Tuesday, July 17, 2012

School Holiday Adventures: Ghost Hunting at Port Arthur, Hobart Tasmania

I have not posted for a while because I really haven't had the time. The first week of the school holidays was spent with the kids catching up with friends and family and squishing in as much as possible as we had organised a very last minute family vacay to gorgeous Tasmania. Have you ever been? I truly think it should be on every Australian's bucket list because its a beautiful part of our country and there is nothing really like it. Of course, I will blog about our adventures over the coming weeks because there was much fun to be had, and of course, I did sample some deliciousness while I was away, of course I did, I wouldn't be FoodMuster if I hadn't!!! Here is the beginning of our adventure.

Is it a ghost?

We stayed the first couple of nights down in Hobart. It wasn't too cold actually, about the same weather we left behind in Sydney really, although lucky for us it wasn't raining:). We had a delicious meal and a family friendly restaurant called La Porchetta in Salamanca place.

The pizza at the bottom was my choice. It was a chicken Caesar salad concoction, which worked really well and I ate it all up....with some shared pieces of course!!

Hobart is such a clean and crisp city and I would actually go so far to say, that I prefer it to Sydney! I know I am a Sydney-sider born and bred, but Hobart is so pretty and it has such a relaxed atmosphere, no busy traffic congesting the roads and you can park for around $1 or so an hour, in Sydney that's unheard of!!! We walked through most of the main CBD and around Salamanca Place (kind of like The Rocks) in less than an hour with four kids and we didn't get tired, now that is nothing like the spread-out nature of the Sydney!!

We were off to the infamous Port Arthur on Day 2 of our family adventure. I really like Port Arthur. There is so much history in this place and while a lot of unpleasantries happened, it has such a beauty that somehow can't be denied.  I have to say the main thing that upset me was the second prison which has been renovated. The last time I was there, which was about 10 years ago, it was  raw and the feelings you got walking in and out of the cells where potent! It was quite eery, but in the same vein I couldn't get enough of it! Now the walls have been white  washed, and each cell has new polished wooden flooring and all my kids could say was that," this is not bad, this is fine, I wouldn't mind these conditions". If only I took pictures of what I had seen 10 years earlier. I could only try and describe it to them. But seeing the building in this renovated state, while good for young children, is somewhat unfair to the prisoners who suffered there, if that makes sense?  This aside, it was a lovely day and the kids really enjoyed themselves.  When you arrive you are given a Port Arthur playing card and you use it to find out which prisoner you are and you can follow their story. My kids really enjoyed this and it personalises the experience as you continue on out into the grounds of the prisons and dormitories, the houses, and the churches and the gardens.

My kids were desperate(so they said and acted) to do the ghost tour, although I know as their mum that they wouldn't last long if we actually did do it. The thing that got them going was the ghost photos that were up at the entrance where you pay for your tickets. All these different unexplained pictures that have white smudges or fuzzy beings in the picture, which I am not saying are true or false, but my kids where absorbed into this potential world of ghost hunting at Port Arthur. However, once they had accepted that wouldn't be going on a ghost tour they were determined to find their own ghost and they took pictures in every available dark corner of each building! Unfortunately their enthusiastic efforst came to no avail, until......I was searching through my pictures and found this picture of a tree. Now I love trees, not the tree hugging type but if I find something artistic about a tree then I will take a picture of it. I took this photo because I liked how it looked and felt their was something sad about it and I liked the wirey branches. I often wonder if trees could talk, they would have wonderful stories to tell. If this tree could talk it would have some doosies as it was not far from the main prison and to me it was maganificant and hand to be captured. But, can you see what I now can see, and if so what do you think it is?
If you can't work it out, its the bright light almost at the tips of the middle of the tree. It's  like a light that has been smudge with a thumb. It looks better on a larger photo, but its very interesting and perhaps the kids' wish came true and we have a picture of a ghost? Knowing our luck it's a ghost of a bird or a cat or something lame like that!! Anyway its makes for a great story:)

It was a great day at Port Arthur and I recommend you visit there one day and perhaps try the ghost tour...if you're game!!

Day 3 we went up to Mount Wellington, and it truly should be renamed as Mount Chillington, because it was butt freezing cold! The wind was blowing, which is fairly normal but it had been snowing that night so it was bitterly cold. I was not planning to get out of the car, but the kids were so excited to see snow, I had to share that moment with them. We dashed ever so quickly to the shelter of the viewing deck. The view is spectacular and in my opinion, better experienced under shelter rather than numbing your body at the outside viewing point!
We also happened to cross paths with a Scotsman in his native attire!! He actually parked not far from us and I was anticipating his kilt to fly up to his face with the wind, but it didn't! I had to take a picture of course, and lucky for me he had no idea!!
Before I end this first installment, I want to share a magical moment we had as a family as we drove up north to Launceston on day 3. It had got a little overcast by the afternoon and we had some rain showers. I can't remember where we were exactly, but it wasn't too far off Launie and our son spotted a rainbow. What we saw was the brightest rainbow I think our eyes have ever seen. It might be hard to see in the picture but it was so bright and magnificent that my husband pulled over so I could take the picture and so the kids could gaze in awe at this wonderful natural phenomena. this is the raw image, no photoshop or trickery. You can really see all the colours of the rainbow!


Cindy Kilpatrick said...

You have brought back memories of our time in Tasmania, although rather than children in tow, I had a roo in the pouch who make his presence very well known with morning sickness. Not fun when backpacking/hitch-hiking. :)

I agree with you about the cells. I can't image why they would fix them up. It's important that history not be embellished.


P.S. It's definitely a ghost. :)
P.S.S. Nice to see you and the family.

Lee said...

I haven't been to Tassie in a long while. I'd love to take the boat across with the kids. Great photos. That rainbow is amazing.

Veronica Lee said...

Love the pics! What a gorgeous family!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Naptime Review said...

Pretty Rainbow!

New follower At home take 2. Love for you to stop by and return the follow.

Hosting Mom's Monday Mingle! Love to have you!


Cassie {two-in-diapers.blogspot.com} said...

Looks like such a fun time with lots of memories! I found you via the weekend blog walk and am happy to be your newest follower! I'd love a visit back at http://www.two-in-diapers.blogspot.com, :)

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