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Previous Blogs: Day 1 Portland & Honolulu | Day 2 Oahu | Day 3+4 Melbourne | Day 5 Williamstown | Day 6 Launceston | Day 7 Cradle Mountain | Day 8 Road to Hobart | Day 9 Port Arthur | Day 10 Apollo Beach | Day 11 Port Fairy | Day12+13 Southern Ports | Day 14 Kangaroo Island | Day 15 Kangaroo Island | Day 16 Kangaroo Island | Day 17 Adelaide | Day 18 Adelaide | Day 19 Adelaide Hills | Day 20+21 Uluru | Day 22+23 Alice Springs | Day 24 Darwin | Day 25 Darwin | Day 26+27 Port Douglas | Day 28 Daintree | Day 29+30 Gold Coast | Day 31+32 Brisbane | Day 33 Brisbane | Day 34-36 Hawaii

Click photos for a larger image...


Tasmania hosts 1 million tourists a year. 90% are Australians from the mainland and only 10% foreigners (about 100,000). Of that 10% foreign market, the vast majority are Asian (20% from China alone!), meaning that we belong to a small group of very few Americans who have ever visited Tassie. Probably only a few hundred a year. When we arrived, the car rental agent said to us: "We don't get many American Tourists here. Welcome!"


On the left is Hobart waterfront downtown, where we started this morning. Not a lot to do in Hobart (mostly because Wendy was freaking out at driving in the city - OK so I nearly took out a guy on a scooter, no worries!)  So we headed out in the direction of Port Arthur on lesser travelled roads.  This is one of the original penal colonies built on the peninsula.

(Above) First stop was at the Tessellated Pavement, a strange natural formation of rocks on the ocean that look almost as if they were cut and laid by man. This geological phenomenon is extremely rare.  The flatness of the pavement is due to initial erosion by waves carrying sand and gravel, or by chemical action by sea water. The rocks which absorb sea water during high tide dry out during low tide causing salt crystals to grow and disintegrate the rocks - a process which produces shallow basins.  It only took several million years to form the photos above.  We did a search and Tasmania is one of the only places in the world where this is found.

Next we stopped of at the Doo-licious Food Truck in the settlement of Doo Town for a venison and red wine meat pie (me) and scallops and chips for Wendy. The fish dishes are served in a cone and then they have holes in the picnic tables to sit the cone in.

Doo Town was established in 1830s as a timber station at the southern end of Pirates Bay, it evolved into a collection of rickety fishing shacks. In 1935, a Hobart architect hammered a name plate to his shack, stating ‘Doo I’. His neighbor replied with ‘Doo Me’ another neighbor chimed in with ‘Doo Us’. The trend caught hold and today, nearly every shack has some ‘Doo’ title proudly affixed.


Nearby were some amazing rock formations and cliffs to see.

We also found some interesting  plants...

This is part of the bottle brush tree. Those nasty red plants that leave gunk all over Floridians cars every spring!  This particular variety did not seem to be as wispy and delicate as our red ones.


These strange looking scribbles on a Eucalyptus tree are caused by the Scribble Moth Larvae. Funny, looks like graffiti on a tree.

Then is was time to visit Port Arthur penal colony. This was built for the worst of criminals - habitual, nasty and repeat offenders. It was built in 1848 and closed in 1877, only 29 years later. The convicts were used as labor cutting down trees and supplied lumber for government projects.  After 30 years they got too old and sick; trees ran out so the penal colony was closed and handed over to private interests.  In 1895 a giant bush fire destroyed many of the structures.

Port Arthur was built on a peninsula to prevent convict escapism.  The "Dog Line" at the top of the peninsula was heavily fortified by armed military.   In their 30 year existence, only 10 convicts were unaccounted.

Convicts were encouraged to attend Church

services to impress "Moral Standards".

It was time to drive home, we took the scenic route to escape the highway and Wendy freaking out!

Tomorrow we fly back to the mainland - arriving in Melbourne at about noon.


Great Ocean Road - Here we come!!!

And finally...

Unique design for trash cans, see how the metal structure has been created so that the wind does not blow the trash can's lid open?

Seriously? Do people still use these? Especially in the middle of nowhere.

Why does the truck have a chimney? 

The owner came by just as we were gawking and explained it's use.  This is a Diesel Snorkel.  When you find yourself in extremely deep water, as long as air can get to the diesel under water, it's all good and - no damage or stalling.

 Wendy, in her infinite wisdom, asked him, "If you're in deep water, why aren't you in a boat?" 

He had no answer except..."You're Right! But I sounded smart for 3 seconds!"