We’re going to Tasmania! My partner Theo has a client who owns a holiday home there. They’ve kindly offered to let us stay there for a few days.
Tasmania is an Australian island and state about 150 miles south of the continent. Tasmania is promoted as the “natural state”. About 37% of Tasmania is reserves, national parks, and World Heritage Sites.
You can fly to Tasmania, but we’re the overnight ferry so we can take our car. We will drive down to the capital city of Hobart and the house just south of it. There are three major attractions I want to see.
The first is Hobart with its harbor and colonial cottages. I hope we’re there during a weekend so we can visit the Salamanca Market. More than 200 stalls of fresh fruit and veggies, crafts, pottery, glass, and native woods sounds fantastic to me.
We must see some native wildlife so I’m thinking we’ll go to Bonorong Wildlife Park where we can see koalas, wallabies, and, of course, Tasmanian devils, which look nothing like the Looney Tunes character by the way. Did you know that the Tasmanian devil faces extinction due to a contagious facial cancer? You read that right: a contagious cancer. It’s very sad. Check out this fascinating TED presentation by scientist Elizabeth Murchison.
Finally, we must visit Port Arthur, a former convict settlement. Sold as the inescapable prison for the hardest of British and Irish criminals, it’s kind of like the Australian version of Alcatraz, but older, larger, and more picturesque. Juvenile convicts, boys as young as nine, were also sent there. It was said to be so harsh and desolate that prisoners committed murder, an offence punishable by death, to escape it. There are over 30 buildings to explore at Port Arthur including the Guard Tower, church, and remnants of the main penitentiary, not to mention the mass graves on the Isle of the Dead. Some of the buildings are in decay and it’s all surrounded by lush, green parkland, both of which appear to add to Port Arthur’s haunting charm.
Have you been to Tasmania? Any suggestions for places we should visit or great shops or restaurants?