Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Hobart, Tasmania

We arrived in port at Hobart on Tuesday morning. We had signed up for a tour to see Richmond and the Tassie Devils. Our bus left at 8:45. Unfortunately, we had to walk to the opposite end of the ship to get a sticker with our bus number on it and then back to the other end to get off and onto our bus. 

The first stop was at the village of Richmond, one of the oldest settlements here (Hobart was the second Australian town founded by the English after Sydney). It has a lovely small Catholic church and the oldest bridge in Australia, 1823. After seeing the bridge, we had about an hour to wander the town. Dan found an ATM to get some Australian money, and I looked around for a yarn shop. We were told that the Tasmanian wool is some of the world’s finest and most of it is shipped to Japan and Italy for fine woolen fabrics. Some is sold as knitting wool, but not in Richmond. After looking around a bit, we found a bakery/cafe and had a cup of tea in a small courtyard not far from the Richmond Gaol.

1823 - oldest bridge in Australia, built by convicts

Old tree near Richmond Gaol

Once we were back on the bus, we headed for Bonarong, an animal sanctuary. The people there take rescued animals and try to bring them back to health. They also are trying to help preserve the Tasmanian Devils, which are few in number, due to a disease. They did have several of them, although it was difficult to spot them. They are nocturnal and shy. We also saw many kangaroos, emus, wombats, and a koala. There were many white crested cockatoos flying around and making a lot of raucous noise. The kangaroos are allowed to run free around the park and enjoy eating from visitors’ hands and being scratched on the chest. It was quite thrilling to me to see some of these animals up close and personal. We will probably see many more in Australia proper.


Emus having a tiff

Feeding and petting kangaroos


Tasmanian Devil

Koala sleeping (apologies if you saw former mistaken identification as a wombat!)

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