After a 12 day drive down the east coast of OZ and a few days spent with family in Melbourne, we were stoked to have arrived at the ferry.
Nahlo isn’t keen to be in an unmoving car and it took some persuading for Brendan to let him sit on my lap in the front before we boarded up until we parked to unload our belongings for the night. Four weeks in Tassie, with an almost seven month old has a different flavour to the usual travel we are both used to. Boarding the Spirit of Tasmania, with Nahlo on my lap, in the front seat, we anticipated, with excitement, the following month.
Whilst we kept it spontaneous, we also were not naïve in knowing that at any stage, we may have to throw camping out the window in exchange for a hotel. We discovered this pretty quick after that 12 day drive.
The most important part of this entire trip was to base everything around Nahlo’s nap times and to do our best with being wherever we were going to lay our heads that night, by around 4:30pm. This way, we could still wind down with him and let him become a little used to his surrounds before bed time.
Lucky for us he became used to sleeping really well in the car. At times, a little too well as the challenge became putting him to sleep without the car… which had already previously been challenging. We joked that we would never be those parents who would drive around in the car to get their baby to sleep… Obviously, in those times of euphoria and freedom you forget that you will do literally anything, to get your baby to sleep…
The Spirit of Tasmania
We parked our car, got our belongings and headed upward in the lift to find our cabin. The ferry is bloody huge! I knew it was big, but when you’re in it looking at bars, numerous eateries, sitting areas and corridors and corridors of cabins, it’s pretty far out. Not to mention, the hundreds of cars, which are below.
We chose a room towards the center of the boat and at first were a bit bummed that we didn’t have a portal but during the night, in the rough seas, the rocking of the boat confirmed we made the right decision. Bren gets motion sick sometimes, hence the middle berth.
Our Ferry left at 7:30pm but we arrived at 5pm, when you could check in, so we could keep up the routine of feeding Nahlo, taking him in the shower and putting him to bed, which we did after a look around the ginormous boat.
It was an early night for us, which is nothing new.
Arriving in Tassie
Our wake up call through the PA was 5:15am. This would give us time to shower, shove some food in and get dressed for an 11 degree entry to Tassie. Brrr.
Again, Nahlo really does not like sitting in the car whilst it is slowly moving, or god forbid, not moving, so, again, he was on my lap. It always takes a bit for Bren to come around to this, but at these times, when he is bound to scream his head off, it’s really not negotiable.
We drove off the ferry and into Devonport – where we strapped Nahlo in, with a little resistance, before heading into town to get some food and supplies. Of course, everything was shut, bar a few eateries just as you get off the ferry.
Nahlo fast fell asleep so we decided to head south to Deloraine for our first stop to get breakie and supplies for our first camp set up at Liffey Falls.
We came into Deloraine at around 7:30 am and drove down the main street as Nahlo started to stir. The little legend, usually, hits the nail on the head as to when to wake up. The town is beautiful, has an artistic flair and lies right on the bubbling rapids of the Meander River. We headed to the bottom of the main street to get out, and have a walk around the park and down to the water, where Brendan was excited to see an old school train. Apparently, this is something he saw a lot as a kid growing up, but since, trains in parks seem to be a thing of the past. Bren and Nahlo experienced one of many photo shoots in front of the train.
It was freezing. We rugged up, got cosy and then found a little bakery café. This was one of the only places open and bustled with locals – many wearing shorts and thongs. WTF. You could definitely tell we were outsiders. I was wearing leg warmers for fucks sake.
The food was good for what we paid – the pumpkin, feta and leek quiche being the highlight of the show.
I found an organic food store to get some veg and was a little disappointed that each vegetable was wrapped in plastic. Seriously, do you need to put a single zucchini in a bag? At least the supermarket promotes no plastic bags… I found this contrast a bit strange.
We filled our water containers at the local campsite before heading off to Liffey Falls. An awesome fact about Tassie is that it’s so small and the distance to drive is so short! Plenty of time to get lost…
We find our first side of the road stall, selling berries and pick up some delicious strawberries. You could smell them as soon as you opened the car door.
One of my fav things, which still exists a lot in the northern Rivers, NSW, is groceries being sold on the side of the road with an honesty box to pay your money. I’d heard that Tassie was abundant with these and it was actually one of the things I most looked forward to.
This time, the lady who the berry cart belonged to had come down. She was wearing an old school puffy purple dress, which looked like it was from the 1930s. She kind of looked like a big blueberry herself and I was surprised to hear an American accent when she opened her mouth.
We drove onto Liffey Falls via a dirt road and followed signs the top of the waterfalls. There was a stunning 20-minute walk to the top and middle section of the falls. The place was just beautiful.
After the walk, we pulled the esky out of the car, made some sandwiches and gave Nahlo a feed, before making the decision to find Lower Liffey Falls to set up camp.
We were pleasantly surprised to find a dread-locked European dude in a van, leaving the best spot out of the lot of them. Privately situated at the end of a dirt road, right on the flowing creek, with a deep swimming hole and a fire pit.
We set up camp, collected fire wood and spent the next few days just hanging out, taking small walks, cooking on the fire and getting in some Yoga for me and Wim Hof for Brendan.
Our first experience with a local would be a middle aged dude who rocked up to our site wearing what we thought were speedos and a jumper. He planned to camp near to us and was nice enough to ask if it was ok. As he turned around to hop in his car, we saw, that in actual fact, he was wearing a G-string!
We could have stayed so much longer than we did in Liffey, but the rain ended up driving us out. Nahlo and I did our best to stay dry as Bren packed the car and the roof racks. Even as we took off, we debated whether to head North/East or out the West. The next week or so predicted high winds, which I’m not that into. I can handle rain, but high wind drives me bonkers.
We decided to check out Air Bnb to help us decide – somewhere where we could shower, dry out and do a few loads of washing. We found a sweet spot in a place called Lillydale in the Wine region, North East Tassie.
There wasn’t a whole lot here, but the air bnb we got was one of the best we have had for numerous reasons, including the outdoor bath, which we hopped into as a family. It was full of musical instruments (including a massive harp!) and a sun room perfect for practice. We would have happily stayed here for the whole time but the Lavender Farm called.
It ended up being a bit of a disappointment as all the lavender had been cut (silly us for not checking when this happens) and it was full of tourists. Like, full. Anyway, Bren and I had had a bit of an argument earlier, and even though, by this stage we were over it and laughing about it, we agreed that this day was a right off and to go home, enjoy the space, cook a good meal and crack a beer in the bath.
We did find some of the most delicious plums on the side of the road, honesty box style, in an esky. Two bucks for about 20 of them! Score.
We enjoy the morning, packing slowly before hitting the road to St Helens on the East Coast, where we booked into a Motel so we could stock up for a camping trip to Bay of Fires.
On the way we went to a dairy we had been recommended, where we bought some goats cheese and local butter (delicious) before heading to Pub in the Paddock for lunch. The food was traditional and good. It was here that about 50 mustangs all rolled in. Weird sight, but cool all the same.
In St Helens, whilst buying supplies at an IGA, it dawned on me that it seemed to be quite hard to get organic fruit and veg, which, to be honest, surprised me. I had to let go of being so anal about feeding Nahlo only organic produce, otherwise he wouldn’t be eating much at all.
Nahlo had been a bit unsettled since Lillydale (no doubt, as a result of the tension between Bren and I) and being so close to our elderly neighbours had us feeling a bit guilty when Nahlo had a bit of a breakdown super early in the morning. As usual, we supported him and stayed with him as he released his own tension, before he and I went for a walk, while dad packed the car again.
We stumbled across an awesome little market where little old ladies were selling home made jams and bit and pieces they had grown in the garden. I was stoked and ended up buying more food, while Nahlo, as usual, charmed the pants off everyone he saw.
Bay of Fires
As we drove towards Bay of Fires I would be lying if I didn’t say I had an expectation… which, like all expectations, would be shattered.
For some reason, I had in my head that Tassie would have this romantic remoteness about it; that it would be easy to get away from people. It was here, as we drove in and out of camping areas, where people upon people were camped right on top of each other, that I realised we had embarked on the tourist trail. It looked like Rainbow Serpent Festival! Cool – if you’ve signed up for Rainbow Serpent…
RVs, campers, caravans, generators – loads of them, everywhere.
We drove inland and found a spot where I would have camped immediately, but as it didn’t seem like a legit camp site, Bren wasn’t too convinced. He tried to twist my arm into a couple of spots we saw, where we would be squeezing in-between people, but he got it pretty quickly that this was not even worth his energy in trying to negotiate.
You could not have paid me big money to camp in amongst that crowd. Especially with a baby who I like to allow to express himself if need be and not shut him up with a boob for someone else’s sake.
Plus, I remember, before I was a mother, exactly how I would have felt if someone with a baby decided they wanted to camp on top of me…
We sat for a bit and threw our options around. Camp right where we sat, which Bren didn’t think was a legit camping spot (as far as I know, anywhere in Tassie is a legit camping spot…) or go back to the motel we stayed at the previous night and figure out what to do – if they still had availability… something which lacks when you choose to do everything last minute, in what we realize is still peak season, even though its not school holidays anymore….
We had no reception and started to become concerned about finding somewhere to stay in Wineglass Bay, our next destination. Full camp sites, no Air Bnbs, and not a whole lot on the accommodation front under hundreds of dollars was starting to make us realise we needed to be a bit more assertive whilst on this tourist trail.
We headed back into St Helens. On the way out, we decided to go check out one last camp spot, which we had missed purposely on the way in, thinking that it would be full, as it was the first one, which had amenities. Our hopes weren’t high, as we had seen numerous people with the same problem as us, trying finding a spot.
Obviously everyone else had the same idea of missing it as us because we found a few spots!! Yay!! We would be camping at Bay of Fires after all. Stoked. We decided to leave Wineglass Bay til last minute. So far winging it had worked. We just had to remember to trust the process as we did it.
We made our home and settled in as much as possible, considering it was blowing 30+km winds and Nahlo was getting covered in black sand. It was good to see him getting dirty, except when it was blowing in his face. Nothing like nature to build character… He’s a smiling, trooper – thats for sure.
We were a bit bummed that there was a fire ban, but hey, life could have been worse.
It was heaven getting into bed that evening.
The next morning the wind had died down and we spent the day taking long walks across white sands which met crystal clear blue waters. The amazing red rock outcrops where incredible on the eye and such a beautiful contrast to the blue waters. The place was nothing less than stunning. The people were friendly and we found a spot up the beach where Bren could get Internet so we could organize Wineglass Bay. We were grateful for this because we found what seemed to be the last place for under $1000 for three nights.
The weather provided another day of beach walks, relaxation and a few beers, whilst also carving some time out for some Yoga and meditation on the beach. Bren got his Wim Hof in and Nahlo was super settled.
On our final afternoon, heavy rains picked up. We stayed dry and cozy in our epic set up and getting into bed as the storm built around us felt amazing. We decided, after hearing that the winds were picking up again and the higher chance of rain, that we would leave the next day.
It was one last face-full of sand for Nahlo, which sent him into a bit of a spin and had me washing it out of his eyes which made me grateful we were moving into a house with a shower and fireplace. We scored lucky when the house we had hired was free for the night, which was a night earlier than we had booked. Being inside and clean had never felt so good. Clearly, motherhood has softened me in more ways than one…
Nahlo passes out soon after being in the car and slept nearly the entire way to Coles Bay, where we had hired our home for the next three nights. It was a big house, and it felt good to be able to spread ourselves out. It was also nice to be able to put Nahlo down for his naps in a separate room, allowing Bren and I to actually talk to each other at a normal volume.
We had decided that we needed to take this opportunity to break some night time habits of letting Nahlo hang off my boob during the night. Bren was going to step in more and I was going to sleep in another room. As much as I want to give it to him whenever he wants, I also know that it is holding him back from developmental leaps, and it’s also not ideal for me as I don’t sleep too well with a constant suck on the nipple. The last few nights of camping, I had at times, become frustrated, which is not good for anyone.
He grizzled a fair bit (in our arms) the first night but over the couple of following nights, he started sleeping for longer stints, which was epic (because so was I!)
We wake up to a leisurely breakfast and head into Coles Bay to get some supplies – Again, not the best fruit and veg selection but more than enough to get by. Its a really picturesque town.
Brendan was adamant he wanted to go to what I was referring to as another tourist destination full of RVs and tourists taking photos, to get some freshly shucked oysters from a local farm. I resisted and gave him heaps, but he ended up getting some pretty good ones. I’m not into them at all…
We spend the arvo chilling at home in front of the fire and doing loads of washing. The following day, we would be doing our first big walk with Nahlo to Wineglass Bay!
We got up and ate a giant breakfast, packed a lunch and headed off to hike over to Wineglass Bay. There was excitement in the air as this was the biggest walk we have ever done with Nahlo. We aimed to get his first half hour nap in, whilst I’m wearing him in the Ergo.
The path is well made and we make it early enough to have it all to ourselves. Uphill has always been easier for me than down, and during our ascent, my primary focus, whilst taking in the incredibly beautiful surrounds, was to get Nahlo to sleep. I sing to him and the rhythm of the steps lull him to slumber as we arrive to the top.
It’s a stunning view down to Wineglass Bay, which simply cannot be shown through a photo. Especially when its taken with a phone.
Nahlo gets an awesome 40-minute sleep and wakes up as we arrive to the Bay. The sand is white and the water is a brilliant and clear blue. We take our shoes off and stop for food. There are five or so people sharing the long beach with us and Brendan wonders if its ok to skinny dip. I take off the Ergo and am wet from sweat and the cool breeze and cold waters is enough to make me sure that I do not need a swim.
We sit down, eat and take some photos before Brendan goes swimming in his jocks.
We decided to do the full loop, around the Hazards bay, so we pop Nahlo back in the Ergo. I set off, to stop his wriggling: This boy likes to be on the move… No idea where he gets that from…
Bren finally catches up as I Kooo-Weee a little too loud for Nahlos liking. It actually scares the shit out of him, and I console him and apologise for being so loud.
He’s a trooper as we walk – mind you, by this stage, he’s attached to my breast – the sure way of keeping him happy!
It’s a not so big sandy hill, that my quads and glutes finally feel the full burn, but as we climb to the top, the view of Hazard’s Bay makes us incredibly grateful we didn’t just go to Wineglass bay, and back.
More photos and a long stretch of beach walk with more stunning views, and very few people, leave us in awe. The place is simply stunning.
Some of the nature reminds me of Patagonia, as we wind our way up and down, around the turquoise coastline. After over three hours of carrying this seven month old little man, I’m starting to feel it, but it feels good to be using my body like this.
For the last part of the walk, Bren takes Nahlo, who I must add was carrying our food, water, rain jackets etc, and I feel my jelly legs kick in big time. That last half an hour – I’m not gona lie, I was willing that carpark around each corner. Nahlo was a wriggling point and just wanted to be fed and put down. It could not come fast enough!! All with a laugh though, it was so worth the effort.
Taking my shoes off and giving myself a foot rub has never felt so good.
We go home, and spend the rest of the arvo on the couch, between slowly packing for an early departure the next morning, while Nahlo has a long nap.
This would end up being one of the best places we stayed in (outside camping), just because Nahlo seemed to sleep so well here!!
Stanley, Sorell and a Berry Farm Stopover
We leave Wineglass Bay in time for Nahlo’s first nap. By this stage, Nahlo loves getting in the car when he’s due for a nap as he knows he’ll get a good sleep with sufficient and uninterrupted movement.
He wakes just as we are passing through Stanley so we decide to stop here. It’s a lovely little coastal town, which we walk up and down within 20 minutes before seeing on a map at the info center, a Berry Farm not that far away. Seeing Tassie seems to be the kingdom of the berry, we jump in the car and find ourselves 10 minutes later, looking at walls full of jams, preserves, and chocolates. We settle for a delicious sugar free raspberry jam, which I think is honestly the best jam I have eaten. Not being a big jam person, this trip, much to Brendan’s delight (he loves jam), I am fully embracing the selection of jams and find myself cooking damper after damper, which is pretty much the only way i’ll eat it.
When Nahlo shows signs of being sleepy, we pop him in the car and off to our next destination governed by when he wakes up.
We land in Sorell. Not a lot going on here other than a cool good op shop. We get some supplies from the local bakery and supermarket and I jump in the back with Nahlo to keep him company for the rest of the drive to Hobart.
We pull into Hobart around lunchtime and are stoked to find ourselves in the historical Battery Point. Our Air Bnb is gorgeous and within a stones throw to Salamanca Markets (which I have timed specifically to be in Hobart for).
It would seem, however, over the next 4 nights of us being here, that this would be Nahlo’s least favorite of places to sleep at night. There were a fair few tears and a couple of sore nipples upon waking each morning.
As new-ish parents, you’re always looking for a reason your child may be unsettled. Obviously we are moving a lot but I also came to the conclusion that he’s not really that into confined spaces. This Air Bnb was full of character but it was closed living, so every time you entered a new room (which was always), Nahlo was thrown into a new environment. We carried him a lot and supported him through the tears he needed to shed during the nights.
It pissed down for Salamanca Markets but we braved it anyway first thing in the morning, before coming home for Nahlo’s nap and heading out again when it was a bit clearer in the arvo.
We learned a big lesson when we headed to Mona Museum. Not really ideal for a baby. Especially one who loves to wriggle, chit-chat at the very top of his voice, squeal randomly and loudly in delight, and eventually – get sick of small spaces.
The headphones which were provided couldn’t be worn and the ginormous off road pram was a fucking nightmare to maneuver among people who I felt like were thinking “What the hell are these people doing here with a noisy baby who clearly has no current interest in art and a ginormous fuck off pram?”
I lost my shit pretty early in the piece and whizzed through the gallery desperately in search of an exit. On my way, I found a library to whip the boob out before getting the hell out of there. Consensus is that we can no longer enjoy this kind of outing… Fine by me!
It does however, look like a pretty cool place to hang out for a day.
It rains most of the time we are in Hobart, which is great because gratefully, we are not currently camping.
It is here, we decide that the east coast is too busy and we’re going to head to the west and look for the remote style camping which has no fire ban, so we can do what we intended to do when we came to Tassie.
Bummed we missed Bruny Island, but the weather was also not in our favour. (High winds)
Here are some photos of Battery Point. We stayed in the end blue cottage.
Take me to the West!
My father comes to Tassie to escape the Northern Rivers summer. As someone who generally hates people, I know his recommendations are going to take us off the tourist trail.
We stop in a place for Nahlo’s awake time called Ouse and this tiny little town is abundant with fruit trees laden with fruit!! I was super excited to be picking the most delicious Nashi Pears straight from the tree, followed by ginormous pears and shit loads of apples! The sweetest blackberries you have ever tasted and peaches and plums for days! I filled a bag. What a score.
We visited the cutest little chapel with the most amazing stained glass windows, surrounded by a peaceful and pretty cemetery. I have always found peace at cemeteries and enjoy wandering around reading gravestones.
On returning to Victoria we find out from Brendan’s dad, that his great grandfather is buried in this cemetery (along with other ancestors) and distant relations still live in Ouse. We walked straight past their tombstones, and actually accidentally captured one of them in a photo.
Other than visiting the cemetery and picking fruit, there’s not a lot else to do here.
We drive along dirt roads and find Dee Lagoon by a little cross dad marked on a map. I almost don’t feel like by writing this; I’m giving away one of Tassie’s little secrets.
Of the dirt road, we find tight little bush trails with not even nearly enough clearance for an RV or caravan. In fact, we decide that scratching our car up, and the loud noises the very prickly and brittle scrub is making as is scrapes at the underside and side, is worth every bit of the adventure. Fuck it – it’s just a car.
After finding the perfect camp spot, which we soon come to realise is inhabited by someone who clearly doesn’t want visitors (anyone who is camping here does not want visitors). He stumbles out of his car after looking like he’s just pulled 10 bongs but doesn’t make eye contact as Brendan waves and starts to wind down the window. I say under my breath “Babe! I don’t think he wants to socialise! Lets just go.”
We drive around checking out some supreme and deserted camping sites right on Dee Lagoon and Bradys Lake, before settling on one of the ones we saw earlier on Dee Lagoon. It was down a rough, dirt road with room only for us.
What a spot! The water in the lake is high and clear. An untouched forest, huge trees, never ending firewood and an epic fireplace which someone had built before us – with a big rock wall to block the wind. For the next few days, we would be blessed with amazing weather, beautiful sunrises, misty views, and a fire with endless wood. We would cook on the fire and Brendan would catch 2 fish. Fuck yes. This is Tassie. This is what I was looking for.
This was Bradys Lake. The water was quite low and the camping fairly exposed.
Dee Lagoon would end up being Brendan’s fav place out of the entire trip. You can see why.
Queenstown to Strahan
We pack majority of our gear the night before we leave as rain is due. We make it into the car in time for Nahlo’s first nap and the dirt roads put him to sleep instantly. We drive with no destination along some beautiful & windy roads. There is not a lot when it comes to towns – and fingers crossed, we can make it to Queenstown before Nahlo gets sick of the car.
We soon find out that we really have no choice as it’s wet, windy and nowhere to pull over. The nature is dense, green and wild. Nahlo is a trooper but the last 20 minutes or so are fairly hard for him as we do our best to sooth him from the front seats.
As we drive into Queenstown, we are blown away by the view. There was some mining destruction here and it’s clear what it has done ecologically. It’s quite devastating and we find it strange that they seem to want to keep it this way, instead of regenerating it and allowing it to grow back to how it once would have been before man raped and pillaged the land.
It’s wet and windy and I find a bit of cover behind the museum so I can feed Nahlo and give him plenty of cuddles after a bit of a shitty and hard ending in the car for him. As it pissed down and the wind blew a freezing wind, we planned a one-night stop over at Strahan to wait for the weather to change before heading to Trial Harbour to camp. We booked a cabin at a caravan park over the phone so we had somewhere to land.
We walk around Queenstown, which is more appealing on the eye when you’re in it – with historical buildings, an eye catching mountain at the end of the main street and a train station, which has been revamped and turned into an expensive (although probably worth it) tourist wilderness adventure.
Before leaving, we squeeze into the front of the car, and whilst it rained, ate our pre made lunches.
We drove to Strahan, via Lake St Clair, which was beautiful but full of people.
We were glad we chose Dee Lagoon over Lake St Clair as we had discussed which we would prefer to camp at previously.
The rain stayed away for long enough for us to walk along a pretty coastal path in Strahan, which was 15 minutes from our cabin. From here, we walked up the hill to the local IGA to stock up on food for our next couple of days.
Strahan has a cruise which takes you out onto the Gordon River which I was considering until I saw the size of the boat, the amount of seats (= people) and the length of time. Definitely not a baby friendly cruise.
The following morning, we let Nahlo have his first nap before we left. I took him for a walk in the Ergo (and found another apple tree abundant with apples!) whilst Bren packed the car. The rain was meant to clear up around lunch time so we timed it to get in the car for his second nap. It was a one-hour drive to Trial Harbour – another place recommended by my highly anti-social father. Can’t go wrong.
As we hit the dirt road, Nahlo fell asleep and the drive was one through shrubs which were smaller and bushier, no doubt due to the western coastal winds. This place was rugged and we passed hardly any cars.
We had purposely avoided the weekend again, which worked in our favor because we landed the perfect spot. Protected by small bushes and trees tall and thick enough to keep the wind out, the spot was the perfect size to fit our small three-man tent and the gazebo, and we had views of the wild and stormy ocean.
It was still quite drizzly when we were setting up, but in the afternoon the skies cleared and we were able to take a long walk along the rocky coastline. Nahlo had an arvo nap in the Ergo and we spent the arvo building a fire, cooking damper and staying dry in our protected space while it drizzled through broken clouds and the sun set. Pure perfection.
The next morning, Nahlo woke at 5am. The sky was clear and the moon was full so we all got up, made a fire and watched as the full moon set and the sun rise. This was probably the highlight of my trip. Those early moments in the morning, just before the light emerges, have always been my favorite. Team it with a full moon, a burning fire, a steamy and spicy ginger tea and my two favorite humans, and I’m one happy camper.
We spend the morning walking along the rugged coastline and beach in the opposite direction of the day before with our black lab cross who decided to pretend to be our dog for our stay in Trial Harbor.
After meeting a couple with two young kids (1.5yrs and 4yrs old) who had sold everything to take 3 years off to travel around in a bus, with no plan or destination, I had to curb my excitement about planning this as our next trip. Brendan didn’t engage too much in this conversation so it didn’t take long for it to peter out…
We packed up and on our way out, we saw the guy surfing… he was from Margret River, which says it all. The surf was far from inviting…
Our next destination was the North west Coast and I really wanted to drive through the Tarkine, where it is said you will breath the cleanest air on the planet! Nahlo’s nap schedule didn’t really time well with the distance so we took the main road, which was still really beautiful.
Nahlo, as usual woke up at the perfect place. We didn’t plan stopping at Warratah and were pleasantly surprised by the gorge and waterfall that the town was built around. We spent some time at the mushroom café, before wandering around the towns historical sites and lake before heading for Camdale, where we would spend the next 3 nights.
Camdale / Burnie
Well, what a score this Air Bnb was. A huge house with vast ocean views from nearly every window and a sun room, which was the perfect place for me to get some work done whilst looking across the bass straight.
Our first morning would be my birthday: a day which Brendan has always celebrated far more than I ever have. The best gift out of all the ones he gave me was waking up with him and our son (and the massage I got before bed!)
We went into Burnie and hit up the local farmers market. I love a good market – the vibe more than what is on offer. This one was full of nannas and their berry jams and cakes. So, we stocked up then went out for a surprisingly amazing breakfast at a café called ‘Delish’.
After taking Nahlo home for his lunchtime nap, we ventured back out to see if we could spot any penguins from the boardwalk in Burnie, which we did! We also visited a local op shop – clearly, another thing I love to do.
The next day, we discovered more markets were on, which took us to a cool little coastal town called Penguin. The drive there was spectacular and we decided that we had low expectations for the North West Coast and were currently being blown away. The Penguin markets were cool, old School and friendly and we found another winner of an op shop.
On our way home, we visited the Whiskey distillery to buy Bren’s parents some local whisky. I’m not into whisky but they were friendly enough, especially as I was on full public view, breastfeeding in their upmarket-y lounge, where people were sipping whisky from wine glasses, and no one seemed to mind.
Boat Harbour / Wynyard
We had heard this camp site is supreme but small, so it’s easy to turn up and find there is no room to pitch your tent, so we purposely drove in on a Monday morning.
We drove via Table Cape Lighthouse and lookout, which is well worth the view, however as Nahlo had just fallen asleep, we only saw it from a moving car.
Driving down into Boat Harbour gives you a pretty amazing view of the most crystal clear ocean. There was no wind and blue skies so the view was simply pristine. Heaven.
On top of that, we literally scored the best camp of the few camp spots there were. There were a fair few campers, RVs and caravans around but we managed to get a private little spot on the waters edge. This place was clean, and the people and their vans were quiet. I did not hear one generator!
Nahlo was sleeping so we did the crazy shit you do as a parent obsessed with sleep. You throw your partner out of the car, with the tent, barely even slowing the car down and continue to do laps until the tent is pitched and your space is claimed, before heading back to Wynyard, which was recommended by my father, as somewhere with good second hand shops.
We had also been told that there was a good fish n chip joint on the harbor so we stopped there for lunch. The fish n chips, although expensive, didn’t disappoint. As someone who has grown up with a father who is an extremely enthusiastic and excellent fisherman, but not that into eating fish, I’ve been lucky to grow up eating wild caught and very fresh fish. I’m picky when it comes to seafood, and this place had very fresh fish! Fresh enough to feed Nahlo, who loved it.
We wandered the town, I bought some clothes for Nahlo who is growing fast, we ate local yummy ice cream, bought a six pack and some food and then headed back to Boat Harbour to chill out for the arvo.
‘The Nut’ in Stanley in well worth the visit. The views are spectacular. I even said while we were up there, that I thought they were better than at Wineglass Bay. We did however, have blue skies and no wind on this day, which makes all the difference, when it comes to the colour of the ocean.
The steep walk up is well worth the burn but you can be lazy and get the chairlift. We walked and it was so steep that looking down and across into the vastness was literally breath taking. In fact, we were so immersed in the view, that Brendan, who was carrying Nahlo at the time, almost stepped on a Copper head snake.
I bumped into an old student of mine up there with her husband and new baby, which was a lovely surprise!
Another spontaneous day, which we thought was taking us to Mole creek – on the way, once we were back in the land of phone coverage, we realised that it was a bit too far…especially as I had not packed enough food to keep this breastfeeding and easily agitated if hungry, wild woman sane. Plus, 2.5hours was too long for Nahlo in the car for a day trip.
It did happen though, that Cradle Mountain was the correct distance to travel. With little reception in the places we spent time in Tassie, this kind of thing happening was likely. I took deep breaths. For some reason, today, this didn’t go down too well… tired likely.
An emergency food stop in Wynyard saw me jump out of the car, while Brendan continued doing laps, whilst Aum-ing so Nahlo would sleep. I was lucky enough to walk into an IGA, which had a legendary selection of home cooked food, some of which Nahlo could eat.
It was a bit tense as we weren’t entirely sure if Nahlo would make the distance, as the morning nap is his shortest, but he did.
Cradle Mountain Info Centre was fucking packed. The car park was full to the brim and we were quite honestly overwhelmed with the people.
There were so many walks to choose from and then we found out we had to get a 20 minute bus to where the walks started. At this stage, I decided I needed a coffee so I grabbed one which was totally overpriced but worth every cent when it came to the energy boost.
We packed our bags, jumped on the bus and headed for the three-hour hike around Dove Lake, which was stunning.
Despite all the people, Cradle Mountain was majestic and beautiful. The energy was amazing and the views of her were spectacular from every single angle. The weather was perfect with clear blue skys for excellent views of the lake and mountain.
We were lucky enough to find a little hideaway, just off the track to have a picnic on the water before Nahlo had a nap in the Ergo, waking at the perfect time as we closed the circuit.
The bus collected us, again, with perfect timing. Unfortunately Nahlo screamed most of the drive home, which was shit. We realised when taking him out, that he was super hot. The car seat had obviously absorbed some serious heat while we were away which was forgotten about due to the coolness of the air. I felt terrible.
We came home to what we thought was a wedding on the beach but soon came to realise it was a farewell to 4 year old Alby Fox, whose family I have followed on IG for some time: a very sad story, and seemingly close to home.
Mole creek via Wilmot and Moira
Another big day in the car for our boy meant packing majority of our gear the night before. An early rise for Nahlo took us to the main beach to watch the sunrise before jumping in the car to head back inland.
We stopped at a random place called Wilmot where we visited the small, local history museum after being invited by a loud, recorded voice of a plaster made man sitting at the entrance. This would be the place where Nahlo would have his first swing ride.
We got petrol (they fill the tank for you in Tassie like in the old days!) and decided to keep going onto Moira for lunch. There was nothing happening in this town but we lay down the picnic rug, and were eating when another NSW number plate turned up.
We, at this stage, still didn’t really know where we were camping that night so they gave us some recommendations. This lead us in a direction we wouldn’t have taken and we realised we were quite different to them when we found the places they recommended. Not really our cup of tea (too many people), so we continued to Mole Creek.
On the way, we took a detour to Mole Creek Karst National park and found the perfect free campsite on a river surrounded by bush and private before heading to Mole Creek town.
The day wore on, I had a headache and was worried about all the stopping and starting and Nahlo being put in and out of the car.
We stopped in Mole creek, ate a pie, which was surprisingly good after speaking to yet another useless information center worker. We filled up on water and headed to the honey factory, where I ate some of the best ice-cream I have ever eaten. Well worth the journey but I was on edge. Nahlo resisted the car and winged the whole way back to a beautiful camp spot we had found earlier.
We arrived to a seriously beautiful spot, I lost my shit then we set up camp, with the river bubbling below us. We joked about it a bit but that night would be hard with Nahlo and the next day, would be a conversation, which needed to be had about not seeing eye to eye.
All that aside, Mole creek Karst National Park was a stunning spot to spend our last night camping.
The next morning, we spent on the creek/river before driving to Sheffield.
Sheffield is a cool little town covered in murals! We found another cool op shop and ate some of the best food we had bought out since landing in Tassie a month before – just a simple burger. We realise during this trip, that were we live has some of the best food and produce going round. It’s pretty hard to beat.
On the way to Devonport, Brendan dropped me into Latrobe to get an Ionic Foot Bath which was a birthday present. While I relaxed for half an hour detoxing and watching the water change as the toxins were pulled from my feet, Brendan drove the sleeping Nahlo around whilst listening to a podcast through his earphones.
Once he picked me up, Nahlo slept, pretty much until we hit Devonport, where we would spend our final night, before boarding the ferry.
We arrive to our motel and seriously cannot believe a month has passed. It’s been such an epic holiday.
We are welcomed into a spacious studio room, with water views and a huge king bed.
We dump our gear and go for a walk to find food for our ferry ride the following day and dinner. Not a huge variety but enough to see us through.
We slowly pack and have an early night for a 5:30 am rise, where we fill up on a mediocre buffet breakfast.
The Sprit of Tassie
Nahlo rides on my lap as we board the Ferry. We missed out on the night ferry by booking too late so we had to go with the daytime one. Good to do once but definitely recommend the night one.
We managed to get Nahlo down for his naps (When I say ‘we’, I mean Brendan) and the highlight of the trip was winning a character portrait of Nahlo. We apparently were in a draw to win but Nahlo charmed the artist before she asked us to enter, and we like to think she chose to draw him…
It was really windy on the deck, which called for 50 hilarious photos. Here are three.