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.
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.
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.
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.