Friday, January 31, 2014


 We have arrived in Launceston and there were a few things we wanted to see or were told we should see.  The first stop was the QVMAG.  It was a museum which featured the Phenomena Factory.  This was an interactive science centre full of hands on activities.  We had great fun in there! Bridget is using thongs to play a tune on the pipes and Lucy is using pedal power to try and get the lights to light up.  There was a perception tunnel, optical illusions and much more!
 From the museum we went and visited the Mobile Mission Maintenance base which is here in Launceston.  The managers have only just taken over and so we went to meet them over a cuppa.
 Also on our list was the city park to see the monkeys and also Cataract Gorge.  It's amazing that this gorge is right there in amongst the city of Launceston. It was a popular spot and the perfect spot to end the day with a swim.

 The Tamar River looking down into the city.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Beaconsfield Mine and Seahorse World- Tamar valley

 Today we are off for a school excursion (well two actually).  The first one is Beaconsfield Mine.
 We spend a few hours looking through here and the girls loved it!  There were so many displays that were hands on and allowed you to pan for gold, turn cranks to start the waterwheel, try on wigs and step back in time.
 This tunnel here where the girls are going in has a small opening when you stand up in there.  It shows the area that the the two men were trapped in back in 2006.  It was interesting reading all the information and media coverage from this disaster.  The mine is no longer in operation stopping about 18 months ago due to 'economics.'
 Our second excursion was to Seahorse World.  We were all excited about this one and keen to see and find out about this strange creature!
 Here the girls are feeding the baby seahorse.  Apparently they are very fussy eaters and will only eat live food.  They are being fed sea monkeys.
 There were so many of them. They can have up to 400 babies in one go.  Only 2-3% of these survive in the wild, but here at Seahorse World over 90% survive.  They sell these seahorses to pet shops all over Australia.
 The girls loved the 'touch pool'.  They were able to get hands on and pick up starfish, hermit crabs and even hold a seahorse!!

 They also had these beautiful, yet strange looking sea dragons.  It was great to just watch these amazing creatures just swimming around.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Starting School!!

We are not quite back at our base in Devonport yet, but school starts today for Claire and Lucy.  Lucy has been asking and asking when school is starting.  She was very excited this morning and both girls were keen to make a start.  Claire goes into year 5 and Lucy goes into year 3.  Bridget will start in a few days time.

I was a bit slow in getting going this morning after being kept awake a lot of the night with noisy backpackers camping near us.  I even marched over to them in my PJ's at 11:30pm and in my best teachers voice informed them that they were not the only ones camping here and to keep it down!!  Fortunately this rarely happens, but obviously these backpackers needed a lesson in camping etiquette. 

We stopped at this great rest area for the night in the Tamar Valley at Gravelly Beach.  There was a skate park where the girls enjoyed riding their scooters, a great park and bbq area and a view of the water.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bridestowe Lavender Farm

 I had seen this lavender farm in photos in brochures and really wanted to stop by and have a look for myself.  If we were here about a month or so ago, the lavender would have been a much more vibrant purple.  They had just started harvesting some of the lavender.
 As purple is Lucy's favourite colour, she thought this place was great!! And it smelt good too!  I loved the backdrop of the mountains behind the lavender.

St Columba Falls

 We have now left the coast and are heading inland.  We take a small detour and do this bush walk to St Columba Falls.  After lazing around at the beach for a day or two, it's about time we do some more walking!!
 Like most places we've seen, it was a lovely walk through a rainforest.
 While driving along this road, we also stopped in at a cheese factory in Pyengana for some tastings.  This was the best cheese we had tasted so far in Tassie!

Sunday, January 26, 2014


 From Wineglass Bay, we continued up the beautiful North East Coastline to St Helens and set up camp out at the Bay of Fires.  The Bay of Fires is a stunning strip of coastline with free camping all along it.  It's hard to believe you can stay at a place so beautiful and be so close to the beach and it costs you nothing!
 We probably turned up at the Bay of Fires at one of the busiest camping times in the year.  It was Australia Day long weekend and it was very hard to find a spot to camp.  Fortunately, we met some guys in town while we were filling up water who were camped out there and they said there was room right near them. We stayed for a couple of nights.  Monday night was much quieter as a lot of people left after the weekend.
After church on Australia Day we had a walk around St Helens.  We even scored a free 'snag sanga' and lamington!!
 Here are a few snap shots around this amazing coastline.  You really have to see it to believe it!  The camera doesn't fully capture the full extent of the beauty I was looking at.  I wanted to keep this image in my mind forever and not forget just how stunning it was!
 The colour of the water is like that at a tropical island, the sand is so white and the red on the rocks makes it something that you don't see anywhere else. The orange/red colour on these granite rocks comes from lichen.
The only down side is that the water is freezing and some places aren't so friendly for swimming.  The waves were 'dumpers' in most spots.  Once you were in, you got used to the cold water after a while.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Freycinet National Park - Wineglass Bay- So beautiful!!

 It was a great decision to wait a day and do this walk up to Wineglass Bay lookout and down to the beach when the sun was shining.  We wouldn't have seen any of this gorgeous colour in the water yesterday.  It is obviously a very popular walk.  It was very crowded up at the lookout.
 I'm glad we had recovered from yesterdays walk into the gorge, because today was another 3 hour walk!  The girls are great walkers and cope really well with the mountains.  They are also sleeping very well at night after these big walking days!!
 It was absolutely beautiful down at Wineglass Bay.  A white sandy beach and crystal clear blue waters!!
 The view of Wineglass Bay from up at the lookout.
Wineglass Bay is definitely one of our highlights in Tasmania!  We all enjoyed the walk and soaking up the view of a gorgeous bay!
After the walk we were driving back and spotted this beautiful view.  The perfect place to stop and have lunch!!  We had just climbed one of those mountains in the background.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Douglas-Apsley National Park

 We planned on doing the Wineglass Bay walk today, but when we woke up it was overcast.  We knew it wouldn't be the same without the sun out, so we decided to go to Douglas-Apsley National Park and walk to the gorge.  It was a 3 hour return hike up over the mountain and down the gorge.
 We arrived at the gorge and the girls had fun exploring the area and walking under waterfalls.
 Instead of going back up over the mountain on the return journey, we decided to' rock hop' down the gorge.  The girls thought it was a great adventure!! There were places we thought we were stuck and would have to turn back unless we swam through  the water.  We had to scramble up and over rocks, but we made it back down the gorge.
At the end of the gorge was this waterhole.  It was very refreshing, but we enjoyed cooling off!!
On our way back to the caravan we stopped off in the town of Bicheno and went down to the blowhole to check it out.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Leaving Hobart.....East Coast here we come!!

 After 6 nights in Hobart and lots of exploring around, it's time to leave and head up the East Coast.
First stop is Richmond.  This is such a busy little town with lots of lovely shops to look in.
The Richmond Bridge is the oldest bridge still in use in Australia.  It was built using convict labour in 1823. We have lunch here and the girls feed the ducks.
 Further up the coast we stop to have a look at the Spiky Bridge.  This was also built using convict labour and the spikes were meant to keep the cattle from straying!
We camp the night in Freycinet National Park at Friendly beaches.  It is cold and windy, but the girls still want to put on their swimmers!! Crazy!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


 We got up bright and early ready for a full day on Bruny Island.  We caught the 7:45am ferry over from Kettering (45mins from Hobart) to North Bruny Island.  The trip only took about 20mins.
 Our first stop was here at 'The Neck'.  The thin stretch of land you see in the background is all that joins North and South Bruny.
 Lucy at 'The Neck'.  As you can see from the jeans and jumper, it was pretty cold.  We had our heater on in the morning and our air conditioner on in the afternoon!!

 We had morning tea at Adventure Bay (South Bruny).
 This rugged coastline is further down south at Cloudy Bay.  It was very windy and very cold.
 The Cape Bruny lighthouse.  We walked up and had a look around. This was further south than where we were last week.  That makes this place the most southern point in Australia for us!
On our way back up to North Bruny it is warm enough for the girls to swim.  They jump at the chance!  Chris and I watch on......(still too cold).  The water is beauitful and clear.