Port Arthur

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    • Day 48

      OTR: Tasman NP … Remarkable Cave

      January 28 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 61 °F

      Checking out of our hotel around 9:00a, we headed off on a bit of sightseeing before breakfast.

      Our route took us south from Port Arthur to where the road dead-ends in Tasman National Park. The trailheads for a couple of hikes were conveniently nearby, but they required more time than we had. We had in mind to do something else anyway.

      We were there to visit Remarkable Cave, one of the unique rock formations found along the coast. Due to the erosive power of the ocean, what was once a cave is a rock bridge carved out of a limestone cliff.

      To get to the cave-turned-bridge, we had to walk down a series of metal steps and boardwalks, stopping at a viewpoint at the midway point for some beautiful views. But the highlight of the walk, without a doubt, was the rock formation that lives up to its name … truly remarkable.

      We spent quite a bit of time on the boardwalk — which we had all to ourselves — not just watching the waves crashing through to tunnel and onto the beach below us. But also listening to the sounds of the rocks being moved about by the rough surf.

      A remarkable start to our day on the road.
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    • Day 118

      Port Arthur’s Historic Site

      March 1, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      Today we spent the entire day at Port Arthur’s Historic Site, which is 43 degrees South Latitude. We are 43 degrees North Latitude back home! This is a sprawling 100 acre site with over 30 historic buildings, many of which are just shells, as wild fires swept through in the late 1800s. This is where the famous penal colony was that housed repeat offenders, mostly from the UK. They housed boys on a separate island, which was rare in those days. Boys as young as 7 were often housed with the most dangerous adult prisoners back in the UK and elsewhere in 1830, when this place accepted its first boatload of prisoners. Military officers & their families lived on the site, as well. Many floggings were conducted on prisoners with bad behaviour, but what was more feared by convicts was being sent to the separate silent prison, where they were in solitary, silent confinement for 23 hours a day, & only let out for an hour of silent exercise, when they wore a hood so no one could recognize them, & they couldn’t communicate. Some of the most hardened criminals were broken after only a short time there. As a result, they had to build a lunatic asylum next to this building for the increasing number of convicts that went “insane.” Our introductory tour guide was terrific, & shared many interesting stories about what life was like between 1830 & when the place closed to convicts in 1877. We had a boat cruise that circled the “isle of the dead” where more that 1100 convicts are buried. Another tour guide told us stories, sometimes gruesome ones, about the many escape attempts. Fascinating stuff. The day ended with a “Ghost Tour”. Another excellent guide told us more documented stories about visitors to the place seeing, smelling or hearing strange things. Only 3 months after the prison closed, in 1877, tourists, many from England, started to visit the site, and they’ve been coming ever since. They’ve done a great job resurrecting fire damaged buildings to help paint a picture of daily life for the convicts & guards. When we returned to our AirBnB we had to open and close the gate. The gate keeps the wallabies & Tasmanian devils off of her lawn.Read more

    • Day 19

      Port Arthur

      February 28 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      Port Arthur ist eine der ehemaligen Gefangenen Deportationsgefägnisse der Engländer und eine UNESCO Weltkulturerbe Site.
      Sehr interessant. Jetzt sind wir auf dem Weg zum australischen Festland, vorbei an Tasman Island mit dem höchst gelegenen Leuchturm Australiens.
      Dinner im Yachtclub.
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    • Day 48

      “Grind rogues into honest men”

      February 24, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      One of my main reasons to visit Tasmania was to learn about the history of it being a penal colony. So I booked a van shuttle to the Port Arthur Historic Site which was a 1 1/2 hour drive from Hobart. Tour companies use the tourist office just down the street from me as the main pick-up point so it was convenient. Tasmania is seeing strong growth in tourism which supports 17% of total employment. One day there were nearly 5,000 cruise passengers in town from two cruise ships. The place was hopping. I think because of the demand the tour companies are charging a lot for their tours. This company charged $60 for the shuttle ride to and from the historic site. There was no commentary as the driver’s microphone wasn’t working. Petrol averages $1.50 AUD a litre but I still saw this fare as excessive.

      The route to the site was on a narrow, two-lane winding road but our young driver, Maddie, seemed to have good driving skills. As we left the Hobart area the landscape changed to rolling hills, forests, and so many lakes....huge lakes. I saw cattle, horses, goats, llamas and two echidnas, but no kangaroos. We drove through the Tasman National Park which is popular for recreational activities like camping, hiking, boating and fishing. There is a well-known hike in this area called the Three Capes Track, a one-way 46 km track with overnight huts. The coastal area is rocky and rugged and looks beautiful in the photos. Two couples my age had just completed the track and were in our van returning to Hobart. They were loud and boisterous as they relived the experience. It was something I would have enjoyed doing.

      We arrived at Port Arthur at noon. The admission fee was $40 AUD and there was no discount for seniors unless you could prove AU or NZ residency. This included a 40 minute guided walking tour and a 30 minute harbour cruise to the Isle of the Dead cemetery and the boys prison. Our tour guide was a man from California and he was very entertaining, not the usual dry, fact-laden talk. The site was chosen because it was at the south point of the Tasman Peninsula making it difficult to escape from. It was established in 1830 and initially used male convicts to produce logs for government projects. In 1833 it became a punishment station for repeat offenders from all the colonies, including Canada. The youngest prisoner was 9 years old and one of the boys that Oliver Twist was based on was a resident at the Boys Prison. By 1840 more than 2000 convicts, soldiers and civil staff lived here. It all ended in 1853 and Port Arthur became an institution for aging and physically and mentally ill convicts. Some of the administrators believed in hard labour and punishment but later they introduced solitary confinement which broke a lot of the men. The settlement closed in 1877 and tourism began, becoming a World Heritage site in 2010. In 1996 a gunman took the lives of 35 people, wounding 19 others in and around the site, adding to the tragic history of Port Arthur. There are 11 sites across Australia that show the world’s first conscious attempt to build a new society on the labour of convicted prisoners. What a concept! Most Tasmanians today are descendants of these convicts.

      We had to return to the city at 4 o’clock so that really only allowed about 2 hours to independently tour the buildings. I made it to most of them but not all. It was a pricey but fascinating day.
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    • Day 348

      🚌 Port Arthur, Ghost Tour 👻

      February 3, 2023 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 13 °C

      We literally just came to this spot to do a ghost tour that a random costumer from my bar in Sydney recommended me (she said one of her ancestors haunted that place or something like that). Port Arthur was a historical site that used to be a prison of dangerous prisoners from the UK, so they would be isolated and unable to escape since they where in a remote and isolated island. Honestly it wasn't the best tour ever (was expecting to get scared or concerned), but we still had fun and stopped at some nice spots on the way.Read more

    • Day 37

      Der Unzoo

      January 5 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

      Weil es am Vorabend so schön war, ging es heute gleich nochmal zu der hiesigen Tierwelt in den berühmten Tasmanian Devil Unzoo - einer Auffangstation, die sich eben gerade nicht als Zoo bezeichnen möchte.
      Auch hier gab es wieder viel zu lernen. Bspw. isst der Tasmanische Teufel seine eigenen Jungtiere auf, wenn sie nicht kräftig genug sind...
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    • Day 11

      Auf geht's nach Port Arthur

      November 6, 2022 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

      Heute haben wir nur eine kurze Strecke zu fahren und genügend Zeit um hier und da etwas abseits des Weges zu schauen. Es geht über Boomer Bay, Marion Bay, Pirates Bay zur Küche des Teufels und zum Remarkables Caves. Alles bei bestem Wetter. Wenn 👼 reisen....Read more

    • Day 52

      Port Arthur Historic Site

      January 29, 2023 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

      Nachdäm mir geschter chli ä gmüetlicherä Tag am Salamanca Market u ir Stadt gha hei, si mir hüt wieder mau chli wiiter wäg u zwar uf Port Arthur. Dert isch früecher mau äs riesigs Gfängnis gsi, hüt sis aber fasch nur nu Ruinä.

      O wemä vom eintä Gfängnis Trackt nüm viu gseht, cha mä sichs doch nu chli vorsteuä, wi chliini u ängi Zäuänä diä gha hei. Us het aber bsungers z Separate Prison, auso d Isolationszäuänä Iidruck gmacht. Dert isches dazumal sträng verbotä gsi z redä, sogar d Wärter hei sich nur mit Handzeichänä verständigt.

      Ufem heiwäg hei mir nu bimänä Lookout aaghautä. Vo dert us het mä unger angerem Blick ufä Cape Hauy gha, wo mir de während dr grossä Wanderig vo nächscht Wuchä wärdä gah 😁
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    • Day 19

      Port Arthur

      January 31 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      After picking up my car I headed to Port Arthur which is an old penal settlement. It's mostly ruins but it was interesting to get the history.

      They made it out to be a horrible place but the audio guide I was listening to, didn't sound that bad... don't get me wrong, it would have been bad, but nothing was great back then. It also sounded kinda progressive in some ways, with introducing a kids prison and solitary confinement rather than being flogged. Maybe things were bad there, but it was a prison.

      You could see the cells were small, they had an 'isle of the dead' where people were buried, the church but where they had individual pods as they were supposed to be in solitary confinement, also a creepy doll.
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    • Day 11

      Maingon Lookout and Maingon Blowhole

      March 8, 2023 in Australia ⋅ 🌬 12 °C

      The walk to the Blowhole is supposed to take around 1 hour return.
      I made it in 40 minutes.
      The blowhole was also not blowing but it's an impressive deep hole in the middle of a mountain. Hard to describe actually. Watch the video and you will understand.
      Luckily I was walking so fast, as it started raining again shortly before i was pack at the carpark. So I just got a little bit wet.
      It was time for me to leave the Tasman Peninsula behind me and start to drive to Kettering where I will take the ferry over to Bruny Island.
      It was a lot of traffic passing through Hobart so I was glad when I made it out of the city.
      Stopped at a pharmacy in a small town called Snug and got some magnesium pills.
      I arrived at the ferry shortly before 3pm and didn't had to wait to long for the ferry to arrive and departure again. It's just a 10 minutes ferry ride over to Bruny Island.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Port Arthur, Porth Arthur, ポート・アーサー, 포트아서, Порт Артур, พอร์ตอาร์เทอร์, 阿瑟港

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