Forestier, Tasman Peninsula / Port Arthur., Hobart

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  • There's a few blowholes as well
    There's a few blowholes as well
    by iandsmith
  • Taz Devil---sooo cute!
    Taz Devil---sooo cute!
    by dustmon
  • It was rough at times
    It was rough at times
    by iandsmith
  • The_Downunder_Mob's Profile Photo

    Port Arthur

    by The_Downunder_Mob Updated Jul 28, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    To do Port Arthur justice you need to spend at least two nights there. It is not feasible as a trip from Hobart.

    Please follow the link to my Port Arthur page.

    http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/154dbc/1c8c95/

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    Tasman Penninsula

    by The_Downunder_Mob Updated Jul 28, 2011
    Tasman Arch

    The Tasman Penninsula can be reached as a day trip from Hobart but you will be pushing it. Ideally you need at least two nights here; usually at Port Arthur; to see all the area has to offer.

    Please follow the link to my Tasman Penninsula page.

    http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/p/m/2121df/

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    Visit Port Arthur (Night) for the Ghost Tours!

    by xuessium Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Came back to Port Arthur a second time for the Ghost tours via Bruny Island Ventures.

    It turned out me & my mate were the only folks who signed up for the tour. (Adult A$65, circa 2004) The driver took us to some view points along the Tasman Peninsula before we actually reached Port Arthur just after sunset and we set down to dinner with our driver/guide.

    We were then transferred to the local guide and after sorting out volunteers for lamp bearers (which my mate was one) we began our journey through the grounds, visiting all the places/buildings/sites claimed to exhibit paranormal activities. The guide revelled us the stories of encounters that staff and visitors had claimed to come in contact with the nether world in a light-hearted fashion manner, though that had not stopped one of the lady in my group from being totally spooked out and she had to be escorted back to the centre, totally frightened.

    The tour was very entertaining and I was glad I did it. However, that did not stopped me from having an "encounter" of my own. While listening to the stories of the guide at the old morgue, I could have sworn I heard faint moanings coming from what used to be the 2nd storey wards (now totally burnt away) above. I looked up and only see a sea of stars above my head. Was it real? Was I imagining it? My mate who was beside me, heard nothing.

    Each of us received a certificate at the end of it, certifying that you had completed the Ghost Tour with bravery & courage. Rather interesting momento!

    Bruny Island Ventures departs Hobart 6pm and return 11.30pm (approx) for this tour.
    Every Tue, Thu & Sat all year round.

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    Port Arthur

    by iandsmith Updated Mar 2, 2011
    Part of the church remains
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    Now an imposing ruin, the Penitentiary was constructed in 1843 as a flour mill and granary. In 1857 it was converted into a penitentiary, capable of housing over 480 convicts in dormitory accommodation and separate apartments.
    Flanked by the Watchmen’s Quarters, the Penitentiary also contained a mess room, library, Catholic chapel, workshops and ablutions complex. The building was gutted by fire in 1897 and lay derelict until a concerted conservation program began in the 1960s.
    Port Arthur's timber and stone church, constructed in 1836-37 is a lasting tribute to its convict builders.
    Built on high ground to overlook the convict settlement, the church could accommodate over one thousand souls at its services.
    The church was never consecrated, due to its use by prisoners of different denominations, but was representative of the authorities’ goal to reform the convict population through religion.
    The church was destroyed by fire in 1884 and has undergone repeated conservation work throughout the 20th century.
    At the entrance to the enture complex is a large building where you can get information, eat and go to the toilet. It's very well done and the maps are very informative.
    This is Tasmania's most visited tourist attraction for good reason.
    Port Arthur Historic Site is open every day from 8.30am until dusk. The Visitor Centre is open from 8.30am until the close of Historic Ghost tours at night. The first thing most visitors will take note of is the exhibit of visitor's photos exhibiting paranormal activities captured at Port Arthur - don't miss it!!

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    The Bruny Island Cruise

    by iandsmith Written Mar 2, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Getting close to caves
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    It was only a couple of days later that I found myself heading to Bruny Island for more of the same. Bruny’s name comes from Bruni D’Entrecasteaux.
    You get there via a vehicular ferry from Kettering and the $40 fare covers you for a return journey.
    It runs about hourly depending on what time of day it is and it pays to check out what time the last ferry leaves if you’re planning to return to Tassie proper, as night time ferries are a rarity.
    One thing you’ll soon learn about Bruny is that they haven’t quite made up their minds whether to tar the island’s streets or not, so half are dirt and half are sealed. There’s no set places, you might be on dirt for 5 kms then suddenly you’re back on tar for 6 kms then it’s back to gravel again.
    On the way at the much photographed Narrow Neck isthmus from North Bruny and it pays to stop and have a geek from the lookout to get the famous shot of the thin band of sand that joins the two islands.
    This is also a good place to see penguins and there’s an informative guide to viewing on the billboards present here.
    Once across, the road winds through tight bends until you reach Adventure Bay which is the main tourist spot on the island.
    Here, if you choose to stay in the caravan park, you will see the albino wallabies come in to feed at evening time. It’s an interesting story how they found one and brought it to Bruny to avoid predators and the gene has since been passed on and there are now about 60 in total, which totally spoiled my experience of seeing one jumping across the road in front of me and thinking, “Wow, how unique is this!” As it transpired, not very.
    I’d come here to walk the Fluted Cliffs, something I have to admit I did after I took the easy option of the Bruny Island Charters cruise.
    They have a fleet of three vessels that take tourists around to, and often up close and personal to, the very ramparts I was to walk on later.
    If you’re into that sort of thing, I’d recommend it as good value and you can get their coach from Hobart

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    The Tasman Island Cruise

    by iandsmith Updated Mar 2, 2011
    Approaching Cape Hauy, just before the storm
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    Unfortunately for me it was where I had hoped to get some decent shots because I had sat atop the cliff at Cape Hauy about two years previously and wanted to compare the spot from below. It was still spectacular but I have no record from the eastern side for that’s when it hit the fan so to speak.
    While we were passing there one of the two guides said that he’d dropped a mate off and it took him 6 hours to climb the candlestick, a prominent sheer narrow piece of rock jutting skywards that attracts they-who-haven’t-had-enough-excitement in their lives. Personally, I’ve found other ways less life threatening to enjoy! Frankly, it was inspiring enough just being there close by, gazing in awe at this stunning natural sculpture wondering how on earth it had survived alone.
    The next part we stuck our nose in was directly under the highest seaside cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere (pic 5). It was simply awesome standing at water level gazing vertically up these massifs.
    Further on the rain petered out and my camera started firing again. We closed in on Tasman Island (pic 2), the noted point that Sydney-Hobart yachtsmen round before curving towards the Derwent.
    The old pulley system that used to raise goods for the people who lived on the island is still there, rotting away but still leaving me gaping at what an adventure it must have been scaling that very steep slope just to get 6 weeks supply of groceries up to the lighthouse keeper’s cottages. Living there must have been a truly amazing experience as the storm lashed coast vented its fury upon this lonely outpost.
    We were in the lee of the island, something I hadn’t noted but the crew had been constantly glancing ahead before we breached the gap and rode into the Southern Ocean. Instantly we were rising and crashing down the choppy seas; the front three rows were advised, no, told, to get down the back. Spray billowed off the bow and laced the seating. Taking photographs went from near impossible to “forget it” as we ground our way south past still fabulous scenery that could be glimpsed from time to time. Twenty minutes later we reached the calm waters of Port Arthur and, for the first time since we’d left, were able to relax as we were told about the multitude of shipwrecks that had occurred in the region we had just been through with one scary statistic – no body had ever been found.

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    The Tasman Island Cruise

    by iandsmith Updated Mar 2, 2011
    Fabulous scenery
    4 more images

    This is from an email I sent at the time:
    "The horizontal rain and spray lashed through beneath the canopy, stinging the exposed pieces of skin as the seas roughened up under the pressure of the increasing wind. It was misery personified and we were so grateful we had taken seats down the rear end, something I had picked up from my Bruny Island experience in a similar boat. Back here it wasn’t so bouncy and, with our weatherproof clothing wrapped around all save our necessary facial parts, it was almost tolerable.
    Just half an hour earlier we had departed Pirate’s Cove in lovely weather with blue skies dotted with fluffy white clouds overhead. “We have a good day,” we were assured before they handed out the seasickness tablets. Obviously, his good and mine were not on the same plane.
    Still, the first part was excellent as we poked into Tasman Arch and Waterfall Bay beneath cliffs towering over us and getting even higher. It was when we passed the Three Thumbs a little later on that the storm dulled the light and foretold of inclemency."

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    Port Arthur Historic Site

    by liketotravel234 Written May 18, 2010

    Created with convict labour, the impressive architecture and chilling prison facilities to explore. It is a nationally recognised symbol of Australia's convict past. It made me a bit scary when visiting the prison with the voice recording sounding like a real one.

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    Taz Devil !!!!!

    by dustmon Written May 17, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Taz Devil---sooo cute!

    We went to a nature park and got to see a Tasmanian Devil close up---very strange noise, somewhat like half pig half roar----kind of cute tho----wish I could remember the name of the nature park----they had beautiful black swans as well......

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    Port Arthur - A must do in Tasmania

    by cheerssweetie Updated Dec 11, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Penitentiary Port Arthur Tasmania

    Port Arthur is a historic penal settlement.

    Its a sad place with tales of torture and misery, along with a community of military men and free officers, there wives and familes who tried to make normal lives.

    It has lessons for us today, as we deal with the need for punishment and reform within our criminal justice system.

    Upon purchasing your day pass you can join an introductory walking tour. The quide takes you around the most important places there and you are than free to wander at your leisure.

    A harbour cruise is included. It will pass the Dockyards, Point Puer Boys" Prison and the Isle of Dead cemetry. You can tour these places if you purchase tickets upon entry.

    You also get given a playing card which gives you the identity of a real convict. You can trace his life at Port Arthur in what is called the Interpretation Gallery.

    In the evening you can even go on a ghost tour.

    Sturdy footwear is needed along with a jacket, raincoat or umbrella as the weather can be very changable.

    ****Please note: There was a masacre on 28/4/1996 where a gunman killed 35 people at Port Arthur. Staff members that worked at the site died that day and some of the staff that work there today are colleagues, family members of those that killed.
    ******Please do not ask about that day********
    There is information on the plaque in the Memorial Garden or you may ask for a brochure at the Visitors Centre

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    Visit Port Arthur (Daytime)!

    by xuessium Updated Oct 21, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    PortArthurPenitentiary

    Day tour via Bottom Bit Bus Tours when there was still an option for you to start the tour early and opt out of the night ghost tour.

    You will get to see Port Arthur Historic Site, the Tasman's Arch, the Devil's Kitchen (which is a blowhole) and The Tessellated Pavement on the day tour.

    Port Arthur was a penal colony and a place associated with grievance, violence and sadness. It began life as a small timber station in 1830 and quickly developed into a major penal settlement by the 1840s. The hey days of Port Arthur were in the 1850s-1860s before eventual decline set in and Port Arthur ceased to be a penal colony by 1877.

    Despite fires that destroyed the original structures in 1895 and 1897, the site did not disappear from people's memory. The early 20th century welcomed the first tourists to the region, curious about life in a former penal colony and helped to begin Port Arthur's new lease of life.

    No one could visit Port Arthur without remembering the shocking tragedy of 28 Apr 1996 when a man rampaged through Port Arthur, leaving behind a trail of death and injuries. In cruel irony, it added another chapter to the sad history that Port Arthur had carried since the day of its founding.

    While you are in Port Arthur, besides roaming and snaking your way through the many wonderfully restored historical buildings, you may also take a boat ride to the Isle of the Dead where many of the officers and convicts were buried. In fact, practically every inch of the entire isle had been dug up and used as graves. Officer's are marked while convict's were forever lost to the earth.

    Port Arthur Historic Site is open every day from 8.30am until dusk. The Visitor Centre is open from 8.30am until the close of Historic Ghost tours at night. The first thing most visitors will take note of is the exhibit of visitor's photos exhibiting paranormal activities captured at Port Arthur - don't miss it!!

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    Tasman's Arch

    by Kate-Me Written Apr 12, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Tasman's Arch

    I just loved the scenery here, even though it wasn't marked as a major tourist attraction on the map.
    Water flows here through a gap into the cliff into a round rock walled enclosure they call the 'Devil's Cauldron'.

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    Tessellated Pavement - Forestier Peninsula

    by Kate-Me Written Apr 11, 2003

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    Tessellated Pavement

    The Tessellated pavement on the Forestier Peninsula was not mentioned in any of my guide books. We just found it as a dot on our old map, and signposted when we got to Tasman?s arch.
    It was well worth the couple of kms detour from there to see. From the bottom of the small cliffs to the edge of the water in quite a long strip,the pavement stretches, looking for all the world like evenly sized man-cut cobble stones, but it?s completely natural.

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    If you have time, take a side...

    by seagoingJLW Written Sep 7, 2002

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    If you have time, take a side trip from Hobart to visit Port Arthur, the site of the infamous penal colony. You can read a good account of it in the 1873 novel (first serialized in 1871) by Marcus Clarke called For the Term of His Natural Life.

    Those were horrendous times.

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    Historic visit to the Port...

    by Gwynneth Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Historic visit to the Port Arthur Prison
    The rich dark history of this place is as intrieging as it is sad. The noble residence stands tall stark in contrast to the convict prison of Port Arthur.

    Between 1830 and 1877 about 12,500 transported convicts were imprisoned at Port Arthur, on the shores of a beautiful bay and set against the tranquil hills and forest of the Tasman Peninsula. Many of the sandstone prison buildings remain and have been preserved. Archaeologists and historians have pieced together the history of the prison and the sad story is told in an excellent display in the visitors’ centre.

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