Time to leave Hobart and start our anti-clockwise circumnavigation of Tasmania which is 2/3rds the size of England and with a total population of only 500,000. We left at 08.30am heading for Port Arthur, a former convict settlement on the Tasman Peninsula. A journey of only 100km …….
However, this took us over 5 hours, not due to traffic or road conditions but Heather wanting to stop and see everything on the way, and there was a lot to see along the Peninsula's scenic coastline. Our first stop was Pirates Bay lookout where some enterprising people had put a retro caravan selling great coffee, set up comfortable cushions on the ground, so a great spot for refreshments and enjoying the view.
There were various other geological wonders (see photos) such as the Tessellated pavement, blowhole, Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen.
We arrived at our accommodation, Storms Bay B & B, at White Beach. A fantastic position high up with uninterrupted views of the bay, a great terrace and very friendly hosts. However, we had to make a quick exit as we wanted to visit Port Arthur historic site with a stop off at the natural rock formation on the way "remarkable cave".
Port Arthur was a penal station established in 1830. Pentonville prison in England became the model for Port Arthur where many men were broken. The prison is built on such a beautiful site which made it difficult to comprehend what the men went through and we heard some pretty horrendous stories. Our ticket entrance was valid for two days and included a short boat trip and an introductory tour. Sadly, a tragic chapter was added to Port Arthur's history in 1996 when a gunman took the lives of 35 people. We finished our afternoon with a meal in their restaurant which had great views of the surrounding area.
Back at our B & B we bought a bottle of local wine and sat on the decking chatting to the owners and other guests waiting for the sunset when a sudden wind forced us indoors.
We had a great breakfast the next morning including home-made jams, yoghurts and freshly made bread, which set us up for our next stop, Bicheno, on the east coast.