I’m not usually a fan of tours but without a car in Tasmania its quite difficult to do without them. Consequently I went on an ‘Under Down Under’ day trip to Port Arthur which was very much my second choice but there wasn’t a trip to see Wineglass Bay on the east coast on the only day I had available to me.
Port Arthur though is Tasmania’s most popular attraction and is the penal colony used during the time of first convict settlement in Australia and it has a very dark history. As I said I don’t really like tours as they do tend to just pad out an itinerary which could probably be done a lot quicker and this one was no exception but having said that I did enjoy it!
When I boarded the bus at the ridculously early time of 7:30 am I already knew two of the girls (one from Hong Kong and one from Japan) from the previous day at Mount Wellington and after a lot of fannying around we got to the small town of Richmond which is a British style village famous for Australia’s oldest bridge in use dating back to 1823. Just a photo stop there basically and then it was off to see Waterfall Bay which offered the usual splendid coastal views and rock formations which becomes a bit same-same after a while.
Following that walk we drove through a small town called Doo where all the houses had hilarious (?) doo pun names such as ‘Much A-Doo About Nothing’, ‘Just Doo It’, ‘Love Me Doo’, ‘Doo Me’ and inevitably ‘Doo F*ck All’!!
After a basic lunch at the Remarkable Cave we entered Port Arthur and hopped straight on to a half hour cruise of Carnarvon Bay taking us around the Isle of the Dead where over a thousand people were buried in a ‘secure and undisturbed resting place’. We didn’t disembark there but some people did. Instead, we had two and a half hours to tour the site at our leisure with an optional walking tour which I didn’t do for fear of information overload. I was happy to just wander around reading some of the information on show which i did in the company of an English girl called Cath and to be honest it was a lot more interesting than I thought it would be.