Hello, 2016!

Hello, 2016!

I woke up on New Year’s Eve in a funk.

My head had been thumping for two days – I was tired and restless, my to-do list was a mile long and I had my cranky pants firmly pulled on.

I also felt like I was wasting the festive period – usually I’m required to work right through Christmas/New Year but thanks to maternity leave I was completely free. Amazing! Plus the weather forecast looked epic. And there was a little pile of cash stashed in the bank for a family getaway. Yet I still hadn’t planned anything. How did I let that happen?

Luckily for me, at about 9am on New Year’s Eve I decided to call Stewarts Bay Lodge at Port Arthur – I didn’t expect that they would have a room free, but I figured it was worth asking, right? Especially with the promise of views like this…

And guess what? They had a last-minute cancellation and there was a spa chalet with my name on it. Yes!

Anyone with kids will tell you that packing for a trip – even just an overnighter – with a baby is no mean feat. Especially at short notice. But somehow Superdad managed to squeeze the pram, the portacot, the collapsible high chair, the bushwalking backpack and a whole range of other random (but essential) baby stuff into the car in record time. We looked like we were going for a month. Not just one night.

But it was totally worth the effort. Because a couple of hours later (after a short stopover in Sorell for lunch at the park and some painkillers for that pesky headache) we arrived and everything was perfect.

A gorgeous blue sky and copious amounts of sunshine. A beautiful light-filled timber chalet surrounded by bushland. Oh, and check out the terrible view from the spa in our bathroom. Pretty awful, hey!

Things got even better at the nearby beach, where gentle waves lapped at the sandy shore and Little Dinosaur squealed with delight as he enjoyed his first proper swim in the ocean.

Stewarts Bay has a special place in my heart as my extended family used to camp there many years ago. In a happy coincidence, we bumped into three of my cousins at the beach on New Year’s Eve who happened to be staying at Stewarts Bay after attending a wedding the day before. What a fabulous location for a wedding!  We were tucked up in our (king sized) bed asleep by 10.30pm on New Year’s Eve. There were no sparklers or fireworks. No cocktails or high heels or drunken cheers at midnight. But I wouldn’t have changed a thing.


New Year’s Day was equally as leisurely – breakfast with a view and an early morning stroll on the beach before driving home via Lime Bay and the Coal Mines Historic Site.


Hudson had such a wonderful time splashing in the rockpools that he cried when it was time to leave.

He would have loved the four echidnas (yes, FOUR!) we spotted on New Year’s Day too, if only he hadn’t been snoozing every time!

I spied a befitting wall hanging while we were eating breakfast at the lodge. “Always remember that time is the most precious gift our hearts can give”.

Spending time with my two favourite boys always makes me feel fantastic. And of course it doesn’t really matter whether we’re out exploring the world or simply curled up at home on the couch, as long as we’re together. But a bit of nice scenery certainly doesn’t hurt.

Happy New Year! 


All photos © Linda Smith @ Little Green Dinosaur unless otherwise stated.