Never go back, wise-looking people say. But why, I thought? Then I was reminded of Kevin Keegan, of Rambo and of East 17 (E-17 to younger readers).

Those repeat offenders are prime examples of why once you’ve been there and done that, you shouldn’t go back there and do that all over again. But is the same true of travel?

Having an ace time is often about the right circumstances coming together at the right time; the weather, a friend you just made, the jukebox randomly playing The Smiths as the sun sets…

So, is it a crime against your golden memories to return to the scene? I was about to find out. I was going to Tasmania, again.

I’d had an unforgettably brilliant time on the Apple Isle previously. But Mrs Big Ed hadn’t been. She wanted to go (partly because I was always banging on about how skill it was).

I didn’t want to mar the memory. But she insisted. And, well, she’s the boss, see. Would my second time be as lucky?

We picked up our hire car, Betty, from Launceston. The plan had to fit both our needs. She wanted to see the more famous bits. I didn’t mind going back to some, as long as I could see new bits, too. 

“Launie” is a great little town, but I’d seen Cataract Gorge with its army of peacocks, done the excellent Boags brewery tour (just don’t tell ‘em you like Cascade) and we didn’t have a lot of time.

We did however check out the Japanese macaque monkeys in City Park and as planned, Mrs Big Ed oohed and awed. (I was just pleased none of them started playing with themselves.)

We jumped back in Betty and sped west. I was thrilled to see a Tasmanian devil dash across the road, the endangered pig-dogs that somehow manages to be both cute and disgusting at the same time. Nowhere beats Tassie for wildlife.

We headed for the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, which neighbours Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. When I’d done the Overland Track some locals had recommended it to me.

Backpacks on, we climbed up through the trees for what felt like hours, stopping briefly to watch a busy little echidna snuffling through the undergrowth for his dinner, right next to us.

Finally we reached a plateau, with rewarding views across to surrounding mountains and valleys. As the path slalomed around lakes and tarns we could see increasingly more of the Walls of Jerusalem, sheer dolerite peaks that look remarkably like the intimidating walls of a Middle Ages castle.

We set up tent in a small valley, under the sun’s golden evening glow, then watched pademelons and wallabies hop about. We were as contented as hippos in mud.

In the morning it was raining. And misty. We couldn’t see a thing. I dragged the reluctant Mrs Big Ed for a short walk all the same, excitedly pointed out some fresh wombat dung (she seemed unimpressed) and then admitted defeat and headed back to the car.

To get away from the clouds, we hot-footed it towards the dry east coast, and over-nighted in the likeable fishing village of St Marys, before heading to Binalong Bay at the Bay of Fires the next day.

The bay is a series of beaches named by Captain Tobias Furneaux who saw the fires of the Aboriginal people all along the bay (and probably ran away a bit scared). The area has been getting a lot of press recently after it made Lonely Planet’s Bluelist as one of the world’s “10 must-see regions for 2009”.

I had been before, but there are so many beautiful beaches that there’s a spot for everyone. The sands are like cocaine, the sea is bright turquoise, there are enticing lagoons, captivating bright red rocks, plenty of pretty and free camping spots and – better still – no bugger about. We liked it there.

Now, Mrs Big Ed loves penguins. They’re on her Top Five Animals list. So we nipped to Bicheno, a cosy costal village comfortably co-existing with a whole metropolis of penguins.

A nice Frenchman with an amazing moustache at the info centre said we were too late to book onto a tour (max 200 people), but told us of another spot where we could go penguin peeking for free. We waited till it was almost dark then picked our perch on the rocks. And waited, staring at the waves…

What ensued was probably the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Suddenly there were three little black shapes in the surf below us, bent over, timid, alert, watching, waiting.

They had been at sea, fishing, for two weeks. Now all that stood between them and their nest full of hungry babies (that they would be sick into – don’t try this at home), was a 20-metre dash.

But they just stood there, so frightened, like early-teenage lovers, none with the courage to make the first move.

They were joined by a few more. Then, almost in one movement, they’d all go forward five or six steps (or waddles). And stop again.

Then, they’d hear something (that we couldn’t hear) and dash, startled, back into the water. Only to remerge a few moments later and repeat the adorable pantomime again.

You sit there, willing them onwards. 

“Go on little penguins, go home, it’ll be okay, we promise.” And finally, they make it. I had to hold Mrs Big Ed back from stealing one.

The next morning we headed to Freycinet National Park and Wineglass Bay. This was a repeat visit for me, but I was happy to. It’s my favourite beach in Australia (just piping WA’s Coral Bay).

The delicious curve, the white sands and see-through sea make it look like it’s been stolen from the Caribbean. (Except the water’s a bit brrrr.)

Last time, I’d only had a few hours there. That’s too short. This time we were camping in a secluded little spot at the far end of the beach. We spent a very happy night there, surrounded by wallabies – even a tiny baby one – and watching dolphins showing off in the water.

It was time to get back to civilisation. Well, Hobart. After Sydney and Melbourne the Tassie capital is my favourite city in Oz.

It’s small, homely and unlike some shiny clean Aussie cities, it has a tangible sense of history. It was good to be back.

I love the docks, around Salamanca, with the yacht masts and squabbling seagulls, the cosy pubs, enticing cafes and even a blacksmith at work – old school style – in one of the alleyways. It feels like the edge of the world and yet home at the same time.

We drove to the summit of moody Mt Wellington (where there was still spots of snow in mid-summer). We spent long happy hours in pubs and cafes and did a daytrip to ogle the elegant waterfalls and giant ferns of Mt Field National Park.

But suddenly, as we were hurriedly planning trips to other parts of the island, it was time to go back to Sydney.

Despite my reservations, two-timing Tassie hadn’t been a mistake – there was still heaps left to see.

So perhaps Keegan, Rambo and East 17 were just flawed in the first place. Like Arnie said, “I’ll be back”. Again.