10th Wedding Anniversary Trip – Tasmania (continued)

Last week I shared with your all the beginning of my husband’s and my trip away to Tasmania to celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary a little early (21 April is the actual date).  Today we’ll continue on with our drive to Freycinet/Bicheno.

There is so much green.  Beautiful.  Rolling hills, mountains, farms.  The landscape is breathtaking.  And when the momentum of the car moving didn’t lull me into nap mode, I took it all in.  I crave a tree-change.  I crave space, peace, tranquility.  One day.

After our very delicious breakfast at The Flipped Egg at the Farmgate Markets in Hobart we headed north for Freycinet.  We stopped off in Orford for a pit-stop and to grab a cup of tea to go with our baked goods we had purchased at the Farmgate Markets and then continued on to Kelvedon Beach…

the Spiky Bridge…

and the Freycinet National Park where we did a quick walk along the Cape Tourville Walk and looked at the lighthouse.

We stopped briefly for lunch at Richardson’s Bistro and then made our way to our accommodation in Bicheno.  Cheap and cheerful was the go in Bicheno as we had splurged in Hobart and were splurging in Cradle Mountain and we weren’t spending a lot of time in Bicheno.  We stayed at Winter Sun Gardens motel in the Queen Deluxe room.  Freshly renovated and clean with new ensuite.  Again, still not well from my head cold, I rested whilst hubby went off to have a look at the lookout and the blow hole.

We also booked in for the Bicheno Penguin Tour.  We met the bus and headed off to protected land where the penguins nest.  Very interesting – males prepare the nest, meet a female penguin, mate, hunt and gather, clean the nest once the baby penguins hatch, hunt and gather some more and then spend time at sea for long periods eating as much as they can to prepare for a n new female partner for the next mating season.  The females migrate to a new location each season which assists in diversifying the gene pool in the species.  The males stay at the same location and quarrels can occur between father and son over who keeps the family burrow with the son sent off to create his own. You are not allowed to take photographs of the penguins as the camera flash can send the little guys blind.  Thankfully, Bicheno Penguin Tours email you photos after the event and they have kindly agreed to let me share them with you here.

The next day we started making our way to Cradle Mountain with a few stops along the way.  First stop was Ross for two reasons.  One, we heard you have to have a pie in Ross and two, it bares the same name as my husband!  We enjoyed a lovely look around and stopped off at Ross Bridge.  We then headed to the original Ross Bakery and enjoyed a lovely breakfast of Eggs Benedict for myself and a Bacon and Egg roll for my husband. We got a pepper steak pie and chicken and camembert pie for the road.  All of it was lovely!  And highly recommended.  Beautiful little village and scrumptious food.

From Ross we headed through Westbury and then commenced a very windy drive through the mountains until we reached Cradle Mountain and our accommodation at Cradle Mountain Lodge.  I came across Cradle Mountain Lodge years ago and knew that if I ever went to Cradle Mountain, I wanted to stay there.  This was before a mortgage and children so when looking at it for this trip, the cost made me rule it out but my husband said to go for it so did.  We booked the Spa Suite as we wanted a real log fire.  Upon arrival though, we were upgraded to the King Billy Suite, the best Cradle Mountain Lodge has to offer. Shocked was an understatement.  With great excitement we headed off to check out our suite.  I mean – look at this!

I then headed to the Waldheim Day Spa and enjoyed the Mountain Dreaming Package and an hour in the Private Sanctuary ( dry heat sauna, wet steam room, a large outdoor hot tub and a cool vitality pool).  My therapist was Madison and she did an amazing job. I was so relaxed I kept coming in and out of consciousness!  

When I went to Daylesford with a girlfriend in 2015, we visited a day spa there and enjoyed an hour in their private sanctuary.  I don’t know if it was because we chatted and enjoyed the private sanctuary together or maybe I was too blissed out from the treatments, but I regret spending the money this time.  It seemed unnecessary after what I had already received.   

Whilst I was dayspa-ing, my husband hired a bike and helmet from reception and headed off for an explore around the lodge. 

We came together again, got ready for dinner and enjoyed a pre-dinner drink in the guest lounge.  We enjoyed our drink and then headed to the Highland Restaurant.  With a seasonal menu, we weren’t sure what to expect but it was delicious.  I enjoyed the Grilled Tasmanian Quaill and hubby had the Slow Braised Lenah Game Wallaby for our entree. Hubby won that round.  I enjoyed the Hand Rolled Fresh Ricotta Gnocchi and hubby had the Tasmanian Eye Fillet for our mains.  I won this round.  For dessert I enjoyed the Leatherwood Honey Panna Cotta and hubby had the Anvers Bitter Chocolate Tart.  We couldn’t agree who won this round so called it a tie.

Back in our room we lit the fire.  Is there anything more romantic?  Seriously?  We enjoyed a lie-in the next morning and watched the fire burn.  This suite was lovely to stay in and enjoy.  We wanted to head to the Tasmanian Devil Wildlife Sanctuary so we got ready and headed down to the restaurant for the buffet breakfast.  With the usual buffet breakfast items on offer we enjoyed just enough which meant we didn’t need lunch and I didn’t need dinner!  Good thing this was the only buffet we included in our our accommodation whilst away or we would have gained weight!

We sadly checked out and headed to Devils @ Cradle.  Due to wanting to check out a few other destinations on our way to Launceston Airport, we didn’t have time to do the full tour with an employee but hubby was happy taking a look around ourselves and snapping a few photos.  80% of the Tassie Devil population was wiped out due to the spreading of mouth cancers within the species!  An astronomical figure.  Thankfully due to places like Devils @ Cradle, the species is being bred again in captivity with a view to preparing them for release in the wild.

From Cradle Mountain we started heading to Launceston Airport with stops at Sheffield, Ashgrove Cheese and The Honey Farm. 

Sheffield is known as the town of murals. This may explain it well:

Ashgrove products are available readily at most supermarkets throughout Australia.  We purchased a variety of items to give our family members that looked after the kids whilst we were away.

When at The Honey Farm we purchased the Leatherwood honey used in my dessert the night before.  What was great about The Honey Farm was that they had a hive behind a glass wall and you could see all the bees working away and also spot the Queen Bee too!

We enjoyed a quick drive through Launceston and had a brief look at the Gorge and then sadly made our way to the Airport.

This trip was amazing.  It was wonderful just being alone with my hubby for 5 days without having to parent as well. It was lovely to just be Us without mediating sibling arguments, wiping bums, cooking dinners everyone will like etc!  Whilst we are well and truly back in the thick of it now, we have the memories!

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10th Wedding Anniversary Trip – Tasmania.

10 years this year since we said “I do” and to celebrate we left the kids in the care of their Grandparents/Aunties and headed to Tasmania a few weeks early (anniversary – 21 April). 

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It was a very early start of 3.15am, departing home at 3.57am and heading to the airport for our 6am flight. Great drive at that time of day along the M5 and with the return train fare being $73.28 by train, we opted for the convenience of driving in and leaving our car at the Blue Emy carpark for $77.85. Tip: Google Blue Emu discount code for a discount. Thanks AC for the tip!

We collected our Toyota Corolla from Europcar, stopped for breakie at a bakery in Sorell and headed straight for Port Arthur. 

What a beautiful place, despite its convict past/Martin Bryant past. Entry was $74 for the two us and included a 40 minute guided walking tour and 20 minute harbour cruise. 

We commenced walking around the site taking in the beauty of the dilapidated flour mill come penitentiary and harbour. We then made our way to the harbour cruise and took in the penitentiary, Point Puer Buy’s Prison, Isle of the Dead and heard about how the civilians shared Port Arthur with convicts. 

After our boat cruise we took in the Port Arthur Massacre Memorial. A very peaceful and beautiful place. After visiting this remote location of Port Arthur you can understand why so many people died and were injured. It just took too long for local police and other support services to arrive to stop it. 

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We then took in lunch at the Cafe and then commenced our walking tour. It was lovely walking the grounds and it is so quiet there. I can’t imagine being a civilian of that time listening to a convict receive his punishment of 100 thrashings from the cat of nine tails. I also can’t believe that after over 200 years of trialling all sorts of punishments/treatments/rehabilitating activities that we still do not know how to rehabilitate our criminals to responsible members of society.

Upon entry to Port Arthur, you are given a card each which represents which convict you are on the day.  I was 8 of spades and hubby was 10 of diamonds.

After the official walk was over we explored the solitary confinement cells, the asylum, the Visiting Magistrates House and the Surgeons Home.  Port Arthur hadn’t originally been in our plans, but after speaking with friends, we knew we had to make the trip and are very glad that we did.

Time to head to our accommodation but not before stopping very briefly at Tasman Arch.  Stunning what nature can do.

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We stayed at Hotel Grand Chancellor for two nights. Absolutely lovely hotel with this view…

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And champagne on arrival to celebrate our wedding anniversary. 

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On Friday night we headed to Street Eats at Frankie. The wait for our food was ridiculous. Hell, this post up till this point was written whilst I waited in line. The food however was enjoyable and we listened to live music whilst we ate. 

Saturday started with a 7am alarm and a snooze until 7.45. The bed was sooo comfy. Our plan is a new mattress this year. I will also add all new bedding to this purchase. We headed to Salamanca Markets where I embraced my Dutch heritage and enjoyed Ollie Bollen for breakfast. Think doughnut ball with sultanas and apple, deep fried and coated in icing sugar. Not healthy. Dutch tradition is to make them for New Years but my Dad failed to do so this year so I made up for it.  They weren’t as nice as his though 🤤

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Whilst at the markets we bought a few items, but easily could have bought so much more if I’d thought to pay for more luggage with our airfares and if money was no object. 

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When we honeymooned in Europe 10 years ago we caught the Hop On Hop Off Buses everywhere we went. London, Edinburgh, Ireland, Paris, Florence and Rome. We’ve played tourist in our home town of Sydney and caught one there too. It’s a good way to get your bearings on the city you’re in. Hobart was to be no different. We took in Battery Point, Sandy Bay, the Cascade Brewery and the Botanic Gardens.  Although a little windy, it was great and saved the legs – I didn’t expect Hobart to be so hilly. 

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This is when my head cold started to worsen.  I decided to take a rest in our hotel room so that I could enjoy our plans for the evening.  Whilst I rested, my husband headed to Mt Wellington.  He is now going to share a little bit about it with you:

Hi hubby here, during our time in Hobart I made the foolish and amazing decision to drive to the top of Mt Wellington. Although I was not able to take my mountain bike and enjoy any of the trails back down, or one of the walking trails to the summit, the road up gives some brilliant views over Hobart and the Derwent River. 

Only half an hour from the city centre, but 13 degrees cooler at the top of the mountain and then a wind chill of at least 10 degrees, made it the coldest I have ever been. Even though it was sunny and quite warm in Hobart, take a warm jacket, scarf and gloves!

The summit provided 360 degree views but the wind meant taking shelter in the viewing platform or hiding behind the pink granite boulders. 

Cold and very windy! But the views were amazing and well worth the trip.

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Once my husband returned from his very cold trip, we dressed for drinks and dinner.

I put a callout in a private Facebook group I am in for tips on where we should eat/drink whilst in Tasmania.  Sam from The Annoyed Thyroid shared a post with me that she had written about the very same thing.  After reading it, we decided to head to Preachers for a pre-dinner drink, enjoy dinner at Ristorante Di Angelo and have a night cap at The Glasshouse.  Boy, were we happy with our choices.

At Preachers we enjoyed a glass of Tassie Reisling and Tassie Apple Cider.  It was an awesome little pub/bar that has a side yard used as a a beer garden with a retired school bus as extra seating.  We felt very trendy!

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Preachers

We then moved on to dinner at Ristorante Di Angelo.  This place was very busy and I love my Italian food – I had hoped this was a good sign and it was.  From the Bruschetta Pizza Bread as our entree, to the Luciano’s Special – prawns, garlic, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil drizzled in olive oil and Chicken Calzone – chicken, capsicum, olives, mushrooms & sun-dried tomatoes – as our mains, it was all delicious!  It was amazing!  It was also so very filling so we skipped dessert.

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Ristorante De Angelo

Next stop, Glasshouse.  This is one of a few fine-dining options in Hobart but it is not only about the food there.  It is also about the cocktails.  I chose a Lavender and Rosemary Bellini and my husband chose a Leatherwood Rob Roy.  We sat at the bar and enjoyed watching the Bartenders prepare all manner of cocktails, flipping bottles and shakers this way and that before pouring and decorating their creations into cocktail glasses.  I complimented our Bartender that this looked like an art form.  She seemed most flattered and seemed most grateful someone had noticed.

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Glass House

Three venues in one night is a lot for us parents with young children who rarely go out anymore, and also rarely drink anymore so we headed back to the hotel before too much more damage was done to the credit card!

After a lovely nights sleep where daylight savings ended and we had not children waking us up early (this was not planned but a VERY happy convenience for us!) we needed to hunt for breakfast.  Again, I referred to another post Sam from the The Annoyed Thyroid about the best places to find breakfast and coffee in Hobart.  We headed to The Flipped Egg at the Farmgate Markets.  If only I lived in Hobart or perhaps attended Farmers Markets here… the cost, variety and freshness of the produce, the flowers and baked goods was astounding.  I certainly looked longingly at the flowers!

Breakfast at the Flipped Egg did not disappoint.  We both enjoyed the Bacon and Egg Roll with Tasmanian free-range bacon and egg, aioli, tomato relish and summer greens and some Hash Browns.  The addition of the tomato relish and aioli is probably what took the old bacon and egg roll to the next level.

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From breakfast we left Hobart and made our way to Freycinet/Bicheno/Ross/Cradle Mountain.  Check in on 17 April for details on these beautiful places.

Have you been to Tasmania?  Any places you consider a must-see for other readers?

Easter • Decorating • 2017

I love decorating for Christmas and started decorating for Easter a couple of years ago. I mean, I love decorating full stop!

I have purchased most of my decorations from Bed Bath N Table and some from discount stores, Kmart, Target and Woolworths. I usually wait until items go down to 40% off at Bed Bath N Table before I purchase anything unless it’s something I would really like. There is currently 25% off items at Bed Bath N Table at the moment. 

I always decorate above our fireplace as this provides the back drop to our table at Easter Sunday brunch. I also decorate our wooden tree which is on our island bench this year and put a couple of items in our entry way. 


This year I have used a frame we already had and purchased a tea towel from Bed Bath N Table and framed it. Easter art for $9.95. I then hung a wreath from Bed Bath N Table purchased a couple of years back next if it and a new plate I purchased for Bed Bath N Table this year for $9.95.  The items sitting on the fireplace and the garland were also from Bed Bath N Table a couple of years back. 




The wooden tree is the one we use at Christmas for our decorations we have purchased overseas. At Easter I decorate it with eggs purchased from Bed Bath N Table. 


In our entryway I have placed some moss bunnies I purchased at Woolworths one year and a porcelain bunny – not sure where I bought this one – probably Bed Bath N Table. 


Because I’ve talked so much about Bed Bath N Table table today, I feel like I should offer a disclaimer that this is not a sponsored post – but if you work for Bed Bath N Table I would be very happy to work with you in the future 😉

So, do you decorate for Easter? What look do you go for? Host any functions?  I’ll be sharing our Easter brunch with you all the week after Easter.