Harbour Cruise, Port Arthur, Tasmania.

In hindsight, I don’t know how we could’ve allowed so little time to explore Port Arthur. Once we’d arrived and seen that our entry passes were valid for two days, it became immediately obvious that we’d seriously under-estimated the time to do it properly. Now that we’re home and goodness knows when we’ll get back, I have my regrets. Yet, at the same time, you can only absorb so much history in three weeks. Indeed, you can’t absorb all of Tasmania in 3 weeks either, especially when you’re scratching beneath the surface. Moreover, with Geoff being Tasmanian, we also had a lot of friends and family to catch up with …and there was so much catching up to do!

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So, when it came to doing the harbour cruise at Port Arthur, we had to stay on board without getting off to explore the Isle of the Dead of Point Puer. I don’t like missing out. However, we missed out on so much in the end that we’ll be back sooner rather than later.

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So, this is but a very brief photographic tour accompanied by a very simple footnote.

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This photo was taken about 15 years after James Newton arrived, giving a fairly good idea of what it looked like when he arrived.

As we pulled out of Port Arthur on the ferry and the expanse of water between use and the prison ruins expanded, I thought about how Geoff’s 3rd Great Grandfather, James Newton, would’ve felt as his ship sailed into Port Arthur. Coming from notorious Norfolk Island, he’d been initiated into the cruel hardship of the convict system. Yet, was there still that sense of dread? Or, was the relief or even hope that it might be better there? I don’t know. He obviously didn’t send us a postcard: “Having a wonderful time. Wish you were here!”

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Like so much of Port Arthur, the harbour cruise was very scenic, relaxing and you really had to remind yourself that this place was hell on earth. Not only for the convicts, but also for the victims of the Port Arthur Massacre, their families, service personnel and locals. It has such stunning natural beauty, that it’s too easy to forget.

So, we hope you’ll be able to get down to Port Arthur sometime and experience the cruise yourself (along with everything else!!)

xx Rowena

6 thoughts on “Harbour Cruise, Port Arthur, Tasmania.

  1. Rowena Post author

    Hi Cindy,
    I thought of you while we were in Tasmania. The photography down there was amazing. We live near the beach on sandy soil at home but Tassie mostly has rich volcanic soils and lush gardens. The wildlife was incredible…wallabies everywhere. We also saw a wombat, echidna, heard a Tasmanian Devil, sugar glider, platypus, quoll, huge trees and ferns. We are finding it difficult settling back in. xx Rowena

  2. Mabel Kwong

    It does look like a very scenic cruise. Beautiful weather too. I don’t think you can finish exploring any area in three weeks or a month, though. I think if you truly want to get to the heart of it, you’d have to spend quite a bit of time there. Port Arthur has come a long way, and it seems to have put its past behind it – but of course, not forgotten and what happened is part of what Tasmania is today. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip 🙂

  3. Rowena Post author

    Thanks very much, Mabel. Tasmania’s convict past is also bringing in the tourist dollars, which are essential for the economy.
    I’m pleased you’re enjoying reading about our trip. We’ve almost been back a week and I still have so much to write that I haven’t officially returned yet on the blog.
    Researching about Port Arthur has been fascinating. So much history in one place!
    Hope you have a great weekend!
    xx Ro

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