Planning our holiday and accommodation in Port Arthur using the internet was a little time consuming, but fun. You could see what was on offer and having pictures and reviews on line gave one confidence in selecting something appropriate. We decided to stay for three days in self contained accommodation, as this would allow us to prepare meals if we decided not to eat out. Being right on the ocean with fabulous views of Carnarvon Bay and plenty of room for the kids to play made this holiday special. Each evening we would relax on the balcony as the rays of the setting sun bathed the Isle of the Dead and the cormorants chased bait fish. Darkness descended and we moved indoors to enjoy the warmth of the wood fire.
There were intermittent showers on our first day so we decided to visit the Port Arthur Historic Site where we could at least spend some of the time indoors. The history of the place was fascinating and one could not help but feel for the convicts transported from Britain to a miserable existence in such a beautiful place. The entry fee to the site was a two day pass with good reason. On day two we went on an unbelievable boat cruise along the coast from Pirates Bay to Tasman island. The boat almost nudged up against the sheer rock face of the tallest sea cliffs this side of the equator and the kids were absolutely beside themselves at the sight of the seabirds and when the seals and dolphins swam alongside the boat. Day three we explored the local area (Palmers Lookout, Safety Cove beach and Incredible Cave) before heading off to have a look at Cape Raoul. The view from the lookout was incredible!!!! It was getting too late in the day to continue the long walk to the point, however some international bush walkers returning from there said it was up there with the best walks they had ever done.
The day we left we stopped off at Federation Chocolates to sample their incredible range of chocolates before heading back to Eaglehawk Neck to have a look at the Dog Line, the Blowhole and to take a short walk to Tasman Arch. We had the best fish and chips ever from the Doo-Lishus food van, followed by fresh berries and cream which we savored by the ocean.
There was still so much more to enjoy. We had not fully explored the Historic Site, the Isle of the Dead or gone on the Ghost Tour. We had not explored the Saltwater River Historic Site, the Tessellated Pavement, the fairy penguin colony, the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park or the other short walks in the area. We had the best time and look forward to returning to fully explore this area.
Don’t just come for a holiday…..come for an experience. Experience the miserable existence of a convict in the Port Arthur penal colony…….only in your imagination of course. Experience cosy accommodation with ocean views. Experience the magic of a sea cruise at the base of the tallest sea cliffs this side of the equator where you will be up close and personal with seals, sea birds, dolphins and possibly whales. Experience the joy of sitting on a balcony overlooking the ocean while sipping on a glass of chardy and watching seabirds chasing fish or swans majestically dipping their heads into the ocean in search of food. Experience the exhilaration of a breeze off the southern ocean that makes your eyes water. Experience the rush of as you stand on sea cliffs with a sheer drop of 1000ft to the boiling ocean below. Test your sanity…..stand on the edge and resist the urge to fly.