My most memorable night camping on my Brisbane to Tasmania road trip was spent in the Devonport Discovery Holiday Park. The holiday park is situated on the edge of Bass Strait at the mouth of the Mersey River at Devonport.
I arrived at the Devonport Discovery Holiday Park after office hours. The park management are obviously used to people arriving after office hours off the Spirit of Tasmania ferry — my booking information and site location was placed in a box for collection.
A combination of factors made the Devonport Discovery Holiday Park camping ground memorable. The camping ground was well kept and the amenities spotless, as I have come to expect from most of the chain camping grounds and caravan parks in Australia. However, it was the environment that made it so special. The air in Tasmania is different — it is so crisp and clean. The air circulates around the world at this latitude only passing over the southern end of South America, New Zealand and Tasmania land masses. You could tell that the weather and waves could get pretty rugged there by the fist-sized rocks on the beach. The vegetation, while not bent over by the wind, was definitely of the more wind-hardy variety.
There was something almost stark about the camping ground and the environment that it was in. But it was also picturesque, well maintained and became firmly engrained in my mind as an amazing location.
A 30 knot breeze was predicted for overnight. I put the three pegs in the base of my Malamoo 3-second X-tra tent, but did not bother staking out the other guy ropes. I parked my Toyota Prado to windward of the tent, rolled out my Burke and Wills Ironbark swag, and slept a very warm and comfortable night.
The family camping next to me were not so lucky. They were in a large camper trailer tent. Apparently the tent flapped all night and they hardly got a wink of sleep. I heard their tent flapping, but knowing it was not my tent, I rolled over and went back to sleep!
While I was quite comfortable, I thought perhaps it would be a rather desolate location to camp in the middle of winter. I made this comment to the Devonport Discovery Holiday Park staff as I left the following morning. According to them, because of the camping ground’s location next to Bass Strait, the weather remains quite moderate all year round.