Friday, March 20, 2009

The Tasman Peninsula and Port Arthur

Port Arthur ruins

Tasman Arch
East coast of Tasman Peninsula
We had an early start today, Thursday 19th March, and after an hour & a half drive we arrived at - well, at their departure point! Wow! What a morning we had, cruising along the Tasman Peninsula, in and out of the coastline, into and under the Tasman Arch, the Devil's Kitchen, along to Waterfall Bay, watched the seals basking on the rocks, down to Cape Pillar and a lady on board told us how her 3x great grandparents who were on board the 'Tyne' when it was wrecked right on the coast we were looking at - go to
if you are interested in more info.
After being put off the boat at Stewart's Bay (we boarded at Pirate's Bay) we drove down into Port Arthur and had a delicious lunch (the ubiquitous chicken and camembert pie!) and then another cruise around the bay and a stroll around the ruins. We were assigned a convict when we bought our ticket and then invited to follow his story - my poor chap was a sawyer by trade from Edinburgh, and died of typhoid when he was 19 - Max's had no trade, and he died when he was 63 - both of them buried out on the island in the bay in front of the prison, called 'the Isle of the Dead'. A thousand plus prisoners were buried on this one tiny island - seems hard to believe. For more info on Port Arthur, go to .
No one can go to Port Arthur without thinking of that terrible day in April 1996 when lone gunman Martin Bryant went on his murderous rampage - the original visitor centre/restaurant has been left as a shell, just the walls standing, as part of the memorial.
The weather has been so kind to us - blue skies and sunshine, & no wind! Wow!

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