Sunday, January 27, 2013

Farewell Tassy...

Day Thirty Four |  18 Jan 2013:

A relax day again today as our Tassy Tour starts to wind down.  I organise myself and the kids to go it alone for the next few days as Troy organises the camper for it’s journey back over on the ferry.  My cousins and their combined partners and kids all arrive in the afternoon to spend the last two nights with me and the kids before we fly back to Melbourne to meet up with Troy… then the driving starts in earnest again with our 2,500km return roadtrip!

 ... peace...

... last chance beach play...

Day Thirty Seven | 21 Jan 2013:

Regrettably our last day in Tassy.  Four full weeks of sightseeing and spending time with family has just not been enough.  We are already talking about a return visit to see the things we just didn’t have time to see… and re-visit the places that we know we ‘have’ to see again!  Tasman Peninsular, Bay of Fires, Cradle Mountain… the list goes on.

Fond farewells at the airport as mum and cousin Shaz see us off… with the combined cousin offspring in attendance too!  We are all amazed at how well they have all hit it off, so much so that we all make arrangements to meet up soon, somewhere in the middle of Tassy and Central Queensland!


Day Thirty Eight | 22 Jan 2013:

Goodbye Melbourne, hello long road home!

The kids are awesome and travel sooo well today, so we make a lot of ground.  We make it all the way to Swansea, just to the South of Newcastle…. almost 1,000km in a day!

Day Thirty Nine | 23 Jan 2013:

Swansea to Yamba… gorgeous little holiday spot on the NSW coast that Troy spent many a vacation in as a boy.  It would be nice to spend a little more time here, but the first day back to school is fast approaching and we still want to spend a couple of recovery days with Troy’s folks on the Sunshine Coast.

Whatever it takes to pass the time right?

... and something you don't see everyday...

... and finally, we get some Yamba sand between our toes!  :)

Over the half-way mark now, but the excitement is definitely not over yet!  :)

More to come.


Friday, January 25, 2013

More Discoveries...

Day Thirty Two | 16 Jan 2013 :

There are very few Australians who would not remember the anxious wait as we all held our collective breath in the hope that the trapped miners Todd Russell and Brant Web would be rescued following the Beaconsfield Gold Mine disaster of April 2006.  Only a short drive away from Green’s Beach, we found the decommissioned mine and historical museum of Beaconsfield.  Along with the epic story of the earth tremor, rock collapse and subsequent rescue efforts to save the miners, we found an amazingly well structured farming, mining and ‘everything historical’ museum.  We were all quite surprised by the diversity of the displays.

... the infamous mine shaft entrance...

... the story...
... a replica of the tiny cage the men were trapped in, buried in rock ...

I was also thrilled to see these little babies…

… who doesn’t LOVE an antique typewriter? While I find the historical artifacts intriguing, not surprisingly, I show what I am starting to think is an unhealthy interest in the crumbling ruins and the colours and textures of the brickwork!

Day Thirty Three | 17 Jan 2013 :

A self-drive Winery tour is on the agenda today and again, we are lucky to have my Uncle lead us around to some of the gorgeous vineyards with their cellar door wine tasting, in the Tamar Valley region between Green’s Beach and Launceston, on the western side of the river.  The boys reciprocate today and play the role of designated drivers as the girls relax and enjoy the scenery… and indulge the senses just a little!

Sav Blancs and Pinot Noirs are the flavours of the day and we all come home with a generous selection of both!

Another lovely day.

See you again soon,


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Touring the Tamar

Day Twenty Nine | 13 Jan 2013 :

Today we pack up and leave Wynyard, saying goodbye to the beautiful rolling hills and their patchwork of poppy fields, potato crops and tulip fields too (that weren’t yet in flower unfortunately)…

…and heading East again to Green’s Beach - but not before more natural disasters.  Before we have even risen in the morning we hear a rumble and shudder not at all dissimilar to an underground explosion.  Living in a mining community we are quite accustomed to the occasional controlled blast and this sounded very much the same… only stronger and louder and sustained over a longer period… turns out it was an earth tremor about 10km off shore, to the North of Wynyard!  It would appear at this point that disaster is following us, so we decamp pretty quickly and set off.  Later in the morning, another tremor is felt, but luckily, there are no further developments.

Green’s Beach is situated at the mouth of the Tamar River, which leads South to Launceston, with easy access to the lovely Tamar Valley Vineyards! … more on that later.  :)

The first couple of days are really low key and relaxed, probably the most casual days yet… a little beach walking, a little fishing and just hanging out together.

Day Thirty One | 15 Jan 2013 : 

A trip down to Launceston is planned for the day, as the boys have all booked themselves in for a tour around the Boag’s Brewery…  a local Tasmanian beer that happens to be a favourite of my darling betrothed.  As I hastily make plans to get my nails done while we are there, I suffer the expected barbs about how ridiculous it is to get my nails done on a camping holiday.  Shortly after reminding said betrothed and his beer swilling entourage that I am the designated driver for the day, all are in agreement that my nails are in desperate need of some attention! 

A great day was had by all  :)

More to come on the beautiful Tamar region and it's lovely wineries!

Cheers for now,


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cradle Mountain Beauty

Day Twenty Eight | 12 January 2013:  ‘WOW’ is fast becoming a very over-utilised word for me in recent weeks….  but WOW!!!!  Cradle Mountain was everything we thought it would be.  We did not have clear weather, but that in no way diminished it’s beauty, in fact the supremely ethereal quality of the clouds enshrouding the mountain peaks, coupled with the grey mist driven by icy wind actually enhanced the experience for us.  The grandeur and mystique of this prehistoric landscape was altogether humbling and awe inspiring.

There are several walks on offer, but given the wet and slippery conditions we did the 6km Dove Lake Circuit, which is mostly flat and comparatively easy.  We decided to leave Lachy with Nanny and Poppy all the same, as even that circuit would have been out of reach for him.  The other three kids just adored the trek and came alive in the conditions as much as we did.

Here are just a few highlights from the hundred or so photos that I took.... (hmmm, you'd better go grab a cuppa!):

… already a cool morning on the coast, the temp continued to fall as we approached the Lake St Clair National Park.

… our first ghostly glipse...

... and it just got better...



We topped it all off with lunch at the Cradle Mountain Lodge, adjacent to this cosy log fire.  A welcome end to a chilly 10 degree morning trek!

Fantastic day!

A place we definitely hope to revisit another time, perhaps even for a snowy winter experience, bunkering down at the end of the day in one of the many log cabins dotted around the lodge, with open fire blazing!

But our journey continues, as we begrudgingly leave Cradle Mountain....

Back with more soon.  :)