A great day trip from Hobart with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys combined a full circuit of the Tasman Peninsula by boat, and an explore of the impressive remains of the Port Arthur Penal Colony. Landscape, wildlife and history, on an unusually lovely Tasmanian day (not common for the boats to do the full circuit), all rather nice. I’ll cover Port Arthur in a separate post, was a full day!
First sighting was Port Arthur from the water, to be explored by foot in the afternoon, and the aptly named Isle of the Dead, a tiny island on which over 1,000 convicts and prison officers are buried, many by the notorious Mark Jeffrey who was made to live on the island for seven years. According to Wikipedia while waiting to be transported to prison “He spoke to Hart in such a manner that caused him to die of a heart attack without Jeffery physically touching him”. No wonder he wasn’t a popular chap.
Black Rock was impressive, and the seas even more so when we found out that about twenty times a year the waves break over the top of this 100m high piece of rock. We lucked out with an unusually calm day.
Tasman Island off the end of the peninsula was home to one of the highest lighthouses in the British Empire, with the whole thing built in Birmingham before being shipped to the other side of the world. It was unloaded via the rather precarious set up below, using a zip wire to transfer from the ship, before being hauled up the side of the island.
The island was also home to a large colony of male seals, enjoying the sunshine, though it was too hot even for them. Many could be found in the water in this bizarre setup with their fins sticking trying to cool themselves down.
Heading round to the rougher eastern side of the peninsula, we saw the totem pole, a 67m high free standing column of rock, with a separate rock balanced precariously on top of it. A popular climbing spot for anyone with a few hours spare and able to do a 28 difficultly climb (32 is as high as the grading system goes), as clearly a few people that day could.