Friday, January 02, 2009

Tasmania: Day 4: Doo Town, Tasman Island Boat Trip, Port Arthur, Christmas Eve

Day 4 of our trip was a busy one, so this is a long post! Just a heads up!
We left Port Arthur and drove 30 minutes to a town called Doo Town. The name has created quite a theme in the town and all the houses there have a name on them related to the town's name. So, for example...Doo Mee (like the sign above) and Wattle-I-Doo (below). These were just a couple, every house had one.
Even the fish and chips place was called "Doo-Lishus". They also claim to have the best fish and chips in the world. It was pretty good! A fisherman catches the fish each morning and brings it to them, so it's fresh each day. I liked the way it was wrapped like a bouquet!

In Doo Town, we took a boat cruise to Tasman Island and back. It took about 3 hours but seemed to fly by because there was just so much to see! The coastline was absolutely amazing, with caves in the rocks and we saw hundreds of seals, lots of birds and dolphins, who liked playing around our boat.
Getting ready to leave...not too cold yet...
The coastline. It looked like this pretty much the whole way, except it got taller!
We saw the tallest cliff in the southern hemisphere.

Sea kelp.
The boat was able to go inside some of the caves. That was pretty cool! This was taken from inside one of them...
This is one of the fishing tour boats. If you look closely, you can see that the boat is named "Big Pig", apparently after his ex-wife. Charming.
Waterfall. We saw a couple of them, but nothing like what they used to have years ago, many of them have dried up.
These rocks were called "Thumbs".
"Candle stick" (big one in the middle) and "Totem Pole" (small one on the right, just sticking out). People do rock climbing on these.

We saw both New Zealand fur seals and Australian fur seals...
The shorter one in this picture is the "totem pole" again...better view of it, from the other side.
We saw a few albatross birds. They can get absolutely HUGE!
The boat tour guide said that every 5 minutes, somewhere in the world, an albatross drowns getting caught in fishermen's long lines that have bait on them. Sad.

Tasman Island.


They call this area the bachelor pad because it's where all the male seals hang out. There were hundreds of them there! They were fun to watch dive into the water and struggle their way up onto the rock! So cute!

Tasman Island used to have someone living on it to run the lighthouse. Of course, today it's all done mechanically. They used to have to go out by boat and then put people and supplies in a bucket to get to shore and then they would have to take a rail car up the side of the island. From there, they would have to walk to the other side of the island to the house. Can you imagine living like that?! Imagine doing it with your kids?!

The lighthouse on Tasman Island. It would have been very cold living out there! The winds can be extreme. The people who lived out there used to have keep their chickens inside or they could blow away!


It was really chilly! I have about 4 layers on!
You can see the old houses on the island...
A wreck that was sunk on purpose...
An eagle's nest that is 80 years old! They can be up to 140 years old! They said that if you were to hike into the woods and look directly under the tree that holds the nest, you would find a huge pile of fish bones, that they drop out of their nest once they have ate the fish.
A love heart or a dog, depending on what you see. Can you see anything else?
After our fantastic boat trip, we headed back to Port Arthur and went to the Port Arthur historical sight. This is where convicts who had committed further crimes in the colony were sent between 1830 and 1877. They did hard time in Port Arthur and were treated very poorly. The location of the prison made escaping pretty much impossible. It is so beautiful today that it's hard to imagine people lived such horrible lives there, yet there is a bit of a heavy energy present that feels a bit sad. This is also the place that a man opened fire in April 1996, killing 35 employees and tourists and injuring about 37. He is now in prison in Hobart, never to be released. On the brouchure that we were given, it asks that you do not ask questions about that day, as many of the employees lost family and friends and it is still very difficult for them.

An old cell...
I look like I'm undercover or something!
I thought that bush was just beautiful against the bleak rock!

If you're interested, you can get more information at
http://www.portarthur.org.au/.
From Port Arthur we drove to Coles Bay, where we slept at the Iluka Holiday Centre for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day night. We weren't able to make chowder but we did have quite a nice little Christmas Eve feast of crackers, cheese, meat, olives, dips, shortbread, etc...
It was yummy!
Steve trying his hand at festive...
I think it's obvious who has the Christmas cheer in this relationship:)

44 comments:

Mariana & Nick said...

Wow, those pictures are amazing! Thank you for sharing your trip with all of us :)

Clotilde said...

Just catching up reading your blog... a few comments all together:

- the albatros look like manga birds with their slanted eyes

- chickens in the lighthouse would be quite noisy!

- loved all the pictures

- Tas looks beautiful

- Good that Tas smells good!!! When we got out of the Vancouver airport it really smelled like gasoline... a lot more than AU.

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Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Mark Brown said...

It's really fun to go to other countries to appreciate the beauty of the view and the locale there. This is also why having your own boat (CE marking acquired) is great for outdoor trips with your family and friends. Having your own pace on traveling can be achieved with your own boat. CE proofing is very essential when you want to bring your boat to other countries you are trying to go to.

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