Wednesday, 3 December 2014

25 - 27 November 2014 - White Beach, Port Arthur and the Tasman Peninsula

We left the Frecinet Peninsula and headed towards Port Arthur and the Tasman Peninsula. The road was winding and narrow most of the way and it took 5 hours to drive about 260 kms. We filled up with fuel and stocked up with fresh veggies and some divine cheese at a farm produce store. We checked into a caravan park in White Beach just 10 minutes from Port Arthur and had cheese and sour dough bread for a late lunch. We decided to book for a three hour eco cruise which everybody raves about. We were both tired so had an afternoon nap before having soup for dinner.

Next day we headed to the Port Arthur Historic Site which consists of many restored buildings from the convict era. Port Arthur was a convict settlement for the more hardened criminals and repeat offenders and is situated on a large peninsular that is separated from the mainland by a 80 metre istmus called Eaglehawk Neck. Eaglehawk Neck was the only section of land that had to be guarded to prevent convicts from escaping, and it worked very well indeed. We also took a boat ride round the bay to see the Island of the Dead where people were buried. After a short tour we needed lunch but there were huge numbers in the cafe so we went to the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park which had nothing, as was the case at the Fox and Hound, so we headed home for lunch and a rest for the remainder of the day.

We were up relatively early to prepare for our 3 hour Eco Cruise which was stunning along the whole west coast of the Tasman Peninsula. The boat could carry about 44 passengers and was fairly small with 3 huge engines and specifically designed for the rough seas of the area. We poked our noses into sea caves, sped along cliffs and visited two seal colonies. At the southern tip of the peninsula we headed out to Tasman Island with howling wind and large seas to see the lighthouse and the ropes and pulleys required by the early lighthouse keepers to get onto the island - quite scary. We then headed back home hugging the coastline to avoid the large seas. After returning we had lunch back at the Port Arthur Historic Town before wandering around the many fascinating buildings. Back at the caravan we had a G&T in the gardens before having dinner.

Port Arthur Historic Site
The main cell block being restored
Seperate Section now known as solitary confinement
Inside a cell
The other side of the cell
The ship building part of town
View of the town from the sea
Civilian section of town with ruined church
The ruined church
View over Port Arthur to the sea
Vlasta ready for the rough seas
Keith in a full-length waterproof jacket

A sea cave
Sea cliffs
Stunning scenery - note the other boat
The Totem Pole
Tasman Island with the original access to the lighthouse
The tallest sea cliffs in Australia at 300 metres
The other boat touring the coast
New Zealand Fur Seal
Australian Fur Seals
Sunset at White Beach

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