Monday, September 19, 2011

2 Adults, 4 Kids, 2 weeks....and a Camper.

On this day of September 2010 my husband and I had a plan; the plan was insane, crazy and completely irrational. Hubby and I were beside ourselves with excitement and just a little terrified at the prospect.
      Taking four children on a 2 week holiday around Tasmania in a camper van may not be everyone’s cup of tea, in fact it was possible it wasn’t ours either…but we were willing to give it a try.
With our 50 bags of luggage packed, plane tickets safely enclosed in my handbag and kids piled into the car we turned to look at their expectant little faces, they had no idea what they were in for….neither did we.
Ready for anything!
      I would like to think that we were suitably prepared for the plane trip but sometimes the best laid plans soon become unravelled. Children are unpredictable creatures and the most unpredictable of all children is definitely the restrained toddler……cue kicking, screaming, crying, and shouting. The other children did not escape unscathed either. Miss 8 was soon vomiting (apparently this one suffers from motion sickness), Mr 10 sobbed very loudly that his ears were hurting and that planes are the most boring thing “ever”. The only one having a good time was Mr 4 seated comfortably by the window, “This is awesome!” he enthused.
  Finally the toddler stopped screaming and fell asleep. Five minutes later the plane landed in Launceston. Our fellow passengers all departed with slightly dazed expressions, we apologised profusely to anyone that would listen as we tried to disembark. Hubby was struggling with a sleeping baby while I managed the two sick, whinging children and Mr Happy.

Russell Falls

The camper van we had hired was smaller, older and dirtier than the pictures we had seen of it on the Internet. I tried to hide my chagrin as we handed over an exorbitant amount of money for our two week trip.
Soon, everyone was strapped in and we were on our way. The trip was eventful to say the least. Lot’s of winding roads equalled a lot of vomiting from Miss 8, continuous whining from the toddler and not much interest from Mr 10 who had his head either buried in a book or was busy playing some sort of fan dangled electronic device. Mr 4 however was happy with whatever each day handed out to us. Constant stops for toilet breaks, food and for my poor, long suffering hubby to empty the chemical loo meant for a relatively slow trip. The scenery was incredible; lush, green, rolling hills surrounded by wilderness. Even the main cities; Launceston and Hobart were strikingly pretty.
Wineglass Bay....Beautiful
(Ignore the date on this one, crazy camera!)

We were amazed by the clarity of Wineglass Bay and enjoyed the walk immensely.

We made friends at all the different camping grounds along the way.

We ate the famous scallop pies and visited old-fashioned lolly shops.

Port Arthur was eerie and of unbelievable beauty. Hubby, the older children and I were enthralled by the history of the was like travelling back in time. Mr 4 just loved the boat ride.
Snow Angels (!?)
One of the most magical moments of our experience was when it snowed while at Cradle Mountain. Not only had the children never seen snow before but at 31 years of age it was my first time too. The children were amazed at the powder like texture of the freshly fallen snow and we quickly set about throwing snowballs at each other, making snowmen and snow angels.
 It was wonderful watching our children delight in the beauty of nature, it is a memory that we will always hold dear.

A night of snow and we were stuck!
Unfortunately that night the snow became heavier and when we awoke the next morning we were well and truly stuck. We needed to be in Launceston that day as we had booked some prior accommodation to get a break from the camper. We tried unsuccessfully a number of times to drive out ourselves but only succeeded in lodging the camper on top of a large log that was hidden in the snow. To our rescue came the owner of the camping grounds who had us pulled out in no time with the help of his tractor. The roads out were slippery but drivable and we made good time back to Launceston.

The next two days were spent in the comfort of a resort. There was room for the children to play, good food and most importantly a hot shower, flushable loo and comfortable beds. It is amazing how much you miss these simple things when you have to go without.
Bed hogs!

On our last morning in Tasmania the children and I sat huddled around our digital camera looking back on all the photos of our trip. We laughed at all the funny images and reflected on all the wonderful things we had seen and done.

Now, exactly one year on from the day we boarded that plane to head into the unknown; Hubby the children and I remember it as one of best things we have ever done. Mr (now) 5 asks us on a regular basis....’When are we going back to Tasmania?’

Soon buddy, soon.
Tiptoe through the tulips!



  1. these are just gorgeous photos lovely. xx

  2. What an amazing experience and those photos? Beautiful! xx

  3. perfect.

    I'm about to embark on a holiday with my two boys 13, and 4 to Day dream island...via a sleeper train a bus then a boat... Mr 4 and Mr 13 are delirous with excitment... Me, I'll be delirous by the time we get there. think its the thought of arriving at Proserpine at 4.15 tomorrow morning... Nothing a cocktail won't fix though :)

  4. Gosh Lene, you're kids are just beautiful. I read your story with pain, just imagining that motion sickness, the cramped conditions in the camper, etc etc and then it's all forgotten about once you look at the photos and 12 months on, you only have memories of the good stuff and can laugh at the bad stuff. So, where's the next trip? LOL

    Anne xx


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