An early start – Tony and Caitlin went up and outside to see Tasmania approaching at 5.30am. Liam and Millie joined them around 6 and I packed up all our gear (not much to do for this night) and we were ready to disembark at 6.30.
The sky was starting to lighten as we drove in to Devonport and we made our way to the lighthouse at Mersey Bluff (which is exactly what Tony and I did 10 years ago last time we arrived in Tasmania). There was a lookout just down from the lighthouse, some cool rocks to climb on, and as the path wound back along the bluff, some little beaches with lots of interesting and very skimmable rocks. The water was still and smooth so perfect for skimming and watching the sunrise.
We made our way around to the big playground and spent much of the morning there, having breakfast, playing on the equipment, running on the beach, exploring the rock pools, building sand castles and tunnels and writing in the sand. Liam stubbed his toe and Caitlin lost her earrings so it wasn’t a perfect morning but very relaxing on the whole.
Eventually we moved on, stopping to purchase the rest of our camping gear (stove and lantern) and some new earrings for Caitlin, then headed East towards the Tamar Valley. Tony and I didn’t come this way at all on our last trip, so it was new territory for all of us. Listening to ‘The Secret Garden’ audio CD helped the trip go quickly and we stopped briefly in Beaconsfield (site of the mine rescue in 2006) for groceries then at Point Beauty for Fish and Chips on the beach. Caitlin quickly made friends with a girl who showed her how to search for and pick up mud crabs, and Liam found some sea stars on a rock. We had a good chat to a guy with a metal detector and spent more time exploring the tidal mud flats, then headed up to Kelso Sands Caravan Park - near the mouth of the Tamar River.
Five minutes after we arrived the kids went out to see the jumping pillow and play area – and saw a wombat on the way. One of the reasons we chose this place to stay was because it has wildlife wandering free in the park, we didn’t think it would be quite THAT easy to see the wildlife however. When I went to see the kids at the playground we saw 2 more wombats, and by the time we went to bed we’d seen over 20, as well as potaroos and possums.
There’s one wombat (‘Wombo’) who lives in a purpose built hole underneath the caravan next to us, we’ve seen him come and go a few times. We had a play on the beach here but its covered in mounds of dry (and some soggy) seaweed so not such a pleasant place to be. Apparently the Tasmanian Devils don’t come out until about midnight, we considered staying up to see them but after such an early start to a long day it proved beyond everyone and we decided to sleep instead.