Thursday, September 22, 2011

Travels in Tassie with 2 little people in a campervan...

A few months ago, we met up with our very good friends over in Tasmania. We were all heading there for a wedding (which was wonderful), and for hip hubby and I, this was a good excuse for a weekend without little people (thanks inlaws). 


Our friends however, decided this was a good opportunity for a holiday with the 'hips' and were gracious enough to write a h  ugely informative review of travelling through Tasmania in a campervan with a then 3 1/2 and 6 month old! 

Have a read - Its a great source of info for those heading over to Tassie with the family, or heading off elsewhere in a campervan. 

Thanks Tony and Jill. We loved spending some time with you in Tasmania and being ever so slightly in awe of you whilst we travelled carefree without our little hips! Over to you.....


Here's a bit about our family 
We’re a family of four plus two cats, all kiwis living in Wellington NZ. Jill and Tony with Sienna who is now just 4 and Lucia who is just 1.
The trip
Our latest trip took us to Tasmania - the excuse was a friend’s wedding on the east coast and we decided to make it longer, hire a campervan and have a look around as well as visit friends.
How did you get there?
We flew Qantas, Wellington- Melbourne- Hobart, then Sydney on the return trip. We’ve flown with Qantas and children previously, but rarely with the combined package!  Some of our trips with Qantas have been better than others. The flight over was ok, Sienna was pretty excited about the flight, which was luckily in a newer plane with a personal TV screen and the tray table. We got the person in front of her to lean their seat back so she could see the screen due to Sienna being vertically challenged, which seemed to work brilliantly. It was great travelling with three seats, as there was no risk of offending a stranger, however there isn’t much room when there is four of you and an infant that grabs anything within her reach. Luckily she spend a lot of the time asleep on mummy. On the flight over the staff were great and helpful even taking Lucia for a walk up the front. 
However on the flight home our call bell was ignored for twenty minutes while Lucia cried as she was hungry and we couldn’t reach her food as we needed our trays collected. The air stewardess was really rude when she finally came so not such a good experience. Overall we don’t think that Qantas is overly child friendly, certainly no children meals or strollers allowed but maybe this is a Trans-Tasman experience. We did get a kiddie pack of colouring pencils and activity pads that were a bit old for sienna. Being Kiwis we would recommend Air New Zealand for in-flight service but we may be bias!
Touch down in Tasmania and Hobart airport was an interesting experience with queues to get into the building on the tarmac due to slow screening of baggage for fruit. We had wished that we had jumpers available for the children as the queue was outside in the dark at night. We wondered what sort of an airport we had arrived at!
Where did we stay?


We had hired a campervan through
Maui as we thought it would be good to have the kids in the same beds every night, quite the new experience to get used to but it was fun. Great being able to travel around and only have to unpack/pack up once for our trip was great. Tasmania 
 is also quite campervan friendly with lots of places to stop and quite a few places to camp as well as campgrounds. Not always the easiest to find a place to park up a big camper in the towns and cities (Hobart) though, so if anyone knows of a guide book on where to park a big bus let us know – there’s an opening for a new guide book collection!!
Our biggest challenge?
Winding narrow roads with a large camper, combined with cyclists and logging trucks! Balancing battery power till the next plug in with demands for the Dora DVD on the big screen.
Big recommendations
Warm clothes for everyone even in summer- swimming one day and almost snowing the next, Tasmania!
Eureka Berry farm, yummy lunch and we brought home a few sauces and jams.
Tasmania Devil conservation park at Port Arthur was awesome.
Port Arthur – a educational experience but cold on the day. Good for a picnic on a warm day with a great backdrop.
Best experience was playing and swimming at the beach in surrounds of Coles bay, Freycinet National Park, and the wedding of course.

Main tips for traveling with kids
Don’t forget to play with them to help pass those waiting hours in planes and airports. Handy to always know where the toilet is and the next supermarket with room for the camper in the car park. Scrapbooking with a small exercise book, glue stick and kiddy friendly scissors (not as carry on), was a  good time filler. We wrote in it every day and stuck pictures and photos of what we had been doing. Information centres were great to grab pamphlets from. Sienna took this to Kindergarten when we got home and it has helped her remember the trip. The journey can be just as exciting as the destination, especially in a camper travelling with your toys in your home every day – and for the kids it was even better! 
And don’t leave home without!
Baby Bjorn front pack, was great as we didn’t need a push chair and is super comfortable. 

Thanks Jill and Tony - maybe next time we'll take our kids too! 

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