On our journey to Port Arthur detoured to the blow hole - which was not blowing and through a little hamlet where all the houses had Doo in their names eg Dr Doolittle - Doo me - Zanadoo etc bit of a laugh
Entering Port Arthur was a big change from our last visit as you cannot access the historic village unless you pay and go through the information centre. It cost us $30 each for a bronze pass and this entitled us to a cruise around the island of the dead and past Puye Island where a innovative for its time prison program which was only for young children. Children as young as 9 could be exiled to the colonies and all prisoners were just put into the one prison. This island while considered a failure but did try to keep the children separate from the other felons and tried to give them a trade as well.
The tour guide of the prison grounds was also included in our entry fee and was really informative. A tale told to us was of the commandant of Port Arthur who had trusted prisoners to row him around in his whaler each dat but this particular day the crew took it upon themselves to leave without him and turned right after leaving the port and went down below Tasmania and up the west coast when they realised that they could not get provisions they turned around and rowed back up the east coast even passing themselves off as looking for the escaped convicts in order to get food. They were eventually recognised on the nsw coast line and recaptured.
Veronica, Alan and I then wandered through the prison and also many of the restored houses on the village plus the church where they have managed to find 7 of the 8 bells that were cast on site in the 1830's. The gardens and a lovely pond with a waterfall have been restored and we could see where the money for the entrance fee was necessary. George is having trouble walking so he spent time people watching and also sitting in the car till we had finished which was about 4 hours all up
Passed the evening with some more Chardonnay and beer and a yummy tea which we prepared in our unit.
Most memorable moment: The tour guides enlightening tour on the activities that went on at Port Arthur in the 47 years it was a Penal colony