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Day 9

Eaglehawk Neck to Port Arthur to Kooyna

14 °C

Day 9
Thursday
September 15
Eaglehawk Neck to Port Arthur to Kooyna
45km
Cloudy and windy with 8 to 14 degrees
Feeling like we have a big day ahead of us.

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After leaving the Lufra we head down for a quick look at the Tessellated Pavement geological formations on the rock platform.
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Drive down to Port Arthur and a quick breakfast in the picnic area. My toast on the butane stove is a little tricky with the strong wind blowing but we get there in the end. Time to buy our tickets for Port Arthur Historical Site and first up, a 40 minute very informative guided tour around the site. A quick cappuccino from the ‘Asylum’ cafe – so much coffee down here taste like mild hot chocolate. And then the camera fest began. We took so many photos. Couldn’t stop. And so much video – beware if I ask you to watch it. After lunch we went on the harbour tour which lead to our option of the Point Puer tour – where a special boys prison was built in late 1830s. I can only post a fraction of the photos.
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Mixed feelings about Port Arthur. Such a beautiful and amazing place. I found it interesting that the site, after closing as a penal colony in the late 1800s, just became a town. All the buildings became used for normal things like houses, hotels, post office, shops etc. Then a big bushfire destroyed many of the buildings. The village then fell into decay through the 1900s where there seem to be little respect for its historical significance. People were asked to buy property on the condition that buildings were knocked down????? In the latter part of the 1900s the white shoe brigade of developers just knocked stuff down and there is a horrible motel on site - which is going to be rebuilt into something even more inappropriate. Then there is the whole Martin Bryant thing which is not mentioned much at all.

I know that people are very moved by the violence and conditions endured as a penal settlement but I was most angered by the historical vandalism, greed and lack of respect shown by various developers and government authorities in the late 20th century – which still exists today. I found it such a great experience to visit the site and felt it was a peaceful and beautiful place to be.

To round off such a wonderful day we made our way to our pre-booked accommodation at Koonya. Pat did a great job with this one. We are staying in the ‘Officers Quarters’ which is in some of the best preserved buildings of the convict era. The Cascades, (originally known as Newman’s Bottom), is a former convict outstation of Port Arthur and was established in 1841. It became the property of the Clark family in 1915 and they have restored some of the buildings.
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Lovely fire to spend the evening writing this blog and relaxing.
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See you in Hobart - big smoke - looking forward to see some beautiful people.
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Posted by peterjday 02:24 Archived in Australia

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Liked day nine.....have you met the beautiful people yet?

by Wendy

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