Sitting around the dining room table at Wattle Park in Port Germein Gorge, South Australia IS A WORLD APART from Tassie. Two families pouring over brochures and planning what was going to be a great family get-away. In October last year 4 adults and 4 kids set out on an adventure of a life time! We planned a fly-drive holiday and stayed in 4 star self contained accomodation every step of the way….even for a family it was good value!
The kids all kept journals pre-prepared by Michele and I’m using my daughter’s journal to re-count our fantasic holiday.
Day 1 – Left Adelaide and landed in Hobart (via Melbourne)…..Here at last…our dream come true… two families from sun-burnt SA, setting off to explore Tassie!
Day 2 – The morning was spent exploring Constitution Dock, the Maritime Museum and then a short drive up Mt Wellington. Stunning 360 degree views (even some snow) and great photo opportunities. In the afternoon we drove south through the Huon Valley and the kids enjoyed a jet boat ride (still talking about it!) All this exploring gave us a pretty good appetite and we had a sensationnal meal at the Rockwall Resturant back at Salamanca Place. Fabulous local food, wine & beer. Something for everyone!
Day 3 – Off to Strahan. Have to say that the Possum Shed in Westerway has the BEST COFFEE IN TASSIE! Russell Falls were beautiful. Tarraleah very interesting history. Duncan’s Huon Pine carvings a must see.Queenstown, eerily beautiful. Long drive but arrived at Strahan suprisingly energetic, great self contained accomodation.
Day 4 – Gordon River Cruise – I took about 300 photos!!! Words can not describe this amazing wilderness you MUST go and see for yourself!
Day 5 – Bacon & Eggs for breaky and then off to Cradle Mountain via Zeehan. The kids really enjoyed the bush tracks and board walks around Dove Lake. The up close and personal encounters with the wombats was beautiful. My highlight was breathing the FRESHEST AIR ON THE PLANET (where inhabited by humans!) We had a brush with fame, Dr Harry, back at the lodge. He was great with the kids! Only regret not having two or even three nights here. I’m hopeful my husband will pick up on my hints for our 20th Wedding Anniversary next year! Can’t think of a better place to get back to nature!!!
Day 6 – Off to Launceston….stopped at Tasmazia, a must for anyone with kids or who is a kid at heart! Sheffield is quirky and the murals so real you could walk back in time. Davenport and Port Sorrell two contrasting beaches, one of rocks the other of golden sand.
Day 7 – Can’t believe our holiday is half over!!! Decided to leave the cars in the car park today. Walked to Cataract Gorge from our accomodation, got lost walking home but could justify a huge lunch and home made chocolates! The boys did boy stuff, and the girls some retail therapy. Wandered through to the beautiful gardens in the afternoon, nearly left the kids in the monkey enclosure!
Day 8 – Off to the East Coast. Never been car sick before but felt a bit queasy driving through the hills to Scottsdale! Loved St Helen’s more great photo ops, Binalong Bay is beautiful and the drive to Bicheno was welcomed….pretty flat and even some straight stretches. Arrived at our accomodation, fresh bread baking in the oven, stunning views over Diamond Beach and not a soul in sight. Kids got to see some penguins in their burroughs and seals basking on the rocks. Off to the pub for tea – BEST SCALLOPS IN TASSIE!
Day 9 – Exploring the Freycinet National Park. The walk up the Hazards to the Saddle overlooking Wine Glass Bay was pretty tough but definately worth the effort. Following this gruelling walk, the kids rated the Pizzas at Coles Bay as the best they’ve ever had.
Day 10 – Up at dawn and down on the beach with my trusty camera. Sunrise and Surf need not say anymore. The kids really enjoyed Natureworld and learned lots of interesting facts about Tassie Devils and other native creatures. Boys checked out the motorbike museum and the girls the craft shops!
Day 11- Heading South to Port Arthur we travelled through Triabunna after stopping off at the Spikey Bridge – an engineering marvel! Triabunna was a real suprise. We took the time to chat with some local cray fishers. There is no knowledge like local knowledge! More great photo ops at the Tessalated Pavement and Eaglehawk Neck. Stunning cliffs and beautiful big white clouds everywhere. We celebrated my husband’s birthday at a great restuarant and indulged in more fantastic Tassie Food…and wine…did I mention the fabulous cheese?
Day 12 – Port Arthur, the settlement. A time to reflect on the conditions endured, the legends created and to marvel at the beauty. If you spend less than a day here you have not done it justice!
Day 13 – Back to Hobart via Richmond and Australia’s oldest bridge. We naturally gravitated back to Constitution Dock and wandered amongst the boats and trawlers. The Vessel the Steve Irwin was in Port, fresh from a voyage deep in the Southern Ocean protecting our Whales from illegal fishers. Inspirational crew, dedicated to the core. Strolling along the wharves we reflected on our remarkable journey around a most beautiful piece of Australia.
Day 14 - The Sunrise Team from Seven were in town, promoting Tassie to their viewers. My daughter & I ventured down to Constitution dock at 6am and had a lovely chat to Fifi Box. Fifi even autographed Esther’s Journal – Thanks Fifi!
We scored an inpromptu tour of one the boats in Mures fleet. Fantastic to see how and where the freshest seafood is harvested for us. When in Hobart it is compulsory to get a feed of fresh fish from Mures! What better than seafood? Cadbury Chocolate of course – Bets were on for excess baggage on our trip home!
Day 15 – Well… 2200km in two weeks, about 2500 photos (who’s counting anyway?)….so it is with a degree of sadness we pack our bags and consider the journey home. BUT not before visiting famous Salamanca Place and the Markets though!
What ambience, what colour, what culture! I can smell the coffee and hear Latin American sounds of Arauco Libre and their Andean & Peruvian music. All I have do do is close my eyes and I am transported back to the cobblestones and fresh air on my face. Got to love Tassie!!!