediately gave the impression of a unique place.
The roaring weekend markets complete with shouting traders and performance artists infused a buzzing atmosphere.
And the nearby beaches with their white sand beauty and turquoise waters reeled us in.
Getting Off the Road
Having been on the road pretty consistently since our last working stint in Magnetic Island some 6 months ago, we knew we were once again ready to stick in one spot for a bit.
And even if we weren’t ready, our bank accounts were!
So we set about finding jobs and a house-share here in Fremantle and been happily living something of a “normal” existence ever since!
That was almost 3 months ago now and in that time it’s been actually been great to not have to continue moving and planning the next stop every few days, but instead have the time to stretch out at yoga classes and get back into CrossFit.
It’s been lovely to meet and make new friends and enjoy and experience the wealth and abundance this ideal spot has to offer us.
From farmers markets to free music events, gallery exhibitions and giant cups of coffee, we are loving all that is Fremantle and soaking it up like a sponge.
Initially thinking we were only stopping in Fremantle for a few months to soak up the summer and refill the fuel fund before completing our loop around the south of Australia, we wonder if we might be getting stuck again!
Desperately trying to decide if we stay or go at the minute, it’s honestly wide open, so stayed tuned to learn how our journey of mystery unfolds!
In the meantime, while we are in Fremantle right here, right now, we’ll be sure to put out all sorts of amazing posts about this great little city, as well its big brother Perth across the waters and indeed the whole lot of amazingness that is Western Australia!
Ciao for now …. xo