Tasmania: Port Arthur

This was our most favourite day of the trip; from start to finish it was the best.

We woke up early and the sun was shining all over Bicheno, so we woke up early and left our wee caravan:

We then headed down to The Gultch:ย a narrow and steep-sided ravine marking the course of a fast stream.ย It was also where all the fishing boats were and it was gorgeous. Tasmania is just so dang peaceful and untouched!

We then found a wee cafe for some breakfast, mum had a fried egg roll and I went for a mini fry up.

It was perfect and set me up for the day. We were about to get back in the car but saw the community garden that we had visited the night before, had a wee shop open next to it. We walked in and there was local produce, straight from the garden, for sale; so we bought some peaches, apples and a homemade passionfruit butter.

There was a cute old lady working in the shop and we made best friends with her straight away. Mum then found home magazines from the 80s, so she bought them too. I had to literally drag my mum into the car because she loved Bicheno but we had plans for that day!

We drove for around an hour, the sun was still shining down and we then approached another cute wee town called Swansea. I swear everything in Australia is named after Britain. So we hopped out the car and mum went for a paddle:

Mum was in her element once more and even started planning family picnics here!

We got back on the road and drove for a couple more hours. I started to feel a wee bit sleepy so suggested that we stop in the next town, Sorell, however it was very industrial so we didn’t want to get out. Luck was in for us though because I spotted a sign for a berry farm, so immedietly we headed there.

It was a gorgeous wee farm! We met the lady that worked there and picked an array of fruits, including: strawberries, pears and apples.

I told mum that this is kinda what picking was like for us…

After snacking on a lot of fruit and perking ourselves on coffee, we were ready to get driving again.

We arrived in Port Arthur at 5pm and the plan was to do the historic site that night but mum thought it would be shut. So we drove down anyway; parked right outside the front entrance and wandered in. Our luck was in once more because the site was open until 7pm AND tickets were half price!

The first stop on the site I wanted to visit was the remnants of the cafe and gift shop. Most people don’t know what happened at this site to this day as the country is still in mourning. I won’t go into it too much because it is very upsetting; a mass shooting occurred in Port Arthur in 1995, which then led to Australia changing their gun laws. The location of the tragedy was nestled behind some bushes, and the walls of the cafe still remained. It was heartbreaking to even try to imagine how something so evil could occur. Mum and I walked around the memorials and paid our respects.

We then left that area to take in some more sights. Can I just say, Port Arthur is stunning! Mum and I couldn’t get over how gorgeous everything was.

Our second stop was the lake and the prison.

Port Arthur is famous for its prison, or gaol as say may put it, because it’s where the British shipped half of their population due to committing ‘crimes’, like stealing a ham or being drunk.

Well I’d have committed those crimes back in the day to get to port Arthur!! I didn’t think they realised how lovely it all was.

After the prison, mum and I wandered around the grounds. We went into the commanders house, soldiers homes, a church and the asylum. It was like a wee town, and mum and I obviously chose where we’d live. I chose the house that had a vegetable garden and orchard, whereas mum chose about three cottages.

Since we’d arrived so late, the site was deserted so it was like a private tour. We even made friends with the staff.

It was starting to get late, so we started heading back. We came across a walnut tree on the way, and oh my goodness, they were the tastiest treats I’d ever had!! Mum told me off shoving a ton in my bag, but I’m a backpacker and free food is up for grabs!!

We left the site just as the sun was setting and we were absolutely ravenous. So I managed to trick mum into going to the restaurant on the site (I knew it was very fancy). We walked in, quite scruffy, to this 5 star restaurant and mum was intimidated. I made us take a seat and look at the menu. As expected, it was ridiculously overpriced so mum and I went for some starters to share instead. We had crispy calamari with a mustard aioli, blue cheese stuffed figs and fresh bread with tassie olive oil:

It was a small serving but it was perfect; the flavours were simple yet delicious. You could tell everything was so fresh.

It was then time to head to our accommodation, and for this night I booked a converted water tank! You’ve gotta love air bnb! However to get there, I had to drive 45km because mum was terrified we’d hit an animal. Then I had a dodgy white car right up my bum because of how low a speed I was going. I did think I would lose him when I turned into the location of our air bnb but no! He followed me in! So I had my mum squealing because a bunny had jumped out in front of the car and I had a murderer follow us home. Do not fret though, no one was killed that evening, the bunny hopped home and we lost the dodgy car.

We carried down this little hill and pulled up next to a pirate boat; bear in mind it was pitch black at this point, so it was hard to see anything. I located our water tank so we parked up, and check out our new pad!

It was adorable, it was like a wooden cabin and had little touches of Tassie.

Mum and I then went for a wander to find the toilet block, and who did we find? Only a big white staff is called Thor! We obviously became best friends with him.

After that adventure, we got all cosied up in our water tank and got read for bed.

Since there was no technology or electricity we fell asleep very early; all to the sound of nature.

It was such a wonderful day.

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