Port Arthur

Today was another long (but completely gorgeous) day.  We were picked up at 7am, and headed to the Tasman Peninsula, which is home to Australia’s highest sea cliffs. Our first stop was to enjoy the views from Pirates Bay Lookout, and walk along the Waterfall Bay Track ending in the rock formations of Tasman Arch and Devil’s Kitchen.

From here we had the option of going to  a wildlife sanctuary or hitting up the Port Arthur Lavender Farm.  I’d had a few wildlife sanctuaries already, so I decided to try something new and check out the farm.  It was situated on a beautiful lake, and served all kinds of lavender products like lavender ice cream (surprisingly delicious!).

And then we went to Port Arthur itself, Australia’s best preserved Penal Colony.  It was a prison from 1830-1877, and while most of the buildings were destroyed in the early 1900s, some have been preserved.  We had a 40 minute tour of the area, telling us about the history (it was a really dreadful place), some time to ourselves to explore, and then a short boat cruise around the Isle of the Dead, which is where the dead prisoners and staff were buried. We had about 30 minutes to explore some more after the cruise, but it was really hot out so I enjoyed some time sitting in the shade (I really didn’t mind not going to see the cells).  Apparently this site has one of the best evening ghost tours, if you’re ever around at night.

On the way back to Hobart we stopped in the town of Richmond, which has Australia’s oldest bridge.

Our very last stop of the day was at a lookout point across from Hobart, with fantastic views of the city and Mt Wellington.

We didn’t get back til around 7pm, so it was a full 12 hour day.  I picked up some dinner in town, then settled in at the hostel and finalized some of my upcoming plans.

From New Zealand I will fly directly to Brisbane and spend 3 weeks going along the coast from Byron Bay to Cairns.  On March 20, I’ll fly from Cairns to Darwin and spend a couple days in Darwin before doing a 5 day tour from Darwin to Alice Springs to Uluru.  From there I’ll fly to Adelaide.  I haven’t decided how much time I’ll spend in Adelaide, but I’m thinking about 5 days.  I was considering coming back to Tasmania (I love it here!), but I think instead I’ll fly straight to Sydney.

This part isn’t confirmed, but I think I’ll spend a few days in Sydney, soaking up the last of my time in Australia, then head to South East Asia.  I can’t find a direct flight to Bangkok, so I’ll fly to either Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, spend a couple days there then move on to Thailand. I expect I’ll spend 2-3 weeks there, then move on to Europe in the beginning of May.  I’m thinking of hitting Italy up for a week, then spending a couple weeks in Malta, before meeting my friend Zoe in Greece for the Victoria Day weekend. We shall see!

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