So what is www.bigaussieroadtrip.com all about? Well... hopefully, by the time we are done, it will be a comprehensive journal about a family of 5 who have travelled around Australia to see the sights and also do some volunteer work around the country! In Mid 2010 we started thinking about what it would take to fulfil a life-long dream... We wanted to bundle up our 3 kids, pack-up the house, jump in the car and hit the road - probably for about 12 months. It sounds so simple ... At the start of January 2013, after almost 15 months on the road; we finally completed Our Big Aussie Road Trip. We hope that you enjoyed following our adventures, trials and tribulations as much as we enjoyed having them!

22 December, 2012

Strahan

Thursday the 13th December was the day that we packed up from Cradle Mountain and drove to Strahan.  We had been really blessed with the weather and it hadn’t been too wet while we were staying in Cradle Mountain – which was great.  However, we saw that the weather was due to move in early on the morning we were leaving, so we got up and packed up pretty early.  We managed to get everything packed up and into the car before it started to sprinkle a little.  We drove through some quite heavy rain toward Strahan.  We decided to go through Zeehan, and stopped at a lookout but there wasn’t much more that we wanted to do there, so we kept driving to Strahan.  When we got to Strahan, most of the rain for the day had already fallen and we setup the tent while it was mostly dry – again, a real blessing to get our camp setup without getting soaked.  After we had setup, we drove into town and had a look around at the visitor information centre and the layout of the town.  We went to the Water Tower Lookout and spent the rest of the time around the tent and at a playground nearby.


Not far away from Strahan are the ‘Henty Sand dunes’, which have some spots which are popular with sand boarding and Sand tobogganing.  The caravan park we stayed at had sand toboggans that we could borrow free of charge, so on Friday the 14th, we picked up 3 and drove to the dunes.  There is a sand quarry at the dunes which had a very steep ‘bowl’ so we spent a long time going down and up the sand.  Coming up was really hard work! But going down was great fun.
Josh shooting down the sand hill

Sam did really well, he also took the biggest stack of the day

Climbing back up the hill was pretty grueling 
video

When we’d had as much climbing up sand hills as our legs could cope with, we drove out to Macquarie Heads (the Entrance to Macquarie Harbour) for a walk along the beach and a look around.  We found a picnic spot for lunch and then skipped some stones into the harbour for a while.

The old lighthouse at Macquarie Harbour
We then headed over to Ocean Beach – Tasmania’s longest beach and looked out over the ocean.  We had a quick drive on the beach, but we didn’t go too far because we didn’t bring our 4WD recovery gear or air pump to Tasmania (We didn’t have enough room in the boot!).  The kids were pretty tired after the morning’s sand dune fun, so we had a lazy afternoon at the tent and watched a DVD that we borrowed from the caravan park.

Driving on Ocean Beach
It was pretty wet overnight on Friday night and the forecast for Saturday and Sunday was rain.  The tents held up pretty well in the wet and not too much water got in.  In the morning we went for a walk to the Hogarth Falls.  We didn’t get rained on too much, but as we walked along the soaked ground, we unknowingly picked up lots of leaches and when we looked down at our shoes, they were covered in wriggly leaches hoping for a feed!  Thankfully, we managed to pick them all off without having any get their hooks into us!
Hogarth Falls, Strahan

One of the many leeches that were trying to have a feed
We didn’t do too much on Saturday during the day because it was pretty wet and the kids were quite tired (life in a tent can be quite exhausting).  We wanted to see the 3pm demonstration of the wood cutting at a Huon Pine sawmill, so at 3pm we headed into town.  Earlier that day we had found out there was a free showing of “The ship that never was” (Australia’s longest continuously running stage show – which shows at Strahan each evening) followed by Santa and some Christmas carols on Saturday evening.  It was a free showing because it was the 5,000th show and the original writer of the play was flying in to be a part of the audience.  So we decided to hang around town until 5pm when all the activities started.  We weren’t quite sure what to expect from ‘The Ship That Never Was’; but we were just blown away with the live show.  It is a story based on a true story of convicts who escaped from Sarah Island.  The show had the best audience participation, and the jokes were hilarious.  The kids all watched keenly for the whole hour and a half that it went for.  We really enjoyed being a part of a large audience there that night.  After the show, Santa made an appearance and then we had a bite of dinner and headed back to the tent to get some sleep.
Strahan, Tasmania

Some of the crew of 'The Ship that Never Was"

The Stage props were brilliant too
Throughout the night on Saturday night, we had some of the heaviest rain that I think I’ve ever experienced!  It was so loud and made the tent floor ‘float’ in the soggy ground.  We were dreading the pack up on Sunday morning (as Sunday was the day we drove from Strahan to Hobart) but thankfully there was a break in the weather and we managed to get fully packed up without getting any of our gear wet (Mike got soaked as the rain poured in just as he was tying the tarp down to the roof).

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