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A slice of Arve Road and the Tahune Airwalk

... and gumboots!

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

This turned out to be one of those days where looking back over it, you think 'There's sooo much more I could have got done'. But then, considering the things that popped up... you actually didn't do too badly!

As mentioned in a previous blog post, Clancy had needed to visit a doctor earlier in the week, where he had been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia and told to visit the hospital emergency department if things worsened. Well things had slightly degenerated since then, so it was decided a trip to emergency was warranted before we left Hobart, to confirm that things were still ok. And clarify what level of physical activity would be recommended or not. Considering we'd planned to do a lot of walks involving carrying both children, this could drastically alter our travel plans. If not destroy them altogether.

We figured going in and being able to act on whatever results were given during regular business hours would be the best thing to do, just in case a total new set of plans were needed to be made. Having experienced numerous emergency room wait times elsewhere, we were pleasantly surprised and got seen rather quickly! The staff member who assessed Clancy was great, and explained things very well. The verdict on how much he was able to do was also rather reassuring. Stating that easy to moderate walks should be fine so long as Clancy took it easy, and didn't try carrying Sonia for any of them! Worked fine for him! I didn't mind too much either, as it meant we wouldn't have to totally change our previous plans. Alter them yes, but not start again from scratch and miss out on many of the things we really wanted to see.

So having gained this knowledge, it was time to get back to exploring Tasmania! And for today... it was the Arve Road and Tahune Airwalk.

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Geeveston

  • We got to Geeveston in time for us to once again enjoy a local bakery's hot food.
  • Clancy then took Sonia to find the towns local playground, while I visited the library to quickly print off some documents and feed Kaden.
  • Looked like there was a nice area of parkland with a creek/river running through it to explore if we'd had the time for a walk as well.
  • There were also many wonderful woodcarvings of local people who'd had an impact on the community.
  • The Forest and Heritage Centre then became our meeting point, where we all enjoyed the museum, tasting different types of honey, and picked up information on Arve Road, and tickets for the airwalk.
  • Sonia really enjoyed the playground and interactive items in the museum

Arve Road

  • This's the road out to the Tahune Airwalk from Geeveston.
  • There were numerous well signed things we could look at or do along the way.

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Keogh's Creek Walk

  • A nice short loop walk, with boardwalk running beside and crossing over Keogh's Creek.
  • Sonia enjoyed being able to run free and explore (until she got reigned in by us telling her she had to be able to see us!), and climbing up into the base of a big tree.
  • I carried Kaden in the Ergo carrier, but could have easily used the pram.

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West Creek Lookout

  • This was a nice lookout to see the tops of trees and bushes covering the slopes of a deep steep valley right beside the road.
  • The sign about bushfires, and how some firefighters saved themselves in the fire of 1967 really caught my interest having experienced a few smaller fires myself in farmland.

Arve Picnic Area

  • This area looked really nice beside the Arve River as we drove past

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Big Tree Lookout

  • We actually stopped in to look at this one on the way back out from the Tahune Airwalk.
  • The lookout platform was under repair, however we were still able to see the tree and read the information signs.

Tahune Airwalk

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  • This was a great walk and well worth the cost to go on it.
  • I carried Kaden in the Ergo baby carrier as we weren't sure how many steps were likely to be involved.
  • Following the main walking tracks from the river up to the start of the airwalk platform there were quite a few steps. But the platform itself would've been fine for a pram, and it looked like they catered for wheelchair access as well with a labeled parking area beside the start of the actual airwalk platform entrance.
  • Looking out through, and then over the trees was awesome. Gave you a totally different perspective. Enabling you to appreciate the bush on a whole new level.
  • The view from the cantilever lookout was awesome!
  • Sonia once again loved being able to run free. She also liked the perspex at the end of the cantilever lookout. Totally scaring Clancy as she leant against it to look out!
  • Sonia didn't really want to keep walking after we got off the airwalk platform. Continually asking to be carried. We managed to encourage her to keep walking, counting the number of steps in each block of steps with her, and making Clancy tally them all up together! (Got up to about 67 steps. Started counting part way through though). Plus keeping an eye out for fungi.
  • There were some nice picnic areas beside the river.
  • I would've liked to have been able to do more of the walks available, but once again, kids and time did not allow.

Sonia and her starry pink gumboots!

Sonia and her starry pink gumboots!


On the return trip to Hobart, we decided to finally act on the recommendation we'd been given by my high school friend, and see if we could pick up some gumboots for Sonia. I didn't like our chances of finding anything then though as it was after 4:30pm, with many places shutting at 4pm. Was then rather surprised to find the St Vincents store in Huonville still open when we stopped so Clancy could pick up some take away chicken and chips for tea.

I grabbed one of Sonia's shoes to take as a size sample (she was fast asleep), and went to see if they had anything... nope... smaller, and much bigger... but none anywhere really near Sonia's size. Back to the car, where Sonia'd woken up and I realised the Mitre10 we'd parked in front of was also still open for another minute or two. So in we rushed to find plenty of kids gumboots in army camouflage colouring, or sparkly pink with silver stars. You can guess which one's Sonia wanted! Sorry, Kaden... pink it's going to be when you get older unless Sonia totally wears them out first! Finding the right size was then not as easy as we'd thought it'd be with all the different sizes available. I narrowed it down to 7's and 8's, with 7's looking like they fit really well right then, but 8's looking like they may have been a bit too big, but had better growth room available. Decided on the 8's, and off we went, just as they started shutting up for the night.

The next morning however, when Sonia was having fun running around with her new boots... I soon realised that we probably should've grabbed the 7's. When she'd put her feet into them and stood still, allowing me to squash the toes to see how much room there was, she'd pushed her feet as far forward as they'd go, leaving half an inch or so between her heel and the back of the boot! So yes, that's why the 7's would've felt too small for her toes to grow, and why they would've looked a better fit when she walked. Oh well, she didn't seem to have any issues walking in the 8's (or running and jumping for that matter!), so we kept them, and didn't need to struggle at any time to get them on or off whenever we got in/out of the car or campervan when we had that.

But in summary of the Arve Road and Tahune Airwalk day... we really did manage to see and do a fair bit. Especially considering the late start we'd had to the day. What with the much shorter number of daylight hours, and experiencing a day at Bruny Island, a day to do the Tahune Airwalk, and a future day to do the Hastings Caves and Thermal Springs, it was really confirming that being able to stay more local to see and do what was available in an area, would've dramatically improved a lot of things in general.

Posted by Goannaray 00:44 Archived in Australia Tagged bridges trees tasmania river walk creek playground toddlers geeveston arve_road tahune_airwalk 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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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)

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