Tasmania & Melbourne 2015 – Day 2: Tasmania (Hobart) – Port Arthur & Tasman National Park

Day 1 was really memorable. If you have not read it yet, hop over to here. On day 2, we went to Port Arthur in the morning and Tasman National Park in the afternoon.

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The Port Arthur Historic Site, once a Tasmanian convict site. Now it’s a popular place to visit for its rich history and its renowned ghost tours.

We booked our tours online around a month before our trip and luckily we did because when we were on one of the tour we overheard that some people didn’t manage to join because all the slots have been filled up! If I were them, I would have felt really dejected especially after driving 2 hours to reach the place from Hobart.

We booked the “Site entry + Isle of the Dead + Point Puer Boys’ Prison” tour. Costs around AUD$70/pax. You can book the tours here. I was very tempted to book the Ghost tour but I couldn’t make the timing work so I guess we gave it a miss this time. Sigh. (If you have a chance, do it! We heard the tour guides saying that there have been many sightings of paranormal activity)

Once you have reached Port Arthur, pass the purchase confirmation to the counter staff and they will print out your tickets, a random poker card and a sticker (or lanyard. I can’t really recall. It’s just for them to identify that you have paid and am on the tour). After that, descend the stairs and wait outside for the tour guide to arrive.

It is pretty chilly during October so if you are going on the same period, do bring shawls and a light sweater. Plus Port Arthur is surrounded by sea so the breeze is pretty strong.

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Our tour started with a 40 minutes brief introduction on Port Arthur and was followed by a 20 minute harbour cruise passing the Dockyard, Point Puer Boys’ Prison and the Isle of the Dead. If you booked the same tour as me, you will get to alight when the cruise reach both Point Puer Boys’ Prison and Isle of the Dead.

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The harbour where we waited for the cruise

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Departing ~

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(Above) Isle of the Dead

I personally prefer Isle of the Dead compared to Point Puer Boys’ Prison. The guides were very knowledgeable for both tours but for the latter, most of it are already in ruins and there ain’t much to see. Almost everything was from pictures printed out and handed to us while we walk around the island. More often than not, most of the places where we stood while she explained, we had to imagine it ourselves. On the contrary, Isle of the Dead had all of the tombs intact. We were more able to relate to each of the stories she mentioned.

So my advice would be to skip the Point Puer Boys’ Prison if possible but do go on the Isle of the Dead tour.

After which we had our lunch there and left for Tasman National Park. (Note: There is zero reception there for Yes Optus. Not sure for other telecos though).

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Our lunch above at Port Arthur. Do not get deceived by the roasted pork! It’s nothing similar to ours in Singapore. The fish and chips though were yummy!

After lunch, we travelled from Port Arthur to Tasman National Park (approx. fifteen minutes drive). There are several formations which you can stop by to take pictures or just admire the view!

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Pirate’s Bay Lookout

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Tasman’s Arch

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Tessellated pavement

All of these are linked so you can easily walk from one to the other except for the Tessellated Pavement where you’ll need do a 5 minutes drive. Do come early though because when we reached there, it was starting to get dark and the tide was starting to come in which was quite dangerous.

Other than that, loved the scenery. Will update Day 3 real soon 🙂

A short summary on our itinerary:

Day 1: Tasmania (Hobart) – Mt. Wellington

Day 2: Tasmania (Hobart) – Port Arthur & Tasman National Park

Day 3: Tasmania – Barilla Oyster Farm, Sorrell Fruit Farm, Freycinet National Park – Wineglass Bay

Day 4: Tasmania (Launceston) – Elizabeth Town Bakery, Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm Cafe, Ashgrove Cheese, 41 Degrees South Tasmania, Melita Honey Farm

Day 5: Tasmania (Launceston) – Table Cape Lighthouse, Cradle Mountain – Lake St. Clair National Park

Day 6: Tasmania (Launceston) – Seahorse World, Platypus House, Tamar Valley, The Cataract Gorge

Day 7 & 8 : Melbourne – Great Ocean Road

Day 9: Melbourne – Phillip Island

Renting a car in Australia

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