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March 4th 2020
Published: March 4th 2020
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Day 17

Friday 28th February, 2020


Well, what a bumpy night! We were disturbed in the night by an announcement on ships tannoy, for crews to do something. However a bit later they were told to step down. This was about 3 am. It was then we realised how rough the sea was! Definitely being rocked around in bed. Very windy too, whistling around the balcony door. I was convinced the door wasn’t locked but Roger assured me it was........until he eventually went to check after a long while....... to find it not! The whistling noises abated somewhat after that although still very rocky, but we managed to get to sleep again.

We woke up to a bright morning as we were slowly edging into the quayside in Hobart. We are very close in towards the city, only a fairly short walk to reach the yacht harbours and town.

Tasmania has a total land area of 68,401 sq km, making it 26th largest island in world. It is 240km south of Australia, 364 km from north to south and 206 km from east to west.Hobart is Australia’s most southerly city.The city was named after Robert Hobart, 4th Earl of Buckingham, who was Secretary of State for the British colonies when the settlement was first foundedThe Tasmanian Devil is the state’s most famous marsupial and can only be found in the wild in Tasmania. These small, black mammals usually reach only the height of 30cm and can weigh up to 12 kg.They are being threatened by a terminal facial cancer which is transmitted by biting. Some have developed a gene that is immune to face tumours but many are dying of the disease.Tasmania is comprised of a main island and hundreds of surrounding islands, including the larger King, Flinders and Bruno islands and Maquerie’s island, some 1450 km to the south, some 1450 km to the southeast.<li class="li2" style="margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; font-size: 17.4px; line-height: normal;">The main island is approximately 240 km to the south east of the state of Victoria on the Australian mainland, separated by the waters of the Bass Straight, while the Tasman Sea lies between the island’s east coast and New Zealand.The Dutch navigator Abel Janzoon Taman is credited as being the first European to set eyes on the heart shaped island in 1642, Tasman named it for his sponsor ( governor of the Dutch East Indies) Anthony van Dieman and for 200 years it was known as Van Dieman’s Land, only renamed Tasmania in 1856,after colonial self-government was introduced and the importance of convicts from Britain had ended.Tasmania’s earliest inhabitants are thought to have first populated the island up to 40,000 years ago. There existed a land bridge to the Australian mainland until about 12,000 yrs ago. Their descendants were some of the most southerly dwelling peoples of the world.When the first European explorers reached the island hey found small indigenous groups scattered around the land. However these native populations were soon almost entirely wiped out with a combination of disease brought by the new settlers and the brutal battles they had with themHobart is the largest and capital of Tasmania, pop approx 220,000, which lies in the Islands southeast. It is arranged along the West Bank of the picturesque Derwent River, 12 miles north of the mouth and across the foothills of the often snow capped 1270m high Mount Wellington.

The British founded a small penal colony at Risdon Cove on the river’s eastern shore in 1803, but this was relocated the year after to its current Sullivan’s Cove site, on the opposite bank.

Known officially as Hobart Town or Hobarton until the early 1880s, Australia’s second oldest capital was granted city status in the mid 19th century,during which time its deep water port was a thriving whaling and sealing centre. Shipbuilding and mineral mining industries soon followed,and farming. Between 1881 and 1911 the island’s population had leapt from 115,000 to more than 190,000.

Jennifer had recommended a trip to Peppermint Bay on a catamaran with lunch, so as soon as we moored up I rang to check availability. We were booked in for an 11 am departure. The cruise terminal is very close to the town, at one end of the waterfront with very easy access to the quays. We soon set off to find our way along the quays to find the ticket office and await our departure.

It really wasn’t very far, even with lots of rests for Roger along the way. The Brooke Street Quay had quite a lot of craft stalls set up inside so we had a look round while we waited. The crafts are of a superior standard, certainly not tat and it was interesting to see have talented some of the vendors obviously are.

We duly set off on time and headed back along the left hand side of the bay. We listened to the commentary about the various cliffs and rock formations along the way, (photos in the previous blog) and passed an extensive salmon fish farm.

Once we arrived at Peppermint Bay there was a fairly short walk up to the hotel but also a golf buggy to assist those who required it! I noticed the agapanthus in particular, in Melbourne they had just about finished flowering but here they were in full bloom. They really are one of my favourite flowers. Lots of white ones in the garden at the hotel. (Again, previous blog photo).

The hotel was a very modern design with a large panoramic glass wall/ window view into the garden and bay. That was the nicest thing about it, the rest of the design was not particularly impressive. Drinks were served, some starters of taramasalata and warm chick pea sort of tapas, followed by an hour’s wait before the main course of 16 hour slow cooked lamb shoulder with sautéed potatoes and fresh salad leaves arrived. Dessert was lemon panacotta with a ginger biscuit and stewed greengage. It was all local produce and absolutely delicious. Sorry Louise, keep forgetting to take photos,

We thought we’d have time to look around a bit more but the main fool so long to arrive that we only had a few minutes for a brief look into the garden before we had to catch the buggy back to the dock. ( photo in last blog of a very fruitful oak tree!)

I must admit I slept just about all the way back but Roger went out on the back deck, just to check the Captain was doing it right! It was warm inside the cabin, although very windy and chilly outside, the temperature didn’t get above 17 degrees all day and I certainly needed my big cardigan and coat. (Getting more wear from them than I thought! )

When we got back to Brooke Street Quay we had another look at the craft stalls to find even more setting up. We chatted to one of the smallholders ad apparently Friday eve everything happens around the quayside and there are pop up food stalls and music as well .

We wandered back to the ship, pausing to look at the stalls set up in the terminal building, also a better class of goods. It was so nice to be close to the town and not stuck at a container port in the middle of nowhere. Roger also investigated a trip on a float plane around the bay. There was a space on a 30 min flight tomorrow at 3.30pm so he booked it. He had considered the longer trip later this afternoon where they had one space, but was disappointed to find he was too heavy.

Back on board we had a play with our few purchases and went to an early supper so we could go and listen to Chris Shaw, a blues guitarist and his show, A History of the Blues. He could certainly play his guitar and was excellent.


Saturday 29th February, 2020

Hobart Day 2

We had considered taking the hop on hop off bs tour around the town but having heard about the Salamanca Place market we decided that sounded more interesting. It was back along the waterfront, past the quays from yesterday a short way. It was a lovely day, clear blue skies, although gusting up to 50 kph according to the ships weather. Forecast 21 degrees.

We made our way along to the market where there were lots of stalls of all varieties, lots of food outlets, as well as numerous crafts. We spent an enjoyable morning exploring the market and found a pavement cafe for lunch. We were lucky to be in Hobart on the day of the market as it was only on a Saturday and said by some to be the best market on the island.

Back across on the waterfront we came across a Nepalese procession.( I know they came from Nepal, one of the guys who was escorting them had a T-shirt saying Nepal on the back!) The costumes were gorgeous, see a couple of the photos, and they processed their way all along the harbour. There were some young children and quite a few ladies. I thought I had a movie clip but must have clicked it off by mistake.

We examined all the duty free stalls in the cruise terminal but managed to resist the goods. I posted my blog and then we went back on board to drop off our bags. I had instructions to go onto the back deck to take photos of Roger taking off as he went back for his trip. He was very excited!

It was by now a very warm afternoon, about 27 degrees, and the wind had dropped quite a bit too. The bay was full of yachts, and it was very picturesque, see further photos.

I watched his float plane take off through the fleet of yachts and snapped a few photos. Then I went back to my book to anxiously wait for his return.......the ship was departing at 5pm! I heard it return after the planned half an hour and within another 30 mins he came to find me. Not far from the flight dock to the ship, but the swing bridge to the last little dock behind the waterfront had opened so that rather delayed his return!

The ship left on time and we had supper at the far end of the dining room watching Hobart disappear into the distance through the stern windows.

What a lovely place Hobart is. We were lucky with the weather too, but the island is great. An unexpected treat.

We should have moored off Port Arthur where several tours should have taken place. We were not sorry to miss it as there is not a great deal there except the memorial of a barbaric penal colony. Our tour was to be a scenic view of the Tasmanian Peninsular and some did take place from Hobart instead, but ours was cancelled altogether. Other tours had continued, one to some lavender fields and other activities but the passengers who had done this said their day had been extended to an 8 hr tour instead of 5 hours with the extra distance and no lunch included. Some had received an unexpected cream tea with their tour, which they had of course enjoyed.

Some info about Port Arthur
A small town and former convict settlement on the Tasman Peninsula, 100km southeast of Hobart, it is one of the 11 remaining penal sites built by the British Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries.From 1833-1853, Port Arthur was Home to some of the hardest British criminals and was said to have some of the strictest security measures of the British penal system.Port Arthur was abandoned as a prison in 1877 and many people began to see the attraction as a tourist destination.By the time the property was sold in 1889, the area had already become increasingly popular and many of the prison buildings ha started to decay.Fires in 1895 and 1897 destroyed the old prison houses, and in place of the prison the town of Carnarvon was formed. The town encouraged tourism and visitors by promoting fishing and boating.In 1927 the area’s name reverted to Port Arthur and by 1970 the National Parks and Wildlife Service took over the management of the site. 10 years later funding was given to preserve the site due to historical significance and the area was cleared of overgrowth and returned to its 19th century appearance.There is a 100 acre site of the former convict colony instantly recognisable by the ruins that remain.Features such as the Penitentiary ruins, Commandant’s residence, Government gardens and Isle of the Dead are highlights of the site.In the main Penitentiary it is clear the difference between the isolation cells where the prisoners were only let out for 1 hr a day and the dormitories for the less dangerous prisoners. The youngest person sent there was 9 yrs old. It is apparently very atmospheric and shows it how it was.

Day 19

Sunday March 1st, 2020

Sea Day

Three days at sea now, heading for Adelaide. There were the usual activities going on and as it was Sunday today Roger went to the Multidenominational service in the theatre, taken by the captain, of course. The weather was not particularly good, with quite a swell, which made it difficult moving around the ship. The sun did come out for a while so made it warm in the central pool area, where lots of people still took to the sun beds, as the sun roof was closed. I sat there for a while and did some of my tapestry.

In the afternoon Roger went to see the film and then we went to another Flamenco and Spanish guitar recital, before another black tie supper. We finished the evening listening to the live music in the Piano bar. The musicians on the ship have all been very,very good.

Day 20

Monday 2nd March, 2020

Sea Day

When we left Hobart we headed back along the east coast of Tasmania before going through the Bass Straight towards Adelaide. As we left the shelter of the island the sea became rougher which we had begun to feel in the night. It was Force 8 with big seas and movement around the ship was interesting!

We went to the destination talk about Albany and then later I went to listen/see a Hair Show and then Pamper party while Roger went to a film.

We had a Caribbean supper in the self service restaurant for a change, as Roger has seen a later show, as we wanted to see the evenings performers in the theatre - the later you go to the dining room the longer it seems to take.

The show was Elektra, 2 absolutely brilliant female violinists, who we had seen on the last cruise. If anything they were even better playing everything from classical to stage, screen and Irish and American folk .

The sea had settled down during the day, dropping to a Force 5 by the evening. So we had a much calmer sleep!

Day 21

Tuesday 3rd March, 2020

Sea Day

Today’s destination talk was Freemantle and Perth, our last port in Australia, due to be there on 10th and 11th I believe. After the talk we went along to the coffee shop for Roger to get a coffee, and chatted to a lovely elderly couple for a while. I left Roger to go to the hairdressers for a haircut. He came to meet me afterwards to go for lunch. When we got through the o the Neptune pool area under the covered dome we discovered an Italian buffet for lunch on offer.

We managed to find somewhere to sit and found ourselves chatting to a couple from Wansford, near Peterborough!

After lunch I remained in the pool area, which was a very pleasant temperature, doing some tapestry and reading while Roger went off for a siesta. Later in the afternoon I went back to the cabin to begin to get ready for our photo shoot before another black tie supper- this time a black and white theme. The photographers lurk each time there is a formal evening and there is no obligation to buy so we thought we’d give it a whirl this evening.

At supper we sat with some interesting Belgian gentleman and an Australian couple and had an enjoyable mealtime.

This evenings entertainment was Alana Conway, the singing harpist who gave another excellent performance.

We finished off the evening in the Crow’s Nest bar with another live musician, Chris Shaw the guitarist.

Tomorrow we are due to be in Adelaide by 8am. We have a free day tomorrow and then on our second day in Adelaide we have booked to go out on an excursion to a German settlement called Hahndorf which was established in 1838 by 38 German families (more next blog).


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