Sorry for not updating sooner but we have been having a few technical problems of late.For the past few days we have been in the BEAUTIFUL Tasmania.Before we got here we spent a few days in St Kilda, Melbourne and let's just say it wasn't really our kind of place.Everyone was just geared up for party party party so we didn't really fit in.However we did throw ourselves into the yummy cake shops that lined the beach....YUMMY!!We sunbathed on the beach and in the beautiful botanical gardens as the weather had for once been very kind to us, stu even got burnt.We headed to a one of a kind restaurant for our dinner the first night. It was called Lentil Something where you pay what you feel the meal is worth.Stu wasn't very happy once he found out it is vegan or veggie food but we both devoured our food, it was delicious!!!!So after some more penguins searching and sunbathing we got up stupidly early for our flight to Tassie.
Well I don't really know where to start describing our journey to Tasmania.We got to the airport as you are meant to 2 hours before but for some reason no one else seemed to know about this rule and we were greeted with hundreds of people in our queue.The company we flew with actually made Ryan Air look good, they let people onto the flight with only 10 mins to go and they hadn't even checked in-Crazy!! Anyway we miraculously arrived safely and on time at Hobart, Tasmania god knows how.I wasn't too keen on coming to Tasmania if I am completely honest, it was more that stu wanted to come here so we did.However now that we are here I don't want to leave, it is the most beautiful place I have ever been too and I hope we can come back as there are so many things I want to do but don't have time for.
We booked onto a 3 day tour to explore Tassie.The first thing I discovered in Hobart again was a very yummy cupcake shop....YUM!! I had a red velvet cake and stu had a cruchie one-I want one now just thinking about them.So we woke up extremely early (6ish) for DAY 1 of our tour which took us to Wineglass Bay on the east coast which is named after a massacre killing spree of whales.The murders turned the water a deep red and the bay looked like a wineglass full of red wine so that's where you get the name Wineglass Bay, and of course the shape of it.The first thing we noticed on the trip was that everywhere is named after English towns, we passed through Swansea & St Helens on our way to Coles Bay where we saw an island which the aboriginals kept sacred called Maria Island.This island is so special as it is the resting place for the Tasmanian aboriginals (which are now longer); many foreigners have tried to exploit this land but have never succeeded for one reason or another.A sort of Karma I think, the island is fighting to keep itself sacred and untouched which I love.You can visit it but we don't have time so we took a photo across the water and plodded onto the beautiful wine glass bay after hiking up to a viewing point for a gaze out to sea.After a spot of swimming and lunch we carried onto a white sandy beach called Friendly Beach, a nice isolated beach with good surf, just beautiful even with the squeaky soft sand!On the way back to the hostel we made a final stop at a lighthouse and a yummy berry farm with amazing ice cream!
Day 2, again another 6 am start we headed to the Mt Field National Park.Here we explored Russell falls the most photographed and highest cascading waterfall in Oz which was very dramatic.We trekked through the dry eastern forests which meet the wetter trees on the west of the island, some of the species of trees where hundreds of years old (600 odd) and are the 2nd largest trees in the world. Here we also got to see the 2nd largest tree in Australia - forget how large they said it was but lets just say it was massive!!From one side of the road you can literally see the change in tree species and also weather.The weather changed so many times on this day we went from sunshine to rain to sunshine back to torrential rain was very temperamental.We then headed up to Lake Dobson which we walked around.It was something like 800m above sea level and you could feel the height as it was a whole 10 degrees cooler I was freezing in my shorts-silly move there!! On the way back to Hobart we got to stop at another berry farm and a nature reserve where we got to see Tasmanian devils, wombats, and the most important the Platypus!!!!!!!!!!!!!It's really rare most Aussie go a lifetime without seeing one so we were very lucky.Once back at Hobart we drove up Mt Wellington to get a view of Hobart and the Tasman peninsular.At the summit the weather changed again in about 2 minutes the clouds rolled in so fast that one minute it was sunnyish then bang full of rain and clouds the tour guide said he had never raced the weather so much before.The views where so vast though you could see for miles.
Day 3, the final day of our early starts we headed along the Tasman Peninsula towards Port Arthur.We stopped a few tines along the way.The first stop we made was in a little quaint town called Richmond pop 300.It felt like I had somehow driven back to England and fell into a Cheshire village.It reminded me of home so much, that was because it was the first settlement in Tasmania in the 1800s so obviously the villager's modled their new homes on their old home back in England.There was 2 churches (the oldest in Australia), the first bridge made in Australia by the convicts made of sandstone and even a green.After a short stay at the bakery we headed on again to some lookouts along the coast where we got to see Pirate Bay, Tasman's Arch, Devils Kitchen and Doo town.Doo Town was rather quirky, there are a collection of fishing shacks which have names all including the words Doo for example 'Doo Me', 'Dr Doolittle', Love Me Doo', 'Just Doo it' and the original 'Doo us' which started it all.This town is round the corner from a place called Eaglehawk Neck which is a tiny stretch of land joining the peninsula to the mainland that used to be lined with dogs on land and floating on boys out to see to stop the convicts escaping from their prison in Port Arthur.If I was there then there would be no way I would be crossing Eaglehawk Neck EVER!!
Port Arthur is a beautiful sombre place.It is a historic sight of significance that joins our history with Australia, it was the toughest and earliest convict settlements in Australia (Sarah Island is actually the toughest place to be sent).From 1840 more than 2000 convicts, soldiers and civil staff lived in Port Arthur they constructed the settlement from scratch using all local resources.They believed that they could educate the convicts and provide them with a trade, this worked on some but not on all.Here a radical penitentiary was made where prisoners were in silence and darkness for 23hrs a day-i couldnt do it!!! Basically solitary confinement replaced physical punishment. The town stopped receiving convicts in the later 1800s and unfortunalty got burnt down by bush fires.But there is still a beautiful church here where we saw a wedding despite not having a roof anymore very much like Ross and Rachel's wedding from friends.It was weird walking around and reading the convicts stories and what they got sent here for-some as simple as stealing a loaf of bread or pick pocketing to provide for their family!Children as young as 9 where sent here too as they were classed as an adult-imagine that now!It was a very informative day and made us think I suppose. We also read a few stories of some convicts lives and found a few who came from Liverpool! (see photos)
We are definitely off for an early night tonight after all our hiking and getting up every day at 6am!I am shattered. Merry Christmas and toodle pip for now x x