Port Arthur is an amazing site, over 100 acres in old money. Many of the buildings are gone so it seems spacious but old drawings and paintings from the time show it to be crowded with structures of one kind or another. For the price of (our cheapskate) entry you get two days at the site, an introductory tour and a short harbour cruise. Add-ons like extra tours up the price, but a two hour tour on an island in the wind and rain did not appeal on the day… we did however line up for the night Ghost Tour, a very entertaining tour around various parts of the site reputed to have supernatural inclinations, accompanied by lanterns and candles and tales of historical figures. Going down into the basement of the junior medical officer's house (not able to be visited by day) into a windowless room reputed to have been used for illegal autopsies on prisoners was quite "atmospheric" shall we say.
The rain amazingly held off while we walked around and we returned the next day to finish off the buildings, the talks and the museum displays that we couldn't fit in the first day.
After stopping for coffee at a poisonously expensive lavender farm, we continued to Fortescue Bay where a couple of walks were on offer. In hindsight we should have stuck to the one around the bays, all staying at roughly sea level. But we didn't …
We took the path for the Cape Huay walk. At first it followed the coastline but then the steps started. We climbed and climbed and climbed. After two hours of this we were rewarded with a fantastic view out to the end of the Cape from the top of a hill. But the path went ever on - and it presented us with a particularly steep set of steps going down a very long way. We could see the path then rising up to the next hill and we decided that we were quite happy to just see it and not walk it. That steep path down would be OK - it would be the long steep climb back that would be the killer. So having done about three quarters of the walk there we turned back. The 841 steps we had done would have to do - after all there were another 841 steps to do on the way back…
Again the rain held off while we were walking but drizzle set in when we settled into the National Park campsite. We wanted a campfire but all the wood was wet. Despite this we got a great fire going, had a BBQ for dinner and kept nice and toasty warm. Two pademelons and a small kangaroo (possibly a juvenile Forestier 'roo) poked around us all night and were very happy to munch on the proffered carrots and apples. They came very close to us, not quite tame though - alert but not alarmed one could say.