Down on the Tasman Peninsula with the Devils, dooing a bit of sightseeing. A Taste of Tasmania – Part 8


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Sometimes it pays to read up on the places you are visiting, read the captions to the pictures in the brochures or even communicate with your companion on what each others understanding of a destination is.

As we headed down towards the Tasman Peninsula I was looking forward to visiting a quaint, old port with historic buildings, a penal prison built near by, cottages and tea shops just like the ones back home in Cornwall and Devon – it was called Port Arthur (for those of you in the know  – I can hear you laughing).  My companion on the other hand was unenthusiastic about the whole venture but never articulated why.    I was equally excited about calling in to Triabunna on the way there to see the coloured rock/wave formations and take some stunning photos.  When we arrived at Triabunna we found a small village on an estuary and  no sign of this visual treat.   Later on I checked the brochure and discovered that although blurb was about the town the actual picture had been taken on Maria Island.    We so  missed out.

To get to the peninsula we had to pass through the township of Dunalley where one of the biggest bush fires this season had marched through mercilessly burning all in its path.   It was horrifying.   But in the midst of strewn tin roof sections and lone chimney hearths standing upright in the burnt rubble of the house they once kept warm,  were houses that had escaped unscathed.  It was eerie.   I have no photographs of this as I have no wish to be a disaster tourist and it was too upsetting to see kilometers of charred forest to want to photograph it.

Moving on we arrived at Eaglehawk Neck a stunning piece of coastline complete with ancient tessellated pavements, blowholes, boiling water crashing against red cliffs and magnificent rock formations.

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Set back from all this splendor was the small settlement  of Doo Town which, sadly,  I found more entertaining than all the magnificent scenery around me.   Every single building (including the food van) has a pithy name which incorporates the word Doo.  It gave us a well needed laugh after the sobering drive through burnt out countryside.

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Unfortunately the ‘Penguins Crossing’  Sign was not get included in this ‘witty’ town’s play on words – so here is my contribution:-

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One of my things to do in Tassie was to see the devils and on the way to Port Arthur we came across the Tasmanian Devil sanctuary, hitting the brakes I slew into the car park and bought myself a ticket – the day was getting better and better.  The Tassie devils were in 4 enclosures and very active, they found me as interesting as I found them although their teeth and vocal calling was blood curling .

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Wandering away I found some other interesting animals in the converted farm, including quarks (totally cute), teddy bear like possums, birds of prey, kookaburra and frog owls (also very cute).

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I came to a door weighted down so it shut behind me,  ventured in and found myself in a small enclosure with a similar door in front.   Popping my head over the fence I made eye contact with at least 25 kangaroos all looking at me and from close proximity.     Remember that shot in Alfred Hitchcock’s film the birds where it feels that many pairs of eyes looking right out of the screen and boring into yours?

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I ducked back down out of sight but I was not going to be beaten and being the brave person that I am, I hung around  until a mother, father and 2 year child strolled casually into the enclosure and snuck in behind them.

We finally arrived at Port Arthur where I discovered that far from it being a working port, with bobbing boats, scone and jam teas, historic buildings scattered amounst fisherman cottages it was in fact an old  penal colony that had a very expensive entry fee (well for us anyway) and my companion, who was in the know,  had assumed I was too.   We left, found a beach to sit on for a while and consider our next move.

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It was decided that we would head towards Hobart, find a campsite for the night and hit Bruny Island the next day.        It was time to see some Penguins and chill for a couple of days on a beach.

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60 thoughts on “Down on the Tasman Peninsula with the Devils, dooing a bit of sightseeing. A Taste of Tasmania – Part 8

  1. It is a shame that you didn’t get to see what you thought you would. Port Arthur is worth the admission. At least you got to consider your next move sitting on the beautiful beach at Safety Cove. It has certainly been a whirlwind tour of tassie so far.

  2. Hi Sue, your posts are always so abundant in great photos and cool stories. I am impressed with the rock formations in this one and I was very interested in reading about the tessellated pavement 🙂

  3. The Tasman Peninsula is wonderful and I’ve done some great hikes down there, including a three-day trek to Cape Pillar, where we ended up getting views across to Tasman Island. This hike is will eventually be part of a new trail called the ‘Three Capes Trail’ and will be one of Tasmania’s ‘great walks’ – going via Cape Raoul, Cape Hauy and Cape Pillar. One of the main highlights on this hike are the sheers cliffs, like your photographs of Eaglehawk Neck. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Beautiful Clicks. It must be a heck of a road trip ? Do share us your problems on the way, like what to do or what not to do when u are in such place. Have a great time ahead.

  5. Wonderful holiday and gallery – sea, rocks .. food and loads of animals and birds. Love those frog owls.
    Amazing experience – thanks so much for sharing it. The rock and ocean photos are fantastic .. that big wave. Some power in that photo.

  6. You are really doing Tasmania proud.. the photos are of top quality and your obvious joy of being there shines through your post… bloody marvelous and I love the doo town, sounds like my kind of place… great share…

  7. Really lovely pics – how beautiful the coast is down there. Love those devils too! Just one thing though, I think you may have seen a quoll – not a quark – (which would have made your day super amazing)

  8. These photos are amazing. You really should get in to see Port Arthur, the history is incredible, I’ve been three times and learnt something new each time. And expensive, somewhat, but not as bad as other places. And yeah you should read up on the brochures…

    • Maybe next time – unfortunately I’ve been to a few ‘historic’ buildings/towns in Australia and although they are pretty don’t compare to English and European historic buildings/castles. What I forgot to say about getting things wrong is that you often find other doors open up – the devils for example

      • True, I haven’t been to that Devil park, but have seen many others, so not important for me. From pictures I’ve seen though, there is no comparison to English and European history. We are so much younger and therefore our history is completely different. Equally as amazing, but different. I find that making comparisons lessens the enjoyment one gets from an experience. I am enjoying your commentary and pictures 🙂

  9. Your landscape photos are simply stunning…wow! What an incredible pace to visit, and photograph. That tessellated pavement ( a new word for me !) is astonishing. It seems impossible that nature laid such straight lines….wonderful.

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