SUNDAY 23 JANUARY HOBART
We did manage to all get up early, and left camp about 7am.
There was a light dusting of snow on Mt Wellington, which explained why last night felt so cold! Today was chilly, with rain showers.
We drove first to the Coal Mines site at Saltwater River, thinking the contrast between this un-restored area and Port Arthur would be of interest. R enjoyed the area.
I left her and John to wander about together, whilst I went off looking for photo opportunities. There were some interesting light effects on Norfolk Bay, caused by the rain and storm clouds.
Then we drove to Port Arthur, through Nubeena. The entry fee to the Port Arthur site and the tour to the Isle of the Dead cost me $78 for the three of us. I also bought a Tasmanian Wilderness collared top, which was on sale at a heavily reduced price; my wardrobe needs something just a little dressy!
R seemed to want to see everything at Port Arthur, at a great speed. She found our pace too slow, when we lingered at the Model Prison, and went off ahead. We just kept on at a comfortable pace for us and met up with her at the boat entry point. She was worried that she would miss out on what she wanted to do, if we didn’t keep up with her.
The Isle of the Dead tour was excellent and we all enjoyed that.
After that tour we had lunch. I bought us all pies and quiches. After eating, we agreed to follow her around, as she did not like the alternative idea of going off alone and then rendezvousing at an agreed place. So, we trekked around the lot, partly in rain. It was tiring.
R really liked Smith O’Brien’s Cottage. He was an Irish nationalist, transported for treason for his political activities. Despite the cottage having his name, he only spent less than a year living there, before gaining a ticket of leave. I remember it was a YHA youth hostel in the 1960’s, and supposedly haunted. A very practical, unimaginative friend of mine spent a night alone there, around 1961 and he swore there was “something” terrifying there!
I can understand the impact that the Port Arthur site has on the first-time visitor, but a this was my fourth visit to the place, I really did feel that there were some parts I did not need to see again.
It was getting late by the time we finished at Port Arthur, and headed off to look at some of the “natural” features of the area.
We visited Remarkable Cave, the Blowhole, Tasman Arch, the Devils Kitchen, and Waterfall Bay. R did not seem impressed by the first two, but seemed more interested in the other places.
At Waterfall Bay we were really lucky and privileged to be able to watch some large seals herding schools of little fish together, and then charging into the mass to eat them. That was fascinating.
It seemed a long drive back to Hobart. We drove 314kms today. John did a really good job on what was a really demanding day on his legs.
I had intended to buy pizza for tea, as it was so late, but R said she does not eat that sort of thing. So, back at the van, I cooked up a tin of tomato soup, then made baked beans on toast for R, and toasted cheese and sardines on toast for John and me. R did not like the smell of the sardines and went and sat outside.
We did not stay up long after tea – it had been a long and tiring day.