Saturday, 8 June 2013

Tasmania Day 7: Mt Field National Park -> Hobart

I woke up a lot overnight, listening to heavy rain and very strong winds. Normally wind scares me but I actually felt quite secure where we were, the huts are well built. I wasn’t looking forward to heading out to the toilet though! The kids slept fitfully as well, and at 4.30 Liam got up to have some breakfast. The girls were soon up as well so we played Up and Down the River for a while, then eventually I couldn’t put off a toilet trip any longer. When I went out in the dark the ground and picnic table looked a bit white, and when I walked into the rain I realized that the drops were actually icy – it had just started to snow. Everyone came out to have a look and we did a quick toilet trip, then back inside to rug up properly with thermals and jackets, boots, beanies, neck warmers, the whole lot to go out and play in the snow. There was enough to dance around in and to scrape off the back of the car, then it stopped. By the time it started to get light it was raining a little and the snow was melting – but then it turned to snow again and there was another chance to play and even build an ice mountain on the table. A bit later on it snowed more convincingly, the snowflakes actually looked like snowflakes rather than chunks of ice. We played and took photos in the snow and then went for a walk down to Caitlin’s magic land – the logs, bushes and rocks dusted in white looked pretty special, and snow on gum trees always looks beautiful. It was pretty icy with the wind and snow on exposed skin (just our faces) and Millie didn’t like that bit so much. The tops of the mountains were looking sprinkled with icing sugar. There was just enough snow for the kids to try a snowball fight, but the snow was still pretty icy and they hurt when they hit, so they threw snowballs at the windows instead.
Liam making an ice mountain in the snow

Snow falling on Eucalypt Hut
Caitlin (without snow gear except boots and gloves) in the heavier snow

Snow on our surrounds
It was time to pack up the hut which was a little more challenging because so much of our stuff was wet so I organised things a bit differently (challenging to me because I like to know exactly where everything is going to go so I’m not making decisions while trying to pack…) Putting things in the car was also challenging because it kept snowing on and off and with the back of the car open the snow was blowing straight into the car. We managed though and got everything cleaned up and crammed into the car and drove down through a lightly snow-coated forest. It was probably the perfect amount of snow – enough to play in and to marvel out, but not so much that driving out was a problem.

I’m so glad we took the risk on this accommodation. I had been nervous about it, not sure if it would be too cold or if the kids would manage with the composting toilet, no electricity, what if the weather was bad etc. But it was a pretty magic experience and despite some bits being a bit tough everyone really enjoyed it.

I dropped Tony off at the Tall Trees Walk so he had a chance to walk down past Horseshoe Falls and the top of Russell Falls (Caitlin was disappointed he’d missed seeing them the day before) and we met him at the Visitors Centre. Millie bought her platypus, Caitlin bought some gifts for friends and some earrings, Liam bought a Tasmanian Tiger and I bought a book on Tasmanian Wildlife with gorgeous drawings of the animals.

We finally left Mt Field National Park and headed to Hobart, going straight to the Cadbury factory for the chocolate making presentation. We had time to browse in the shop first and I was impressed, the kids each picked something they wanted but didn’t want to buy a lot of chocolate.  I actually found it harder to not buy much because everything was so much cheaper – but I restricted myself to the things we normally buy and got a decent little haul for about $20. We went into the presentation and Liam impressed the presenter with his questions, such as ‘Do you make dark and white chocolate the same way as you make the milk chocolate?’

Then off to our caravan park where I was surprised to see we’d booked a standard cabin rather than an economy cabin – it was like major luxury compared to where we’d come from! Millie was very impressed that we had a shower and a toilet inside (even in our cabin in Kelso we had to go to the amenities block for toilet and shower). The kids explored the playgrounds (one is right near our cabin) and then enjoyed having tv and ipad to play with again. Tony popped down to the supermarket to get supplies for dinner and I had a lovely long shower.  We didn’t go to bed quite so early tonight because we had electric lights but it was still earlier than usual since we’d had such an early start. I read Anne of Green Gables to everyone again and then we all went to bed.

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