Using Qantas, I flew into Hobart where I had a hire car reserved. You can get your car hire in Tasmania from our website. From Hobart, I headed towards the Tasman Peninsula and Eaglehawk Neck, stopping at Pirates Bay lookout to take a few snapshots.
|Pirates Bay and Eaglehawk Neck from the lookout|
Following an afternoon spent wandering, I headed west, towards the township of Koonya, and my lodgings for the night at Cascades Colonial Accommodation. What a treat! The history buffs out there would love this place. Originally a convict barracks in the 1840s, Cascades has been authentically restored/renovated to provide self-contained cottages for guests. The location was tranquil, being set on the shores of Norfolk Bay with plenty of wooded areas to explore. In hindsight, I would have stayed here more than just one night, especially since it was so conveniently located to the Tasman National Park and Port Arthur.
Next stop on my itinerary was the Port Arthur Historical Convict Site. You can read more about it on the Port Arthur Tasmania page on our website. I was immediately struck by the sheer size of the 'settlement', for want of a better word, and the number and variety of buildings and ruins. I would say the most recognisable building would be the Penitentiary, where the convicts were housed.
|Port Arthur Penitentiary|
As part of the entrance ticket I had pre-purhased was a cemetery tour of the nearby Isle of the Dead, located in the harbour, and accessible via a short cruise. It was an interesting guided walk with a lot of history about some of the people who had lived and died at Port Arthur.
|Isle of the Dead|
On the way back towards Hobart, I stopped to stretch the legs (and the camera) in the small historic town of Richmond, which boasts two of Australia's 'oldest' titles - the oldest bridge still in use, and the oldest Catholic Church (St John's Roman Catholic Church). I thought the bridge had much more charm and character than today's modern monstrosities.
If chocolate factories aren't your thing, then check out our Hobart - Activities and Tours page to find something that tickles your fancy.
Stay tuned for the second half of my trip where I cross over to the west coast of Tassie and then up to Launceston.