Our last morning in Port Arthur, Cameron stormed into our room at 3 am to declare “Dad! I DO NOT want Zach in MY bed!” Sometimes musical beds happen a bit after he has fallen asleep and his majesty prefers his own room and does not take highly to surprises.
After packing everything up from our place, Zachary and Quinn thought they were interested in returning to the Historic Site (any pass is a two-day pass) to take a more in depth tour of the Isle of the Dead or the Point Puer Boys’ Prison. We considered the latter, since the boys sent there were sometimes as young as Zach and Quinn are now, sentenced the same as adults for crimes like stealing a toy. Instead, we left well enough alone and made a few extra stops before driving back to Hobart.
The road to the apparently beautiful “Remarkable Cave” was closed just a few hundred meters before it ended so instead we took short strolls to view the Devils Kitchen and Tasman Arch, both natural rock formations from ocean erosion creating caves and bridges which eventually collapsed.
There was a small museum at Eaglehawk Neck where the width of the land narrows to only 100 feet across. The prison system had kept a line of eleven vicious dogs spanning this distance as well as two on platforms in the water, to deter prisoners from trying to escape. Past the commemorative statue, the path opened up to a lovely beach where all four boys collected shells and built various sand castles and moats.
We were all ready to relax and spread out once we arrived at our next vacation home in beautiful Hobart. Unfortunately, someone had left a tablet on the top of a bunk bed in Port Arthur and poor James had to make the 3.5 hour return drive to retrieve it. At pick up time he sent us this pic:
Apparently the cleaning person who rescued the tablet also rescues wombats. As the rest of us would learn the next day, babies are frequently found in the pouches of mums that have been hit by cars. They need to be cared for until around the age of two and are quite cuddly and personable during that age span before turning naturally aggressive towards humans.
On Wednesday we had another tip top memorable experience when we toured the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. They are the main service in the state, providing a 24 hour call-in service for injured wildlife and they also then coordinate with vets, animal hospitals, and licensed volunteers to care for animals. They have plenty of animals that will be released once they are old enough and showing the appropriate behaviors to live independently in the wild (mostly orphaned wombats and tasmanian devils) as well as animals that need to stay there and be cared for for the rest of their lives. Everything from a few koalas (not native to Tasmania) who are the last offspring of a couple of former zoo exhibits to a tasmanian devil that constantly turns in circles due to brain damage from being hit by a car. Among other things, we were able to pet a sugar glider, feed a three-legged echidna named Randall, have a mischievous toddler wombat named Millie crawl all over us (and naw on each of our jacket zippers), and watch some kangaroos hanging out (some more romantically than others). All pretty unique.
We didn’t get the chance to look around Hobart too much, but it is quite an attractive city with a long history. There are plenty of old houses built all over the rolling treed hills and many bridges spanning picturesque ocean inlets to get from one part of the suburbs to another. I think it is somewhere we could have stayed several days longer had we known how it would strike us.
Now, off to Brisbane where I think we will experience a major climate shift!