Saturday, March 24, 2007

Holiday Snaps Part 3

The next port of call on our Tasmanian journey was to the Mt Field National Park in the south west, specifically Russell Falls. We've seen many photos of these magnificent waterfalls and were looking forward to seeing them.

Even with water levels way down and the waterfall only partly flowing, we weren't disappointed.

Just on from Russell Falls is the Tall Trees walk, which is another fantastic forest. Different type of forest though, still mossy but more light and open, with massively tall trees.

The next day we headed east to spend half a day at Port Arthur, a historical penal settlement. Enroute we travelled down the Tasman Peninsula stopping at a few interesting spots along the way.

This photo is a small section of a strange piece of coastal rock called the Tesselated Pavement, at Eaglehawk Neck. It looks just like rock tiles that have been man made, but in fact those lines are completely natural. Something to do with the fact it used to be under water and the sediment that built up cracked when the water levels rose, and then salt crystals grew in the small cracks and forced the rocks further apart.

This is some of the spectacular coastline along Eaglehawk Neck, near the Tasman Arch.

Last stop in Tasmania, Port Arthur. Port Arthur was established as a penal settlement in the 1830s, and over 2000 convicts were transported there from England. It was the transportation site for repeat offenders and had a formidable reputation. Port Arthur is also known for the terrible tragedy in April 1996 when a crazed gunman stalked and murdered 35 people. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about Port Arthur and its ruins, but oddly enough I found that when I was there I just couldn't associate it with anything terrible, it is a place of such beauty and peace.

This is just a small part of what Port Arthur used to be like. Many of the buildings were completely destroyed in the 1890s when 2 massive bushfires swept through.

Church ruins.

Hospital ruins.

The ruins of the Penitentiary, now just a facade.

Just out in the harbour is a very small island. It was here the Reverend of the time chose for the final resting place of deceased convicts, soldiers and their families. It is named "The Isle Of The Dead", and over 1100 people are buried there, of which about 900 were convicts. Very few headstones are to be found, and only 9 convicts were afforded that privilege.

After an interested and tiring day, we headed back to our Inn for the night, then flew to Melbourne for our last day's holiday. We spent 3 hours savouring the delights of the National Gallery of Victoria, then had a wander through the streets. We walked through an alley with tiny coffee shops called Hells Kitchen, and we came across this small section of the alley, which is adorned with the most fantastic graffiti art.

And that's about it! We had a great time, but it's always nice to be home again. And as we enjoyed many bottles of wine and huge quantities of food, we both have a bit of weight to lose!


Fel said...

This must have been one amazing holiday! I loved the pictures of the woods and the lake and river. I love forests! The most amazing one I ever was is probably the one close to San Francisco, Muir Woods. They have those giant sequoia trees there, and it was nice and quiet and simply beautiful.
The story with the call at 2.30am is just too funny! Did you really have undies lying around? I can SO imagine the shocked look on the face of the receptionist when you told him! :D

Dy said...

It's true! There was a pair of men's white jocks draped over a lamp base behind an armchair. My imagination ran wild I can tell you.... ;-)

Miss Dot said...

welcome home! great pics.

swooze said...

Love your pics and blog. Love the tour and all the info you had to share!

barbara ac said...

Thank you for the holiday pix, Dy, they are excellent! So intresting. Also for the comment on my blogging problems (embroideryoverlaps). I 've tried the link and will await reply.