Sunday, 19 July 2015

Hobart

Some will call us crazy for attempting a day trip to Hobart from Launceston- in fact the locals will tell you it can't be done without an overnight stay! We did consider the idea but unfortunately the tight budget won. So the cheap and nasty hire car, and our cheap and nasty 80's CDs, were along for the ride. It is a 2 hour drive, which by our usual standards is not worth setting up camp for. However, we would have enjoyed more time to explore the South Coast and I was disappointed we didn't get back to Port Arthur this trip. Next time I hope we can splurge a bit and arrange to fly out of Hobart and have a few days to enjoy the city and Mount Wellington. We made sure we visited on market day and thoroughly enjoyed Salamanca in the sunshine.




Our trek back to Launceston allowed a stop at Ross. As much as it would have been a great photo op, we didn't bother to stop at Campbell Town again this time. He didn't appreciate the photo pose when he was 2 and we didn't think he would appreciate it any more at 16!




George Town & Beauty Point

With our awesome hire car and new CDs, we had to discover the best road trips from our lovely Launceston base. As soon as Jonas saw "Seahorse World' on a travel brochure there was much begging and pleading- we just HAD to go!! It seems everything is an easy drive in Tasmania, once you have crossed the Nullarbor I suspect everything is an 'easy' drive. So we packed up the car to find Beauty Point and Seahorse World.

George Town was a pretty stop along the way and it put Campbell in a good mood due to the 'Steptoe and Son' shop in town. Not only did he get a few new books, he also got a 'Steptoe and Son' DVD and record (the vinyl kind)! 



Onwards to Beauty Point and the famous seahorses. It wasn't a cheap excursion but the proceeds go towards some pretty important research and breeding of some endangered seahorse species (this was all very impressive to our youngest animal lover). Due to the cost (and lack of interest) the rest of the family went off to see what Beauty Point had to offer while Jonas and I joined the tour.


Teeny, tiny babies.





It wasn't JUST about the seahorses!


I must also mention how much we all enjoyed the beautiful murals at Sheffield....


Yep- they were a real hit!! 

Exploring Launceston


We made sure that we found accommodation that would allow us a few days in Tasmania without the need for a hire car. We were able to walk into the city and Cataract Gorge without too much effort. Launceston is not a big city by Sydney standards but we managed to find plenty to fill a few days before we explored further.


City Park provided plenty of amusement and we stopped here a few times just to stand and watch the monkeys. There was a baby in the enclosure when we were there and it was easy to waste away time watching the very cute antics.


Most days we packed our own snacks and lunch which meant we found lots of lovely spots to rest for a picnic lunch before setting out to our next stop.


The Museum gave us a warm place to hang out for the afternoon. All of our boys (especially Campbell) really love the hands-on activities we find in museums. We made music, tried to work up enough energy to get a Jaffa (it was rigged!!!) and created bubbles. It was a bit of a relief to discover a bus stop at the museum that saved us a walk in the cool afternoon air. The city buses are free in Launceston & are all wheelchair accessible. 
It is always lovely to return to our lovely warm house for dinner after a busy day. 

Cradle Mountain


After a few days of making the most of our proximity to all the sites of Launceston we got a hire car and set out to explore more of Tassie. First stop was Cradle Mountain via the lovely town of Deloraine. The air was icy and we had been promised snow and freshly cleared roads up the mountain. Our short drive to Deloraine gave Campbell the opportunity to find an op shop and a few new books to help him cope with the 'boring snow'. We also stumbled across a stack of CDs in the op shop and grabbed them to listen to in our battered but budget hire car. A bunch of 80's classics to introduce to the boys and we rocked on towards the mountains.
At Mole Creek we thought we should probably stop to find some Tassie Devils before continuing onwards and upwards.


Finally!!!

With a glorious rainbow to welcome us we had snow at the very first look-out stop. The salubrious hire car served us well!




Further up the mountain we enjoyed the flurry of falling snow and another snowball fight.
Some of us had the good sense to stay dry and warm with his new books...


The trek back to Launceston took us via Devonport and a very chilly view across Bass Straight.

It was a full and refreshing day. We returned back to our lovely little house with rosy cheeks, cold toes and happy sighs. As well as some classic hits of the 80's stuck in our heads ;)

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Tasmania

After many years of throwing around the idea of another trip to Tassie, we finally got there. Our last visit was in 2000 when Campbell was only 2 and we had been hoping to return since. Every Summer the trek to Tassie was on the cards but the logistics of getting the camper trailer across Bass Straight always put us off. The flights in Winter are a bargain!! There was also the promise of snow!! 
In our usual style we booked everything at the last minute but it all came together beautifully in the end. 

We used Stayz.com to find a house in the city. We are thrilled with the beautifully renovated house which was built in the 1860s. We are an easy walk into the city & Cataract Gorge so we spent our first few days walking around lovely Launceston. 


Cataract Gorge....The very friendly peacocks are very quick to approach in the hope of getting a share of morning tea.
Joe was a bit relaxed with his choc chip cookie and it only took a second for a peacock to swipe a bite!

Loving the industrial vibe in the alley behind our house. Although the house had a flight of stairs to negotiate, we had rear access at the lower level and the front door accessed the top floor. With bathrooms on both levels we could bring Campbell in either the front or back so he could access the whole house. It worked well for us and we had heaps of space in a beautiful heritage house- much better than a motel room.




 
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