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.
- The Ship docked in the bay and we got on the 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 Vistors 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 well done.
- 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 area.
- 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 Antartica. I am told the part of Antartica 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 I 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,