Port Arthur is a most historical town just to the north of Hobart, the
capital of Tasmania. As we approached the bay of Port Arthur it became very
obvious that this area was incredibly heavy wooded….which started to
verify that 90% of Tasmania is wooded…..
- The Bay is one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and was
discovered in the early 1800’s for its timber…and in 1930 became a timber
outpost for Australia , 2. Needing workers, the Australian government in
cooperation with the local business people in the lumber business, decided
to bring convicts to the area as laborers…and in 1833 created a
Penitentiary for convicts that then became the labor force. It grew from
there for the next 40 years….thus the current ruins and remains of the
original town as well as the small current town, Carnarveron,Tasmania, Australia.
- The Ship docked in the bay and we got on the Ship Tenders to go ashore…and
this entire procedure was orderly and well done…with about a 12-15 minute
ride in to the dock. From the dock it is easy to go to the Visitors Center
and from there take a leisurely 2 or 3 hour walk around all of the buildings
which have been renovated and modernized as much as possible, still making
it a kind of museum…
- The detailed history of Port Arthur is well documented, and info on the
prison, the prisoners, and their work and activity is well presented. Very
- Included in the Ship package was the 25 minute boat tours around the
Bay…where you can see where the Boys prison was, as well as the Island of
the Dead, which was their cemetery.
- This is a great one day stop…..just enough time to see this beautiful
- In summary, so far Tasmania has been a must see spot if you enjoy natural
beauty with mountains, beaches, wooded areas, and little towns right down
to the waters edge….one of those best kept secrets.
- Another factor about Tasmania is that it is one of the southern most
points before you get to Antarctica. I am told the part of Antarctica that is
easiest to reach is from South America….but if you look at the world map
you can see that Tasmania is almost as far south. One of the slogans in
Burney was “welcome to the edge of the World”…..and seems to be true. But,
also one of the most beautiful that we have seen in that you have the
feeling of the tropical areas along with the mountains and the trees…
We are in Hobart now….which is about a 2 hour ship journey south from Port
Arthur. Gorgeous wooded mountains coming right down to the city of Hobart,
which has 200,000 people….and as I write I am looking out on acres of
labeled logs ready to go on ships for export. Probably 500 containers here
either filled or empty but extremely well organized and all seem to be in
order. We will spend 2 days here…should be interesting.
All for now,