Sunday, June 19, 2011

Christmas in June - our trip to the Tiger Hut in Liawenee, Tasmania

We've been trying to get several families together for a camping trip and finally got it together. We spent last weekend (June 2011) at Liawenee, in the highlands of Tasmania, (which is also the coldest spot in Tasmania) for a 4 day long weekend.

There were 15 all up, us and 3 other couples and their kids. (Sadly some others couldn't make it) Graham organised for us all to rent the State Park's "Tiger Hut" (named after the Tasmanian Tiger, not Tony the Tiger from Frosted Flakes cereal) and it was terrific.

The Hut: It has 5 bedrooms with 4 bunks in each – 2 big bathrooms with 2 toilets and 2 showers in each. One Huge kitchen, one large lounge, and a den/activity room complete with a tree in the centre; a wooden row boat hanging from the ceiling; and old black iron pots and pans hanging over the big wood fire heater. Outside, there was a covered entertainment area, with a BBQ in it, but we didn’t venture out there. To top it all off, we even had a resident possum who visited every night for a look at us. Through the glass window, I imagine watching us would be like going to the movies for them.

The Weather: We couldn't have asked for better weather, with snow and sun most days, the one day it was foggy it was magic.

Activities:  Graham and I were in our Northern Hemisphere element and showed these Aussie whipper snappers how we like to have fun in the snow.  Graham lead snow man making, everyone participated in the sleigh/toboggan rides down the hill at the back,  and "Ranger Graham" as he was nick named - led local walks. One to the Liawenee ranger station where the Ranger allowed each child to hold the stuffed native animals. (the stuffed animals had either been found deceased. I think stuffing them and putting them on display is a terrific thing as most people would never have the opportunity to seem them in the wild.).  

Next we trouped across the street to the fisheries station where one of the fisheries fellows had told Graham we were OK to show the kids the fish in the streams, and if someone was around, they'd take us down to the lake. No one was there, but we all got to see the fish "in the wild".  Back to the cabin and the kids went off with the Dad's for another round of sleighing and rock climbing far afield. We got to work organising Christmas. The other gals decorated the tree room, streamers were hung, tea light candles in tin foil crafted holders were put around the room, party poppers popped, and I made little Christmas crackers for all, with lollies, and toys in them. What a surprise to the gang when they came home to the smell of Roast Turkey and stuffing, and saw the transformed Christmas room. It was all very fun, and the food was fantastic. Lucy did all the deserts, and wowed us with sticky date pudding and sauce after.

Graham also led a couple of driving excursions on our foggy day. We went through the World Heritage Area, stopping at Pine Lake, where we walked along the boardwalk to the lake, though the snow and fog – seeing our first “fog bow” – amongst pencil pines hundreds if not thousands of years old. Mountains visible through the fog, and an echo'ing contest. Then on to Liffey Falls for another walk through beautiful forrest, expecting ferries and elves to jump out any moment. We ended this walk with a picnic lunch we’d made of ham and turkey sandwiches, sharing a bottle of wine amongst the adults. Back home to make Seafood Paella for the gang. Another terrific evening of food and fun.

The weekend was a never ending round of activities. The boys all took charge of breakfasts with Graham manning the Espresso machine that we lugged up, and we all did millions of dishes while the kids amused themselves playing endless games of Twister, and what ever other things it is that keeps kids out of your hair.

While we were away, Elwood spend his days with some friends of ours from the fire dept. They drove to our place in the morning, fed him and walked him back to their place, where he hung around, or joined them on great lengthy walks during the day, then they walked him back home in the evening for dinner so he could sleep in his own house. I’m sure he loved it. He was so pooped when we got back, he looked up at us, wagged his tail and flopped down and went back to sleep. Hmmm I expected a bit more excitement at seeing us than that, however it must be a sign of how secure he is.

So, that was our weekend in the snow. Pictorial follows thanks to Jeannette as our Camera ran out of batteries as soon as we arrived:

Right - let's show them how to have fun!!

Graham leads snow man building

Hey!  Pay attention.... we're not finished... stop with the snow balls!! We need a final photo.

Finished - hooray!!

And we walked

And sleighed

And saw the native animals at the Ranger Station.  Thanks Helen.

Christmas Dinner

Cracker goodies

Foggy adventure at Pine Lake

A fabulous Fog Bow

More wild life

Liffey Falls

Twister - what a fantastic way to keep kids entertained.