Then a final stop (Pirates Bay) another look out point of the peninsula which we tried to get to in the morning but it was far too foggy. It still wasn't great visibility but still looked good before it poured with rain. Then off to the airport to fly back to Sydney!
We then headed into eagle hawk neck through Doo Town- the town that likes to incorporate 'DOO' into every house name. So we went first to Devils kitchen and Tasman staircase which looks really cool. Then a few look out points in between.
We then headed to the jetty and blowholes, they were a bit rough but weren't quite at their peak. They at the little peer that was there and the seaweed covered Beach. Can imagine it's pretty nice on a clear day, maybe slightly warmer too!
We also passed the mark where the old harbour was with a bronze skeletal boat. We then came back and decided to head to the find out who our convict was. You could also search the database for your ancestors. Every name came up that I tried. Don't know what that says about my family but there we go. Then we walked past the nice gardens and had to head back to the bus. I would of liked to have seen the Governors house especially and the soldiers houses but there just wasn't enough time.
So after that we were left to own devices with an hour to kill before the boat cruise. So me and Jenny had our lunch and then walked around a tiny museum in one of the buildings (there are so many buildings it would take a day in itself to see them all) and it showed you their clothes, tools, food, etc. So after that we tried to find the building of which convict you were matched too (from the playing card given at the beginning). We didn't find it and stumbled across the lunatic asylum which was pretty grim. We see the solitary confinement and the punishment room, which was just pitch black. There was a few rooms which showed you some notable people and where you were in regards to the building. We then ventured to the docks to get the boat and cruise around the harbour. We cruised around the island of the dead or Dead Island as the inmates called it and passed where the first ever boys prison was built in the colony. Some stories about convicts escaping on the governors boat.
The historical site was pretty cool. We started with a walking tour where a guide talked about the original idea for the convicts and how Port Arthur used to be a busy and popular port back in the day and where the convicts made ships for the colony. The guide first told us about a man in the 90's who came into the site and shot at several people killing them. There is a marker there (which I unfortunately forgot to take a photo of). We then walked over to the dock and then the main prison building, which is renovated only slightly. A lot of it is ruins from 2 historic bush fires. He then showed us the officers gardens and the church, which was the first church to have all people, convicts and civvies of every domination to worship under the same roof, (which I thought was quite progressive). Then the priest was changed, a new one brought in and he was from Ireland, Protestant and hated Catholics and decided there should be separate buildings, so that's what they built on.
Day 6 - 1/6
Were picked up from YHA in Hobart and then drove up to a little town called Richmond where apparently has Australias oldest bridge. It does also has some really cool architecture as the buildings have been kept as they were from when the settlers moved there.
We went to Port Arthur and seen the historical prison which is a world heritage site.
29 June 2017
Day 5 - 5/5
After Swansea we made our way back to Hobart staying at the YHA hostel with the tinniest kitchen I've ever seen in a hostel! 😂 Last chance to try and eat something which didn't really work and then tried to go to bed early. Stayed with Jen, a Chinese girl and the horrible English girl.
Ps. Got a 360 rainbow pano from a moving mini-bus! Quite proud of that! ☺️
Day 5 - 4/5
The rest of the group had joined us by this point and then after lunch we headed onto Swansea, a small sea side town where the locals aren't so friendly...
we where there for about an hour, so I hung out around the beach and looked at the different buildings.
This is where an old couple said they seen two whales off the shore. But I couldn't see them without decent binoculars.
Day 5 - 3/5
We then explored a nice beach 🌊 of the Freycinet peninsula. From there we had then seen both sides of it.
Day 5 - 2/5
We then went to the lighthouse look out where we seen a load of dolphins. 🐬 they were thrashing around but it was quite far out so couldn't take any photos, could only see through the telescope. Then there was also a lonely seal sitting on the island by themselves.
We then moved onto another beach, to kill the time for the mountain group to come back.
Day 5 -
We went straight to Coles Bay lookout then onto Wineglass bay, which is a little further on and hearing the story of how it got its name is quite grim. They used to slaughter the whales 🐳 here and from their blood looked like wine, therefore it was dubbed 'wineglass bay.' We where at the lookout for an hour or so altogether. Whilst the others did Mount Amos which takes a lot longer and is a lot more treacherous. Me and Jen did it with a few of the others in the group. We then moved into the lighthouse.
28 June 2017
Lastly, to end off a great day we get to our hostel around half 5 and then go on to do a penguin tour at a nature reserve on the beach for an hour, Pademelon Park in Bicheno. As they usually come back home from fishing all day in pitch darkness to avoid getting caught by the eagles. We waited and watched as they ran in packs together for protection to their little houses. It was amazing to watch as they weren't cared about us at all. Some were curious and stood around us and had a look until they eventually ventured off home. They were so cute, it's near the time for breeding so it was only the males that were around as most of the females were still out to see, but we were lucky to spot a few couples. ☺️
After that we headed off to one of the highlights! Wildlife, Tasmania devils, kangaroos, wallabies, eagles, wombats, babies, cockatoos, parrots, etc..etc.
Once we moved on from the park we headed to the beach! Bay of fires to be exact where we spent a fair bit of time exploring the different parts.
Day 4 - 1/4
We travelled from our hostel in Lanucheston, which reminded me of a school trip at Alton Castle years ago. There were no duvets just blankets, so I had 3 and was still freezing and there was a heater on the ceiling?? So as head rises that ceiling is going to be nice and toasty! 🙄
We first headed off to a gorgeous Caterack Gorge reserve national park where we seen wallabies, peacocks and some other birds. As it was first thing in the morning that's when they hang out the most. You kinda don't want it to be busy as they just roam around and do whatever they want, but it obv must get pretty busy with the chairlift which looked cool but scary and then the several cafes and play parks for kids.
27 June 2017
Day 3 - 2/2
Sheffield, Australia; famous for its murals! Very quirky little town, everything closes at 3pm, even cafes, seems to be a very chilled little town with its outdoor art exhibition its main attraction.
We then went to a farm which doubled up with a store which sold its own honey, cheese, chocolate and the leatherwood (which is the best wood you can ever buy as it never ages which can only be found here!) I was tempted to buy but all of it was pretty pricey, like deli-esque prices.
It was now firmly dark as... so we headed off to Launcheston the second biggest city after Hobart and where there was plenty of bars and restaurants. The guide suggested that it would the best night to go out! Are you kidding?! It's beyond freezing and we're all knackered from 12 hours of travelling. So I chilled out and tried to go to bed early, which worked out well as I was woken at 1am by the dickhead American that couldn't keep quiet.
Day 3 - Cradle Mountain.
Up and out and 7 for a 2 1/2 hour drive from Strahan to Cradle Mountain.
Walked around the lake that surrounds it as it's starting to get wintertime it was very icy and freezing! ❄️ not as well prepared as I was with the Tongariro crossing so I took the 2 hour lake walk instead of the mountain climb. We were done by 2 as we waited for everyone else to get sorted from their walk. We then went onto Sheffield which was just over an hour away.
26 June 2017
The train came back into Strahan station at 2 and then we walked back to the hostel, stopping along the way through the small town. A mixture of fishing and tourism, where I spotted a really old (120yr old) post office with ER markings which was cool. First one I've seen in Oz with the Royal Mail markings.
We then walked back to where we started that morning at the harbour and past the road to the beach and back to the hostel where I took advantage of getting back early and chilled out.
We then walked around a few short walks around the tracks whilst the train then turned around and pulled the carriage from the back (now front) and we swapped seats with the people opposite. We then had a nice serving of soup, which was fine but a bit tasteless. Then a little chocolate brownie and vanilla desert. We then stopped at the first station again and if anyone wanted to buy the honey they could, then onto the finish.
The train usually runs straight to Queenstown but in winter months it only does half the journey to DB station.
Day 2 of the tour - 1/3
as the rest of the group opted for a 3 hour hike in the rain I decided to buy a ticket to do the scenic railway 🚃 with 3 other people from the other group, Daisy, Chinese girl, Penny, American woman and a German guy. So early on I was switched onto the other bus where Jake took us to see the Macquarie Harbour where we took some pictures, then to Ocean beach 🌊.
After that we where then dropped off where one of the people pulled out and then I went on the train in their place which was flukey. Set off at 10am as we passed through the Harbour and following along a river and through the thick Rainforest. It was very sophisticated as we were given some wine for starters with Salmon Canapés and at every stop we got another drink and course. We then stopped at the first stop and tasted 3 different honeys. It was a bit too strong for my palette. So none for my suitcase. We then jumped back on and the next stop was dubbil Burrell as it's spelt on the sign.
25 June 2017
Day 1 of tour - picked up in Hobart outside the St.Davids cathedral at 7:30am, where I met Jenny, nice girl from Norfolk. Once the bus was all sorted with pick ups etc, we finally headed on our way an hour or so later to cross to the derelict West Coast of Tasmania to Strahan. The west apparently is the wettest part of Oz and Hobart is apparently the driest. We first went to Mount Fields to see the Tall trees and Russell Falls, which was beautiful. We then went to see Lake St.Clair which unfortunately the rain was torrential so couldn't really walk around it and it was pretty misty. Then Lastly, we went to the lookout point of Franklin-Gordon national park where we scene a moody tree covered backdrop with the rain clouds and fog descending on it, with a little bit of snow on the mountains.
Then to Oz' version of Queenstown to buy food for tomorrow and then another painful 40m drive to our accommodation in Straham, where I shared with an Italian girl and a German mother and daughter.
22 June 2017
Had a look around the docks, definitely a boat orientated town. Very small city centre. Checked out the Cathedral, town hall, art museum and the boats of course. 🚤🛥 it's beyond cold here! A max of 7c 😑😑