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A week in Tasmania

We hadn’t made it to Tasmania on previous visits and we weren’t sure we’d make it this time!  Our flight was scheduled for Port Macquarie to Sydney to Hobart.  We got to the Port Macquarie Airport – very tiny airport – at 8:30 AM, dropped off our car, and discovered that the 10:10 flight was delayed to 11:00, to 12:00, to 12:25.  We finally boarded at 12:57. Needless to say, we missed our connection in Sydney.  I will say Virgin Atlantic was waiting at the gate to hand out new tickets to all the “missed flight” people. Now, we had a 3 hour wait for our new flight and that one was delayed by an hour.  We finally landed in Hobart about 10:15 PM. By the time we got the shuttle and were dropped off at the hotel, it was 11:05 PM.  No food open except the Domino’s Pizza down the street!  The pizza was pretty good .. or were we just really hungry?

Our Australian friends said we could have driven faster to Hobart if the Bass Strait wasn’t in the way.  This flight day was the worst of the whole trip so far. I guess we can’t complain!

sculpture of women prisoners in Hobart

This sculpture was on the waterfront where the convicts from England arrived. Some were women and children.

We found a police boat named for Mark. Wickham, Australia is way up in the northwest near Broome.

MONA ferry with champagne

MONA is the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart. We took the ferry to get there. You can pay more for the Posh Pit seating and enjoy champagne and coffee on the 25 minute trip each way. The coffee was in the morning. On the way back, we only drank champagne. The museum has lots of interesting art to accompany the architecture.

After Hobart, we picked up a rental car and drove to Port Arthur Historical Site where many of the British convicts were imprisoned. The site is large and very interesting. There’s also a memorial for the people killed in the Port Arthur Shootings in 1996 that started the Australian gun reform laws.  We always thought the shootings were in the town but they happened in a cafe at the Historical Site.

One of the guys we met in Fremantle on the sailing evening always has a glass of wine with lunch.  It turns out he was at the Historical Site the day of the massacre. He stopped at the cafe but they didn’t serve wine and he wanted a glass of wine with lunch.  They went somewhere else that day, just missing the shootings.  A glass of wine saved his life so now he has one every day in thanks.

Port Arthur prison

Port Arthur Historical Site – one of the main prison buildings. The scenery looks a lot like West Virginia/Western Maryland minus the water. The roads are equally winding and hilly in places.

Tasmania water scenes

Views from the water of Tasmania around Port Arthur.

Launceston was the next stop on the road trip. It’s not far up to the north coast with lovely scenery along the way as well as a plethora of road construction.

Chocolate Factory sign

How could we not stop at the Chocolate Factory? Yes, we bought some.

Low Sound Lighthouse

Low Sound Lighthouse overlooking the Bass Strait. Penguins live near here but we didn’t see any during the day.

The bridge was built by convicts in Ross., a small country village. Ross sits on the 42nd parallel SOUTH of the equator.  Fort Collins is on the 40th parallel NORTH of the equator.

Mom’s name is Joan. When we saw a winery “Wines for Joanie”, we knew we had to stop and taste. Pretty good wine and the tasting room lady was an American/Australian lady raised in Tennessee.

These are the only Tasmanian Devils we saw along the way.

Tasmanian Devil warning sign

The creatures are nocturnal; hence, the warning signs along the roads. These go along with the koala, kangaroo, and wombat warning signs.

Tasmanian Devil scuplture with suitcases

This sculpture is in the Hobart airport near luggage claim.

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