Thursday 31st July 2014
Up nice an early once again! We packed the car up and managed to find the airport without using the toll roads! We had no issues with the hire car and dropped it off before heading inside the airport. We checked in and had a coffee to wake myself up waiting at our gate. We watched a handful of people nearly missed their flight to Adelaide. One lady was strolling up so slowly and casually and was told the flight had left. Cue dramatics, she threw her stuff down on the floor and said why didn't they call me?! I heard several announcements of this flight closing with plenty of names being read out. Oh dear!
We boarded our plane on time, and sat down to enjoy our flight. Well, we had these two boys which I had told them after the first 30 mins to please stop kicking my chair. They stopped but 30 mins later they started again, so used a slightly more angry voice, stop kicking my chair, please. Well not long after that they must of kicked Stu's chair so Stu was even more rude and told them to stop. The mother did nothing at all and said they all need to stop talking and have a time out?! What is that going to do love?! Rant over!
We arrived in a very wet and pretty miserable Hobart. We got our rental car which got upgraded for free as they had no more cars that we booked. We jumped in the car and headed off. We headed east and stopped off at Sorell and found a cafe and had a nice fried breakfast/brunch!
We headed back off and up along the east coast which had some stunning scenery even though the weather was awful! We did get a sunny spell every once in a while! We drove all the way up to Swansea and drove to Freycinet National Park where the famous Wineglass Bay is located. We checked with the park information desk how long the walk was, and it wasn't too far but advised to go now before the rain was about to arrive.
It wasn't too far of a walk, we drove to the car park where the start of the walk was. A couple of wallabies came bounding out of no where to say hello. They got so close to us, clearly not afraid of us! The walk was a little steep at times, but not as bad as Kings Canyon! We steamed up to the top to check out Wineglass Bay, which was pretty, but I can imagine it would look even better when the sun was out. We headed back down the lookout point to the bottom of the car park and headed back out just in time as the rain started.
We were going to head up north to Launceston, but the weather reports on the local radio said the weather up north was pretty bad with gale force winds. We decided to head back to Hobart and checked into the hostel and have a walk around. The drive back was nicer, the sun made more of an appearance and Tasmania is extremely picturesque. I was blown away by the scenery even when it did rain!
Its a good job we left early as the hostel reception closed at 8 pm and we arrived at 7! We asked at reception where the nearest supermarket was and some good places for cheapish food. We decided to go for some Thai food, which was really tasty before we headed back to the hostel, which was freezing! It was pretty damn cold outside too! We got washed and dressed for bed and snuggled down under the covers and tried to get warm!
Friday 1st August 2014
The weather was a little better this morning so we headed down to Port Arthur to see the old convict settlement. We got a great view of Mt Wellington with a snow capped top! They did say that higher regions might have got snow yesterday! This was a great sight to see across the bay to Hobart.
We stopped off at Eaglehawk Neck which is the narrowest part, only 30 meters, of Port Arthur region so they posted guards here to make sure that no convicts left the region onto the 'mainland' of Tasmania. We stopped off at the commanders office which I found spooky and refused to walk in! We finally arrived at Port Arthur historical sight, but it was a fair amount of money, it was mainly outside and it was raining. So we decided to opt out walking around.
The site forms part of the Australian Convict Sites, a World Heritage property consisting of eleven remnant penal sites originally built within the British Empire during the 18th and 19th centuries on fertile Australian coastal strips. Collectively, these sites, including Port Arthur, now represent, "...the best surviving examples of large-scale convict transportation and the colonial expansion of European powers through the presence and labour of convicts."
From 1833, until 1853, it was the destination for the hardest of convicted British criminals, those who were secondary offenders having re-offended after their arrival in Australia. Rebellious personalities from other convict stations were also sent here, a quite undesirable punishment. In addition Port Arthur had some of the strictest security measures of the British penal system.
Port Arthur was sold as an inescapable prison, some prisoners were not discouraged by this, and tried to escape. Martin Cash successfully escaped along with two others. One of the most infamous incidents, simply for its bizarreness, was the escape attempt of one George "Billy" Hunt. Hunt disguised himself using a kangaroo hide and tried to flee across the Neck, but the half-starved guards on duty tried to shoot him to supplement their meagre rations. When he noticed them sighting him up, Hunt threw off his disguise and surrendered, receiving 150 lashes.
In 1996 it was the scene of the worst mass murder event in post-colonial Australian history. The Port Arthur massacre, of 28-29 April 1996, was a killing spree in which 35 people were killed and 23 wounded, mainly at the historic Port Arthur prison colony, a popular tourist site in south-eastern Tasmania, Australia. Martin Bryant, a 28-year-old from New Town, a suburb of Hobart, eventually was given 35 life sentences without possibility of parole.
We headed back to Hobart to grab some food, it took us a while to find a parking spot and even longer to find somewhere to eat. We headed to Salamanca place and in the end we settled for a traditional looking pub and sat by the fire to dry out and keep warm!
We had possibly the best burger ever! It was amazing! We had a wonder round the old square and grabbed some cake! I felt really sick afterwards as I had eaten way to much! I brought some souvenirs and a christmas decoration much to the annoyance of Stu!
We headed over to the MONA museum as some one had told us about a particular exhibition that is on, a poo making machine! Yes you heard it right, a poo machine! We watched the lady feed this machine, a normal diet of a human with water and it goes through the same system a humans do to process food. It stank! It actually poos too, but its at 2 pm every day so we missed the pooping!
We had a look around the museum which held some unusual pieces of work which went over our heads a little bit!
After we headed towards the airport and dropped off our hire car and checked in and waited for our flight to be ready to board.
We had a better flight to Melbourne than we did to Hobart, Mark and Chelsea picked us up from the airport and took us back home.