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Friday, 28 February 2014

Camping in Tasmania

Earlier this month, we hired a campervan and spent six days touring the Tasmanian East Coast, staying beachfront in Freycinet National Park and the Bay of Fires.  

The road to the coast weaves inland and out again, through ancient forest and quiet coastal towns of fibro shacks and million-dollar vistas, the winding roads heaven for motorcyclists (and babies who need a sleep!). 

We found our site at dusk and settled in just in time to watch the sunset over Coles Bay, before cooking dinner in the very well-appointed van kitchen. After going bush camping without running water a few weeks earlier, it was quite luxurious! The following day we did the walk to Wineglass Bay, a 2.5 hour return. Hugo happily travelled in the Ergobaby carrier on Marcus' back, sleeping when he needed to. 

While staying in Freycinet, we also took part in a Ranger activity on bush teas and edible plants. We sipped tea, and sampled nuts, seeds and berries from surrounding bushland, while learning about the settlement of the region and indigenous customs. 

After three nights in Freycinet we headed north to a free camping spot at Cosy Corner, at the southern end of the region known as the 'Bay of Fires'. It was given this name in 1773 by an explorer who saw many fires on the beach, lit by the local indigenous people. 

It's name could also be attributed to the fiery orange-red granite of the rocks, quite breathtaking against the aqua water. The colour of the water was a real surprise; we didn't imagine Tassie to have the inviting waters of other parts of Australia, I suppose due to the climate. February is a fantastic time to camp in Tassie as it's the end of the holiday season and the weather is still warm. I'm sure the crisp winter days are beautiful too, but with a baby it was definitely easier being outdoors as much as possible.

Here are our baby travel essentials:
  • car seat for interstate travel (you can hire them, but we've enjoyed the peace-of-mind knowing that Hugo is comfortable sleeping in his own seat for long drives
  • a baby carrier or two: we take the Ergobaby carrier and a woven wrap/sling
  • lots of changes of clothes, particularly if you have a mobile baby!
  • disposable nappies (we use cloth at home but use eco-disposables when travelling)
  • bibs, washcloths, baby wipes 
  • a plan for daily meals (we meal-planned for the week on our first day, doing most of the shopping in Hobart)
  • a picnic blanket
  • first-aid kit 
  • stroller 
  • a few favourite toys and books

Hugo enjoyed watching the wildlife, eating dirt and chewing travel brochures more than his own toys, but they were handy to have when we needed to confine him to the van. 

Have you done much travelling with young children? What would your 'essentials' list look like?

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