Port Arthur and the Tasman Peninsula

Oxford Dictionary definition of wow – exclamation – expressing astonishment or admiration.

Smiffs definition of wow – oh wow, oh wow oh wow, woweeeeee, oooohhhh wooowww, wow oh wow oh wow oh wow!

Wow has been the extent of our conversation for the majority of the twelve days on the Tasman Peninsula. No photo can truly capture the beauty and majesty of the landscape. No amount of words can truly convey the awesome grandeur that we witnessed in this area of Tasmania.

The Tasman Peninsula is located at the southeast point of Tasmania.  From our arrival in Devonport at the very north of the state, it took just over four and a half hours to drive to Port Arthur Holiday Park.  The wows started within half an hour of driving as we saw the most spectacular sunrise.

We stayed at the Port Arthur Holiday Park which is 5 minutes drive from the Port Arthur Historic Site.  It is set on 40 acres deep within the Stewarts Bay State Reserve and we were surrounded by huge, tall trees and an abundance of wildlife and birdlife. We booked for 7 nights but stayed 12 nights.

There are so many historical and natural sites/sights to see in this area so we will give you the links to find out more should our pics whet your appetite for more information.

Port Arthur Historical Site including a visit to the Isle of the Dead– we spent two days exploring this site and it still wasn’t enough time. 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.” (copied from the brochure we picked up from the information centre)

An amazing find during our visit there, was reference to one Alfred Packham, a young man from Brighton, found guilty of larceny in Lewes, East Sussex and sentenced to seven years. He was transported to Port Arthur on the ship Candahar and arrived in 1842.  Ray’s mother was a Packham and came from Brighton. So there is great excitement that he may be related and research has started in earnest.  We also visited the Coal Mines Historic Site where the worst behaved convicts were sent to do hard labour in the coal mines.

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The Tasman Peninsula is full of stunning, awe inspiring natural beauty.  A few of the places we visited were: Cape RaoulRemarkable CaveThe Dog Line, The Lavender FarmKoonya, Premaydena and Saltwater River.

So ends our time on the Tasman Peninsula and today, Friday 26th August, we head an hour and a half north west to Hobart. We will be staying at the Hobart Showgrounds for two weeks and exploring as much as possible in that neck of the woods. Farewell for now!

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