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Southern Tasmania

Port Arthur to Hobart

Port Arthur is a historic site of national and international significance - part of the epic history of Australia. It is a world heritage listed site where 30 buildings and historic ruins are protected. The gardens have been restored to their original vegetation and while most buildings are museums, the ruins of the original church is in demand for weddings - yes there was one on the day we were there. The barren, crumbling outside walls form a spectacular backdrop for some awesome photo shoots.
In 19th century Britain, you were held accountable for your actions from the age of 7. Hence one of the islands at Port Arthur, Point Puer Boys' prison, catered for convicted children (boys) from age 9 - 17. In the stern environment of convict schooling (who would want to teach there?) with stern discipline and harsh punishment, the boys were taught trades as well as receiving an education. The ship building yard at Port Arthur, with its native work force, produced maritime vessels that rivalled those from Hobart, and in the interest of private enterprise the government of the day closed down the workshops there. The grounds today are beautiful and everything is serene and manicured, a beautiful site. The most interesting escape story involved two inmates who had to row the General to the courthouse on certain days; they were made to wait for the general to finish his appointments, then row him back. Needless to say on a particular day there was no rowboat to take him back to his quarters!! The two men were captured many months later in NSW, having escaped capture twice along the Victorian coastline on the ruse that they went to look for the escapees!

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The memorial to the victims of the awful attack in 1996. The restaurant has been demolished, but for this outside wall.

We found the tessellated rocks fascinating. We decided the stone cutters cottage must be hidden just around the corner!! its a fascinating result of salt, water, rise and fall in temperature and the science locked up in the process. The Abel Tasman bridge was formed when the cliff above the bay collapsed, capping the entrance to form a bridge.

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The tessellated rocks at Eagles Neck.

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Abel Tasman bridge.

Hobart is situated on the majestic Derwent river and is really a sight to see. In the mid 1860's whales swam right up the river and so the entrepreneurial consists established a whaling station. Once the whales were hunted out of existence up the river, the whaling station was moved to Cockle Creek on the southern most point of Tasmania where we found this bronze statue of a 3 month old calf. The practise was to capture the calf first because its distress calls would keep the adult whales within striking distance.

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The whale statue on a windy day!

The city of Hobart is modern, offering eclectic consumer options, all behind the facades of historic buildings. Found it really interesting to see how these old facades are being preserved. Down at the marina stands the original IXL jam factory, today home to art exhibits and design houses.

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The magnificent ceiling and crystal chandelier inside the ball room in city hall.

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IXL historic building at the marina.

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Preserving the facade of a historic building.

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The view of Hobart from the top of Mt Wellington, where the temperature dropped by 10 degrees from departing the city. Brrr...

The trip out to Bruny Island revealed many fascinating facts yet again. This was the furtherest southern point from where Captain Cook departed Australia in 1777 - I wonder whether it took him 7 years to come down from town of 1770 or whether it was his next journey? the beaches are brilliantly white down here, lots of silica, and Bruny is the breeding ground of the fairy penguin. The stairs lead up to a look out point from where 100's of penguin nests can be seen - alas, we were there midday, but I did capture their foot prints in the sand! The day was capped off with freshly shucked oysters, home made cheeses, champers and Tassie beer! The ferry departs every hour with approx 40 vehicles every time - gives one an idea of the popularity of the place.

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Penguin rookery - tiny little footprints on the beach.

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Bruny island - the narrow link between north and south islands

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Finishing off in style!

The haunted Valley is the apple, pear and nectarine capital of Tasmania!! Orchards as far as the eye can see, and right up next to the road. And yes, when I decided I should take a picture of one of these road side orchards, there were no more!! We bought a 2kg bag of lovely Sensa season fresh apples for just $3 - spoilt forever!!

Posted by Johannstock 21:57

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