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Published: February 18th 2018
Cliffs and Unzoo16/2/18
C. O. a vision in a poncho.
Wow!! What a day!!
Booked a days tour with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys Which started early at 7:30 at Hobart waterfront. The first part of the day was a journey to Port Arthur in a small coach driven by Phil our genial driver. We started gently by having tea and delicious scones at cafe on a lavender farm set in an idyllic cove which was on our route. After getting refreshed we were joined by Chris a crew member of the boat we were going to board. We continued on to Port Arthur to board our boat with Chris explaining what we were in for. The boat was fairly small (approx 30 foot long but quite wide and easily accommodated our band of 17 people. The passengers were not fully enclosed but were protected by a canvas cover awning securely attached to a metal support. We were greeted by the skipper who heartily recommended that we put on the red waterproof and wind proof ponchos that came down to mid calf. We all thought this was a splendid idea. The weather was breezy but we were assured that this was not anything to worry about. The boat is powered
Cliffs and Unzoo
Cliff formations. These were given names of “Totem Pole” and “Candlestick”. Used by rock climbers.
by 3 large (75 h.p.) outboard engines working together. We set off round the coast and were treated to an awe inspiring site of towering cliffs and coastal scenery on our way to Tasman Island. I can't find the right words to convey to you the magnificence of the scenery. I took about 100 photos that will have to be edited. The ponchos were essential as there was a lot of wind and some spray. On the way, we saw several albatrosses with a two metre wingspan and several colonies of furry seals either resting on the rocks or swimming nearby. There are a few buildings that were erected about 150 years ago on the island but the most notable structure is a lighthouse set on top of 200 metre cliffs. The island structures are now maintained by the Friends of Tasman Island Society. The lighthouse was one of the most spectacular and isolated lighthouses in Australia at the mercy of the Southern Ocean' "Roaring Forties". In order to get building supplies to the island, the labourers ( convicts ) had to unload the bricks one by one from boats, which was not easy in these seas, and haul them
Cliffs and Unzoo
Cathedral like cliffs towering over100 metres.
up the cliffs on sledges. Laborious and backbreaking work. The light house no longer has a light keeper but it was an essential navigation aid in treacherous waters in the not too distant past.
After poking our nose out to sea a bit more to get a better view of the lighthouse, we were outside he shelter of the cliffs and experienced the force and power of the winds and sea albeit for a limited period. We turned round making it back to Port Arthur keeping fairly close to the cliffs but even then we experienced some tossing and spray splash with the ponchos earning their keep. On the way back, we were joined by a school of dolphins who provided us with some good entertainment with their acrobatic swimming. We reached port, safe and sound grateful for the skill and competence of the crew and the sturdiness of the boat. If ever you find yourself in Hobart, I would recommend that you look at one of the Pennicott cruises offered.
We joined Phil and made our way to another beautiful bay and this one had a cruise ship at anchor and we had more delicious food for
Cliffs and Unzoo
Lighthouse on top of 300 metre cliffs on Tasman Island.
lunch. We then journeyed on to an Unzoo whose aim is to keep wild animals in a natural way and not enclose them in cages. We joined kangaroos, wallabies, tasmanian devils, quolls, wombats and many birds. We were able to help feed some of the animals. I do not normally like to see wild animals caged in zoos, as I think that it is not quite right, so I applaud the aims of this small enterprise.
We arrived back in Hobart having had a most memorable day and made straight for the nearest bar.
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