Thursday 20 April 2017

Australian Wanderings Part 14 - Hobart and Port Arthur

We arrived in Hobart early yesterday evening to begin the Tasmanian portion of our adventures. We were originally scheduled to arrive during the day so we could pick up our car and drive to our Airbnb - Bird’s Eye View - on top of nearby Mount Rumney in the daylight. Alas, the time of the flight was changed, so we arrived after dark. Bill did a fabulous job of driving up the steep, narrow, twisting roads to our place - thank goodness for his driving skills and two GPS systems! It was only this morning that we fully appreciated what a magnificent place we have and how incredible the views are. The people who own the unit live next door - and their home shares the same breathtaking views. It faces north and catches the sun all day long. It is very energy efficient - geo-thermal heating, solar panels, etc. - but it is the design and the views that have captured our imaginations. I ate my breakfast outdoors this morning and was awestruck at the beauty around me. Paint me totally spoiled!

Once I did a laundry and hung it on the outside ‘air dryer’, we drove about 90 minutes to the southeast corner of Tasmania to walk through Port Arthur, one of Australia’s most important heritage sites. Between 1830 and 1877, it operated as a penal colony that housed ‘Prisoners of His/Her Majesty’, i.e., criminals from all over the British Empire who were transported to Australia to serve their sentences, including Canadians who had participated in the Rebellion of Upper Canada in 1837. It is magnificently restored and well worth the effort to visit. I first visited the site in 1972 and was delighted to revisit it and share it with Bill.

On our way back, we stopped briefly to see the Tessellated Pavement on the shores of the Tasman Sea just north of Port Arthur. I didn’t know Mother Nature could etch stone with such geometric precision!

I hope you enjoy these images of our first day in Tasmania.

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