2001 Aug 8: Hobart Tasmania

In response to the oft-posed question, “What the heck are you doing so far south?” We have landed ourselves in a really neat part of the planet. Given that Tassie was colonized by the British in the 1800’s as a penal colony for those criminals who were too dangerous to be kept in mainland Australia, it’s sort of like saying “I love living in Alcatraz because I really like the people,” which happens to be the case for Tassie. Tasmania’s penitentary system was shut down before 1900, and Australia as a whole is one of the most law-abiding countries in the world. Our history books say that when the word got out that Tasmania was a wonderful place to live, people in England would commit crimes to be entitled to free transportation to this beautiful island. A quarter of the island state of Tasmania is World Heritage parkland, and the cruising is some of the best in the world, too.

Not only are we way down south, but we’re spending the winter here. Mt. Wellington “looms” above Hobart or “peers over its shoulder”. For several days now she has been covered in snow from the recent more-than-two-weeks-of rain at sea level. This morning the clouds have cleared and the mountain built of organ pipe-shaped dolorite rock columns is a lovely backdrop to this Georgian town. Living at the foot of a mountain that you can drive to the top of and look down from to take breath taking photos is quite a treat. The Hobart Walking Club has created trails up and down and all around the front and the back of the mountain, enabling hikers to visit the numerous waterfalls and historic sites. A Hobartian (pronounced Ho-bar-shin) friend commented that the winters have been warmer in recent years, as 30 years ago he enjoyed hiking around the mountain in winter with ice-climbing equipment.

Summary of travels to date:

Sept 18, 2000 departed Opua, New Zealand

Sept 23, 2000 arrived Noumea, New Caledonia

Nov. 24, 2000 departed Noumea, New Caledonia

Nov. 28, 2000 arrived Scarborough, Queensland, Australia then proceeded to Manly Harbour south of Brisbane

Jan. 30, 2001 departed Manly Harbour

Jan 30, 2001 arrived Southport, Gold Coast, Australia

Feb. 23, 2001 departed Southport

Feb 25, 2001 arrived Pittwater, north of Sydney, Australia

Feb. 26, 2001 departed Pittwater, NSW, Australia

Feb 27, 2001 arrived Eden, NSW, Australia

March 14, 2001 departed Eden, NSW, Australia

March 16, 2001 arrived Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia

March 18, 2001 departed Port Arthur

March 18, 2001 arrived Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

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