Day 43


Cradle Mountain



What We Did:

Saying goodbye to Hobart, we’re headed north towards Launceston, waving to the Midland Highway Silhouettes on the hills which depicted various scenes from the region’s history. We stopped for lunch in Campbell Town, where we found a cute little bookstore full of wonderful things (like white honey and 3D puzzles). We turned off after the roadworks (and another town called Perth) towards the mountains, swirling and whirling along mountain roads that at last proved too much for Raquel’s tummy. A clean-up later, we arrived at Discovery Parks Cradle Mountain, where Mark and Claire were on hand with eucalyptus oil spray (which we learned is amazing for odours), Cabin #6, and a fine bottle of local red wine. Jaci took Raquel to Dove Lake to see one of the most beautiful views in all of Australia, Gali napped and Dad went canyoning. We joined the largest marsupial carnivore for dinner before having ours. Devils @ Cradle offer visitors the chance to watch the evening feeding session of the Tasmanian devils, who are part of a nationwide breeding program to create an insurance population in case the dreaded facial cancer that has wiped them out over the past decade continues unabated. We learned all about the devils – who made the grunting, screeching hissing screams that earned them their devil name. We also learned about spotted quolls, another marsupial carnivore that is actually the apex predator (devils are primarily scavengers). Fortunately, both are shy and harmless. After a fabulous BBQ we enjoyed a peaceful night in our cabin in the forest.

What We Ate:

Lunch: Delicious pies at a bakery in Campbell Town.
Dinner: A steak BBQ and Raquel and Gali-made pizza

Where We Ate:

Lunch: JJ Bakery, Campbell Town

Dinner: The Wattle Camp Kitchen area in Discovery Park, with BBQs, pizza ovens, and lots of space for campers, RV’ers and cabin’ers to cook and socialize.

My Favourite Pictures Today

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Where We Slept:

Discovery Parks Cradle Mountain is located right at the Visitor Centre entrance to the national park. We picked up some fresh steaks, great local wines and beer, and do-it-yourself pizzas from the kiosk, as well as great tips and advice from owners Claire and Mark. Raquel slept all through the night in her bunk bed, and Gali said two new words: “deli-shish” and “my bed.”

We Learned:

Button grass surrounding the park is non-native, but is the result of thousands of years of cultivation by aboriginal people to assist in hunting. We’re told it’s also the world’s most flammable grass. Jumping into waterfalls in Dove Canyon is totally bucket list. You can marinade steak in plum sauce. Devils were once found on the mainland, as were Tasmanian tigers. The last Tasmanian tiger died in a Hobart zoo in 1936, although some people still claim to have seen it in modern times. One third of Tasmania is protected wilderness. Quolls are cute but deadly (especially for small wallabies and another marsupial called pademelons). Both have among the strongest jaws in the animal kingdom.

Reflection of the Day

The Best Part:

Raquel: Making my own delicious pizza with Dad and Gali. Jaci: Taking Raquel on an adventure to see the beautiful mountains, which went really smoothly. Dad: Rock jumping into water so clean you can drink it. Mom: Taking my shoes off in the woods and putting my feet in the soft moss. Gali: Eee-I-Eee-I-Grrrr.

The Worst Part:

When Raquel threw up in the car, although she did manage to get most of it into a barf bag.

We'll Always Remember

  • Name: Anna
  • Favourite Place: The Tasmanian midlands at dusk
  • I Love Travel Because: of the difference
  • My Advice for Kids: Find out who you are
  • Name: Mark
  • Favourite Place: Cradle Mountains
  • I Love Travel Because: It broadens my horizons and makes me appreciate the world a helluva lot better
  • My Advice for Kids: Enjoy being a kid, don't grow up
  • Name: Claire
  • Favourite Place: Twisted Lakes in Cradle Mountain
  • I Love Travel Because: of the adventures, and getting to meet people
  • My Advice for Kids: Play a card game
  • Name: Simon
  • Favourite Place: Thailand
  • I Love Travel Because: I get to experience different cultures
  • My Advice for Kids: Be open to doing things that are different than you're used to
  • Name: Dirk
  • Favourite Place: The southwest coast of Turkey
  • I Love Travel Because: that's what I do
  • My Advice for Kids: Go with your heart, all the time, every time
  • Name: Raj
  • Favourite Place: Vietnam
  • I Love Travel Because: It makes me feel free and happy
  • My Advice for Kids: Remember and learn how other generations lived

  Today's Random Thing

  A Note from Mom and Dad

Mom: Carry barf bags in the car, and when the road gets windy, look out for the signs, like moaning. We almost got away with no mess (if Raquel had better aim). She felt much better, and eucalyptus oil did wonders. We haven’t had an opportunity to let the kids cook their own food, so really appreciated the pizza ovens and the simplicity of pre-rolled pizza dough, tomato base and grated cheese available at the kiosk – and it tasted awesome. At the devil briefing, Gali kept growling like a devil, so much so the guide couldn’t talk and we had to take him out of the room. We thought it was pretty funny.

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