Hobart, near Hobart, and only slightly further away from Hobart

Our Tasmanian holiday was merry and fabulous and wonderful and inspiring and joyful and delightful and merry – judging from the photos, which for practical reasons weren’t taken when I was otherwise occupied with disciplinary measures or arranging to pay for smashed glass. I shall share some of those photos with you as I go through our itinerary, possibly for counterbalance. Here’s one now:

I would have spent a lot less time searching online for farm tours if I'd known Aunty R had backyard layers.

I would have spent a lot less time searching online for farm tours if I’d known Aunty R had backyard layers.

The great thing about travelling to see family (apart from their shining faces, or their chickens) is they’ll supply you with insider tips and advice on your destination. The less-great thing is you won’t be able to hear most of it over the squabbling or excited shrieking of the children. In return for our insider tips on Tasmania, my sister has received some unique insights to help with her family planning decisions, which probably means there won’t be much occasion to visit her again soon. I’d better write down our sightseeing itinerary so we won’t forget what we’ve done in the meantime.

They are either getting along or hatching plans to throw each other off the side of Mount Wellington.

P is probably just excited about being on top of Mt Wellington, and not hatching an evil plot to dispense with the two-year-olds.

Who Went? Mum, one 2yo, and one 5yo, who met Aunty R, Uncle S and Cousin R.

Review: A nice romp in the outdoors and the scenery and the foodie haven that exists off the southerly end of mainland Australia, and a great, if extraordinarily loud, catch-up with relatives.

Highlights: Mountains. Farms. Old railways. Food. Catching up with family. Sushi! Which is a type of food. Beaches. Wildlife spotting. Scenic drives. Penguin rookeries. Antarctic research centres. National Parks. Thermal springs. Deadly venomous snakes. Moun- no, food. Damn. I guess that’s it then.

Tarooma Beach.

Tarooma Beach.

Challenges: Not getting separated from P at Sydney airport turned out to be more challenging than I’d anticipated. We have since discussed and clarified the male toilet usage policy for minors (do not, unsupervised – pretty clear to start with, actually).

Figuring out whether it was better to sit to the aisle of both children on the airplane (for ease of containment and surveillance) or between them (as a buffer) was a conundrum at various points. I resolved this by swapping around and finally getting all badass until they piped down.

Living with TWO two-year-olds who’d only just met each other was pretty challenging. I don’t have answers for that one, but I’m open to any.

For example.

For example.

Actually, P found it tough to live with his Aunt and Uncle and especially the shrieking two-year-olds as well, with unpleasant consequences. The most important lesson is to consider, next time, spending the first few days on our own, plus or minus short together-times until everyone adjusts a bit better.

Clearing out for the afternoon was also a good trick, once we cottoned on to it. Turns out it’s sometimes much easier to manage two kids on your own than to go three on three with a group who aren’t used to each other. Nevertheless, we had fun! (Really, I’m getting to the fun bits.)

Price Bracket: Moderate.

Three Random Photos:

Itinerary:

Day One

  • Fly Singapore -> Sydney (overnight on plane)

Day Two

  • Transfer from the international to the domestic terminal, get separated during non-approved and unannounced male toilet visit.
  • Fly Sydney -> Hobart
  • Pickup by Aunty R, afternoon at Aunty R’s house and one of Tasmania’s gloriously fully-fenced playgrounds.
  • Early to bed
Mt Russell Falls.

Russell Falls.

Day Three

Day Four

  • Breakfast at Aunty R’s house
  • Drive to Cygnet for lunch, stopping on the way to purchase kid’s music from an op shop because much as Aunty R doesn’t want to get into that sort of thing with her child, when you have three squashed uncomfortably across the back of a compact vehicle the situation sort of demands it.
  • Lunch at the very friendly Red Velvet Lounge with yet other cousins in Cygnet (although in hindsight, a restaurant with a playground or a BBQ pit may have been more the thing).
  • Drive to Grandvewe (get it?) cheesery in time for the afternoon sheep milking.
  • Cheese and wine tasting at Grandvewe cafe and shop.
  • Fruit shop and playground stop on way back.
  • BBQ dinner at Taroona Beach (and playground)
Meredith's fruit and veg (etc).

Meredith’s fruit and veg (etc).

Day Five

  • Breakfast at Aunty R’s house
  • Sandy Bay playground
  • Op shopping, grocery shopping, hanging out
  • Overnight at Aunty R’s house

Day Six

At the end of the day, it's still your decision.

At the end of the day, it’s still your decision at the Tahune Airwalk.

Day Seven

  • Breakfast in cabin from convenience store at Southport
  • Ida Bay Railway
  • Toasted sandwich takeaway car lunch from Ida Bay Railway Cafe
  • Hastings Thermal Springs. (We skipped the caves after discussion with the woman at the ticket office, who described the tour as being forty-five minutes long and with lots of steps. We both agreed that it was pushing it for me to single-handedly keep a two and five year old in line for the whole tour. They loved the pools and the little bush walk around the springs, though.)
  • Venomous snake sighting.
  • Reach Geeveston and Masaaki’s Sushi to find them open, but sold out, damn them! Learn that most people pre-order by phone through the week.
  • Waterfront playground at Franklin (where P continued to redeem himself by turning a nasty rock fight into a peaceful game of, uh, war. But the point is he turned it into a safe game. Of war.)
  • Random driving around Hobart following wrong star on wrong page of map.
  • Overnight Aunty R’s house, when we eventually found it.
P spotted the snake and told everyone, whereupon a staff member arranged to mitigate the public danger by cordoning off the area and encouraging the snake to move away. When I praised him for helping to keep everyone safe, he told me he actually just wanted to make sure they all came and had a good look.

P spotted the snake and told everyone, whereupon a staff member arranged to mitigate the public danger by cordoning off the area and encouraging the snake to move away. When I praised him for helping to keep everyone safe, P told me he actually just wanted to make sure they all got a good look.

Day Eight

  • Breakfast at Aunty R’s house
  • Drive to Kettering for Bruny Island Ferry
  • Sample foods at Bruny Island Smokehouse which gets a lot of points for having a fenced outdoor area and a full toy box so parents can actually taste their samples.
  • Penguin Rookery
  • Tasmanian scallop pies at Penguin Cafe, Adventure Bay from a lady who explained in detail her habit of forgetting customer orders due to a previous brain injury, but remembered ours, possibly with help (they also had a toy box).
  • Playground, beach, other playground at Adventure Bay.
  • Bruny Island Berry Farm for ice-cream, but sadly no berry picking owing to late ripening of fruit this year (they had outdoor seating with sports equipment!)
  • Bruny Island chocolate and fudge factory shop.
  • Bruny Island Cheese
  • Bruny Island Airport
  • Ferry back to Kettering
  • Dinner, overnight at Aunty R’s house
Bruny Island Airport - a highlight of P's visit to the land of penguins, chocolate, oysters, cheeses, and berry farms. And he didn't even fly.

Bruny Island Airport – a highlight of P’s visit to the land of penguins, chocolate, oysters, cheeses, and berry farms. And he didn’t even fly.

Day Nine

  • Breakfast at Aunty R’s house
  • Melville St Farmer’s Market and Masaaki’s Sushi success! If you don’t count the awkward moment when P started an argument with the proprietor about sustainably-fished tuna. Mental note: elaborate refusals of fish and chip dinners based on ethical arguments about ecological sustainability can backfire. Next time stop at “too greasy”. Luckily Masaaki’s Sushi serves the more sustainably-managed yellow fin tuna, and in Japanese-style portions which (they gently pointed out to him) we would all be advised to emulate.
Luckily, we didn't get onto the subject of farmed vs wild-caught Salmon.

We didn’t get onto the subject of farmed vs wild-caught Salmon.

Day Ten

  • Breakfast at Aunty R’s house
  • Sorrell Fruit Farm
  • Lunch at Aunty R’s house
  • Mum, P and T take a second trip to the Salmon (trout) Ponds, this time with added platypus sighting
  • Picnic dinner all together again at Mount Wellington
  • Overnight at Aunty R’s house
Cherry picking at Sorrell Farm.

Cherry picking at Sorrell Farm.

Day Eleven

Antarctic Expeditioner dress-ups at the Australian Antarctic Research Division Visitor's Centre.

Antarctic Expeditioner dress-ups at the Australian Antarctic Research Division Visitor’s Centre.

Day Twelve

  • Breakfast at Aunty R’s house
  • Playground en route to airport
  • Fly Hobart -> Brisbane
Advertisements