An easy day in a chilly Hobart

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April 11th 2018
Published: April 11th 2018
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The original garden at Port Arthur Historic SiteThe original garden at Port Arthur Historic SiteThe original garden at Port Arthur Historic Site

Aspects, and the design, have been kept the same/left as per photos from over 100 years ago
According to the weather report this morning, parts of Australia were expecting uncharacteristic heatwaves for April. Well, I can assure you that is definitely not being felt down here in Hobart, where the people are layered up to keep out the bitter chill in the air. Today is definitely the coolest day we've had, and the first day I've needed my coat outside.

So far, our experience of Hobart is that it's a lovely city, bustling with locals and tourists, though not to the degree of Sydney or Melbourne. It's fairly easy to navigate, even for total newbies. And there is a beautiful harbour just over the road where boats come and go (or sit). It's really a wonderful place to be.

We started our morning around 7 this morning, being in no rush to get ready. The drive between Port Arthur and Hobart is only about 1 hour and 20 minutes, so there was no hurry. At the Port Arthur Villas, we put in an order for breakfast, which was fairly good value. For $12 each, you get a box of cereal, two pieces of toast, a piece of fruit, a tub of yogurt, plunger coffee and a selection of teas. They require the order placed by 6pm the following day and bring it to your room the night before. That way, you can eat whenever you feel like it.

We checked out at 9 and drive the short distance to the historic site for our second day. The lady who organised our entry yesterday happened to be there again today, and she recognised us, which made getting our passes easy. We had a small section of the site to finish, but unfortunately as it was so early, some of the buildings were still shut, making the walk through very short. We were able to enter the buildings of a church, the reverend's house and the home of a family where their house had been rebuilt a few times. We were also able to walk through the ruins of a stone church, where - had it not been for the fires in 1895 - would probably still be standing today.

It took us around 45 minutes to get through the final part and by 10 we were on our way to Hobart, a place we were looking forward to visiting. It was a pleasant drive, passing large towns for the first time in days, which we were grateful to see. Our hotel - Hotel Grand Chancellor - is rather fancy, situated right by the harbour. We are lucky enough to have a harbour view room, as well!

We arrived around 11:30 and chanced checking in early, which thankfully, our room was ready. The hotel offers valet parking, which we opted for, and we were in our room by midday. After an hour of relaxing, we went in search of lunch (we found a McDonald's) and decided to do some shopping at the Elizabeth St Mall. Being a holiday, we spent some money we wouldn't usually have spent on items, and I ended up with new shoes, a top and a new bag. Albert has two new jackets, a pair of pants and some DVDs and CDs.

By this time we were tired and began making our way back to the hotel, which was only about 2 blocks away and no more than 15 minutes.

Along the way, we spotted the visitor's centre and bookings and dropped in to look at some tours we could do tomorrow. We eventually decided on two - a
Inside the stone churchInside the stone churchInside the stone church

Was built by convicts
2 hour tour up to Mt Wellington in the morning, and a 4 hour tour to another convict settlement called Richmond in the afternoon. As we went to book, the man who did it recommended not going up Mt Wellington as the forecast for tomorrow was heavy rain. So we left with tickets only to Richmond.

Like all tours in Tasmania, the cost of this was a reasonable $65. I really wish other places were this price, as in a place such as Sydney, you'd probably be expected to pay around $100.

We came back to our hotel, where we were fairly lazy until around 6pm, where we went in search of dinner. After looking at some menus of nearby restaurants, we settled on a Chinese restaurant across the road from our hotel. It wasn't the best we've ever been to, but not terrible.

Today was a slow, easy day, which we definitely needed after going non stop since we arrived in Tasmania. And some retail therapy was definitely what we needed on our first day in Hobart!

Additional photos below
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Inside a more modern church on the siteInside a more modern church on the site
Inside a more modern church on the site

We could leave a message in a guest book here

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