Every now and then it’s nice to escape the confines of the van for some chill time, and so we were really excited to test out the facilities at The Country Club Villas near Launceston. Before arriving we’d taken a look around Launceston so we could relieve some of our curiosity about the area and wind down without feeling we were missing anything. We took a walk around Cataract Gorge, which we’ll be writing about soon, and is definitely worth the visit, before heading to the Villas for a couple of days of down time.
A three bedroom villa was such a treat for the kids, with Amahli enjoying a room of her own, allowing her an escape from her brothers for a couple of days, every girls dream! While we were treated to a television all of our own in our room, it was nice to lay in bed and catch up on the news and some of our favourite shows we don’t often get the chance to see on the road.
The big draw card for the kids was the Pay TV on the main television in the lounge-room. We all got to enjoy Iron Man 3 while we were there, which Byron was particularly happy about, as when we went to the movie theatre to watch it, he’d fallen asleep within the first 15 minutes. The full kitchen was a lovely bonus, including dishwasher, a perfect holiday for me, no more washing up after everyone, although we didn’t eat dinner it, instead taking advantage of the range of eating options on site and over at the main country club.
Night one we were treated to some gourmet pizzas from Bolters Pizzeria. I have to tell you, if you are ever in Tasmania, you just have to try the Peri-Peri chicken pizza, it was the best pizza I think I’ve ever tasted, and that’s saying something seeing as I used to manage a pizza store! The kids tucked into a seafood pizza which left them all happy with bellies full and taste buds content.
The main country club offers pony rides for kids, or trail rides for adults and children over 8, so on our second day the kids got to enjoy a pony ride, which they loved as it had been a while since either had been on a horse. Byron isn’t really interested in horses, so instead he grabbed some food for the ducks and waited quite impatiently for the other kids to finish their ride so he could have some fun of his own.
Night two we took advantage of the courtesy bus between the villas and the main country club, and headed over to try the menu at The Watergarden restaurant. This is a really budget friendly place to eat as a family, with meals starting from around $8. We took advantage of the great prices and opted for a surf and turf scotch fillet, unbelievable value at only $17.50!
The weather in Tasmania has been fantastic, but it’s a bit cooler than what we’re normally used to, so we were all excited to try out the spa and heated pool, heading up twice a day for a swim. The kids took the opportunity to enjoy the playground too, which gave me and Matt some time out while they burned some energy.
We had a great couple of days relaxing and taking some time out from our busy travels just to chill, enjoy the company and the great atmosphere, and of course the great food that Tassie has to offer, we haven’t been disappointed while dining anywhere yet, and there’s so much local produce to try that it’s going to be a challenge to sample as much as possible over the next few months!
*Disclaimer – We stayed as complimentary guests of the Country Club but all opinions and information here is, as usual our own honest opinion, tested out for the benefit of our readers.
Who knew it would only take a couple of hours for us to become smitten with Tasmania!
After an extremely exciting and busy day, we took the picturesque drive to Stanley to relax in the serene setting of the Stanley Seaview Inn. Wow, what a treat! Our first day on the island saw us waking at 5am to depart Spirit of Tasmania, detouring to Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm, stopping to explore Anvers Chocolate, and finally complete the tremendous day relaxing in an apartment complete with what could arguably offer one of the best views in Australia.
We checked in, and headed off to our apartment which offered us enough room to park the van, and unhitch so we could head off to grab a bite to eat without the hassle of towing. We’d planned to unpack our gear and head straight off to explore, but we soon realised that would be impossible. The view captivated us, and so we took the time to have a bit of a breather and recover from our busy day.
The apartment was beautifully designed, with a fresh, modern interior, free wi-fi, and offered a lovely in-room breakfast delivered that evening, ready for us to rise when we pleased and enjoy the stunning view over The Nut and the ocean from the balcony.
Amahli is our resident foodie and was excited to find our breakfast tucked away in the breakfast hatch. There was lots of variety to choose from, so everyone in the family was well catered for!
The kids kicked back to soak up some television, as it had been weeks since we’d watch any and they were pretty happy to be up to date with some of their favourite cartoons. Before too long though, they were keen to explore the sites and surrounds and we took a walk around the grounds to track down the playground they’d spotted on the way in.
I daresay there are very few family accommodation options that snuggle you in amongst gorgeous farmland with a view out to the ocean and one of Tasmania’s true icons. I’m not sure the kids realised it, but they probably uncovered Australia’s most scenic playground, get a load of the view! I really wish they’d share some of their energy with us because after a busy day they still found energy to play!
The village of Stanley is situated in the North West of Tasmania, and offers a unique history into the fishing industry and settlement within the region. There is a self-guided history tour with a booklet available to assist your walk through town, and lots of gorgeous historic buildings all maintained beautifully that make the effort more than worth it. We grabbed a bite to eat at the Stanley Hotel, where such an active day took the toll on a certain someone.
After dark, the fun didn’t stop! A quick addition of jackets and warm clothes and we were off to spot some penguins which grace the shores of Stanley. We were waiting with other tourists in a spot dedicated to watching them arrive on shore, and almost gave ourselves pneumonia in the hope of seeing the illusive birds. Finally giving up to head back to the warmth of our apartment, we did a turn in the car park only to find a single Little Penguin waiting there! Talk about exciting! A drive through town uncovered lots of gorgeous penguins hanging out under cars and crossing the road in front of us, we even managed to get a little bit of video footage we’ll put up soon.
Please be mindful if you’re watching penguins to use ONLY a red torch, or cover your torch with red cellophane. White light disturbs the penguins, and it was sad to see people not following such a simple rule to try to keep disturbance to these little wonders to a minimum.
Of all places to visit in Tasmania as a first stop, I would definitely recommend Stanley. We were absolutely sad to leave Stanley Seaview Inn the next day, they have a couple of accommodation options available for families, and regularly have deals on their website so be sure to take a look. We said goodbye to the comfort of the apartment and hit the road with van in tow once more, but we didn’t leave straight away, we have lots to share about our day spent exploring the town still to come, we’ll be sharing soon.
*Disclaimer – We stayed as complimentary guests of Stanley Seaview Inn but all opinions and information here is, as usual our own honest opinion, tested out for the benefit of our readers.