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Published: September 26th 2011
I was up early to get on the road and head over to Port Arthur. It's about an hour and a half drive from Hobart and makes a good day trip. It's a beautiful drive to get out there and I had no problems finding my way.
Port Arthur was set up in the 1830's as a place to send convicts from England. Well, most were sent to Hobart first but if they were caught a second time they were sent to Port Arthur. It was a convict camp set up for repeat offenders. The convicts were put to work being blacksmiths and various other trades. If they misbehaved they were sent to work on the chain gangs.
As the years went by and they found that giving the inmates slashes on the back to punish them wasn't working they built the solitary prison where you were kept on your own and not allowed to talk except when in church. You became a number and never identified by name.
The history here was so fascinating. A lot of the buildings here are ruins after a bushfire that was here in the late 1890's. You are able to walk
into the majority of buildings that are still here. The original buildings that housed the convicts are no longer there but the convict built penitentiary is still there but in ruins.
A free ride on the boat around the harbor is included in the admission and takes you out to see the island where the young boys penitentiary was built. The buildings are no longer there. The boys were separated from the men as the men were deemed bad influences.
We also got to see the Isle of the Dead. This is where all the convicts that died while here were buried hence the name. It was a great little boat ride around the harbour. Such a pretty spot!
I grabbed some lunch and then hopped back in the car to do some other sightseeing. I stopped to see the Tasman arch which is a rock formation on the ocean. There were also some amazing views of the coastline. Devils kitchen was another rock formation in the same area.
I made my way out of the Tasman peninsula but stopped in at the Tasmanian devil conservation park. I walked around the park and was so excited
to see some tassie devils running around in their enclosures. I saw lots of other animals there too which was good.
I got to hand feed a kangaroo again which is always fun and then I got to watch a tassie devil getting fed. They sure are aggressive when food is around. They have such powerful jaws that they eat everything even the bones! You could her him just crushing the bones.
Tassie devils are sooo cute and they make such cute noises. They also had a birds of prey show so I stayed and watched that which was really good. I decided to head back to Hobart and got back just in time to make some dinner and have a shower.
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Love all the photos of Tassie, countryside & jail and animals! Did you ever find out what the funny looking bird was?