Tasmania has a special place in our hearts. The Welshman proposed to me in the Freycinet Pensinsula way back when, and we celebrated our first family Christmas, with baby Boyo in tow, at Cradle Mountain Lodge.
Boyo’s first foray into double digits, his 10th birthday (gulp, sob, oh em gee), was the perfect occasion to return to Tasmania. It’s the perfect place for road trip adventures and family fun.
I skipped the first two days of our family holiday so I could attend the Kidspot Voices of 2014 Masterclass and Launch Cocktail Party. So glad I did as my creativity is just on overload after the Masterclass. Oh, and did I mention I’m a very proud member of the Top 40 for Beauty & Lifestyle bloggers for 2014? No? Just three or four million times?! What an honour. Head. Still. Spinning!
Tasmania Road Trip | Hobart
I flew into Hobart to join the Blokefolk after a rockin’ frockin’ weekend of bloggeriffic Kidspot awesomeness! Because of this weekend of awesomeness, my Sunday afternoon was, um, shall we say, a little bit quiet. There was a wander around Battery Point, there was famous Tasmanian Valhalla ice cream, there was a twilight trip to Arthur Circus and the playground, there was a conker war and there was the deliciousness of the James Squire Brewhouse. The food, dudes. I was not game to go near anything other than water!
On Monday, we trekked out to Port Arthur. A very sombre experience filled with Boyo questions and wonder and learning discovery about the history of his country. We didn’t visit the modern memorial but I spent some time looking over the water and remembering. A relaxing afternoon with a little last minute birthday equipment shopping followed.
Dinner at hipster central Jack Greene Bar in Salamanca Square was backed up with absolutely delicious gelato from Cargo Bar and a wander around Constitution Dock through the fairy-light strung trees.
At Thirteen, a self contained heritage terrace in Battery Point. Small but perfectly formed with a hip interior, fabulously located only 50 metres to Salamanca Square, with steep stairs not suited for the very young, the very old nor the very klutzy. Very well priced for such a central location.
A relaxed Sunday night dinner at The Squires Bounty, a James Squire Brewhouse venue. Tasmanian beer, yummy Tasmanian surf and turf. Perfect!
Valhalla Ice Cream – creaminess only previously experienced in New Zealand. Ruined for ice cream forever more.
Hipster fare at the awesome Jack Greene Bar, smack bang on Salamanca Square. Pulled pork, burgers par excellence and beer so delicious even I enjoyed some. I know. Beer. Who’d have thunk it. Van Dieman Brewing Harvest Ale IPA. So hipster I’m going to need to grow an post modern ironic moustache.
Indian – as a person allergic to onions and garlic, Indian restaurants are not my favourite places. The Blokefolk both adore a good curry. It was the perfect occasion to introduce Boyo to the delights of an Indian restaurant. The hotterer the betterer, apparently.
Port Arthur – Such a beautiful place, such an awful history. We decided not to visit the modern memorial with Boyo as the convict-era information was overwhelming enough.
Putters– the Blokefolk enjoyed a spot of mini golf whilst I was gallivanting in Sydney. It’s a Blokefolk thing.
Salamanca – the gorgeousness of heritage buildings and yachts combine for a gorgeous shopping experience, even if it consisted of hunting down the socks I forgot to pack, the moisturiser to replace the empty pot I managed to pack, and birthday essentials such as paper and sticky tape. Unfortunately I missed the Salamanca Markets, but these are the sacrifices one must make.
Preachers Battery Point – a completely relaxing place to spend an afternoon in the sunshine, with fabulous pallet furniture, huge beanbags and very good beer, according to the Welshman.
Tasmania Road Trip | Strahan
Next up in our Tasmania Road trip was Strahan. A sleepy little town and former port on Tasmania’s West Coast. Absolutely stunningly beautiful with sweeping views and relaxation guaranteed. We celebrated Boyo’s 10th birthday, went for a bush wander, made friends with a duck and ate fish and chips par excellence.
At a charming location called Risby Cove, the only Strahan motel accommodation set on the waterfront. It was so close to the waterfront that we were adopted by a duck we named Jemima who pecked on our French doors when we returned, bless her little flippered feet.
Delicious fish and chips – you just know they’re going to be good when you can see fishing boats hauling in the day’s catch across the road.
Yummy old school offerings from the local bakery – hot cross bun season baby!
Far too many lollies from an old fashioned lolly shop. It was frequented by the local police, so we decided that was an excellent seal of approval.
A chocolate raspberry whipped cream meringue extravaganza presented by the lovely people at Risby Cove for Boyo’s birthday – how sweet. Not to mention delicious!
Yummy birthday dinner for Boyo’s 10th birthday at Hamer’s Bar & Grill – Tasmanian steak, Tasmanian ocean trout and that staple of kids meals, the chicken nugget. Every birthday boy needs an ice cream sundae, don’t you think?
Boyo enjoyed himself greatly at the West Coast Heritage Centre in Zeehan. Based in the old School of Mines and Metallurgy, established in 1892, it is a veritable treasure trove for engineers, both father and son. The Blokefolk enjoyed themselves greatly, exploring and experiencing and figuring out how things worked. So lovely to see the two of them together like this. I finally remembered to charge my camera and had an equally fabulous time playing photographer.
We went on a little bush wander through the Botanical Garden Reserve, near People Park. A really pretty 40 minute return walk down to the waterfall. It might have taken a little bit longer for me as I pretended I knew how to use my camera and took loads of photos. As you do.
For an awesome birthday treat, the Blokefolk went jet boating with Wild Rivers Jet. 50 fun filled minutes from Strahan to the King River. Lots of spins and speed. Boyo was only slightly disappointed that he remained relatively dry! The jetboat departed from the jetty right outside our room, which just added to the fun!
Tasmania Road Trip | Launceston
The final leg of our journey included an amazing adventure – Tasmazia! It really was a-maze-ing. We were really ready for some R&R and were all looking forward to our final accommodation. Not only free range chooks providing freshly laid eggs but resident rabbits. A gorgeous little chap named Bear and an older bunny named Pebble, whom I was quite keen on. Luckily, she was quite keen on me too. I’m totally down with cupboard love.
The delightful Forest Road Apartments were our home away from home. We immediately headed to the garden to make our acquaintance with Pebble and Bear, the resident rabbits of extreme sweetness. We collected three eggs, one each for breakfast, which was served with some farm bacon procured by the Welshman. Should you ever find yourself in need of accommodation in Launceston, I cannot recommend Forest Road Apartments highly enough.
Thoughtfully decorated, lavishly stocked and centrally located, the owners even provide a muffin recipe and the ingredients to bake them. We’ve all stayed in holiday houses where they’ve left you one rubbish bag, one loo roll and one dishwasher tab. Forest Road had a cupboard full of labelled Tupperware cereal boxes, just as an example. The bathroom contained spare tissue boxes and an entire drawer filled with beautifully rolled face cloths. The shower was stocked with pump packs of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. The laundry was stocked with everything required – laundry basket, clotheshorse, peg basket, even laundry powder. I know right?
But the delights don’t stop there. The child’s bedroom is made up according to the age and interests of the visiting children. In this case, there was a LEGO inspired duvet cover and a LEGO design book. The walk in wardrobe was a veritable treasure trove for visiting children. Not only security door guards, bed safety rails, portacot and highchair, but toys, books, craft supplies, LEGO, puzzles, games, dolls and everything you could possibly think of. Including an amazing fitted cover that transformed the dining table into a cubby house.
Tasmazia was even more appealing to Boyo when he discovered a Pancake Palace on site. Yup, pancakes for lunch. Savoury pancakes with cheese, ham, pineapple and tomato for us (sans pineapple for the Welshman – I know, I can’t believe it either) and a suitably decadent birthday festival celebration dessert concoction for Boyo.
Dinner was positively ambrosial Petuna ocean trout, cooked to perfection by my gorgeous Welshman, along with a fabulous selection of gourmet Tasmanian handmade sausages with Dutch Cream potato mash. Petuna supplies Tetsuya’s in Sydney. If it is good enough for a Good Food Guide hatted chef, it is good enough for me. It is hard to get really good potatoes in Sydney – Tasmania is cold enough to produce fabulous specimens so we made sure we celebrated this by eating lots of them. Clever thinking by the Welshman meant he cooked enough for leftovers the following night. Cue the R&R.
Nothing like fresh eggs, that you’ve collected yourself, with butcher’s bacon for breakfast. When we couldn’t find any eggs the following day, I polished off a pile of mushrooms with freshly picked sage for my breakfast and the Blokefolk ate sublime bacon sarnies.
A whistle stop tour to The Seaport netted Van Diemen’s Land Creamery gelato. Oh, just divine.
Absolutely scrummy raspberry buttermilk white choc muffins, baked by us, from a recipe and ingredients provided by the owners of Forest Road Apartments. How delightful!
Tasmazia – 8 mazes, including a replica of Hampton Court’s famous maze, plus a model village named Lower Crackpot, Lavender Farm and Pancake Parlour in the Lakes District of Tasmania.
Cable Hang Gliding – Just like a flying fox except with the added benefit of a hang glider! Boyo literally took a running jump off a roof platform (seriously!) and soared 200m over an 18 metre drop. The extremely steep climb back up the hill was completely worth it for the fun and exhilaration!
Cataract Gorge – On Good Friday, we found ourselves (very happily) trapped inside by torrential rain. Our apartment overlooked Tamar River with an absolutely stunning view. By the afternoon, the sun had come out so we headed over to Cataract Gorge for an afternoon’s adventure. We rode the chairlift, walked the suspension bridge and enjoyed the clean fresh air and beautiful scenery. Launceston is so lucky to have this gorgeous spot.
Tasmania didn’t disappoint for a family holiday. The sheer prettiness and wide open spaces make it the perfect place for a road trip. Fresh air, fabulous food and nights cold enough to sleep well. Perfect!
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