Camping with Beams

Recently, as in a few days after xmas, we spent 3 nights hanging out up the East Coast of Tasmania. Scamander to be precise. Which is pretty much close to the top North East end of this little island. Everywhere is awesome in Tasmania, but this little trip was seriously extra awesome. Our camping buddies were the best camping buddies ever. You never know how things are going to pan out when you arrange to spend 3 nights away with people who you have never spent that much time with. It could all go horribly wrong, like it did with the people next to us who ended up throwing hot water over each, almost cutting each others fingers off, screaming profanities and then half of them leaving… It was a bit funny. Luckily for us I don’t think we even had one moment of shit cracking at each other.

I met Leena hanging out on rocks one cold winter night trying to photograph an aurora. From then on we just became mates. The more we hang out and get to know each other the more we get along, and seem to have an insane amount in common. This trip was just unreal. Me, Rod and the kids and Leena, her 15 year old son and his mate, and we ALL got along. More than got along really, the kids didn’t even fight once, they all hung out together fishing and playing cards and running around chasing each other, it was a little bit bizarre really. I was expecting at least a few punch ons, but nope, not one. Mind you we didn’t really stop much, the only time we really all got stuck in the tent was when it was pouring down and blowing a gale. But that only lasted about half an hour. I think….

We headed up from Hobart via the Coast way and stopped off in Swansea for run along the beach and ice cream. I actually thought we were stopping for lunch, but it turned out to be about 9am, so a bit early for lunch. I don’t do early mornings, so when I am up and about early I get easily confused. We were going to stop in at Bicheno but decided to just keep going, we’ll do Bicheno another day.

Seeing as though it was the kids first trip away camping we decided to book a site at the Scamander Tourist Park. Which was a good move. I think having other people around camping, a toilet block and a little kitchen was a good idea. It meant the noises through the night didn’t freak them out because they knew the noises were just other people doing their camping things. It was a pretty good little spot. We were infront of a few permanant caravan sites where they have their little rooms built on. The old guy was pretty rad. Sitting on his porch controlling his grandkids, teaching them life lessons. He even leant us a kettle because we were getting over waiting for about half an hour for the gas stove to boil the water. Must have coffee. No coffee. No fun. Mind you, we had to settle for instant coffee. We did pack our aero press and enough caveman coffee to last us, but we kinda forgot to put the filters in, so that put an end to that one… 🙁

Day one was kinda windy on the beach. A little bit too windy where the sand whisks across the beach and slams into your legs feeling as though it is taking off layers of skin. A good exfoliant I guess, but also kinda painful, and slightly annoying when it gets into your eyeballs. Of course the kids didn’t care.. We ditched that one and headed out through St Helens to Grants Lagoon and had a quick stop for the kids to dig in sand and swim in a relatively sheltered bay bit. Even blowing a gale it’s an insanely beautiful spot.

Back to Scamander we go where Erika became obsessed with fishing, I cracked it because I didn’t catch anything first go, then got all scared and freaked out on the jetty because I thought I was going to fall in and drown… Yeah, I’m special… I didn’t fall in and drown, nor did I catch a fish, even though everyone else was… pfft. Stupid fish.

That night we headed back out to Bay of Fires to see the sunset and have a wander on the beach. Binnalong beach is pretty damn rad. Beautiful clear waters and white sand. Kids had a blast running around and playing in the water while Leena and I took photos of all the things. I wish I could do that every night. Perhaps not in the middle of winter with the kids, they might freeze their little naked butts off in the water, but I’d definitly be there in the winter. On a stormy night would be awesome too, you could get some amazing shots I reckon.

We like to pack a whole lot in when we go off adventuring, so I was glad Leena was the same. The next day we headed out to St Colombo Falls which is inland a bit from St Helens. Stopped off at the Pub in the Paddock for a cider and to see the beer drinking pig. Yeah, that’s no so cool. Piggy was asleep so wasn’t drinking beer, but it always makes me wonder about the human race when people feed pigs beer as a tourist attraction… Unfortunatly though it was a really nice little pub in the middle of a paddock… The bonus about day twos outing was we never ran out of petrol. For some stupid reason we stopped behind Leena while she filled up her tank, but the thought never crossed our mind to fill our own car up with petrol… Luckily we just made it up and back, otherwise it would have been another ‘lock the keys in the boot’ moment. Yes I did that not so long ago… Didn’t actually get any shots of the falls. There were too many people crammed on the little viewing platform, and they were irritating me and it was making my tripod wobble. So instead we just went and hung around the creek/river, fought off mosquitos and took photos of the water there instead. If you are ever up that way it is a great little walk for everyone. only about 15 minutes or so from the carpark, theres a little incline, but I saw some older more mobile challenged folk wander down. Great one for the kidlets, paths are wide and there is really nothing they could injure or kill themselves on, even the most crazy kids. And its damn beautiful. I even found myself some fungi!

And on the way back from Pigs in paddocks and Waterfalls in the rainforest we went to Peron Sand dunes so the kids could slide down on bits of cardboard. Was kinda windy, and kinda sandy… The dunes didn’t do much for me, maybe if it was not so windy or sunny I might have been happy wandering around them, but they aren’t really my thing. The kids on the other hand had an absolute blast! Watching Charlie slide down was priceless… Then there was more fishing… More wandering around on Scamander beach looking at sunsets and then later that night the most epically (is that a word) awesomest, brilliantest bit of the whole trip… The greatest aurora I have ever seen. Not saying of course it is the best one there has ever been, but it was the greatest I have seen so far. Naked Eye beams shooting into the sky and Leena and I jumping up and down and screaming out ‘BEEEAAAMMMMSSSS’. I’m surprised the whole of the East Coast didn’t hear us. I’m still on my high for that one. Better than crack I tells ya! We were so damn lucky to not only have a brilliant show, but to be in an amazing spot with no horrible streetlights making the sand bright orange, and an absolutely perfect horizon and clear skies… so awesome… such great company, just the perfect aurora in every way.

And on top of that I got the best time lapse I have done so far. Winning….

That really was the highlight of the trip. The rest of the time we spent at Binnalong bay, Dora Point waiting for another aurora that never showed, Eureka Farm eating ice cream and fishing off the Scamander Jetty.

So many awesome memories and so much fun. Loved every second of it and can’t wait to plan the next adventure. We are thinking West Coast. Perhaps the Strahn area, near more sand dunes and rainforest walks…

If you get a chance to head up the East Coast of Tasmania, you need to do it. So many amazing beaches and gorgeous places to visit.

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