Sunday, January 19, 2014


Seeing as Mr B was on call over the Christmas break and then over our 2nd wedding anniversary, we decided to take the last week off and spend it in the sunshine camping, fishing, kayaking and exploring.

Last Monday we packed the ute up and headed for our first destination - Bicheno!

Bicheno will always be a special place for Mr B and I as it's where we got engaged 5 years ago this Valentines Day. On that first trip believe it or not neither Mr B or I owned a camera so the only photos we have are a few dodgy snaps of my engagement ring on an old phone (this was also before the days of smart phones with awesome cameras.....). So on this trip we decided to walk out to the spot on the beach where Mr B proposed and finally get some photos.

It was a beautiful day, if not a little windy, so it was really nice to go for a long walk along the beach and when we finally reached the big rock where Mr B proposed it was even nicer to have a sit down and rest our tired feet!

This is the spot where early one morning after Mr B dragged me out for a walk along the beach, he sat me down on this big rock, got down on one knee, pulled a ring box out from underneath the beach towel he was carrying and asked me to marry him..... which I promptly responded ' are you serious ' far more times then were probably necessary before giving my answer with a resounding YES!

This was the first time we have returned to that spot since that day and it was nice to finally get some photos and just be back there reliving that morning.

After walking back to our campsite we were pretty buggered so we sat down for a drink and a rest before thinking about dinner. Avoiding thinking about dinner was close to impossible as we were staying at a caravan park which just so happened to be located behind a take away shop and the smell of freshly cooked hot chips was just too tempting!  Dinner consisted of BBQ'd corn on the cob with salmon sausages and hot chips.....slightly out of the ordinary but oh so delicious!

After dinner we had a few hours to kill because we had booked to go on a Penguin Tour which left after dark. Neither of us had ever done the Penguin Tour before and we were so glad we did.

At the tour office we got on a bus which took us down the road to a private property where we watched the female penguins coming ashore from their big day out fishing. They were so cute and there were hundreds of them! It was really cool being able to watch them walk right by you and see them in their natural habitat. We then went for a walk around the property and saw all the males guarding their little dens and making them all pretty for when the females returned. Just standing and watching them for awhile it was funny to see some of their little personalities and quirks. The highlight though was definitely seeing a little penguin chick with it's Mum and Dad in their den getting ready to snuggle in for the night - the chick was just so cute and fluffy!!

We weren't allowed to take any photos on the tour because the light from the cameras might upset the penguins and damage their eyes but I'm kind of glad because it meant we got more time to focus on taking it all in and spent less time worrying about getting that perfect shot.

The next morning we were up bright and early thanks to our lovely neighbours in the caravan park so we decided to make the most of it and get a head start on our drive to St Helens.

Despite having stayed in St Helens before, Mr B and I were yet to make the journey up to the renowned Bay of Fires so obviously that was our first stop.....

....Ok our first stop was for a much needed bathroom break and our second stop was for ice cream, but our third stop was most definitely the Bay of Fires......

As soon as we got there it was obvious why this place is so popular, it really is just stunning and the weather while we were there was gorgeous which made it perfect for rock pool exploring and lazy walks along the beach......

There were a few spots just off the road up near the Bay of Fires where we initially thought we could camp for a few nights, but it was a really hot day and the spots didn't seem to have any shade so we decided to head back into St Helens and continue our search.....

It didn't take us long to find this little gem just on the other side of St Helens. There was an unmarked gravel road which turned off the highway into the bush and Mr B took it on a whim. What we found at the end of that road was a secluded little camp site set right on a lagoon which just happened to open up onto the ocean. It was the perfect spot so we quickly went about setting up our camp site so we could get our and explore!

This was the view from our camp site......I could absolutely get used to waking up to this.

After a big afternoon kayaking and exploring, we were starving little campers in need of food. Mr B whipped up these burgers (steak for him, vegetarian for me) and they were camping food at it's finest.

The other thing about camping is that by the time you spend the day exploring, settle in for dinner, a drink or two and a flick through some magazines, it's like 8pm and you're exhausted and ready for bed and with all that exploring you will sleep super well and not even bat an eyelid until the sunrise wakes you the next morning.

After our traditional camping breakfast consisting of an egg and bacon roll, Mr B and I set out in the kayaks again for a paddle around the lagoon except this time I explored and Mr B tried his hand at some fishing. The highlight for me was definitely when three pelicans that had been sitting on the shore firstly flew right at us and then over the top of our kayaks, so close that I was slightly freaking out and in absolute awe at the same time.

The lagoon was actually really shallow in most parts so after we took the kayaks back in, we walked around / across the lagoon until we reached the beach on the other side. It was a fair walk and after an overly energetic game of frisbee on the beach I was not looking forward to the walk back over to the camp site. Luckily we packed some lollies and after a quick sugar fix we had just enough energy to get ourselves back, but only just!

Lazy afternoons were spent playing cards and drinking Mr B's home brew lemonade. Life is good.

Mr B and I have always had an agreement that if we go camping for a week then we will usually spend the last night in a nice hotel and seeing as this trip was in honour of our wedding anniversary we decided to head to Launceston and stay in a hotel we discovered on our mini-moon.

This photo was taken at a lookout somewhere between Scottsdale and Launceston (not useful I know.....Mr B is now telling me it may be called the Sidling Lookout?!) but it's such a beautiful spot looking down over the valley that we always try and stop there when we are in the area.

When we got to Launceston it was really warm so we indulged in a shower (absolute heaven after a week of camping!) and a relax before heading out to our favourite local restaurant, the Jail House Grill.

The following morning we headed for home which normally would be quite disappointing given it meant the end of our trip and the end of our holiday but on this occasion it wasn't too bad.

Firstly we stopped in Oatlands at a pancake place we have been meaning to try for AGES but everytime we go it is impossible to get a table. Today we were in luck so I had a giant pancake with berries, cream and ice cream (YUM!) and Mr B had a crepe filled with prawns and scallops in a cheese sauce - both meals were absolutely delicious and we will definitely be heading back!

And secondly after 4 weeks of ageing, it was finally time to try our home made cheddar with basil, chilli and thyme. For my birthday last year one of my friends gave me a cheese making book which gave me the idea for adding some herbs to our standard cheddar recipe and after trying it Mr B and I are both in agreeance that this is by far the best cheese we have ever made - I can't wait to experiment with some different herbs and flavours.

So that was our holiday and I have to say I just had the best time. It was just what we needed, relaxing and peaceful, full of good times and laughter, fresh air and exploring - it doesn't get much better then that.

Mrs B xx

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