I’m in Western Aus. I peel a bit off the trunk of my paperbark tree (malaleuca somthingorother) to get the fire started in the bottom then I add hakea needles (hakea buculenta, but probably any needly hakea would do). I squash heaps of needles into the smoker (along with the odd banksia leaf caught up among the needles) with my hive tool and it stays lit long enough to inspect 5 hives and beyond. Glad to have finally worked it out, because it was stressful running out of smoke in the early days.
I like the lavender idea though, I’ll give it a go sometime adding some into the mix.