27th February, 2012
the morning I went to Taroona to visit the Shot Tower. This sandstone
tower was once used to manufacture gun bullets. As reward for the
many steps I could enjoy the view to the sea and the surrounding
landscape. My next destination was MONA, the Museum of Old and New
Art. Everybody I met was enthusiastic about this museum. I inspected
the different objects until late afternoon. Some of them were even
from Swiss artists.
I still had some time, I went to the Alpenrail. Here a Swiss made his
dream true and created a paradise for his model railway. The railway
is laid out in front of the scenery of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau
(the three main mountains of the Bernese Alps). I learned that the
father of the owner emigrated in the sixties to Australia.
in Hobart I brought my car back, now I can sleep longer tomorrow.
26th February, 2012
Sunday excursion led to Bruny Island which the locals like to call
little New Zealand. As in New Zealand there are two islands, but here
they are connected with a foodbridge. Also the vegetation is not the
same. On Bruny Island there are white wallabies as one day albino
wallabies escaped. As they could not be caught again, they mated with
normal wallabies and now there are white ones which are not albinos.
At pleasant 25° C I went to the meeting point. The air was weirdly
misty. The guide told many things about the region when we went by
bus to the island. The said that yesterday someone made a camping
fire. This was not allowed due to danger of bush fire. Promptly the
fire got out of control and led to a rapidly growing bush fire north
of Hobart. I saw the smoke cloud already yesterday when I was on
Mount Wellington. It looked like when I am looking at the nuclear
power plant in Gösgen out of the window at home in Olten. I already
thought then this looks like a bush fire. Now they hope that the rain
predicted for tomorrow will eliminate the fire. Now back to the tour.
With a ferry we went to the islands. First we saw a fish farm in the
sea. Here young salmons are raised in containers. From time to time
fresh water is added. This should resemble the natural cycle of the
salmons. On the island a small part of the fishes get smoked, the
rest will be sold. Many inhabitants live from sheep. They export
merino wool. Another income are cherries. There is a huge plantation
of big cherries. They mostly get exported to the USA. Another
interesting detail I learned. In Tasmania there are three wind power
stations and many hydropower plants. If Tasmania produces much
energy, it is transported to Victoria (the state where Melbourne is).
To do this there is a cable on sea bottom connecting the island with
the mainland. If Tasmania is lacking water and cannot produce enough
electricity, it gets it from the mainland. Now my tour continues on
the south island. First we enjoyed tea and muffins, then we went
slowly to the boat landing stage. When everyone was in the boat
ginger pills were given out against motion sickness. As I get fast
motion sick, I took my own pills before. They were small rubber boats
and so we could get very close to the cliffs. We saw many cliffs and
caves. To make sure that we did not get bored, the boat got quite
rapid in between. Our destination was a seal colony. It was funny to
watch these animals while sunbathing or playing in the water. On the
way back we also observed birds flying and then diving into the
water. Back on the land we enjoyed a salad for lunch. After a short
stop at the seaside it was time to go back. At the ferry I had
already to wait for more half an hour as also other people wanted to
leave. Here I enjoyed the sight to the sea and watched the sky which
got more and more misty. I went directly back to Hobart after the
ferry brought us back to the mainland. It was good to make that tour
today as it was still 35° C when I was back. To finish off: this was
not my day. First the toilet door in the Pub fell out of the hinge
and in the evening in my room the window was falling down. Good luck
as nothing happened to me, I just had to change the room.
25th February, 2012
the morning I drove to the blow holes. They should actually blow
water high up during high tide, at least so I imagine a blow hole. It
happened nothing, maybe it is because it looked a bit decayed. I
enjoyed a bit the coast and drove on. As I am now on the road since a
month and I am a bit fed up with packing and unpacking the backpack,
I decided to stay the last few days in Hobart. As it was Saturday, I
could visit Salamanca Market. There were many stands selling food,
souveniers, bits and pieces. The atmosphere was accompanied with live
music of different styles. Today was the warmest day this month, the
thermometer climbed up to 39° C!
get it a bit cooler I drove up to Mount Wellington. The view was
brilliant as the sun did its best. Now as I surrounded the island
once I have now a better imagination as last time. I made a short
hike up to the summit, accompanied by the sound of the crickets. I
realised that there are different species and I could even take a
picture of two of them.
24th February, 2012
at um 8:30am I entered the time machine which brought me to the year
1830. Tasmania was still called Van Diemen's Land and in Port Arthur
logger camps were build where convicts had to work. Starting 1833
repeat offenders from all Australia were moved here.
1840 more than 2000 convicts, soldiers and civil employees lived in
Port Arthur. After the transport of convicts to Van Diemen's Land
ended in 1853, mainly convicts with psychical or physical illnesses
stayed here. 1877 the camp was closed and many building abolished or
destroyed by bush fires. A few houses got sold and a small town named
Carnarvon developed. The stories told about this place led to the
first tourists coming at around 1920 to see the ruins. Hotels and
shops opened in the area and the place got renamed again to Port
Arthur. End of April 1996 another tragic chapter was added to this
historical place. A spree killer shot 35 people and another 19 got
hurt. Next to the ruin at the place of the massacre there is a water
filled block. I examined the compound in detail and is it was
imposing what all happened here.
the visiting all the buildings I drove towards Remarkable Cave.
According to two maps there should be a gravel road, but it was paved
until the end. What did I learn: do not always believe the map! I
wend down to the caves and could see how a bit of water flushed back
and forth. It was beautiful, even if it just was low tide.
I continued to White Beach. Here I made a long walk along the beach
and enjoyed the turquoise water.
visited the coal mines as I did not yet have enough Tasmanian
history. Here the convicts had to mine coal and also here there were
ruins to visit. On the way to the mines I saw an old friend: a black
and yellow bird. As I later learned this is a cockatoo. Konrad and I
saw already one in the Wilson Promontory National Park.
way led to Taranna. Here is the first animal park in Australia to
give the visitors an understanding of the Tasmanian devil. As I
reached the park the local birds got introduced. Soon the eastern
quolls got fed. Eastern quolls look like cats, but are related to the
Tasmanian devil. It was funny how fast they found their hidden food.
There was still some time until the feeding of the Tasmanian devils
which I was waiting for. The park also has kangaroos and wallabies,
but those I did not visit as I like them more outside in the wild.
The feeding was rough, they get the meat and fought about their food.
That is the reason for their name.
23rd February, 2012
I brought back the key of the caravan, the lady at the reception
apologized for not entering my name to the booking table. Now my trip
continues further southwards. In Richmond I stopped, there are a few
things to see. I visited St. John, the oldest and still used catholic
church in in Australia. Directly below the church is the oldest
bridge in Australia. It was constructed between 1823 and 1825 by
convicts. In Richmond there is also the oldest prison of Australia. I
visited the buildings. In such a cell I would get claustrophobia.
continued after getting food for myself and petrol for the car in
Sorell. At Dunalley I had to stop as the bridge was turned away to
let a ship pass. Then I drove to Tessellated Pavement. Here the sea
salt broke the rock and so created slabs. Further I visited the
natural rock arch Tamar Arch. From here I hiked to Devil Kitchen, a
formation of heavily fragmented rocks. When walking along the road I
met a huge lizard. Back at the parking I drove to Port Arthur and
visited the ruins of the prison. The compound is very big and there
are 30 historical buildings to see. I started with a small boat ride
to the Isle of the Dead. Still on the sea it started to rain and
there was a strong wind. As it was already late afternoon, I decided
to go to the accommodation. The entry is valid for two days and so I
will come back tomorrow. In the evening I observed parrots breaking
nuts. That looks quite funny. A short walk on the beach ended my
programme for today.