Posted by: Malpass Oz Adventure | February 21, 2011

Lovely Tassie

How brilliant is this place!  Tasmania just gets better and better.  We spent the first two nights in Ulverstone at the Big 4 park there.  This is a great campground just across the road from a calm beach, perfect for the kids to swim at… no fish though – well none jumping onto Ben’s rod anyway.  After two huge loads of washing and a great start to the next unit of school work we hit the road again and caught up with the Cullen family who we met on the Spirit of Tasmania.  The Cullens, from Townsville have been on the road for seven months now, there’s Ben (another one!), Wendy, Bailey, Oli and Josh.  Bailey. Oli and Josh are the same ages as Jake, Tobey and Indianna so the kids have had a ball together.  We’re sticking with the Cullens and picking up all the tips we can… at least until they decide that we’re stalking them and won’t tell us where their next stop is!!

So, on the path of the Cullens we went into Narawntapu National Park  on the western side of estuary of the Rubicon River. Bakers Point Campground is a truly excellent spot (Camps 5 site No 269), right on the beach, drop toilets that get cleaned every day and the services of a Discovery Park Ranger all for the grand sum of $16 per night.  William Oliver was the Discovery Park Ranger on duty when we were there and he so happened to be on duty on the Spirit of Tasmania when we crossed, so we had met him before. The rangers run guided walks at various times of the day, so we all joined William after dinner for a wombat hunt. We saw loads and loads of wombats, even with six over excited children on the hunt too and the highlight had to be spotting a baby wombat with its’ mum – very cute.  We also saw hundreds of paddymelons (small wallabies) and were on the hunt for a Tasmanian Devil after some other people had spotted one the night before, alas the excited noises of small children must have been too much for it!

Dampened down by the weather again we were back in the car heading east trying to make it to a campsite at Lilydale while enduring the inane banter on the CB between Ben (Cullen) and Ben (Malpass). It’s quite easy to see where the truckies CB lingo originates from!  Lilydale (Camps5 Site 2) was a big letdown; it was no more than a parking area for the falls which are a short walk away.  There were plenty of people “camped” there, mostly caravans though as there was no access to the grassed areas for tenting.  We moved on.  We made it into Scottsdale to a free campsite to the northeast of the town called… wait for it… Northeast Park (Camps5 Site 3).  The park was named not for its location though, but after the man who first developed it over 100 years ago.  It’s a fantastic spot, there are nature walks, a playground, a pond where we saw a platypus swimming, hot showers for $3 and a dog walking track that made a good route for my morning run – a brilliant spot except for the trucks motoring past at all hours!

Peahen and baby

Keen to be back in a National Park again we headed to the North East coast to Stumpys Bay in Mt William National Park.  We have hit the stunning east coast of Tasmania now with crystal blue waters and white white sands.  Unfortunately we arrived in the middle of gale force winds and more rain so sat huddled around a fire when it wasn’t raining and huddled in the tent when it was.  Thank goodness for movies!  We’ve had a couple of movie nights with six kids lined up in the tent staring at a small computer screen, it all has the desired affect though – peace and quiet for a while.  We had foraging animals of a different kind at Stumpys Bay – the Forester Kangaroos who we thought were so cute coming up close to the kids as they held out a branch soon turned into right pests, coming into the tent to snoop around if the door was left open and going through the rubbish bins at night.

We’ve had enough of the wet windy weather so with the forecast looking to improve we’re heading on, back through Gladstone and over the Weldborough Pass so we can pop in to see the beer drinking pig at Pyengana and St Columba Falls.  What a hoot, that big old pig swigged down a bottle of beer as quick as anything (maybe even a little competition for you Miles!).

The weather has cleared, the wind has died (somewhat) and we are at a perfect spot at Binalong Bay (north of St Helens) at Cosy Corner Campground (Camps5 Site 27) which is really cosy!  We are about 20 meters from a white sand beach with boulders and rock pools for exploring and about a minutes’ walk either way to two swimming beaches.  Not sure how much swimming will get done though, the temperature has dropped and we’re expecting a high of 19 tomorrow.  Another evening huddled around the fire.

We have been on the road for three weeks now and Sydney feels like a lifetime ago. I have very quickly settled into the rhythm of changing camp, it is not as arduous to pack up and move camp as I thought it may be.  A two night stay in one place feels like a decent amount of time and with the fairly short travelling distances we are doing between camp sites in Tasmania even a one night stay is fine.  This last week of travelling with the Cullen family has been a wonderful adventure for the children, they are off exploring with their friends and there have been very, very few disagreements between them all.  Ben and I get a friend too!



  1. So envious Maria! Glad all going well.

  2. I so enjoy reading your blog, Maria!

    I think you are going to have the most wonderful memories…

  3. Wow Maria, despite what you say about packing up and all that not being to too bad, it still sounds like a major logistical undertaking to me! But it also sounds like you are having a great time and making the most of your adventure. Can’t wait to hear the next installment!

  4. Right, i now hate reading your blogs ……. We are so gealous ….. WOW sounds like your having a ball, where can we meet you guys. Im very depressed. Guys, just enjoy every day and every minute. Can just imagine the memories the kids will have !!!! Cant wait to read your next blog, must take you ages to right all that. Got the good o’ld umina trip for the year 4 this weekend… Busy organising the year 2 fundraiser – might be xmas in July this year back at forestville RSL club…. weather terrible here hot and humid one day pooring the next. Did you know Clarrisa Nobble is leaving us, heading up to Port Macquarie xxxxx Cant think of much else.

    • Oh, you are so sweet! The kids are feeling a bit ripped off at missing Umina, we’ve just left a family we’ve been travelling with for a few weeks and I think that they think they’ll never have another friend again! Be sure to send us photos of the fundraiser once it’s done and dusted – I’m sure there will be some corkers… who’s going as Santa? You have to get the Wakehurst Tassie tour happening – this place is magnificent, we could easily spend another month here (especially if the weather fined up!). Come in the summer though – then you can enjoy the beaches properly. Thanks for keeping us up to date on Wakehurst happenings – miss you all. Maria

  5. It all sounds so amazing! You are giving yourselves and your family a real gift, something they will remember for the rest of their lives. This is not something you will ever regret. All my admiration and respect goes out to you for having the courage to just do it. The blog is fantastic.
    Lots of love,

    • Thanks for your lovely comments Irene, we ARE having a brilliant time and all the hard work of saving over the last few years has definitely paid off. Missing you all though! Hope you are all good. Love Maria

  6. Hi guys, sounds like your having a great time. Sorry our home state didn’t show you better hospitality! l know that welcome to Victoria sign very well!!! Tassie sounds great, a little cold though and you guys have helped us decide to postpone Winabago Tassie til a bit later in the year when it is a bit warmer. And Bailey wouldn’t b happy to skip the easter swannie camp. How funny you met another Bailey. Let the kids know Easter Bunny popped around the other day to your place and l have let him know where you’ll b for Easter, so the kids don’t miss out. Millie is well and loves sleeping on Bailey’s bed at night much to Haydens disgust, he keeps putting her on his bed and she keeps running away. No wild drinking sessions with the new neighbours, yet. She has brought around cupcakes for the kids already though, so now l’m going to have to lift my game! Take care and stay safe from your neighbours xxx

    • Great to hear from you, definitely put the Tassie tour on hold until later in teh year when it gets warm again, there is some absolutely stunning sights here, but best enjoyed when it’s warm I think! Pleased Millie has found her little spot for sleeping and she’s not causing any trouble. Now off you go and do some baking… or maybe pop to the shops for something!!! xx

  7. Dear Malpass Family

    Wow – can’t think of a better word because I am gobsmacked. I have read your previous entries but the tears welled up in my eyes – not sure why but probably a combination of realising that you guys have actually gone and the eloquence with which you describe your travels makes one want to pack up and join you……still hoping to gatecrash in the latter part of the year! Amazing memories and memoirs so keep them coming – tell Ben, David is incredibly jealous and is upset that his camper is covered in cobwebs! He is off to sand driver training next weekend with M&M. Not a lot to tell from our end……………school is back and kids seem happy. Little Coops remains a chunky little imp – rolls all around his cot. Jack is always on the go and keeps me on my toes. David doing loads of travel (back to back at the moment). We miss you Malpass family. Stay safe and looking forward to reading the next adventure! Luv to all The Horders

    • You’ve made me have a lump in my throat now! Missing you and would absolutely love to see you at some point. I’m going to update our itinerary at some stage over the coming weeks so you’ll have a better idea of where we’ll be at what point. Hope you are getting a break every now and then from the littlies. Miss you! M

  8. I am going to print this blog, and all your Tassie ones as reference for our trip later this year (fingers crossed).
    So glad you’re having such a fabulous time (love the photo of Indiana as a mud person) and that you’ve met some friendly folks, I still remember the friends I made on our family trip around Australia when I was in year 4, we had such a ball. Funny to think now that our parents made friends too.
    Take care and I can’t wait for the next instalment!

    • Absolutely love Tassie. If you do come make sure you time it with some nice weather, just makes the scenery so much more spectacular. And don’t try to do too much I think… with one month we were pushed for time to go everywhere, six weeks would have been ideal. If you have a shorter amount of time I’d recommend to choose an area and travel in a relaxed fashion! M

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