Keeping it real in our City

Mini Golf at Wanneroo Botanic Gardens

There’s so much to love about Mini Golf at Wanneroo Botanic Gardens. I’ll be honest, there were a few years there when we didn’t visit that much, on account of our children being VERY BAD LOSERS, but we’ve been working on that, and now seem to visit pretty much every other weekend.

Wanneroo Botanic Gardens – located close to Drovers at the far end of Wanneroo Road – is our happy place. As a not-rich family-of-five, we have very few happy places, because of entry costs. AQWA, Scitech and Perth Zoo are all once-a-year treats because we don’t have enough kidneys to sell. But this place – this place is wonderful, especially if we just pay for the kids to play golf, and then share a (delicious, wood-fired) pizza at Leapfrogs.

Honestly, this place is gorgeous. The gardens were planted 40 years ago by Dutch landscape architect Theo Puik and his wife Hanneke, who had a vision to transform two hectares of sandy scrubland into a magical mini-golf playground. Theo and Hanneke’s daughter and husband run Wanneroo Botanic Gardens today, making it a true Perth family business.

There are two separate mini-golf courses that take you through the wonderful, lush gardens, with lakes and waterfalls and sweeping lawns. More often than not there’s a wedding happening, which just about blows my daughter’s mind, every time. Even when it’s busy, there’s no pressure to rush around the golf course. No one minds waiting for the kids to do their weird kid thing, even if it means three false starts and a happy dance on hole 13. It’s all very chilled, relaxed and community minded.

You want more? You got it. Leapfrogs Café is all kinds of wonderful, with wood-fired pizzas, craft beers and great, great coffee. Confession time: the service used to be hit-and-miss, but these days it’s friendly, attentive and incredibly welcoming. Today, the waiter brought us extra tomato sauce, WITHOUT US EVEN ASKING. Now that’s service.

Mini Golf at Wanneroo Botanic Gardens is at 25 Drovers Place, Wanneroo. Phone 9405 1475 or visit

Lisa Shearon

Man, it’s hard introducing yourself – especially when you wear a few different hats. I DON’T MEAN THAT LITERALLY; that would be weird and require more balance than I am naturally blessed with.

What I’m trying to say, in my usual roundabout way, is that my name is Lisa, and I’m different things to different people. I’m a mum and a coffee snob and a writer and a grammar nerd and an exercise enthusiast. I like nice cafés, good music, Oxford commas, and biscuits.

Once upon a time, I was a journalist. Not a particularly glamorous one, or even a particularly well-paid one, but a journalist, nonetheless, working in London. Then, 10.5 years ago, I quit my job. I quit my city. I took up a new role, in a new city. I became a suburban Perth mum. It was quite the sea-change. Over the last decade I’ve had two more children, while trying to maintain some semblance of a career, albeit at home, in my pyjamas, with snot on my dressing gown. I’ve worked as a freelance writer and editor for the past decade, all from home, and all while juggling small people, cornflakes and coffee.

This, understandably, resulted in a blog, which I began writing around two years ago. My blog quickly became my therapy and – for reasons that I still can’t quite fathom – therapy for other mothers too, who seem to take heart in the fact that there’s someone else out there getting it all wrong, too. That blog is called The Notorious MUM, and it’s kinda cool, and a little bit sweary, and very honest. If you’re into that kind of thing, you’re welcome to pop over and say hello.

I love this ‘hood, and I’m so excited to be sharing it with the community via Perth Happenings. But mainly I’m just happy to be out of the house. Nice to meet you!