Tasmania series: Port Arthur Historic Site and Richmond Bridge

Richmond Bridge

Richmond Bridge

Alex and I are on a self-drive holiday of Tasmania, or “Tassie” as it is also referred to.  We are off to a cracking start, having spent yesterday morning at the Salamanca Market and the afternoon at Port Arthur Historic Site.  Today we are returning to Port Arthur then visit the Richmond Bridge in Richmond.

Port Arthur is a former penal colony and now historic site located 1.5 hours drive from Hobart, Tasmania.  Today we return to the site to take a guided tour.

Renovator's Delight

Renovator’s Delight

Wandering the grounds yesterday was great fun and last night’s Ghost Tour (by lantern) was loads of fun even though I think Alex is still recovering physchologically.

Overview of the Port Arthur Historic Site grounds

Overview of the Port Arthur Historic Site grounds

Today I have convinced Alex to return to the historic site for our pre-booked short guided tour and 30 minute cruise around the harbour.  This short cruise will take us past both Isle of the Dead Cemetery (relax Alex, they can’t hurt you) and Point Puer Boys’ Prison.

Boat cruise

Boat cruise

It may sound like we have spent a fair bit of time at Port Arthur but in reality it has only been two half days (or one full day) of exploring and an evening tour.  Having broken up our visit over the two days and an evening, I feel like we have experienced different aspects each time and it was certainly never boring.

Today we are looking forward to having another look around the site but this time with the inclusion of some useful information courtesy of our various guides… rather than our made up rubbish.  The guides are informative and the cruise allows us to take a break from all the walking.

Our time here at the historic site has been fantastic and we walk away having had an excellent time.

Before leaving Port Arthur we pay our respects at the memorial garden and ruin of the Broad Arrow Café, where 35 people tragically lost their lives and 23 others were wounded on 28 April 1996.  I suggest, if you are intending on paying your respects that you do so at the end of your visit as it leaves you feeling so completely sad.

We drive back towards Hobart.  Along the way we take a detour to stop at Richmond to look at the picturesque heritage listed Richmond Bridge.  This is a lovely arch bridge built of sandstone over the Coal River.  Built back in 1823 by convict labour it took 2 years to complete.  Even the ducks appreciate the lovely bridge setting… right duck?

What's up duck?

What’s up duck?

Back in the car and back to Hobart we head, crossing the Derwent River via the Tasman Bridge which has its own unfortuanate history due to an incident during its construction.

Back to Hobart over the Derwent River

Back to Hobart over the Derwent River

Tonight we return to the comfort of the Mercure… unless we win a fortune at the Wrest Point Hotel Casino tonight.  Yes… unlikely I know.  I am figuring we are more likely end up making our usual small “donation” to the casino rather than win a fortune from them…what’s that saying “the house always wins”?

The Wrest Point Casino is a short drive south of the city centre and is located on a premier spot overlooking the Derwent River therefore offering a stunning view of the twinkling nigh-time lights.  We have dinner in one of the restaurants and the meal is lovely.  Moving onto the casino floor Alex plays some roulette and manages to win some. Go Alex!

We decide to leave before we end up give our winnings back to the casino.  Thanks Casino!

Tomorrow’s plan is to explore the compact city of Hobart, which, give or take should take us probably an hour.  We might also duck into the museum before we take the drive to the summit of Mount Wellington which I have heard is well worth doing.[showmyads]

For previous Tasmania post see Hobart and Port Arthur
For next Tasmania post stay tuned…