This tour, with Adventure Island Tours, was definitely the highlight of our trip. We packed so much of Tasmanian history into the one day. It was a big day that left us exhausted but it´s something that we are still raving about.
We got to spend an hour at Richmond, which we felt was just enough time. There were a few things that I would have liked to have taken a closer look at, but I was too preoccupied with finding toilets and getting an SD card from the supermarket. The buildings were really interesting. We got some great photos. The bridge in particular was great to shoot. I liked how we got there early enough in the day that we were the only ones there. It´s definitely worth visiting, whether it is with a tour or independently.
Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park
This was the main reason for picking this tour. There were two other parks closer to Hobart, but we wanted to keep our costs down and schedule in some days to explore. People on the tour had the choice to visit here, or spend more time at Port Arthur. We chose to come here rather then do a separate tour to visit the Devils. We were only there for an hour. It was a pretty small park, so this allowed us to watch the eastern quoll and Tassie devil feedings.
The guy was really knowledgeable and you could tell he was passionate about conserving this animals. I knew that the devil itself was at risk due to the facial tumours, but I didn´t know how that would impact the local ecosystem. I enjoyed watching them feed. I feel like this experience allowed me to see the other side of their personality. On TV, I always see the fighting and teeth. It´s shallow, but that causes me to dismiss the news surrounding the conservation efforts. My brain is full of information about endangered birds. Seeing them like this made me want to do more. I don´t know what that is just yet, but it´s sparked a fascination with the species.
I also enjoyed seeing the quolls. They were so active. The keeper explained that this wasn´t normal, as they are a nocturnal species. One of them was particularly acrobatic and nearly fell off the branch. Now – native animals are fascinating, but I am a birdwatcher. I was very excited to have the opportunity to see the Green Rosella, which is endemic to Tasmania. The bird feeder (located near the quolls) allowed me to get really close and get some nice photos. I also got to listen to their bird call which was slightly different to other rosellas. I ended up seeing more at Port Arthur
Most Australians know about Port Arthur. For some reason, I thought it was a large prison. Instead, it turned out to be a really large historic site. I was worried that we wouldn´t be able to visit everything in the time we had available, but we managed to squeeze everything in. The grounds were beautiful. We spent our time wandering from site to site, and taking photos of the buildings. I liked how we were able to do it at our own pace and how there wasn´t people watching our every move. We got some great photos of the both of us because we were relaxed away from the crowds. Tasmania is the only place where I´ve experienced this.
Part of me wishes we did an audio tour or went with a group so we could learn more. Fortunately, the gift shop here was fantastic and had a bunch of interesting books. We got several to read when back home. I am so grateful for the opportunity to see so much about our past. There is so much that I didn´t know about our convict history. I´d like to return to Port Arthur and do the night ghost tour. I´d also skip the mini ´cruise´ and spend more time exploring the buildings.
The Remarkable Caves was our final stop for the day. The views were amazing. The camera flash has stopped working at this time, and it was twilight. It was the shortest day of the year, so it was getting dark by the time we got there. We only had 15 minutes and I wish I could return independently to get some great photography. The water was pretty choppy. Everytime it hit a rock, or a cliff, there would be a huge splash. I haven´t seen water like that – things are pretty tame in the Geelong CBD. People are able to go down steps to see the water rush in at the Cave itself. Apparently, the water pressure can get so strong that it caused the roof to collapse. Technically, it is no longer a cave. It´s a tunnel.
I preferred it that way – it allowed us to see the water better. Our guide said that the waves can be a lot stronger and that, at times, the force can cause you to get drenched. You could hear the water echoes growing as it was pushed further into the tunnel. I began to notice patterns – every third wave would be a lot stronger then the others. I was so angry that my flash had stopped working as I could have gotten some really great photos. It was a spectacular sight to see. The walk down to the cave was pretty steep. It can be a real struggle to get back up there, especially after a busy way walking around Port Arthur.
This was a great little tour that allowed us to see a bit of everything at a very reasonable price. It was small and a lot more personable then the other tours we went on. The guide worked really hard to build a rapport with us, something that was really appreciated. He remembered all of our names. We went on two tours with a larger company and felt like a bit of a cog in a machine with those. I recommend this particular tour for those without access to a car and who have a limited amount of time. It´s a big day but is definitely worth it. The convict DVD presentation was a bit of a joke – poorly edited and written – but it didn´t affect our day. It just gave us something to mock later. We booked all of our tours at the Information Centre on Davey Street. It was incredibly easy and they helped us through the decision process.