A Sporty Launceston Family Weekend
by Stephanie Williams
It was a wet night as we rolled into Launceston for a weekend of family fun and a soccer tournament.
It was during the recent weeks of much rain and visibility on the Midlands was pretty poor. Checking into our hotel was almost a relief – to get out of the car and into the dry. Since I was a kid I’d been driving past the distinct stone windmill and mock-Tudor facade of Leisure Inn Penny Royal so it was interesting to finally be going inside.
Our room was comfortable and divided into a main living space with kitchenette, desk and table for four, plus a king size bed and ensuite. The kids set up shop in the separate bedroom with twin beds, their own TV and ensuite. It was a great scenario for us and we all settled into bed, resting up for our big weekend ahead.
The hotel had provided a basket of simple breakfast provisions so we were out the door early for the first of five soccer matches over the weekend tournament.
As luck would have it, the draw meant we had a large chunk of time in the middle of each day. So after the first game we headed back to the hotel and into Penny Royal Adventures. Splitting into two teams – the big kids and the little ones – we set about experiencing all that was on offer. Hubby and the eldest kid were in a briefing for the zipline before you could utter the words “adventure time” and my youngest and I decided to try the boat tour. I should’ve picked up on the fact it was a gentle boat ride but potentially with scary themes. As our boat entered the dark tunnel and the doors shut behind us, I realised it was more “ghost tour” and less “fun boats” and both my three year old and I were ready to get out! The attendant was there swiftly and we enjoyed a quick behind the scenes tour to make our way back out.
It was perfect timing. We looked up to see my eight year old flying above us, followed by my husband. What a sight! They then continued to climb across the ropes course and then ziplined back down the other side, followed by a short bungee jump/drop off the final big rock. In the meantime we found the coin operated remote control boats on the lake and killed some time and a few dollars in the process. We all agreed that it was a fun few hours and vowed to return.
Back to the soccer for the last game of the day, and then onto the Cock and Bull pub to celebrate wins with a few of the families connected to our team. The classic pub fare was the perfect relaxed finish to our day – footy on the big screen, an excellent craft beer or Tassie wine on offer for the parents and ample space for the kids to sit and regale stories from the day.
After a good sleep we were back out to the fields for day two. It ended up being a longer day than expected, reaching the finals, so a lunch stop at Manu Bread on Invermay Road was the perfect refuel. Excellent sourdough salad sandwiches (complete with beetroot…essential!) and some sweet treats saw our soccer player take to the field in the final all ready to go. Given so many sports on the island require travel, it’s good to have a reliable base in the cities and I think we’ve found ours at Penny Royal!
The writer stayed as a guest of Leisure Inn Penny Royal.