On Day 4 of our Tassie trip we left Richmond and headed to Port Arthur. The drive took a lot longer than we had expected and the temperature dropped the closer we got!
For those that are interested – Port Arthur was established in September 1830 as a timber-getting camp, producing sawn logs for government projects. After 1833 it became a punishment station for repeat offenders from the Australian colonies. It also managed a number of outstations that produced raw material like food and timber. It remains a physical chronicle of a dramatic part of Australia’s history.
Here’s some photo’s of what we saw at the world heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site. We walked around by ourselves (when I took most of the photo’s) and then we did a walking tour.
Sadly, a visit to Port Arthur can’t be made without reflection on the tragic events that took place on this site back on 28 April 1996 – ‘the Port Arthur massacre’ – where 35 people were killed and 23 were wounded. The massacre started in the Broad Arrow Cafe where 12 people were killed and 10 more were wounded, before the murderer moved on to kill more. I won’t mention his name here as I want no part in making him a celebrity. Following this massacre, the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, introduced strict gun ownership laws within the country and formulated the National Firearms Programme Implementation Act 1996, restricting the private ownership of semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic shotguns and pump-action shotguns as well as introducing uniform firearms licensing. It was implemented with bipartisan support by the commonwealth, states and territories.
We did a walking tour which also incorporated a little cruise around Carnarvon Bay!
The walking tour was fabulous! The stories told to you by the tour guide make the place come to life. Suddenly you know what each building was used for and more about the daily routine here back in the 1830’s. You also get to see some beautifully kept artifacts from way back then – like convict uniforms, ledgers and records, tools and more!
The grounds at Port Arthur are so beautiful! Unfortunately, when we were on the walking tour it was raining so I had to put my camera away. I did however snap some shots for Instagram with my phone that show the gorgeous trees and grounds (see below).
After our tour and a little more wandering around, we made our way back to the new cafe located in the Visitor’s Centre for lunch (and for a dry & warm retreat!).
We then needed to head off towards Bicheno where we were booked to spend the night. On the way we stopped at a few places including Eaglehawk Neck where I took these photos.
Ciao for now,