We’ve Gone Too Far

“Aggh!” came the anguished cry from one of the toilet cubicles here in Huonville at the Huon Village Caravan Park where we’ve been holed up for a week. “Aaggh!”

One of the wonderful things about this big lap lifestyle is watching our kids progress from being afraid of dirt on their hands to wading into a tea coloured creek.

However, this newfound oneness with nature and untreated water does have an unexpected downside.

Before I get to our little horror story I want to say this place has lots of great ‘no extra charge’ reasons to stay: daily feedings of the Tasmanian Devils in their breeding program, a farm show with cow milking & baby animals, a platypus in the creek who hangs around for selfies (see the vid below) and lush green grass under your feet on their unusually large sites which you get to park on.

I’m not being paid to write this glowing review – we didn’t even get a discount on the $5 per child extra they charge per night to stay – there’s just a lot to recommend staying here if you’re coming to the Apple Isle.

Including the best thing of all about this holiday park: the location central to this story. Their toilet block/camp kitchen/showers has been cleverly created out of two great big shipping containers and I’ve spent more time walking around looking at it than the beautiful countryside.

The thing pertinent to this story is everyone in our family can go pee-pee at the same time and, unlike many of the tired old toilet facilities we’ve encountered so far on our travels, each of the ten unisex loos locks firmly from the inside.

Recognising the screaming voice, Tracey rushed to get out of her own cubicle to see what had gone wrong.

You know, this time.

“What’s happened?!” she asked through the door.

Miss6 then said what sounded like, “I dropped my favourite peg into the toilet.”

Tracey assumed something in the message was lost in translation. Despite the oddness of the idea someone might have a favourite clothes peg, she was hoping against hope it was the ‘into the toilet’ bit.

“You what?” she asked.

“Dropped my favourite peg,” repeated Miss6, “in the toilet.” At which point there was a wet pause.  “It’s okay, Mummy, I got it out.”

Tracey rattled on the door, shouting herself now.

“Let me in!”

“In a minute, Mummy. I’m washing my-”

“Open the door. Now!” snapped Tracey, and three nearby campers obediently opened their van doors. She followed this up with her own, “Aggh!” and then a, “Don’t touch me!”

The loo had swung outward and there stood Miss6, defiantly triumphant grin on her face, her left arm wet to the elbow, pink clothes peg being presented to Tracey’s face in her tiny little up and outstretched hand.

Yeah, it’s great when your kids overcome their cleanliness issues to embrace a little of what life and nature has on offer outside the house.

Only now I’m just wondering how we might maybe dial it back a notch?

Ten toilets. I think you really have to live in a house of nine with one loo to truly appreciate the beauty of this.
The proud owner of the place has a sort of baby book on display.
The view from the loo…block. Notice how I jagged some pretty noice product placement. Location location location.

A Working Dog Display

Was fantastic to watch this dog herd the ducks through the obstacles.
I enjoyed this part of the farm show even more than seeing the Tasmanian Devils

Tasmanian Devil Showing

The two guys in the cage with the Tasmanian Devil both had rakes to protect themselves from this charming little fella.

I’m pretty sure he was in a scene from The Princess Bride.
In what I see as extremely contradictory, the seven year old female Tasmanian Devil is wilder than her eight year old partner, and therefore easier to pick up.

You’ve got to hand it to the Tasmanian Devil. It mustn’t be easy to illicit sympathy when you look like this but they’ve managed, with the help of an army of helpers, to the extent they’ve gone from critically endangered to merely endangered.
Why do most of the Australian wildlife remind me of rats?
Some Tassie Devil facts for you which I learned today: They live to about five in the wild (this guy is eight). They bite ten times harder than a dog. Their jaw muscles go all the way up to the top of their heads.
Although usually solitary, Tasmanian Devils sometimes eat with other Tasmanian Devils and defecates in a communal location. Like they could get any cuter!
They used to be on mainland Australia as well but the introduction of dingos by aboriginals saw them on their way and now they’re just in Tasmania. Am I allowed to be happy about this?
They were nearly wiped out by a transmissible cancer. The cancer has evolved. The worry with this is if it can evolve within the Tassie Devil species it may evolve and cross to another species. Hey, aren’t we another species? 

Baby Critters

You can’t hold a Tasmanian Devil due to concerns about limb loss and, for me, flu-like cancer, but fortunately they’ve a heap of healthy not-too-bitey ducklings and chicks to go around.

The guys who run this farm thing are assholes. “Kids, if you’d like a chick or duckling to take home just let us know,” they said with big grins and no measurable empathy. You guys SUCK!
On the way back to our campsites I had five kids begging/demanding/pulling at my clothes to be allowed a new pet. A lady with two kids was watching them come at me with all their emotional blackmail bags of tricks and said she now understood why a large family might not be for her.
I knew something was afoot the moment the guy said, “You kids up the back. Come and sit on these seats at the front so you’ll get a better view.” I sensibly encouraged them forward hoping my grin didn’t give me away.
Did you know a cow’s teat can squirt milk several meters? If you happen to be within two meters it’s like being it with a hose. Of warm milk.
He’s smiling here, but the ten minute shower he had shortly afterwards showed how he really felt. Not. Happy. Jan. Bruce, of course, was over the moon.

Other Park Adventurings

Kids and their friend, Campbell, made it their mission to remove a plastic bucket someone had carelessly left in the platypus’s creek overnight. Success took twenty minutes, rope, a couple of sticks, removing shirts, getting wet and lots of laughing.
Master12 with his tits out.
Much nicer without buckets floating in it.
Results of a spontaneous rock painting event with some other camping kids
The kids have spent days exploring the creek area.
With some wonderful surprises.
While platypus spotting at the creek the kids stumbled upon a duck nest.
Kite flying: brought to you by my forgetting we bought Miss5 one for her sixth birthday a few weeks ago until I accidentally found it where I’d hidden it.
The lack of powerlines at the park is really noticeable with this activity.
Flying a kite in not a lot of wind requires much running which means much sleep at night. I like our kite.

Callington Mill, Oatlands

Tracey was taking photos for an extended family and they asked if we could meet here. Good choice.
Bloke in the pancake cafe across the road (good coffee) told me a family had been doing it up and there were plans to make whiskey. Good plan.
In case you’re wondering who the extra head is, that’s Campbell. He stowed away in our car when we left his home and I was too shagged to turn around so we kept him. Good decision. 
Prior to a shoot in a new location, our job is to help Tracey find the best places to take nice photos. The bonus is we get nice photos of our guys too.
There were a lot of options here.
Obviously, the kids eventually get over it and if you keep going they get a little silly.
Which is when I usually have to step up.
Of course, kids without a photographer mum last a little bit longer.

I think this was the spot Tracey settled on. Beautiful. Even with these two dags in the shot.

Local Farm Fresh Huonville Apples

By the side of the road. Honesty post ready to take our money. Love the country.
They taste better than supermarket apples. Better even than Pink Ladies. I love apples already and wasn’t prepared for loving them even more. We’ll be buying ten bags before we leave. Maybe more. I predict definitely more.

Wild Platypus Spotting In The Creek

Video Of Our First Platypus Experience

If you can’t see the vid, here’s a link to watch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/vcKtrfa0ZI8

Raising a family on little more than laughs

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What do you think?