Tansmanian Adventure


  
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Tassie Trip
Five Days Touring the East Coast
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I booked a five day six night Tasmanian East Coast Tour with TravelMarvel an APT Company- flying 27 Feb 2004 10-50pm Perth, Melbourne, Launceston with Qantas and returning 4 March 2004 10-05am Hobart, Melbourne, Perth. I drove to Perth calling in on Carolyn and the girls before going on to Roberts for dinner and transfer to the airport. After a good 3hr 12 mins flight arriving in Melbourne at 5.15am I had a 3 hr 10 mins wait for my connecting 42 mins flight to Launceston where TravelMarvel coach collected me for transfer to Commodore Regent Comfort Inn. Was able to take a short stroll down into the main street shopping mall for morning coffee before a couple of hours rest ready for bus tour of Launceston at 1.30pm
  
        Click City Photo to enlarge                                     Fountain/conservatory City Park.
A Familiar name but unfamiliar sight.{Click to enlarge}
     
   Woolmer Estate Click Bordered Photos to enlarge
Met some of the other 46 tourists on the tour before proceeding to see some of the streets of Launceston and then on passing through the small village of Perth enroute to visit a six generation Archer family museum, historic property of ‘Woolmers’ with its original house(with extensions made in more wealthy times) overlooking the river and National Rose Garden, old cars, shearing shed etc. (Photos above)
    
  
Then on to Cataract Gorge and chairlift ride across and back .Complimentary drinks and name badge distribution before dinner. Overnight rain but fine clear weather for rest of the trip.
 Village Square & water wheel
   From Village Lookout
    
   Sunday our first full days touring Launceston to Scamanda on East Coast. Travelling up through the picturesque Tamar River region including visit to Grindelwald, a unique Swiss-style development and on to Beauty Point to visit Seahorse World, aquariums and farming of the potbellied seahorses, for morning tea. Travelled over Batman Bridge and onto George Town for lunch at ‘The Grove’ built in 1835 where the staff all wear period costume and the maids show off ankle length ‘nickers’. The homemade apple pie and cream was most tempting. On through wine growing area and along mountain roads with a 15 mins walk through Myrtle tree forest at Weldborough Pass.   Scamanda Beach Resort hotel right on the beach front for the night and a delightful Tasmanian crayfish dinner.
   
"The Hazard" granite peaks.United Church (Front) Ross

   
  Carved Archway downriver
Monday along coastline into beautiful Freycinet National Park with a guided walk along shores of Richardsons Beach, Coles Bay , picnic morning tea by the bus before journeying inland to Campbell Town and Ross, where the famous Golden Merino Fleece originates, for lunch. Many fine convict built sandstone buildings open for display in Ross including the 1836 road bridge with its carved archways and carved roman numerals for date and miles to Hobart Town. Quaint afternoon tea stop a museum of one mans lifetime collection of junk, a complimentary afternoon tea with bush poetry and jokes by the Manageress.
   
   
   Then tour to Eaglehawk Neck, famous for its rugged coastline, Pirates Bay lookout on Cape Pillar, Cape Rauol in background, Devils Kitchen, Tasman Arch etc. Staying overnight at Chancellor Inn Port Arthur. After dinner at the inn we joined the ‘Ghost Tour’ at the historic convict settlement, leaving us looking forward to our morning tour and exploration of the convict built ruins etc., next day.
   
Ruins of the convict built church at Port Arthur and two views of the Commandants House.
   
Guard Post Landing; Guard Post;...Paupers Qtrs,Asylum & Solitary Prison....Massacre Memorial reflecting pond.
   
Ruins of the penetentiary today....old photographs of the same building and church as it was in convict days.

Tuesday after some scenic touring of the coastline, we arrived at the Visitors Centre to learn something about the life and times of the male convicts who were held there, many in solitary confinement, for varying periods some never leaving due to insanity or being old and paupers with no family in the colony to support them, free time after the lecture to visit many of the ruins and take photographs and the reflecting pool and garden created as a memorial to the massacre of visitors to Port Arthur in recent times. A short boat cruise took us passed the ship building site of the settlement and round the ‘Isle of the Dead’ the cemetery for the settlement, resting place some 2000 people who died in convict times and another island used to imprison the younger male convicts separate from the general convict population, a first in British felon history which proved so successful it was adopted in the UK and the transportation of young convicts to the colony stopped.
   
Click on Hobart scenes for enlargement
Leaving this picturesque area we again travelled inland to Richmond with its historic 1823 stone arched bridge still in use, the oldest stone bridge in Australia {Catholic Church in background}, then onto the top of Mt. Nelson for panoramic views over the city and harbour bridge. Hadleys Hotel in city centre for two nights with welcome drinks before dinner and an hour long visit the Australia’s first Casino (Wrest Point) to watch the gamblers and pokey players.
Kilometres travelled on tour bus over the 4 days = 943.
   
Click on last four photos to see enlargements.
Wednesday after sight seeing around the city centre and harbour areas on to Cadbury’s Chocolate Factory for an interesting tour, some free samples and a few dollars worth of chocolates to take home. Visit to Hobarts Cricket ground and views of Government house, casino and bridge then passed the Botanical Gardens back to hotel. I spent the rest of the day with retired ISP member/postmaster Cliff Gosse visiting the GPO and a couple of other small city post offices, driving through Battery Park area with its many heritage houses then up to the top of Mt. Wellington, very high up and windy but interesting to read the history of the mountain exploration and the building of the road up during the 1930’s depression. Great and extended views of the city, harbour and mountains in the distance. Onto Cliff and Jeans home for dinner and several hours yarning about PMG days and ISP experiences etc. Thursday, with the promise of a hot day (39 deg.C) in Hobart, I was up early to say goodbye to the 45 tour companions continuing on with the bus tour into the Western Regions of Tasmania, breakfast and then a short taxi ride to the airport and a good flight home to Perth via Melbourne, fortunately with only a half hour stop there, but with headwinds most of the way arrived in Perth half an hour late at 1.20pm Perth time. Robert met me at the airport and after dropping him back to Darlington I drove back to Busselton arriving at 5.30pm to a warm welcome
Nice to be home again.

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