|Photo Credit: Daniel Boyle|
Living in Berwick, my main shopping centre for weekly groceries have always been Eden Rise shopping centre. I shop at Coles and kids sometimes play at the playground. Sometimes, we have lunch at Nando's or check out what's on Special at ALDI.
For more variety, I would go to Fountain Gate Shopping Centre. This is when I have to not only do my grocery shopping at Coles, but also seafood shopping at the fish shop, fruit and vegetable shopping at Fountain Gate Fruit & Veg shop, get some fresh meat from the butcher, maybe grab a few things e.g. presents, homeware etc from Kmart or Target, and general browsing. Kids would sometimes play at one of the few play areas within the mall or just the little play corner in the Parents Rooms after a nappy change or toilet break.
Now, there is nothing wrong with any of the two above mentioned shopping centres... except, Eden Rise lacks the variety and Fountain Gate is too big and hectic and rather exhausting to walk around because everything is so far away from each other.
|Photo Credit: www.the-chamber.com.au|
Last month, the newly renovated all improved Casey Central shopping centre officially re-opened and many friends have told me how amazing it was. Casey Central is about the same distance from my house as Eden Rise (in the opposite direction), or possibly just a minute further away.
I haven't been able to check it out earlier because life has been hectic - and the thought just hasn't crossed my mind to go anywhere else but my usual shops. However, I decided to check it out today because school holidays are over (so it should be less busy) and now that it has been open for a few weeks I was hoping there would be smaller crowds.
So after I dropped Micah off at kinder this morning, myself and Silver went for a bit of a shopping expedition. Here's a quick rundown of what I thought:
- Parking - at 9.30am, it was super easy to find parking. I was parked at a Parents with Pram spot within seconds of arriving. No hassle at all.
- Walking distance - very much tolerable. Unlike Fountain Gate, everything I need and like are close to each other and we didn't have to walk very far to get to where we want to be.
|Photo Credit: Daniel Boyle|
- Fruit and Veg shop - amazing! Unlike Fountain Gate fruit and veg shop which is super cramped and small and I barely manage to walk around with kids in my trolley as space is so limited, the fruit and veg shop at Casey Central has wide open space and makes it so easy for me to move around even with a trolley. Selection-wise, pretty much the same as any other good Fruit and Veg shop. I had some special things on my list - eg. okra and silken tofu and they had them! No complaints here.
|Silver happily sits on the trolley as I do my grocery shopping at Coles Casey Central|
- Coles - beautifully laid out, super high ceilings, wide open space, great shopping experience. The only thing missing is the Mix clothing range and homeware stuff and toys etc that Coles Eden Rise have. So, it is a smaller Coles selling less variety but who needs the clothes and toys and homeware etc when Target is just a few shops away!
- Fish & Meat - The Fish Pier has decent selection of seafood, however they do NOT have my usual pack of Salmon Belly & Bones that FG sells for $5 a pack... so that's a small disappointment. Butcher is decent, but Fountain Gate still has a bigger selection and possibly better prices.
|Photo Credit: Casey Central Facebook Page|
- Playground - great playground! Highly secure as you can only access the playground through a door from inside the shopping centre and kids cannot escape. However, this may be a small inconvenience as there isn't a gate allowing access to the playground from outside the shopping centre. Either way, I am happy with the playground. It is new, it is clean and it has great activities for kids to play happily for a decent amount of time. Plenty of seats for parents to sit down and rest in between shopping errands.
I have not yet checked out Target or Aldi or any of the other shops at Casey Central, but my first impression has been quite a positive one. I think I can easily be persuaded to switch my weekly shopping centre to Casey Central - provided I come on a weekday and early enough during the day to avoid big crowds. I can see how easily it could get busy on weekends. Parking might even be an issue on weekends.
Overall, very impressive. So many shops and restaurants and takeaway options - some of my favorites ChinaBar. Wok'd, Grill'd, everything from fish n chips to charcoal chicken to pizza to Indian.. you name it, Casey Central probably has got it! Lots of cafes for your caffeine fix because obviously Australia is so huge on the coffee drinking culture, boutique shops, and so many more.. check out the full list of stores here.