Our final full day in Tasmania, and the clouds were looking threatening to say the least. We were up early, the kids were outside in the cold, chasing bunnies and watching the kangaroos hopping about in the mist! The Central Plateau is breathtakingly beautiful.
We headed to Deloraine. It was cold, really foggy and we were dressed like a bunch of city kids who’d been magically transported to ‘huntin’, shootin’ fishin’ country! Whoops!! We were in for a wet day too, so our highly impractical runners and Poppy’s brand new shoes from Seed were not going to cut it.
The fog was so thick that we didn’t get to see much of what we were driving past, but we did manage to get a good view of lots of sweet little houses hidden in between the trees, smoke billowing out of the chimneys, and piles of logs out front. It almost makes me want to sell everything and move to rural Tasmania. It looks like a peaceful existence; maybe when, I mean, if the kids leave home!
The dirt track finally turned into road after about 45 minutes, and as per usual the kids were “STAAAAAARVING” so we were straight into the Deloraine Town Cafe Bakery for a huge hot chocolate after what seemed like quite an adventurous journey through the elements! Once we’d warmed up, trashed the cafe, and just about destroyed the tourist information, we were set with fists full of leaflets, and ready to get going!!
First stop, The Melita Honey Farm . Turns out the honey farm is a very small shop, full to the brim with all things honey. Out the back of the shop they have a cute little room with all sorts of information about honey bees, where the children can see the bees in their hive, and learn all there is to know about the little buzzy creatures. Unfortunately we learnt diddly squat about honey bees as we were too busy digging in to the tasters, covering our last set of clean clothes in stickyness, and ‘tantruming’ about not being allowed an ice cream. I swore under my breath, purchased a pricey ice cream and headed for the Mole Creek Caves, praying I could leave them behind in a sort of Stalactite dungeon.
We were warned that the caves keep a steady temperature of 9 degrees, so we needed to wrap up warm! Monty did a great job, he had so much honey on his clothes he had managed to create another layer by picking up all sort of bits of fluff, leaves, crumbs, and food wrappers! Comfortable walking shoes were another good idea… Um!!!
We chose to visit the Marakoopa Cave. We were desperate to see the famous Glow Worms. I was pretty excited. That was until we were entering the cave and I realised just how slight the paths are, and how low we had to duck to get in. Palpitations were starting, then Poppy needed reassuring.. I took a deep breath and thought about it rationally. If it floods (because ALL CAVES FLOOD) we’re all gonna die so there’s no point freaking out too much! “We’ll be fine darling, come on!”
It was incredible. Rebecca our guide was brill! She explained everything in so much detail. It was hard to believe coral grew here 450 million years ago when Tasmania was tropical. Rebecca even managed to get us a good look at the Tasmanian Cave Spider, which the kids were thrilled about! I spent the rest of the tour convinced it was on my back.
We were dazzled by sparkling crystals, reflection pools, stalactites and stalagmites. The darkness was intense. The magnificent cavern known as the ‘Great Cathedral’ is jaw dropping and a must see. When Rebecca turned out the lights for us to adjust our eyes and really see the glow worms, we were amazed. It was as if we were looking at a beautiful clear starry night. The roof of the cave was covered in teeny little glowing creatures. Truly spectacular.
If you’re going to the caves, be sure to allow yourself an extra 15 minutes to enjoy the enchanting Fern Glade Walk from the ticket office parking area to the cave entrance. You will not be sorry! It’s a spectacular walk, even with slippery boots on, and a child who insists on skipping on the edge of the river bank.
Once we’d made it back to the car, and got ourselves some snacks for a picnic in our cabin, (we weren’t risking the bar again), we headed back, along the dirt track to the Great Lake. What was a pretty blind journey in the fog this morning, was now a sensational trip through the sublime wilderness. The views across the plateau, the little bridges over bubbling streams, the wildlife, the space, each little lake with a fisherman waiting for a catch. All this had been hidden, we had no idea just how superb the surroundings were, until now. The fog had lifted and we were amazed.
The little huts we passed this morning were now alive with people getting ready for the darkness to set in, and we were peering out of the windows at them, just like the locals peering at us when we arrived. What I’d give for a few days in one of those little fishing huts!!
Last night in the cabin, and a feast of Tasmanian delights we had hunter gathered on our journey. We had cheese, local sausage, wine, fresh bread, strawberries, pate, and perfectly squishy avocados. That was all to accompany the huge bag of popcorn that the children had foraged for themselves. We were tucked up in the huge bed, with the electric blanket on, watching local tv and munching. The best way to spend the last night of any holiday!
After a slight delay behind a local flock of sheep on the way to the airport, then a quick pit stop to see if Monty really wanted to get out and be left behind as he was insisting, we were parked up at Launceston airport! The holiday blues were already setting in. We were absolutely not ready to be going home yet! We still had so much more exploring we wanted to do. We still had room in our tummies for more Tassie delights, believe it or not.
We hopped aboard our Jet Star flight, and stared out of the window, bursting with love for Tasmania. Take off and a very quiet 50 minutes. Seems like we may have tired the kids out after all!