Christmas is a lovely, quiet day on the roads here in Tasmania. Using the assumption that most people were staying at home, we packed up our camp at the Bay of Fires and drove south along almost deserted roads.

Our first stop was the pretty town of St Helens. Taps with drinking water are positioned outside the town for motorists and campers to fill up their tanks as they head back to camp. When we stopped for fuel, I asked where the best local playground was, and we’re sent down to the wharf.

Black swans on the bay, St Helens, Tasmania, December 2012
A bevy of black swans grace the water outside St Helens.

Playground at St Helens, Tasmania, December 2012
St Helens' playground is part of the marina precinct. It's quite a good playground for a regional area like this.

Because we’re not driving to a deadline, I wait until all four girls are finished at the playground before I drive on.

Dry Tasmania, December 2012
Our road takes us into the drier plateau areas of central Tasmania.

Sandstone post office, Avoca, Tasmania, December 2012
The architecture becomes colonial, with sandstone a predominate building material on official constructions like this post office in Avoca.

Oatlands is a pretty town in the heart of the island. While driving to our parking spot, I’m enthralled by the colonial buildings and beautiful gardens. This will be a nice spot for a couple of days — there’s internet access, room for the girls to play, historical buildings to visit and shops close by.

Camping at Lake Dulverton, Oatlands, Tasmania, December 2012
We park for the night on the shores of Lake Dulverton. This is the designated camping spot for self-contained vehicles, and it's within an easy walking distance of Oatland's main street.

Lake Dulverton, Oatlands, Tasmania, December 2012
Lake Dulverton is part of a wildlife sanctuary, and we pull out our field guide to identify the Eurasian coots who call this lagoon home.

Brioni looking in a microscope, December 2012
With all the feathers around our campsite, it's a good time to pull out our microscope and look at one's intricate construction. Our vintage microscope magnifies items 75x, 300x and 600x.

Today isn’t much of a celebration for us, but tomorrow will be. Delaney is turning three, and the girls want cupcakes and candles. Now that we’re close to shops, this will be possible, and I’m just trying not to think of our marvellous celebration of Dell’s birthday last year. Life is good, just different.