A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about chocolate

Latrobe Chocolate Winter Festival!!


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

270_P7076123.jpg270_P7076129.jpg270_P7076133.jpg270_P7076134.jpgP7076137.jpg
Finally, the day for the event Clancy had said we definitely could NOT miss! The Latrobe Chocolate Winter Festival! It was going to be an awesome day filled with all things chocolate. Food, art, fashion, music, poetry, drinks, entertainment... and more!

The drive from Launceston was great, with nice views of snow on the distant tiers and mountains. There were lots of different activities and competition's for all ages, with a lot of the local businesses and organisations getting involved. Plus the all required taste testing availabilities! Using our stroller with its attached buggy board came in very handy for containing, and keeping two kids moving. However, it was a bit of a hindrance with the crowds of people.

Sonia enjoyed being able to decorate and eat her own biscuit at a stall the local IGA had set up. We all enjoyed the different things on display throughout the town, and couldn't avoid buying some chocolate that was constantly being offered, and fresh fruit from the local market. Hmm... and with Clancy there... there was no way we were going to miss the taste testing sites!

Picking up lunch to take and eat in a park turned out to be a good idea too. We found a nice park with playground, picnic tables, toilets, parking, and creek with small waterfall/rapids and bridge, just behind the shops on the main street. Coincidentally named 'Kings Park'. We're from Perth, WA, where 'Kings Park' is the major park/gardens of the city. Sonia enjoyed the playground, and also the new 'game' of mum trying to set up the camera on a rock for a self timed family photo, then rushing to join everyone else, having to catch and pick up Sonia... who by then was half way down to the camera on the rocks near the creek!

Even without the chocolate festival, the town itself and surrounding districts would be well worth a visit. Many historical sites, natural things to enjoy, and places to eat/drink. I would've liked to have gone to the Axeman's Hall of Fame, and the Warrawee Forest Reserve to try and see a platypus, but time and kids did not allow. We did however get to enjoy plenty of other things.

Chocolate Chef's...

Chocolate Chef's...


House of Anvers...

  • Parking was difficult due to it being the chocolate festival weekend, but we were lucky and got a quick spot. A free complimentary shuttle bus was operating from the town centre for the day though for those who couldn't get parking.
  • The chocolate making area had good viewing windows, and a video running as well, which was greatly appreciated when you couldn't see through the crowd of people at the windows.
  • Some good and interesting information on the history of chocolate was well displayed.
  • Taste testing was available at the small shop building to the side of the cafe and chocolate making building.
  • Was a bit crowded for us to fully enjoy the place and all it had to offer, but we still thought it was worth a visit.

Big Cherries

Big Cherries


The Cherry Shed...

  • Had an excellent set up for visitors, including families.
  • Big cherries you could climb up in and look out of.
  • There was an outdoor toddler player/area set up with door access to both the outside picnic area, and also into the inside cafe tables.
  • Sonia did not want to leave the big cherries and play area.
  • They had an aamazing and very informative set of dioramas set up inside showing all the stages of growing, to processing cherries. Including some 'hidden' things to find in each one. Managed to keep Sonic interested looking for different things long enough for us to read the information on each one!

Ashgrove Cheese Cows

Ashgrove Cheese Cows


Ashgrove Cheese...

  • The cheese tasting and numerous painted cows around the outdoor eating area were really the only things that really caught Sonia's attention.
  • We were also able to view the maturing room, and read the different informative posters. Obviously more interesting to us than the kids!

The Raspberry Farm Lake

The Raspberry Farm Lake


Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm & Cafe...

  • I popped into this one very quickly on the way home to Launceston, as both kids were sound asleep by this stage.
  • Would've been a really nice place to spend more time earlier in the day.
  • They also had an outdoor toddler play area, as well as a much larger grassed area near a lake.
  • The lake and grass picnic area looked nice. I would've enjoyed the walk around the lake, but had to keep moving unfortunately.
  • The tasting and testing of produce available was also very good.

Posted by Goannaray 22:34 Archived in Australia Tagged lakes chocolate parks cafe raspberries cheese toddlers 2_toddlers_in_winter_tasmania! northern_central_tasmania interstate_overseas Comments (0)

'Busier' Days... 'Slower' Days...

Cadbury Chocolate Factory and The Springs area on Mt Wellington

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

P7096255.jpgP7096251.jpgP7096244.jpgP7090422.jpg

One thing you learn very quickly when dealing with young children, (especially near toddler age!), is that no matter what you're trying to do, it'll take double, or triple... or even quadruple the amount of time it normally would! Apply this to travel, and you've either got to accept it and alter your traveling style to accommodate, or be constantly fighting it, yet trying to remain calm at the same time. Unfortunately, I think I find myself in the latter category way too often! To try and reduce the frequency of this occurring, I thought it'd be a good idea to try and alternate 'busier' days with 'slower' ones.

Considering I'm now writing this in hindsight after returning home... Yes, it was an excellent idea, but wasn't always achieved for various reasons. Same goes for this blog! I'd been hoping to not get any further than about a week behind with our experiences. Let's just say I was lucky to only be a day or two behind with notes in my journal! Very thankful I persevered and can now use them to help complete these blog entries. I have great respect for those who are trying to study, or do anything involving sitting down with pen and paper or at a computer for any length of time, with two or more toddlers also requiring their constant attention!

And yes, Tuesday the 9th of July 2013 had been planned to hopefully be one of those 'slower' days. But did we succeed?... With a trip to the Cadbury Chocolate Factory, a trip to a local GP for Clancy, some grocery shopping and lunch back at our hotel/apartment, and finally a fun afternoon trip up Mount Wellington to see some snow... I'm glad to say I think we did! (Relatively so!)

Sonia enjoying the Cadbury delivery truck!

Sonia enjoying the Cadbury delivery truck!


Cadbury Chocolate Factory

  • As Clancy says, not actually being able to go on a factory tour 'feels like a let down'.
  • We still enjoyed the talk and video provided on how they operated and made their chocolate though.
  • Cheap/discounted chocolate available in their shop was good. Couldn't help picking up a few things.
  • The only thing Sonia really enjoyed was the Cadbury
  • Clancy 'meant to ask how many Oompa Loompa's they have working at the factory. Because I (he) hadn't seen any at that stage.' - If anyone else has ever seen any, or asked this question... we'd love to know!!

View from the springs carpark lookout on Mt Wellington

View from the springs carpark lookout on Mt Wellington

The Springs, Mount Wellington

  • The Pinnacle Road was closed at The Springs car park which was at the second gate.
  • There's a great sign at the bottom of the road before you get up too far, letting you know at which gate the road is closed from.
  • There were large patches of snow which by now was mostly ice, which Sonia thoroughly enjoyed playing with. She mainly just wanted to hold it between her hands!
  • Clancy found some snow soft enough to make two snowballs. One of which had to get thrown at me and Kaden! The other being given to Sonia and Kaden to enjoy... which promptly got eaten!
  • I went and asked one of the council workers who was there directing traffic, and he recommended we check out the Hobart City Council website for updated information on the mountain and road if we were thinking about going up again another day.

Posted by Goannaray 22:35 Archived in Australia Tagged snow chocolate winter tasmania hobart toddlers mt_wellington cadbury_chocolate_factory 2_toddlers_in_winter_tasmania! central_tasmania_hobart_swtasma interstate_overseas Comments (0)

Yay! Finally... a meeting with the ever elusive platypus!!

Devonport to Deloraine

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

As you can probably tell from the title of this blog, this day turned out to be a rather enjoyable highlight of the trip. With Sonia and myself finally being able to see a platypus in the wild. And for a decent length of time too, not just a quick glimpse!

But before we get to that, we couldn't leave Devonport without a visit to Mersey bluff,... and go through Latrobe again, without a return visit to the Anvers Chocolate Factory and Cherry Shed!

P7227339.jpgP7227340_Stitch.jpgP7227334.jpg

We hadn't originally planned to stay in Devonport, and wanted to keep moving relatively quickly, but didn't want to miss out on something iconic to that area either. So on leaving the Devonport Discovery Holiday Park, we asked the reception staff what they'd recommend that was quick and simple to see/do for toddlers around Devonport. They recommended the Mersey Bluff lighthouse. It was an interestingly painted lighthouse, with distinctive red stripes facing out to sea. We held Kaden, and had to keep an eye on Sonia with the cliff edges being so close, but she enjoyed being able to run around the lighthouse and look down on the crashing waves. The view across the mouth of the River Mersey wasn't too bad either.

P7227347.jpgP7227343.jpgP7227344.jpg

There was no way Clancy would let us drive past this place again without picking up some more extremely yummy chocolate! After visiting it for the first time during the Latrobe Chocolate Winter Festival, we found this visit to be much more relaxed and enjoyable. Less people, easier parking, different things being made etc. We also found another rather fun children's activity available, that we previously hadn't seen. A bouncy truck. The truck was on springs, and Sonia really did not want to leave it! We finally managed to coax her out of it to go and taste some different chocolate samples at the Anvers Tasting Centre. Took a while to decide what we'd buy, and ended up choosing a mixed box of truffles. We'd previously bought a mixed box of pralines. Both very yum!

P7227349.jpgP7227351.jpgP7227348.jpg

As with the Anvers Chocolate Factory, we couldn't bypass the Cherry shed again without restocking our supply of chocolate coated cherries. While Clancy picked up the desired treats, Sonia, Kaden and I went to have a last play and look out of the big cherries.

P7227354.jpgP7227353.jpg

After missing this attraction during the Latrobe Chocolate Winterfest, I'd been looking forward to having a quick glimpse, but had since forgotten that there'd now be an entry fee involved. So yes, considering Clancy wasn't really interested, I'd already seen a fair bit of this sort of thing traveling around the south west of WA, our time frame, and the cost to go through, we decided we'd skip it this time as well, and push on to see if we could see a platypus instead. So after obtaining more information about the Warrawee Reserve, saying goodbye to the big flying platypus, and picking up some Subway for lunch, on we went in search of a good picnic spot, and the ever elusive platypus.

P7227356_-_Copy.jpgP7227362.jpgP7227359_-_Copy.jpg

The Warrawee Forest Reserve isn't far out of Latrobe (follow Hamilton St, which turns into Shale Rd), with the last section of road through the reserve being gravel. We found a nice picnic spot nestled in a bend of the Mersey River, and enjoyed our lunch with a decent sized flock of friendly Superb Fairywrens or Blue Wrens as they're otherwise known. Sonia and Kaden really enjoyed watching them zip around chasing crumbs or whatever else they could find.

P7227363.jpgP7227366.jpgP7227371.jpg

While I fed Kaden, and waited for Sonia to finish her lunch, Clancy wandered around looking at different things, and found about 22 marbles scattered around the picnic area we were at. Seemed like they kept popping up everywhere! After Sonia had finally finished eating, I took her down to be able to throw some stones into the river while Clancy watched Kaden for a while. Sonia really enjoyed being able to do this, seeing how far she could throw them, and how big a splash she could make. I enjoyed the numerous smooth, flat river stones that were around for skimming. I managed to get one to bounce atleast 10 times, but generally averaged about 5-7 bounces. I thought that was pretty good!

What's down here Dad?

What's down here Dad?

Moving on from the picnic area, we found a boardwalk bridge that'd been removed for some reason. It would've allowed us to cross over the creek that ran between two ponds/lakes, as a shortcut to the main boardwalk and viewing platform. Instead, we now had to walk the whole way round the big pond/lake to get there. Clancy didn't really feel like having to return via the same route round the lake/pond to get back to where we'd parked the van, so decided he'd keep Kaden and stay near the gazebo on that side of the lake.

P7227405.jpgP7227399_Panorama_1.jpgP7227394.jpg

Sonia and I continued on around the big lake/pond to the start of the boardwalk, but decided we'd continue on down through the bush beside the following smaller pond, before coming back to check out the boardwalk. Whilst doing this, we spotted bubbles rising in the smaller pond, but didn't think much of it, as we'd seen similar bubbles in the big pond/lake, and nothing seemed to come of them except an occaisonal duck or other waterbird.

P7227390.jpgP7227377.jpgP7227379.jpg

We continued on, following what seemed like an old track round the pond, and came to a sort of causeway across an outlet for the pond to flow back into the Mersey River. We squatted down behind some reedy bushes and continued to watch the bubbles for a while. Much to our surprise, a platypus surfaced, and started skimming across the surface of the pond directly for the causeway!! It changed direction a bit as it got closer, and duck dived to rummage around the reeds, bushes, and banks of the pond leading away from the causway. I managed to keep Sonia quiet, and tried to get as many photo's and videos as possible to take back to show Clancy.

P7227385.jpgP7227387.jpgP7227388.jpg

I didn't really want to move in case we scared it, but this decision ended up being made for us. The platypus seemed to have had enough of scrummaging round the edges of the pond near where we were, and went to climb out and over the causeway! It spotted Sonia and I near the bushes not far away, and quickly dove back into the pond. I decided that would be the best time for us to make an appropriate get away, and leave him/her in peace.

P7227389.jpgP7227403.jpg

We headed back to the boardwalk and viewing platform, where we found Clancy had driven our van to wait on the road above it. After getting a few more photo's and savouring the area a while longer, Sonia and I climbed the bushy bank to have fun showing Clancy the photo's and video's we'd taken of the platypus.

P7227410.jpgP7227412.jpgP7227415.jpgP7227418.jpgP7227417.jpgP7227422.jpg

And once again.... another not to be missed chocolate opportunity! Clancy ran in and picked up some chocolate coated raspberries, then stayed in the van with a sleeping Sonia, while I took Kaden for a walk around the lake near the cafe. It was a nice short walk that could have accommodated a pram ok. There were also various interesting signs providing information on the history, and flora and fauna of the area.

P7227425.jpgP7227427.jpgP7227426.jpg

The Melita Honey Farm is located in the small town of Chudleigh, between Mole Creek and Deloraine. It had a lot of fun interactive displays for both young and old alike, prividing a vast amount of educational information. I found the indoor glass beehive rather interesting, being able to see the bees working in the hive. Sonia however prefered to watch the bees coming and going from the regular box hives through the window outside.

P7227432.jpgP7227434.jpgP7227431.jpg

She also enjoyed a display set up where you'd have to look through a small viewing window, to see colourful picture panels moving round at the push of a button. She did need my help to lift her up to the viewing window for that one though. And we all enjoyed tasting the many different varieties of honey and nougat available! We would've loved to bring some different varieties of honey home with us, but would have had to surrender them as soon as we landed back in WA due to quarantine regulations. So nougat it was instead.

Posted by Goannaray 20:21 Archived in Australia Tagged lakes birds chocolate winter view wildlife tasmania river rocks walk pond cherry lighthouse picnic playground platypus latrobe toddlers warrawee_forest_reserve 2_toddlers_in_winter_tasmania! northern_central_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.

large_P7298355_Stitch.jpg

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.

P7298362.jpgP7298369.jpgP7298373.jpg

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!).

large_P7298390_Stitch.jpg

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.
P7298396.jpgP7298401.jpg

# 2. Blowhole
P7298432.jpgP7298425.jpg

# 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.
P7298404.jpg

# 4. Devils Kitchen

# 5. Various Lookouts
P7298418.jpgP7298421.jpg

# 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)
P7318654.jpg

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)

(Entries 1 - 4 of 4) Page [1]