A Travellerspoint blog

January 2014

Port Arthur to Hobart

Renee: 'Does it really have to end this soon?' ... Clancy: 'Yes!! Bring on home and a comfy bed!'

semi-overcast
View Tasmania with 2 toddlers! (Winter 2013) on Goannaray's travel map.

After enjoying two nights at the wonderful Port Arthur Holiday Park, it was time to fuel up and continue on around the rest of the Tasman Peninsula before heading back to Hobart.

  • Remarkable Cave

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At the end of Safety Cove Road (B347) is a great lookout point, and short walk down a fair few steps to Remarkable Cave. A tunnel carved through rocky cliffs by the ocean. We were lucky that it was clear while we were there, and enjoyed the views of the surrounding bays, hills, and even all the way out to Cape Raoul. Clancy had previously seen a photo of the Cape Raoul cliffs and would've loved to be able to see them close up, but unfortunately for us, we didn't have the time to complete the walk (Clancy didn't think he'd survive the walk anyway), and we couldn't afford to pay for another cruise.

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So down to the cave we went, where Sonia enjoyed running and jumping down all the steps (once again testing our stress levels!), and I had fun trying to unsuccessfully get photo's of the waves gushing in and out of the tunnel. Depending on the tide, I'm guessing you may be able to walk into the tunnel itself. Lots of fun, but it most likely would not be recommended!

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This was another well set up site with plenty of interesting information signs available. The following is one of the poems that caught my eye.

Coal for kitchens and drawing rooms
Coal that crackled and spat
Cinders on carpets and crinolines
Sparks on the hearthside cat

Far from the warmth of the parlours
Deep in a gloomy hole
Down on their knees in the darkness
Convicts hacked out the coal

Chris Viney 2002

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On arrival to the main carpark near the toilets, Sonia decided she'd throw a massive tantrum and scream session. So off to the toilets, then finding a spot for her to sit, think, and calm down. We'd been pretty lucky this whole trip, that the occurence of these events were few and far between, but when they did occur, it wasn't in too public a place, or with many other people around. We never did end up finding out what brought this one on! However, after that, she thoroughly enjoyed running around and pushing Kaden in the pram.

So a note for those of you out there with young children, take heart in the fact you're not the only ones that have to deal with these scenarios! And for those without young children... we greatly appreciate it, and thank you for the times when you can accept that these things happen and attempt to ignore the attention seeking behaviour, allowing us as parents to try and work through it with the child as best we know how.

As we'd previously seen many of the sights around Eaglehawk Neck on the way into Port Arthur two days previous (described in a previous post 'Triabunna to Port Arthur via Richmond'), we decided we'd stop for lunch on the way out and see two of the sights we hadn't seen previously. We found a lovely spot where we could enjoy the sun and also be out of the wind in the Eaglehawk Neck Community Hall carpark (they hold community markets there every second Saturday of the month) for a beside the van picnic. This was only the second or third time that we'd actually been able to enjoy the use of the camp chairs we'd hired with the van.

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Following lunch, we checked out the nearby Dog Line statue, and found it hard to imagine a line of dogs across the small section of land there, and continuing on platforms out into the water. It would have been totally terrifying to see. We then walked over to see the small museum housed in the old Officer's Quarters. It was very interesting, looking through the building, reading the history, and especially listening to the stories of some of the occupants that played out of an old radio. As we were the only ones there at the time, both Sonia and Kaden had fun wandering through all the rooms. Causing our education of the site to be occaisionally interupted by one or the other of the kids testing the boundaries of where they were allowed to roam. I don't think we would've been as relaxed, or enjoyed it as much if there'd been more people around.

  • And finally.... back to Hobart

The drive to Hobart was uneventful, and by this stage I think the 'homing bug' had started to settle in. With all the mixed feelings that come with it. We'd pretty much seen everything we'd hoped to see in Tasmania for this trip, so now just wanted to get home. Yet still felt that the time had flown by too fast, and there should be more to see and do (which there definitely is!). I was looking forward to spending some time with my high school friend and her young family in Hobart before we flew back to Perth, while Clancy couldn't wait to get out of the campervan and back into a regular sized house!

Posted by Goannaray 16:57 Archived in Australia Tagged view ocean beach history tasmania rocks cave poem convicts toddlers port_arthur coal_mines 2_toddlers_in_winter_tasmania! eastern_tasmania interstate_overseas Comments (0)

Tasmania with 2 Toddlers Summary

all seasons in one day
View Tasmania with 2 toddlers! (Winter 2013) on Goannaray's travel map.

Now that the trip has been well and truly completed, lets go back through some of the original questions we had...

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  • Campervan with toddlers in winter

Clancy:
Silly idea.

Renee:
Generally, it wasn't too bad.
Good that we had the availability to pretty much be able to camp anywhere.
Had some great experiences and created some great memories.

Recommendations:
For a comprehensive overview, see my entry titled 'The Campervan...'

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  • Weather and walks

Clancy:
Miserable weather, bring a raincoat.
Walks were fine.

Renee:
Totally changeable.
We were lucky, and I think for us, the worst weather during a walk was the day Sonia and I trekked in to see Montezuma Falls.

Recommendations:
Be prepared for all seasons (maybe excluding summer!), and be flexible in case a change of plans is needed.

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  • Stroller and walks

Clancy:
Some walks available.

Renee:
Yes, quite a few available.
Including some that probably aren't meant to be utilised that way!

Recommendations:
If it looks like you'll be able to use it, go for it, as it usually makes the walk a fair bit easier and faster.
Just be prepared to take it back to your vehicle, or hide it on the side of the track for your return trip if it becomes too difficult to use.

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  • Keeping toddlers warm and dry during hikes

Clancy:
What my wife says!

Renee:
Pram with good cover if available.
Raincoats and umbrellas if walking.
Child carriers - Raincoat for self, Poncho for child, Umbrella if heavy rain and not too much wind.

Recommendations:
As listed above, plus numerous layers. We were surprised to find their outer layers got rather wet, while their inner layers stayed quite dry nearly every time.

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  • Free camping

Clancy:
If you want to do it the hard way.

Renee:
Plenty of places available if you have your own amenities (toilet/shower).
Still quite a few even if you don't.
I didn't mind it, but have to admit I enjoyed my hot showers!

Recommendations:
It all basically comes down to how much comfort you want.
There's plenty of sites available if you want them.

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  • Accessibility

Clancy:
Plan ahead and use your brain.
You'll be fine.

Renee:
It all depends on the weather and timing of what, when, where, and how you're wanting to access something.
We'd done our research so didn't come across anything much that ended up causing great disappointment. (See entry 'Some Answers to Questions So Far')
We were also really lucky and missed most of the road closures. For example, access to Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake was limited while we were at Latrobe, but was fine for when we wanted to go there later.

Recommendations:
Do your research to make sure places are open during winter.
Listen to ABC Local radio, and contact the local shires or tourist information centres for information on road closures or other warnings.

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  • Booking accommodation

Clancy:
Yes, the earlier, the better.

Renee:
If you know definite dates, then yes, it is definitely recommended to do in advance.
If not, you can ring up the day before, or earlier that morning.
Remember that many places shut by 4pm during winter.

Recommendations:
See above comments.
Will definitely require early booking for the summer months!!

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  • Things closed during winter

Clancy:
Yes

Renee:
Yes, some areas are closed during winter.
See 'Accessibility' above, and the blog entry 'Some Answers to Questions So Far'

Recommendations:
See above comments.

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  • Definitely do/not do with toddlers

Clancy:
If you enjoy your sanity, don't take kids! :)

Renee:
With some research and planning, everything was generally pretty good.
Nothing obvious that I'd recommend not to do.

Recommendations:
Even a little research and planning helps to make the whole trip go a lot smoother.

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  • Highlights

Clancy:
Snow
Being cold!
Chocolate places (not so much the Cadbury Chocolate Factory though. No tour.)
Cherry Shed
Raspberry Farm
Platypus House
Seahorse World
Waterfalls
Greenery - Not a desert like WA!

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Renee:
Everything!!
I thought it was all pretty good, and find it rather difficult to pin point specific highlights.

  • Final Comments

I've generally enjoyed this whole process. Planning the trip, exploring Tasmania, and now finishing this blog. I have to admit that yes, sometimes I did get rather frustrated and annoyed at various things, but over all... it was pretty good. Undertaking new exploits and creating many fun memories in the process. And from what I can gather, I think Clancy (despite his occasional pessimistic outlook on things) and the kids enjoyed it too. So now, I hope this has been helpful in some way to others, and all the best with your planning and exploration. Enjoy the new experiences and creation of many new memories!

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Posted by Goannaray 04:57 Archived in Australia Tagged children winter travel tasmania trip questions answers tips planning summary toddlers 2_toddlers_in_winter_tasmania! preparation_hints/tips_summary interstate_overseas Comments (0)

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