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Mount Field National Park

Adapting to the campervan and walking with toddlers...

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

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Vroom!!

After swapping our hire car for a campervan and visiting with friends in Hobart, we made it out to Mount Field National Park early enough to go for a quick walk into Russell Falls before having to start on making tea and re-organising the van. The track into the falls was well maintained and wheelchair accessible, so really easy with our pram and buggy board. The falls themselves = Amazing!! Well worth the good reviews they get.

We filled out the self booking and payment envelope, then set up camp in the national parks campground near the Tyenna River. The information centre and cafe were within easy walking distance, and the amenities were nice and clean (toilets, showers, laundry, outdoor undercover camp kitchen). My old age habit of immediately checking out the amenities and facilities as soon as a site was chosen had already kicked in! It was then time to put the campervan to it's first real test. Correction... put us as new campervanners to our first real test. Preparing and eating an evening meal, setting up the beds, and finally, sleeping! We survived, but if it'd been a true test... I wouldn't like to even hazard a guess at what our score would've been! As explained in my previous post 'The Campervan...', it was interesting. Some improvement was undoubtedly required!

The following morning continued to be interesting, but with some noticeable improvements thankfully. After breakfast, Clancy took the kids on a walk to explore the banks of the river while I finished attempting to get some order back into what had quickly become disorder. By the time they returned, I finally had it sorted, with the framework of a possible plan of attack for the evenings and mornings that were to follow in my mind. This was quickly explained to Clancy as we drove to check out the information centre, before getting ready to go for a walk past Russell Falls, and up some steps to see Horseshoe Falls.

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Clancy wasn't quite feeling up to the steps involved, so he and Kaden enjoyed the warmth of the information centre, while Sonia and I headed out to the falls. It was the first time I'd really used the Kathmandu child carrier backpack for any length of time, and I found it not too bad. My hip joints were starting to tell me about it by the time we got back though, and it wasn't even that long of a walk! Felt like as if I'd done a really long day mustering through really hilly, rocky country, on foot, whilst pregnant! I put it down to being unfit and needing more exercise to get my muscles and joints used to it all again. Sonia didn't mind the carrier either, so long as she was able to keep her feet resting on part of the framework. The main advantage was that it made the time required for completing the walk a lot faster than if Sonia had walked as well. She did end up walking the last ten minutes or so after seeing some other toddlers running along the track in front of us.

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Horseshoe Falls were really nice to see as well. We missed out on going the full circle to see Lady Barron Falls (had to return for lunch with the otehrs), but we did get to see our first pademelons quickly jumping across the path in front of us, before hiding under a fallen tree. Sonia thought they were 'baby roo', after previous contact experiences with the kangaroo my parents had raised. They didn't stick around too long though, before taking off again after being frightened by another group of people coming up the path. It took us a while to get used to saying 'pademelon' (small kangaroo/wallaby) without immediately thinking of 'paddy melon' (invasive melon plant)!

Regarding the time that it's taken us to complete the walks that we've been on so far, we've found that if using the pram and buggy board, it'd generally take us about 10-15 minutes longer than the signs recommended. If Sonia wanted to walk for part or all of the way, it would then totally depend on how far it was, and how well she walked! But on average, it would generally be about 20-40 minutes extra. If we carried the kids, the signs were pretty accurate with their estimates.

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After lunch we drove up to the first lookout point on the way up to Lake Dobson. Considering the slipperyness, narrowness, softness of the road edges, and number of packed cars that passed us on their way down, we decided that would be far enough for us. We enjoyed the view, then turned around to continue on towards Derwent Bridge and Lake St Claire National Park.

Posted by Goannaray 16:55 Archived in Australia Tagged winter tasmania walk campervan campground toddlers mount_field 2_toddlers_in_winter_tasmania! western_tasmania interstate_overseas Comments (0)

Mt Field National Park to Queenstown

Via Lake St Clair National Park, the Wall in the Wilderness, and Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park

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

Mt Field NP - Lake St Clair

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  • Nice rolling hills farmland, with forest as you get higher and closer towards Derwent River and Lake Saint Claire National Park.
  • Good to see some regrowth slowly occurring after the previous seasons fires.
  • Interesting detour into Tarraleah to see the canals and penstocks (large water pipes for hydroelectricity).
  • Before seeing the signs for Tarraleah, we drove over a large canal and were rather surprised to see one in that location. Only really used to seeing canals for irrigation purposes before.
  • Watch out for wildlife!! We ran over a wallaby or small kangaroo going down a windy section of road at dusk. No damage to the van thankfully, but reckon we would've killed the roo.
  • Finally got to Lake St Clair well after dark.

Lake Saint Clair National Park

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  • We were hoping there'd be a similar self-service set up for camping here, as there had been at Mt Field.
  • No such luck! All buildings were well and truly shut, with the only real information I could find regarding late accommodation, telling us that keys for cabins would be left in the box provided for late arrivals.
  • Considering we hadn't rung ahead to say we were even coming, there obviously wouldn't be any keys for us! Plus, we weren't wanting a cabin anyway.
  • Another couple in a similar situation to us, said they'd rung earlier, and been told to find a site and pay $50 in the morning. Figured we may as well do the same.
  • The whole campsite area was fairly large, and unfortunately.... all amenities (2 blocks in different areas) were well and truly locked!
  • So yes, bush toilets for us that night. Thankfully, Sonia didn't mind and was quite happy to do her wee's under a tree, despite the cold.
  • Toddlers, cold wet ground, bush toileting under trees... This's one spot where gumboots really come into their own!! Sonia was able to squat without pants on, and not have to worry about getting her pants or feet wet. If wee accidentally got onto her boots, no problem! Just wash it off!!
  • I woke early, considerably feeling the need for a wash. Not really wanting to do a camp style wash in the bush (Couldn't use the van - would've woken the kids and Clancy!), I decided I may as well see if the toilets up near the information centre were open. And yes they were! Yay!!
  • I found hot water available in the disabled toilet handbasin, so with my trusty plug, flannel and towel... a nice quick warm wash was had by me!
  • Back to the van in time to greet waking kids and start the hopefully improved morning routine. (Result = Yes, definitely improved!).
  • Finally, a walk down to look at the lake and distant mountains, then back into the van to see the Wall in the Wilderness.
  • So our hints and tips for Saint Clair National Park Campground in winter...

1. Plan more time - looked like there could be some really nice walks and things to see/do.
2. If you're thinking of arriving late to camp there, and are willing for the possible price tag, Ring Ahead!

Wall in the Wilderness

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  • This was amazing!! The artist's an awesome wood carver.
  • Things looked so real. Clancy and I had to double check ourselves, looking at the long coat he'd carved, hanging up beside the entrance door! It took a bit to realise it wasn't real.
  • You aren't allowed to take any photo's, which is explained really well on numerous signs. But they do have books and other things you can buy if you want.
  • Apparently the artist does not like misbehaved children (stated on numerous signs!), so we had a bit of fun trying to keep Sonia calm and quiet, when all she really wanted to do was touch everything. Understandable for a kid her age.

Derwent Bridge to Queenstown through the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park

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After me Dad!

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and.... Peeka Boo!!

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  • Really nice drive through the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, seeing some varying landscapes - dryer forests, grasslands, rainforests
  • We only stopped quickly at King William Saddle and Surprise Valley for some photo's, as the kids were nicely asleep at that stage. From memory, I think you may only be able to stop at the Surprise Valley lookout if you're heading west.
  • Stopped longer at the Franklin River Nature Trail to enjoy the walk through the bush and beside the river, and have some lunch - Picnic tables and toilets available.
  • Nelson Falls are also well worth the time to stop and have a look at. A really nice board walk through rainforest to the wonderful falls. - Toilets were available here as well.
  • Both the Franklin River Nature Trail, and the Nelson Falls Nature Trail, were nice short easy flat walks suitable for prams, and for Sonia to run relatively free.
  • Kids were fast asleep again once back on the road, so quite a few scenery photo's were taken on the move for the rest of the way into Queenstown.

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Posted by Goannaray 10:03 Archived in Australia Tagged waterfalls mountains lakes queenstown rainforest tasmania river creek campground toddlers wall_in_the_wilderness derwent_bridge lyell_highway nelson_falls lake_st_clair 2_toddlers_in_winter_tasmania! western_tasmania interstate_overseas Comments (0)

Sheffield to Devonport

Via Railton and Latrobe

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

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The views we got of Mt Roland as we drove from Tasmazia to Sheffield, were amazing. As were the murals we got to see around Sheffield. We parked behind the IGA, where there was a good playground, but didn't end up using it as the kids remained asleep. Clancy got some grocery shopping done while I kept an eye on the kids, then we swapped places so Clancy could sleep, and I could walk around to get photo's of as many murals as I could. Clancy could appreciate them, but wasn't as interested in them as I was. Kaden had woken up by this stage, so I popped him into the Ergo baby carrier, and utilised our large umbrella to shelter us both from the wind and rain as we walked around.

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Considering the wet weather and the fact it was getting late in the afternoon, we just wanted to get to Latrobe and set up camp for the night (hadn't yet rung ahead to book though), so decided to have the camera ready to try and get photo's of the topiary as we drove through the town of Railton. We saw quite a few different ones in all stages of development, but only really succeeded with a few ok photo's. If you want to really enjoy the topiary, I'd suggest you stop, and walk around!

The entrance to the caravan park was all fenced up with construction style fencing when we got there... so... after a quick call to the Devonport information centre (who was surprised to hear the Latrobe park was shut), we managed to secure a spot at the Devonport Discovery Holiday Park. Good thing we rang when we did too, as it was close to 5pm, and closing time for both the information centre and caravan parks.

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The park had an awesome set up for what we wanted. Ensuite site (including small verandah, handbasin, toilet, shower, and washtub) for only a few extra dollars, big indoor camp kitchen, and close to the beach for a quick walk in the morning. It was a rocky beach, but that didn't worry Sonia or Kaden, as they both enjoyed playing with, and attempting to collect stones!

Posted by Goannaray 15:06 Archived in Australia Tagged winter paintings tasmania murals topiary campground sheffield devonport toddlers railton 2_toddlers_in_winter_tasmania! northern_central_tasmania interstate_overseas Comments (0)

Liffey Falls and Pencil Pines at Pine Lake

Using Deloraine as a base

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

We camped beside the Meander River in Deloraine at the Apex Caravan Park, and managed to enjoy an early night thanks to arriving a bit earlier, and constantly improving evening routine. This campground had required us to ring earlier to be able to obtain a key for the amenities, which we picked up from the caretaker living across the road and railway tracks. In the morning however, when I went to return the key, I didn't see the board on his front verandah for early morning key drop off's, and woke him up knocking on the door! So for those likely to be staying there and wanting to return their keys earlier, make sure you ask what they want you to do for this, and be very observant!

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It was a bit of a trip into the Liffey Falls State Reserve from Deloraine, with the smaller more bendy access road to the falls turning to gravel not long after leaving the A5 Highland Lakes Road. If we'd had a bigger style motorhome, I don't know if we would've made it round some of the tighter slippery wet bends ok. It was definately worth the trip in though, with a nice easy walk, and some rather picturesque falls.

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The track to the upper cascades was a gentle to moderate downhill walk that we could've easily taken the pram on. There were quite a few steps involved to get down to the bottom of the main falls though (still only gentle to moderate steepness), so we carried both Sonia and Kaden in baby carrier backpacks (Kathmandu and Ergo) to help reduce time. Sonia didn't want to return in the backpack however, so she walked for most of the return trip back up to the carpark and picnic area. Numerous informative signs were posted alongside the track which also caught Sonia's attention, as they incorporated a variety of drawings from primary school aged children helping to depict the written information.

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There were quite a few picnic tables available, including some undercover ones. As we were leaving, driving around the picnic/parking area circle, I saw the sign for the Big Tree. Clancy stopped and stayed with the kids in the van for a while, allowing me to quickly run in to see the 50m tall Browntop Stringybark tree and grab some photo's. Not far from the picnic area toilet.

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I'd read that Pine Lake beside the Highland Lakes Road, was one of the best and easiest spots to see Pencil Pines. Considering it wasn't too far from the Liffey Falls turn off, we decided we'd drive up to have a quick look. The drive on its own was worth it, as there were some really nice views of the Great Western Tiers. There was ice on the rocks beside the road, and with a strong wind blowing over the lake, it made for a rather cold walk. As Clancy wasn't really interested in going for another walk and the kids had once again fallen asleep, I left them in the warmth of the van and ran down the boardwalk to see the trees closer up, and grab some more photo's.

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We got back to Deloraine in time for a picnic lunch at the Deloraine Train Park beside the Meander river. We found this to be a great spot, as it looked to be well maintained, had a fenced in playground for younger children, a bigger open playground for older kids, old train that could be climbed on, decent toilets, and nice views of the river and bridges. We were lucky it was nice and sunny at that time, as both Sonia and Kaden really enjoyed being able to play freely on the fenced in playground. Before continueing on to see some of the sculptures around the town, we went for a walk over the fun bouncy walk bridge across the river. Sonia had a lot of fun trying to get it to bounce with some help from mum!

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Posted by Goannaray 05:46 Archived in Australia Tagged waterfalls lakes winter view tasmania walk sculpture tiers picnic campground deloraine toddlers liffey_falls pencil_pine 2_toddlers_in_winter_tasmania! northern_central_tasmania interstate_overseas Comments (0)

Hello again... Launceston!

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Launceston

  • Accommodation

After previously staying at a hotel/motel in Launcesten when we first arrived in Tasmania, it was now time for us to find a campground instead. Looking through the travel brochures we had for options on where to camp in or near Launceston, we noticed there was a Discovery Holiday Park in Hadspen, just west of Launceston. After experiencing this chain of caravan parks in Devonport and liking what they had had on offer there, we decided Hadspen would be the spot to be if they also had ensuite sites available. They did, as well as a good playground, cool bear birdhouse, herb garden for patrons to use, and indoor kitchen (screen door though, so still cool!) and laundry. We arrived early enough for Sonia and Kaden to be able to take advantage of the playground while tea preparation and clothes washing got finalised. Plus a quick trip into the IGA next door for some groceries.

A two second tour of the Hadspen Discovery Holiday Park, brought to you by Miss Sonia Hehir.

'Me!'

'Me!'

'Mine Dad'

'Mine Dad'

'White plug'

'White plug'

'Birds'... 'Bear'

'Birds'... 'Bear'

'Mine Mum, Dista'

'Mine Mum, Dista'

'Mine boots!'

'Mine boots!'

This then turned out to be one of those nights where I was very glad that I'd brought my big warm sleeping bag. Rather cold, and in the morning we woke to a rather heavy frost.

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The first stop for the day was the Launceston Cataract Gorge. In summer, this would be a great place to spend a decent length of time to enjoy the playground and go for a swim (pool or river!). As we were there in winter, and it'd been raining on and off for a few days, the water level was up and over the lower walking tracks. Resulting in quite a few track closures. The Alexandra suspension bridge and Cataract Walk along the cliff face between the Cataract Gorge Cliff Grounds and Kings Bridge were still open though, so that's where we headed.

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Unfortunately, Clancy's inguinal hernia was acting up fairly badly, so by the time we got over the suspension bridge and around to the Cliff Grounds Reserve, he decided it was time he needed to lay down for a bit. So Sonia, Kaden and I continued along the cataract walk while he slowly worked his way back to the van for another sleep. The cliff grounds were really nice, with quite a few peacocks meandering around the restaurant there, catching both Sonia's and Kaden's attention.

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The cataract walk allowed great views of the cliffs and the South Esk River. It also seemed to get a lot of local traffic utilising it as part of their exercise route. Mums with prams, and others walking or running. One group of mums and prams we passed were very helpful, informing us they'd seen a sea lion or seal (unsure which!) in the river from a viewing point along the track. It was still there by the time we got there, and Sonia and I enjoyed watching it move up and down the river for quite some time. It appeared to be playing in the river's current, swimming up in the calmer water beside the opposite cliffs, then crossing directly into the current to float downstream a ways beside the lookout point, before repeating the whole process over and over again.

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The return trip back along the cataract walk to the Cliff Grounds confirmed the reasoning behind why the signs had said this walk was suitable for wheelchairs with assistance. There was a reasonable uphill gradient to push against. Sonia and Kaden's weight in the pram and buggy board was ok, but I reckon I would've had fun if I was trying to wheel myself along in a wheelchair without help! Could have done it, but it would've given my arms and back a work out!

Returning to the other side of the basin, we wandered into the little information centre below an entrance to the chairlift (the other end/entrance is below the restaurant at the Cliff Grounds). The chairlift was built in 1972, and claims to have the longest single chairlift span in the world of 308m. We'd considered going on the chairlift when we first walked past it on the way into the basin area, but decided we didn't need to spend the money on it if we were going to walk around to the other end anyway. It would've given a totally different perspective of the gorge and basin though.

The information centre had a large number of really interesting photo's and stories on the history of the gorge and Duck Reach including the numerous floods over the years. There was also a letter from a lady who'd lived there as a child in the very early years. Sonia and I spent quite a while looking at the photo's and other memorabilia there (Kaden had fallen asleep in the pram), before Clancy woke up and came and found us. Wanting to keep moving onto the next activity for the day.

The only real downside we found to visiting this area, was having to pay for parking

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I found the Duck Reach Power Station museum or interpretation centre very interesting. We parked on the West Launceston side of the gorge near the old workers cottages and manager's residence. Then Sonia and I walked (jumped in Sonia's case!) down the steps and over the bridge to the old power station buildings.

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As we went over the bridge, we saw two people kayaking down the gorge. It made me rather envious, as I would have loved to have been able to join them. However, I don't think my skill level would've been up to what was required for that level of water!

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Reading all the information signs, both in the parking lot and down in the power station, provided a great sense of all the different things that'd happened there over the years. Development, floods, using the flying fox, rebuilding etc. Being in a picturesque location as well seemed like an added extra bonus. Making the whole area well worth the visit.

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When we first told our neighbours that we were planning to head to Tasmania for a few weeks, one of the first things they said we shouldn't miss if we were going through Launceston, was Cataract Gorge, and the monkeys at City Park. I was a bit dubious about finding monkeys in a regular cold/hot climate city park, but after completing some research... I had to agree with them, and added it to our wishlist.

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Once again, we found parking to be a bit of an issue, as it was lunch time, and it seemed like quite a few others had the same idea as us. A picnic lunch in the park. We were lucky this time though, and managed to get a free spot (2hrs only), fairly close to the park.

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It was an excellent park. With a great playground (especially for toddlers), picnic facilities, ducks, fountains, monkeys, conservatory, and plenty of other gardens/plants and lawn space to run around in. But yes, I definitely have to say that the monkeys were the main highlight, followed very closely by the playground. Especially from Sonia's viewpoint!

Posted by Goannaray 19:51 Archived in Australia Tagged bridges monkeys parks winter wildlife history tasmania river launceston campground toddlers cataract_gorge 2_toddlers_in_winter_tasmania! northern_central_tasmania interstate_overseas Comments (0)

Fun with snow, wind and rain at Ben Lomond National Park

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

Clancy, Sonia and I had been looking forward to this day. Being able to once again head up into the mountains to enjoy some fun in the snow. Clancy and I weren't exactly sure how Sonia and Kaden would like it however, as we expected it to be rather windy, cold and wet. When we'd previously been up to see the snow on Mt Wellington near Hobart, Sonia hadn't minded it too much, while Kaden grizzled a bit more than normal in the fairly accommodating weather. Only way to find out was to remain positive about it and go find out!

The day prior to heading into the Ben Lomond National Park, I'd rung the company that operate the village and all snow sport associated activities on the mountain - Ben Lomond Snow Sports, to gather some information. They were extremely helpful and recommended we make use of the landcruiser troopy shuttle they provided (call the given number once at the departure/drop off point near the ranger's hut) and layer the kids as much as we could, plus bring an extra set of clothes each.

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  • Camping

The drive across from where we'd once again camped at the Hadspen Discovery Holiday Park was rather picturesque. We missed seeing the sign for the road into the National Park, but figured it out quickly enough and were soon on our way up. Not far in from the National Park boundary, we came across the entrance into the small camping area and decided we'd have a look. It was pretty good, with decent toilets and shelter shed available. We could've quite easily camped there the night before if we'd known more about it and wanted to. Had to admit to myself though that I had enjoyed my nice hot shower and warm dry bathroom the previous night! The view from the lookout at the campsite area was pretty good to.

It then didn't take us long to reach the departure/drop off point for the shuttle. The road was a bit wider, with (from memory, so don't quote me on this!) a small shed on the right hand side, and small wooden stand/shelter on the left. Parking was on the side of the road, and we were glad to find that we had enough phone reception to call the given number and wait for the shuttle to arrive. Our 'waiting' however, was more like a mad rush to find all the extra layers that we wanted to put on the kids and us, and get them appropriately dressed, as we'd forgotten to do it earlier in the rush to leave early. Before we were even halfway ready, the troopy had arrived to pick us up. Thankfully, some other people had turned up by this stage as well, so they headed up while we continued to get ready. Note for next time - plan ahead and be a lot more organised!

This road is known as Jacobs Ladder. It's a zig-zag gravel road, which was rather wet and slippery for the time we were there. So it was a very good thing that we didn't try and take our campervan up. It definately would not have made it! Talking to the shuttle driver, there'd been about 200 cars parked wherever they could to utilise the shuttle service a weekend or 2 previous, and two light four wheel drives without chains had slipped off the road and into the gutter (road is sloped in towards the mountain).

It was fairly foggy on the way up, but we were able to just catch glimpses of the surrounding dolorite cliffs. Coming down later though, visibility had dramatically reduced even further which was rather dissapointing for me, as I'd been hoping to enjoy the view of the cliffs that my parents had mentioned, and that I'd seen in photo's whilst researching this area.

  • Snow, Wind and Rain

All the staff that we dealt with in the ski hire building were extremely helpful and friendly. They were very accommodating and understanding towards families with young children, ensuring we could access the heaters, and had everything we needed. There were quite a few other families with kids slightly older than Sonia there as well. We hired a jumpsuit for Sonia (tried to encourage her to get gloves as well, but she wasn't going to have anything to do with that. Her own gloves and gumboots were 'good'!), pants for me and Clancy, a toboggan, and boots for Clancy. All of that plus the cost for utilising the shuttle, and it only came to $90 or thereabouts, which we thought was rather good!

Sonia's turn

Sonia's turn

Uh oh!

Uh oh!

Snowball fight!

Snowball fight!

This way...

This way...

Sonia loved playing with Clancy in the snow. Snowball fights, tobogganing, building a snowman. Staying positive and encouraging her to do all these sorts of fun things helped keep her mind off the wind and her cold hands. Her gloves were woollen knitted ones without the fingertips. So yes, it didn't take long for them to become totally soaked. What surprised me however, was that it didn't seem to bother her as much as I thought it would! I thought we would've very quickly been going back to the hire building to buy some proper gloves or mittens. But no, every time I asked, the response was 'no' 'not sore' gloves good'.

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Kaden on the other hand, absolutely hated the wind. I had him in the Ergo baby carrier underneath my jacket, with another jacket/microfleece over him as well to try and reduce the amount of wind blowing across his face. I found that if no wind got into him, he was fine, but as soon as he felt some wind... that was it, constant grizzling. It didn't take long though before he fell asleep.

Mum's turn too!

Mum's turn too!

I managed to go for a slide on the toboggan with Kaden and Sonia a few times before it was time to head in for lunch at the hotel adjoining the building where we'd stored all our extra gear. We could've brought our own lunch, but figured it was easier to buy something hot there. There was a good fireplace in there too, that we were able to dry Sonia's gloves out on. I, along with some other mum's also put our kids' socks out to dry while waiting for our meals, before realising a while later the sign requesting patrons to please refrain from drying socks on the fireplace. Oops! Oh well, no one complained to us, and they'd pretty well dried by then thankfully!

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The weather had deterioted a fair bit by the time we got back outside again. Raining and snowing at the same time. We completed a few more toboggan runs, hastily built a small snowman, threw a few more snowballs, then decided to call it quits for the day. After returning our hired equipment and saying some heartfelt thankyou's to the staff, we found we only had to change one layer of wet clothing on Sonia (moisture had seeped up her sleeves and pant legs), before it was time to get back in the shuttle and head down Jacob's Ladder to retrieve our van and continue on our way.

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Posted by Goannaray 16:28 Archived in Australia Tagged snow winter cliffs ben_lomond view tasmania road campground toddlers 2_toddlers_in_winter_tasmania! eastern_tasmania interstate_overseas Comments (0)

Scottsdale to Bicheno

Wow!! Did we really do all that in 1 day?!?

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

After leaving Ben Lomond National Park and looking at some of our maps, we decided we'd head up the Camden Hill Road (C405) to cut through to the Tasman Highway (A3) to get to Scottsdale. This was another winding dirt road through forests and farmland with its fair shair of road kill. A nice drive, however the signage was a bit to be desired. We initially missed the correct turnoff for the A3, but finally figured it out when the next turnoff we came to had a sign at the junction explaining various road closures!

Phoning ahead to the number listed for the Scottsdale North East Park camping area in one of the brochures we had, we got the ok to camp there and found out it was a free campsite!! It was located at a really nice Lions park beside the A3 highway heading out of town towards Branxholm and St Helens. There were toilet and shower facilities (pay showers) available, power and water, a playground, picnic tables, shelters, and some short walking tracks. Considering our late arrival, we opted for a hot flannel face/hands/feet wash, and went straight to bed after a quick dinner. There was also a small lake beside the camping area, with quite a few large resident ducks. Clancy got a bit annoyed at them waking him up, but the kids enjoyed being able to chase them around in the morning!

Come morning, we decided to backtrack a bit to check out the Scottsdale Forest EcoCentre that we'd passed on the way into town the previous evening, only to find it didn't open on weekends. So onto the information centre, to find out that didn't open till 10:30am (was then 09:30am). After all that... we figured we may as welll continue on our way to Ralph's Falls via Legerwood.

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Legerwood is a small town not far off the Tasman Highway (A3) between Scottsdale and Branxholm. Even if you're just travelling past on the highway, it's well worth the short detour in to Legerwood to see these amazing memorials to some WWI ANZACS, and read their stories.

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Ralph's Falls are located approximately half - 2/3 the way along the Ringarooma/Pyengana Link Road or Mt Victoria Road (travelling from Ringarooma). It's a winding gravel road that'd only been opened relatively recently in 1998, joining Ringarooma and Pyengana, travelling through the Mt Victoria Forest Reserve. Considering the rather overcast day it was turning out to be, we weren't too sure if it was going to be worth it or not, but decided we may as well enjoy the drive and see how things developed. As it turned out, we ended up not being able to see a thing when we got there due to thick heavy fog.

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The drive itself was interesting enough with some rather nice views before the fog closed in, and despite the extremely cold dampness and occaisional misty rain, I think we all generally enjoyed the short walk to Norm's Lookout. I wouldn't recommend it in foggy conditions, but if it's not foggy, I reckon there would be some amazing views. Once again we had to keep an eagle eye on Sonia, as all she wanted to do was jump off rocks or logs, and run along the wet slippery track. This behaviour was quickly stopped by a firm hold from Clancy as we got closer to the lookout however, as the last 50m or so was a bit too risky for that sort of thing from a 2.5yr old! The track became rather narrow and was very close to the cliff edge.

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Near the carpark area, there was a decent sized BBQ/picnic shelter available, with utensils chained to the walls. Satisfying a toddlers curiosity looking through everything, we came across a Geocache by total accident! Clancy and I had previously enjoyed finding a few of these when we'd been based in Sydney, and hadn't even thought about possibly looking for some on our travels around Tasmania! So after signing the log and replacing the cache, on we continued to St Columba Falls.

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We were glad to find that these falls were below the cloud level that we'd previously experienced up at Ralph's Falls. There were good toilet and picnic facilities availalbe, and the top half of the falls were visible from the start of the track at the parking area. Some rather interesting historical information was available in the small shelter at the start of the track, including the background of the 'Pub in the Paddock', and a story about a lady who went missing for 9 days chasing a lost cow.

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We were expecting quite a few steps so carried Kaden in the Ergo baby carrier, but the walking track down to the falls and viewing platform ended up being quite suitable for a pram. The falls themselves were awesome, and well worth the trip. We were also lucky in seeing an echidna crossing the road. Rather fat and fluffy compared to the ones I'm used to seeing in WA.

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After stopping for some lunch, lollies and information at St Helens, we headed on up the coast to Binalong Bay and The Gardens. The coastal red rocks were great! It would've been even more amazing on a sunny day, contrasting white sand, red rocks, ocean, blue sky, and green trees/bushes. This area is well deserving of the positive reviews it receives.

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Kaden slept through most of the time we spent there, while Sonia thoroughly enjoyed being able to run and jump all over the large rocks and sand. I would've loved to have utilised one of the many free campsites available near the beaches to see the rocks at sunrise, but once again, we had to keep moving. This time it was so we could hopefully get down to Bicheno in time to join a penguin tour.

As we were leaving Binalong Bay, we rang Bicheno Penguin Tours to see if there was any space available for us on the tour that night if we managed to make it down in time. There was, and thankfully, we got there with just enough time to pay for the tour and get on the tour bus, carrying the extra jackets we'd need to combat the cold wind. We weren't allowed to take any video's or photo's on the tour ourselves, but could later email the tour company to receive a copy of photo's that they had.

The kids were understandably hungry and tired, but did amazingly well to stay as quiet and as still as they did for the whole tour. We found it best to carry Kaden, and let Sonia walk (occaisonally carrying her as well). It was really good seeing all the penguins coming up through the rocks and steep banks to camp in all sorts of random hiding places. They were rather noisy, with interesting songs or calls, and apparantly smelt pretty bad when they opened their bowels. Thankfully, we didn't get to fully experience that side of them! The guides were also very excellent. Really knowledgeable, and interactive with all ages on the tour.

We'd organised to stay at the Bicheno East Coast Holiday Park, and had informed them that we could be late (ie, after reception shut, but before 10pm). No problem, just press the buzzer. Following the penguin tour, we ordered pizza from the nearby restaurant (very yum!), and finally got to the campground by about 7:15pm. Reception was obviously shut, so I pressed the buzzer and received a somewhat surprising response. A not very happy lady answered, stating we'd interupted her dinner!! I remained polite and didn't say much, but really felt like saying 'Sorry, but we did warn you, and the person I spoke to (I'd previously spoken to a man on the phone) said that would be fine, and to just push the buzzer when we got here!'

I'm glad I didn't say it, as the rest of our stay there was quite positive. We'd been given a very handy spot close to the bathrooms, laundry and enclosed kitchen, and Sonia and Kaden loved the playground that was available before leaving in the morning.

Posted by Goannaray 20:24 Archived in Australia Tagged waterfalls birds winter view ocean wildlife memorial tasmania river rocks walk sculpture creek lookout campground bay_of_fires toddlers wood_carving 2_toddlers_in_winter_tasmania! eastern_tasmania interstate_overseas Comments (0)

Triabunna to Port Arthur via Richmond

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

Triabunna to Richmond

  • Clancy and I enjoyed reading the names posted beside some of the hilly sections of the road - 'Bust Me Gall' ... 'Break Me Neck'
  • Actually, if you enjoy interesting place names, Tasmania's got quite a few of them we've found! They add a bit of a spark to your day when you come across them unexpectedly.

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Richmond

  • This town reminded me a lot of the Ross and Oatlands townships we'd been through during our first week in Tasmania, with a lot of historic convict era buildings and infrastructure.
  • The Richmond Bridge was amazing, and is the oldest bridge in Australia that's still currently used!
  • The spread of the sites to see throughout the town was also good, allowing us to walk quite comfortably from one to another with the pram and buggy board.
  • There was a good playground and toilets centrally located, which was also rather popular with the local mum's as well as Sonia and Kaden.

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Sorell

  • We initially only stopped for an emergency toilet stop for Sonia, then decided we'd have lunch there and let the kids run around for a bit as well.
  • The first park we found was Pioneers Park, which turned out to be excellent. It had good picnic tables and a great fenced in playground that we could let the kids go crazy on, while we made lunch.
  • The playground was suitable for all ages, from crawling tots to adults (I rather enjoyed clambering all through it with Sonia!).

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Eaglehawk Neck

  • Some of the many interesting sites we managed to visit in this area:

# 1. Tessellated Pavement - Unfortunately, the tide was just over the rocks and the kids were asleep when we got here. Otherwise I think both Sonia and Kaden would've enjoyed looking and running around all the rocks. Clancy and I ended up dashing down to see the rocks and grab some photo's before the kids woke up.
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# 2. Blowhole
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# 3. Tasman Arch - Can drive and park near both the Arch and Devils Kitchen, but it's not too far to walk between the two of them.
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# 4. Devils Kitchen

# 5. Various Lookouts
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# 6. Doo Town - Clancy and I once again enjoyed reading all the different place/house names! 'Doo Drop Inn' ... 'Make Doo' ... 'Gunna Doo' ... 'Dr Doolittle' ... 'Rum Doo' ... etc.

# 7. The Officers Quarters (Saw this on the return trip 2 days later)

# 8. Dog Line (Saw this on the return trip 2 days later)
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Taranna

This was the only thing we stopped to see in Taranna, and then only because the word 'chocolate' was involved! Not only was it a local chocolate factory run and operated by a local family, but also a rather interesting museum including items, stories, maps and photo's from their family's history. There was a good viewing window into their manufacturing area, with several signs up explaining their chocolate making process. However, being winter, they'd stopped making the days chocolate by the time we got there near 4pm sometime.

We all enjoyed taste testing the different flavours available, and were really surprised that if we'd wanted to, we could have tasted every flavour available! The person who attended us was excellent with Sonia, interacting well with both her and us as parents. After a lot of debate, we ended up choosing three blocks of chocolate for about $5 each. Honey, Stawberry, and Licorice. And then much to my amazement, Clancy decided to save some to share with family and friends back home in WA!!

Port Arthur

We found this campground to be rather large and well set up. But considering the number of visitors I guess they get during warmer months, they probably need to be! There was an amazingly large camp kitchen, numerous sheltered BBQ areas, quite a few ensuites (only available at this time of year if staying for 2 nights), good playground, free wireless, and a proper baby bath available in the laundry! The walk from the campground down to the beach could take a pram, and continued on to the Port Arthur Historic Site approximately 2km away.

Posted by Goannaray 22:00 Archived in Australia Tagged bridges chocolate view history tasmania rocks lookout richmond campground blowhole toddlers port_arthur 2_toddlers_in_winter_tasmania! eastern_tasmania interstate_overseas Comments (0)

Weekend Getaway 1: South West WA - Donnybrook

Saturday - Monday: Harvey... Gnomesville... Donnybrook... Busselton Jetty... Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse... Ngilgi Cave

sunny
View Wkend Getaway 1 - South West WA (Mar 2013) on Goannaray's travel map.

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Uh oh!!

Uh oh!!

I'm coming...

I'm coming...

The main drawcard for us to Donnybrook was the amazing humongous playground! The abundance of fruit in certain seasons (namely apples and pears) would be another good drawcard for many too.

Donnybrook Playground

Donnybrook Playground

On the way out of Donnybrook, heading towards Capel, we pulled into Ironstone Gully Falls. A small gully/stream that would have a rather picturesque waterfall in wetter months. Considering it was the beginning of March, it was rather warm, and bone dry everywhere. So instead of an interesting waterfall, we enjoyed some dark red/brown rocks and radiating heat. Sonia and Kaden enjoyed running around and jumping on the rocks till we decided they were a tad too close to the edge of the dropoff where the waterfall would start, and headed back to the car. During cooler, wetter months, this site would make a rather nice free campsite.

Posted by Goannaray 21:46 Archived in Australia Tagged creek playground western_australia campground toddlers weekend_toddler_adventures_wa south_west_wa wkend_adventures_swregion collie_area parks/playgrounds Comments (0)

Wkend Getaway 1: South West WA - Planning, Camping, Travel

Saturday - Monday: Harvey... Gnomesville... Donnybrook... Busselton Jetty... Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse... Ngilgi Cave

sunny
View Wkend Getaway 1 - South West WA (Mar 2013) on Goannaray's travel map.

What worked... or didn't! ... for us.

Planning

Considering this was going to be our first weekend camping trip for the year, and first one as a family of four... the planning felt like it took quite a while, was more involved, and generally bigger than what it hopefully will be for future weekends.

  • Where to go - I did a lot of online research. Finding things and places that looked interesting, and placing them onto a My Custom Google Map so we could get an idea of where abouts things were located. I showed Clancy the map and let him choose where he'd like to go/see... and that was it. A few destinations, and general direction chosen!
  • Where to stay - Considering the whole idea was to camp... we obviously needed somewhere that allowed camping. I would've been quite happy to set up a very basic camp anywhere in some bush, but Clancy wasn't too enthused with that idea. So a compromise was met and it was decided whatever campground had availability in the area that we were in at the time, would be the place to camp.
  • What to take

Tents
Bedding
Food & Water
Cooking/eating equipment
Maps
Clothing
Toys
First Aid
Toiletries

Camping

Looking back through all the weekends photo's. The only one we could find related to the actual camping side of things was this one taken by Miss 3yr old Sonia whilst setting up the tents :)

Hm... what's this?

Hm... what's this?

  • Campsites - Considering it was a long weekend, we weren't expecting many of the bigger, more common campgrounds to have any sites available. Harvey information centre confirmed this, stating most people who wanted to camp were being redirected to Logue Brook Dam. We preferred to keep heading further south, so after a bit of ringing around, found space available at the Kirup Tavern Camping and Caravan Park for Saturday night. This was a small but friendly campground beside the Kirup Tavern. Decent showers (Even had a baby bath and change table!! Still found the wash tub more practical though), basic kitchen and laundry facilities, grassed area for tents, and small playground across the road.

For Sunday night around the Busselton/Dunsborough area it was very similar. Needing to ring around a bit before finding somewhere that had a site avaliable. We ended up camping at the Four Seasons Holiday Park Busselton. This was a rather large, well established, older campground. The site we were given was a vacant site, located in a permanent van section of the park. Relatively close to the amenities and playground. This campground had a bigger outdoor kitchen with picnic style gas BBQ near the playground and amenities. So while Clancy got tea organised, I watched the kids, watch the hoards of other kids play! I could have given them their baths at that time, but considering the numbers of other parents doing just that, and the fact that they were yet to get rather messy eating... decided we'd wait till things had settled down a bit after tea.

  • Tents and Bedding - Figured we'd trial using the two small old dome tents we currently have. 4 person tent for us, 2 person tent for the kids. Set them up with openings facing each other, and worked rather well. The only real downside we found was that both tents were low, so constant bending over, resulting in sore backs. And having to open numerous zips, then climb through numerous small openings to check on the kids. So we're now planning to seriously start looking at maybe a taller, larger tent that will accommodate us all.

Bedding had been one of Clancy's main sticking points with not looking forward to camping. Not being able to sleep on a comfortable mattress. So prior to this trip, we decided to upgrade our single swag mats, and splurge on a 4WD Mat as it's commonly called. Self inflating, 10cm thick foam mattress. Definately not for hiking or backpacking! Deciding between 2 singles or 1 double, Clancy decided we'd go for the 1 double to share it's rolling up. He wasn't too impressed when I stated that if we got 2 singles, I was quite happy to roll mine, but he'd have to do his own!

  • Food etc... - To save on buying every meal, we took enough for each meal that we'd have while we were away. The 'fridge stuff' (ie, salad, cheese etc that normally requires a fridge (No meat though!)) I packed in a box that went behind the drivers seat, under Sonia's feet (covered with towel and pillow). With us slowly reducing it's volume, all the 'fridge stuff' survived the trip rather well. Despite the warm weather. Everything else, went into a cardboard fruit box with lid, that got packed on the tray of the ute (easily accessible, under a folded silver tarp for some insulation) with all the other baggage.

We took a small foldable camp table and stools, a bucket, and my old Trangia cookstove incase we stayed somewhere without kitchen facilities. The table, stools and bucket got used, but the Trangia ended up staying in it's bag on the back of the ute. Both places we stayed at had microwaves, which turned out being the easiest and fastest way for us to cook what we'd brought for the evening meals (thankfully some of the containers we had food in were microwave safe).

  • Miscellaneous - Once again... my trusty set of multifit plugs came in very handy! Some basic familiar toys for the kids were also appreciated. Along with a book or 2 each to maintain their regular tea, bath, story, bed routine.

Travel

Putting the question to Clancy (didn't worry me for this sort of trip), he decided we'd take my old dual cab hilux for easier packing, and access to all our equipment and baggage. This worked fine for this trip without any rain... however we're going to have to rethink our options once rain starts to threaten as we currently don't have a cover for the tray!

Kids and driving... they were both pretty good. But then again, they've both been brought up with fairly regular long driving trips, allowing them to get accustomed to it from a very young age. One thing Sonia enjoyed, was having a map of her own to look at.

Posted by Goannaray 21:49 Archived in Australia Tagged camping tents miscellaneous western_australia planning campground toddlers weekend_toddler_adventures_wa south_west_wa wkend_adventures_swregion Comments (0)

Lane Poole Reserve (1)

Baden Powell, Island Pool, Marrinup Falls

sunny
View Wkend Getaway 2 - Lane Poole Reserve (May/June 2015); (Oct 2016) on Goannaray's travel map.

With a long weekend approaching... Nil other commitments for myself and kids... (No such luck for Hubby unfortunately. He had to work the Monday public holiday)... And no real rain predicted... the constant, slowly smoldering thought took hold and burst into flames. Lets go camping!!

Where to? - No real preference. Maybe try and avoid crowds. Good luck with that on a public holiday!
Just us or others to? - Definitely others too! Shared experiences are often enjoyed a whole lot more. Not to mention the much appreciated assistance with young kids!

Throw the idea around and.... The kids and I can head off early for 4 nights. Clancy will be able to join us for one night. Two of my sisters will be able to join us for 3 nights. And one other sister may be able to do a day trip out to see us and join in the fun for that day.

The consensus on where to go? - Still not solved! Until... Clancy decides he doesn't want to travel too far, and would like green and trees. Not 'boring old wheatbelt bush!'

So... Lane Poole Reserve... lets see if you live up to the reviews and expectations!

Baden Powell Water Spout

Baden Powell Water Spout

I had previously done an overnight school canoe trip through this area many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Ayla (my youngest sister), had also been on a school camp to this area previously... but neither of us could really remember exact details. We all knew that there were plenty of things advertised to do in the area (far too many to complete in one weekend). So, despite knowing that it'd be fairly full of people, we decided to just have fun and make this an exploratory trip. Scouting out what extra there was to see and do, ready for the next trip.

Track to Marrinup Falls

Track to Marrinup Falls

Finding the Main Entrance

- I found the signage to be a bit lacking in Dwellingup township itself. Especially for night arrivals who've never been there (or can't remember) and are coming through Dwellingup from North Dandalup on the Southwestern Highway.
- GPS navigation systems are not always accurate either!
- So... Check direction details before leaving.
- If arriving during business hours, the Dwellingup Information Centre's definitely worth a visit. Very helpful in providing information on things to see and do. The informative displays covering the 1961 bushfires were also really interesting. The kids especially loved the old fire truck!

Campsite Arrival

- Once again... all good intentions failed. Resulting in an after dark setup :(
- Plus side to that... I now know that I can successfully erect our new BIG tent by myself in the dark and freezing cold.
- Well, bigger than our previous tents anyway. And not 100% dark, I did have a much appreciated head torch! Oh, and it wasn't really 'freezing'... it just felt that way to me at the time!
- Biggest thing I was thankful for during the whole experience... both kids stayed asleep in their car seats till I had the tent up!
- When they did wake, it was time to roll out sleeping mats and bags, cuddle into pillows, and sleep.
- Well... that's what I'd hoped! Unfortunately, I'd grabbed the wrong sleeping bags out of the back of the ute, meaning I kept waking up to the cold.
- And with both kids wanting to sleep in their individual sleeping bags (also not very suitable to cold), this required constant checking to ensure the extra blankets I'd thrown over them both, actually stayed over them!
- Note to self... take the time to grab the correct bags next time!
- Major re-organisation and explanations regarding sleeping arrangements to kids come morning!

Warm Sleeping Hints

- The following ideas are some that I've come across in my travels thus far that I've found to work for me.
- Put a silver car windscreen sun visor/ sun shield thing under your mat to help reflect the heat back up to your body and stop the cold seeping up through from the ground.
- Place a wool blanket on top of your mat/mattress to act like an under-blanket. And another one between yourself and sleeping bag (inside your bag if you're actually sleeping inside a zipped up sleeping bag).
- Try and keep your sleeping bag puffed up. I've found wherever it gets thin, gets cold!
- So... the kids new sleeping arrangements became...
1. Windscreen visor
2. Sleeping mat (like yoga/exercise mat)
3. Crocheted wool blanket
4. Flannelette sheet
5. Sleeping space
6. Flannelette sheet
7. Crocheted wool blanket
8. Regular wool blanket
9. Opened sleeping bags
- And, instead of sleeping them in individual 'beds', I put them together so they could huddle together and help keep each other warm.
- Success! Nil further waking in the night from cold.

Breakfast   Sun = Warmth... Hopefully!

Breakfast + Sun = Warmth... Hopefully!

Kids and Cold

- Not good!!! Major grisle, whinge, whine, cry time.
- I thought I'd packed enough warm gear for them. Obviously not so!
- During the day and evening was ok. Morning was the horror.
- Every morning was the same routine... wake up, toilet, PJ's off and into layer upon layer of day clothes, start breakfast... and as the cold slowly seeped in... so the issues started.
- With what we had available at the time, I think we may have finally figured it out by our last morning.
- Which was to... continue the same routine... but let them sit in their chairs all rugged up with extra jackets or blankets to keep warm. With one of us feeding them if need be. Then getting them up and about, actively preoccupied with something else as soon as possible.
- Remember for next time... gloves, extra warm jackets, sneakers as well as gumboots, scarves for faces, leggings/thermals.

How to keep warm

How to keep warm

Which Campsite

- Many of the possible Lane Poole Reserve campsites require pre-booking on the DPAW website.
- Others are available on a first come, first served basis.
- Some allow campfires out of fire ban time frames, others don't.
- If thinking about going over a long weekend or during school holidays, book well in advance if you want a booked site as they get booked out pretty quick.
- We were lucky despite booking relatively late for a long weekend and managed to get 2 sites next to each other at Baden Powell camping area (Everything else was already booked).
- No campfires allowed there. However... due to the cold over that particular weekend, the rangers informed us that we could have a fire if we had something to contain it in, and keep it off the ground (See 'For Future Trip/s' at the end of this blog for examples).
- Unfortunately we didn't have access to anything like that, so we put up with the cold and thought about planning for next time.
- We also used this trip as a scouting exercise to help decide where we'd like to camp next time. Thinking possibly the non-booking area of Nanga Mill or Nanga Brook if not canoeing. Otherwise, maybe Tony's Bend, which isn't too far from Island Pool.

Baden Powell Camping area according to kids... :)

Fungi

Fungi

Stove operation

Stove operation

Water warning

Water warning

BBQ warning

BBQ warning

Gas stove

Gas stove

Collecting water

Collecting water

Our site number

Our site number

No Exit

No Exit

Kaden

Kaden

Small tree

Small tree

Crochet...

Crochet...

Aunty's

Aunty's

Black boy / Grass tree

Black boy / Grass tree

Pine cone

Pine cone

Baden Powell Camping Area

- Book online
- No fires
- Free gas BBQ's (sheltered)
- Water available
- Designated camping sites
- Site sizes available for small tents up to campervans/caravans
- Long drop toilets
- Short distance down to the river and Baden Powell Day Use area and waterspout (swimming, canoeing, fishing).

Picnic table in trees

Picnic table in trees

Fun on Mum's ute whilst waiting for decisions to be made!

Fun on Mum's ute whilst waiting for decisions to be made!

- Apart from not being able to have a fire, we found it to be a really nice camping area.
- Considering the crowding we saw at Nanga Mill and Nanga Brook over the long weekend, we were rather glad to have booked a site guaranteeing a bit of space (even if small) between us and the neighbours.
- Being able to easily walk down to the Baden Powell Day Use area was also great. The kids loved exploring the rocks and water as much as we'd let them!

Baden Powell Water Spout

Baden Powell Water Spout

Fishing...

Fishing...

Catch me!

Catch me!

Up high!

Up high!

What's in there?

What's in there?

Another photo?

Another photo?

Leaches!

Leaches!

River play

River play

What the...  free rides ?!?

What the... free rides ?!?

Back to camp

Back to camp

Island Pool

- Nice big pool in the Murray River (canoeing, swimming, fishing)
- Wooden steps down to the river
- Rapids/rocks at the up-river end of the pool
- Picnic tables
- Toilets

Cold water

Cold water

Where's the ducks?

Where's the ducks?

Island Pool

Island Pool

Island Pool

Island Pool

Rocky river entry to Island Pool

Rocky river entry to Island Pool

Above Island Pool

Above Island Pool

Island Pool Walk Trail

- Click heading above for mud map. Click here for walk details.
- Starts from the upper car park.
- Nice walk through jarrah forest up, across, and down the side of a hill.
- Some steps at the beginning and end of the track.
- We managed with a pram/stroller, but definitely wouldn't recommend it!

Island Pool walk

Island Pool walk

Blackboys and trees...

Blackboys and trees...

Island Pool walk

Island Pool walk

Rougher terrain... righto, backwards pram...

Rougher terrain... righto, backwards pram...

Views from Island Pool walk

Views from Island Pool walk

Backwards again...

Backwards again...

- Kaden had fallen into a deep sleep on the drive there. I noticed that the steps were only mapped at the beginning and end of the track so thought we'd try the pram and see how we went. Kaden amazingly stayed asleep for two thirds of the walk despite a rather bumpy ride over rocks and sticks! It provided quite a workout pushing/towing the pram. The log seat at the half way mark at the top of the walk was much appreciated!
- Pram/Stroller hints... For difficult sections - towing the pram's often easier. For really difficult sections - a second assist for lifting/carrying the pram is definitely recommended!

Keep going Mum

Keep going Mum

Still asleep despite bumps!

Still asleep despite bumps!

Half way rest stop.  All downhill from here! Yay!

Half way rest stop. All downhill from here! Yay!

Marrinup Falls

- Thanks to Dwellingup Information Centre for the heads up about this one.
- Located not far from the Marrinup Camping Area, the Marrinup Cycle Trail, and the historical Marrinup POW site
- The access road into the falls walk car park is apparently meant to be one way. However we found that a fallen tree just past the car park nicely converted it to a two way road.
- The walk trail is fairly short and nice over varying terrain.
- There were only pools of water to be seen while we were there. Would be great to see it in full flow!
- The kids enjoyed the walk down, clambering around the rocks, and finding various interesting things for Sharelle to photograph.

Marrinup Falls walk trail

Marrinup Falls walk trail

Marrinup Falls walk trail views

Marrinup Falls walk trail views

Marrinup Falls walk trail

Marrinup Falls walk trail

Fungi

Fungi

Sticky plant

Sticky plant

Flowers

Flowers

Exploring...

Exploring...

Fungi

Fungi

More steps...

More steps...

Hold on!

Hold on!

Sitting on the road block

Sitting on the road block

For Future Trip/s...

- Portable campfire thing
See if we can maybe make something like this ??... Other examples (...1...), (...2...). Otherwise... for a lot more money, a Snowpeak cary fire pit from Drifta (Currently on my wishlist!).
- Larger quantity of appropriate kids cold/wet weather gear
- Check and print out maps/directions prior to leaving
- Map and record possible geocache coordinates
- Canoes
- Mountain bikes
- Marrinup POW site
- Captain Fawcett 4WD Track
- Hotham Valley Railway
- Scarp Lookout and Pool

Any other recommendations... let me know!



Posted by Goannaray 19:25 Archived in Australia Tagged trees winter river rocks camping western_australia campground toddlers weekend_toddler_adventures_wa lane_poole_reserve perth_surrounds wkend_adventures_perth_region Comments (0)

Lane Poole Reserve (2)

Chuditch campground, Canoeing Island Pool to Bob's Crossing


View Wkend Getaway 2 - Lane Poole Reserve (May/June 2015); (Oct 2016) on Goannaray's travel map.

After moving to Collie, Lane Poole Reserve has become one of the main areas for us and family/friends to get out bush and enjoy some 'away' time together. Mainly due to its location (fairly centrally located between all of us), and the varying things available to see and do.

Games while waiting for tea

Games while waiting for tea

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For this trip, due to late confirmation of everyone's availability and weather, the only pre-bookable sites available to us were at the Chudditch campground (decided we'd avoid Nanga Mill on weekends due to crowds). Considering our plans of canoeing for the weekend, this actually turned out really well because of its location, despite the kids wanting their last campfire for the season, and fires not being allowed at the Chudditch campground. (Toasted marshmallows on the gas stove will suffice if they have to!).

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Considering myself and one of my sisters were pregnant, and unable to now physically fit ourselves plus a kid or two into the kayaks we have... we decided we'd utilise the services of Dwellingup Adventures, and hire some canoes for a day trip. We found Dwellingup Adventures to be amazing to deal with. Extremely helpful and accommodating. We decided we'd purposely do a shorter trip (maps and info) so we could take it easy, have fun, enjoy the trip, and relax. So instead of going from Island Pool all the way through to Baden Powell, we requested for the canoes to be dropped off at Island Pool, and picked up at Bob's Crossing (map). This worked extremely well for us. I don't think either us, or the kids would have enjoyed it nearly as much if we'd tried to do the whole length through to Baden Powell.

Ready to go

Ready to go

Snack time

Snack time

After growing up and canoeing on faster parts of the Avon River, my sisters and I found the section that we'd chosen to canoe fairly flat and slow. Perfect for introducing two kids to canoeing when you're pregnant! Due to the water levels at the time, and the extra weight of pregnancy, there were a few sections that required at least one of us to get out of the canoes to assist over rocks or logs. We also found that one of the canoes we'd been given had a small leak, requiring an occasional stop to empty it out. Otherwise all good, and we thoroughly enjoyed it!

Steps...

Steps...

Leaky canoe...

Leaky canoe...

Recommendations for next time... Remember the sunscreen!!! I'd forgotten that I'd removed the sunscreen from my vehicle's glove box after discovering it'd leaked everywhere several weeks prior... and so with everyone else also forgetting to bring some... we covered up as best we could and amazingly didn't get as burnt as I thought we might have.

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Another thing well worth considering if you're hiring canoes, is to hire a dry barrel as well. With kids, canoes, and water (and the occasional small drop over rocks/rapids), having somewhere you can store and keep things dry is greatly appreciated!! We hired one, and were very thankful we had. Otherwise all our snacks, keys, phones... etc. would've been totally soaked by the time we finished.




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Posted by Goannaray 09:58 Archived in Australia Tagged trees river rocks kids camping canoeing western_australia campground weekend_toddler_adventures_wa lane_poole_reserve perth_surrounds wkend_adventures_perth_region Comments (0)

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