Australia Day Long Weekend 2019

Well it has been a long time between posts but that hasn’t meant there haven’t been any travels. A New Year’s resolution of mine was to actually start posting properly (a month in and I am making good on that resolution 🙄) but at least I am making a start.

Last weekend saw us spend the Australia Day long weekend camping with friends at Shoalhaven Heads on the NSW South Coast. We love the South Coast and will head there any chance we can get.

We have never been to the this caravan park before but it had been highly recommended and when we arrived we could easily see why. We did have a prime spot which was relatively secluded and as we boarded the reserve on the edge of the park there was no drive through traffic. This meant we had a large grass area which was safe for the kids to play on that wasn’t on the camper doorstep. The location of the park was awesome with direct access to Seven Mile Beach on one side and the inlet on the other.

We made good use of the beach access with us going out there each morning and afternoon. Given that our boy’s internal alarm clocks seem to set themselves that little bit earlier when we are camping, we never seem to miss a sunrise. The first morning we went there I foolishly believed we would just walk along it and enjoy maybe a small paddle in the shallows. Well they did stay in the shallows but they managed to body surf in 2cm of wash and then proceeded to hurl themseleves in every bit of soft sand between the water’s edge and the trail back to the campground. Needless to say a new set of pajamas were required for all involved.

For those times we didn’t feel up to making the trek (less than 5 mins but with a 4 year old and almost 2 year old that distance can sometimes seem like a marathon) we were able to take the kids to the pool to cool off. This included a kiddie pool complete with sprays and sprinklers which kept them more than entertained and occupied.

It was beyond hot on the Saturday and being Australia Day we didn’t want to just hang around camp, somehow that isn’t quite as relaxing as it used to be pre-kids, so we went for an explore. Thankfully the area boasts many a good winery and they were all quite kid friendly with our fav being Canbewarra Estate. As the day wore on we retreated to the air conditioning of the Shoalhaven Heads pub where we had awesome food and were entertained by the crab races.

Now the way they all work is you purchase raffle tickets for each ‘heat’, then the crabs are raffled off for each of the heats. If your raffle ticket is called you get to name the crab and stand by to watch it race. If your crab comes first you win a small sum of money, not the crab, and then go into the final. Try explaining to a 4 year old that the raffle tickets clutched in his hand may not get him a crab in a race that he may not win and if he did he couldn’t keep the crab. I think he was more confused with my explaination and thankfully it distracted him from the fact he didn’t even get a chance to name a crab.

In true small town fashion the shops were delightfully quirky with my favourite, hands down, being the bakery. We went in on the Friday to get breadrolls,making the fundamental error of beliving that a bakery would sell bread products of some description. We were informed in no uncertain terms that we were sorely mistaken and no bread was to be found. This situation hadn’t resolved itself on the Saturday and then they were closed the Sunday/Monday. We are still unsure whether they bake or supply bread, I believe this is going to remain one of life’s mysteries.

All in all a great long weekend was had. Time was spent with great friends with a balance of relaxation and activity. The kids had a ball and the night we returned home the boys asked us when we were heading camping again.

This year I am hoping we get more of these chilled getaways, whether it is with friends or just our little family. I am loving the camp life and our boys are made for it!

Tassie Travels – Hobart

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So this was actually the trip that provided me with the impetus to begin documenting our travels. This was our first proper holiday (not counting weekends away) since becoming a family of four.

Tasmania in winter is always somewhere my husband and I have wanted to experience. He has never been before and while I have been to Tasmania before it was as a teenager. So while I have memories of visiting they are a tad hazy and I was chauffeured around by my parents. When we were trying to figure out where we were going to visit on our first “family of four” holiday we were continually drawn to Tasmania. So it was decided, and within a surprisingly (and slightly alarmingly) short period of time we had finalised plans and booked.

We were to go for nine nights, broken up with six in Hobart, two in Coles Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula, and then a final night in Hobart to allow a stress free morning before boarding our plane.

Now flights to Tasmania aren’t frequent and are at very interesting times of the day, and I have since found out that Sydneysiders and Melbournians are the only people that have the option for a direct flight, everyone else gets to have that wonderful travel experience of the “stopover” in Melbourne.

Our flight was a 9.30am flight on a Tuesday morning. We now know that Tuesday is a nice quiet day to fly to Hobart, only issue being if it is too quiet they don’t fly direct. So we had flights delayed, cancelled, a two hour stopover in Melbourne all followed by a second flight that we hadn’t anticipated. This is annoying when you are travelling solo, it is an absolute catastrophe when travelling with children. My best laid plans of managing feeds and sleep around flights was thrown out the window. Thankfully we survived (just) and arrived in Hobart looking a little worse for wear but ready to start our adventures.

During our time in Hobart we managed to strike a balance between seeing everything we wanted to and spending time relaxing, even if that relaxation time is while the 3 month old slept and the 3 year old watched Moana for the millionth time. Thankfully we had been gifted a weeks accommodation at the Ramada Resort at Seven Mile Beach, so we were spoilt with our accommodation.

During this time we managed to do two day trips, one to Port Arthur and one to Bruney Island. Port Arthur is a big drive, but we managed to luck it with both boys sleeping there and on the way back. I was a bit worried that we wouldn’t get the most out of it as the boys were so young, but thankfully there was plenty to see and keep our 3 year old occupied as we walked around this amazing site. Mainly it consisted of him jumping in puddles, which made me so glad we had invested in waterproof hiking boots. It is so hard to reconcile the hardship and harrowing stories that you hear and read with the beauty of the site now.

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Bruney Island is amazing. All it takes to get there is a short drive south, quick ferry trip and then you are on the beautiful island. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t on our side this day, but it did ease enough for us to make the trek up to the top of The Neck lookout. The Neck is the narrowest part of the island and offers spectacular views.

spent the rest of the day visiting various artisan producers, of which there are many on the island, and driving around admiring the beauty of the place from the dry warm of the car. Bruney Island Cheese Company is a must to visit. All their produce is delicious but the stand out for me is their O.D.O which is one day old fresh cheese, marinated in olive oil and mixture of spices. Outstanding, especially smeared over fresh, crusty bread.

The other days we managed to fill in with various sightseeing around Hobart. We visited Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary where we were able to get up close and personal to some native wildlife, while learning about all the conservation work they do.

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We visited historic Richmond, wandered around Hobart and Constitution Dock, where we had numerous bowls of Mures seafood chowder which was just the thing to warm you up in the cold Tassie weather, and made countless visits up to the top of Mount Wellington. This proved to be one of our 3 year old’s favourite spots. I think this position was cemented on the first day we arrived as when we drove up to see the sun set over Hobart we were lightly snowed on.

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One day when we were sitting having lunch at Mures, where else, we heard a rumour that there had been substantial snowfall on Mount Wellington and they had closed the top. Of course we went to check it out just thinking it would be cool to see how far we could get and hoping we could hop out somewhere so Zachary could make a snowball. We ended up lucking a park at the final carpark before they closed the road and, with what seemed like the majority of Hobart, spent several hours building snowmen, snowballs and wandering through a winter wonderland. It really was a magical afternoon.

All too soon our time in Hobart was over and it was time for us to head up the coast to Coles Bay on the Freycinet Peninsula.

Travel with miniature humans

Hello! First of all thank you for taking the time to look at my blog. On here I am hoping that in sharing my family’s travel adventures, and misadventures, I can inspire more families to travel with their little ones.

I am not going to lie, travelling with miniature humans isn’t easy or stress free, but it is a lot of fun and I believe that the positives outweigh the negatives. Living everyday life with a three year old and a four month old at home can be hard at times, may as well be experiencing new locations and making family memories while we do it. I have also found that when you look back on your travels you focus on the positive experiences and the negative ones don’t seem as bad, sometimes they even become one of the favourite stories to retell.

It is also awesome watching your children experience the benefits that travel has to offer. Different experiences open up the dialogue with your kids and often can lead to new interests forming. For example, our three year old now loves maps. Paper based ones, where you have to try and work out where you are before you can figure out how to get to where you are going. He can’t read them (sometimes they aren’t even held the right way up) but he now loves maps, reading them, drawing them and giving directions from them.

Travel has been a big part of my husband’s and my life and wasn’t something we were going to give up now we have miniature humans. It has been awesome watching the interests of our mini man develop on the various trips. We have found our he loves being outdoors and his baby brother is shaping up to follow in his footsteps (as much as you can tell with a four month old) which means camping, hiking and being outdoors in general, are all high on the agenda. On the flip side we have also found he loves museums, with the clear favourites so far being Te Papa Museum in Wellington, NZ and the Australian Museum in Sydney, AU. He also loves a good cafe or burger place, thanks to his father. Travel for us has changed and is a bit more kid focused, as that just makes it a more pleasant experience for everyone, but as we have discovered kid focused doesn’t only mean family resorts and theme parks.

I am excited to have you along for our family adventures as we “Have Toddler, Will Travel“.