Awesome way to start the morning. Staring out the van window across Fortescue Bay. There is no better wake up in the world than the fresh air and quiet lapping of waves.
This morning, we make our first stop the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park. We spend the morning watching the little devils chasing each other around, snarling, snorting and grunting. They're cute little things, but make such a lot of noise.
The park is currently working to find a solution to Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour disease. It a communicable disease that can get passed from devil to devil that causes the growth of massive facial tumours. The infect animal dies within 5 months. The Conservation Park is planning to section off the Tasman Peninsula with a devil proof fence, and reintroduce disease free animals into the area. This would make the Peninsula the last refuge of an already highly endangere animal.
Following the park, we head to Port Arthur, a massive former penal colony.
It's fascinating to wander around the old ruins of an asylum, and the penitentiary. Convicts were sent here to gather timber from the forests surroung the port, but this expanded into a boat making industry, making use of convict labour. New penal systems were introduced, and rather than using an old fashioned method of punishing the men for wrong doing, they tried to instill a sense of self worth by teaching the men a trade, and rewarding them for good behavior. It really made me think about how prisons are run.