A Travellerspoint blog

Port Arthur - Day 5

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Warm and windy today - 29 degrees and 25 to 30 knots of wind.

No fishing today so we had a lazy day at the caravan park reading the papers. We went for a walk around the caravan park and collected a good bowl of blackberries. There should be some more in a few days time. While we were sitting outside we had a constant stream of birds looking for food. They are all quite tame and obviously used to being fed by people staying in the park. About mid-afternoon we received a Bush Fire Emergency warning from the Tasmania Fire Service for White Beach and surrounding areas warning residents to seek shelter. We heard later that the White Beach Caravan Park was evacuated. Not sure how useful such messages are for tourists who have no idea where White Beach is (it is about 15 Kms away) - some visitors in the Port Arthur caravan park probably thought it was the nearest strip of white beach 200 metres away at Stewarts Bay.

A nice bowl of blackberries collected in the caravan park

A nice bowl of blackberries collected in the caravan park

Not sure what this one is, but nice colouring

Not sure what this one is, but nice colouring

A green rosella waiting for food

A green rosella waiting for food

Even the plovers are looking for food

Even the plovers are looking for food

Posted by TwoAces 17:22 Comments (0)

Port Arthur - Day 4

Monday 10 March 2014

Forecast for today was mostly cloudy with a chance of a shower later in the day and a temperature range of 13 to 23 degrees.

When David went to collect our newspapers from the local shop he noticed that someone had helped themselves to about a third of our wood-pile during the night - thankfully they had not helped themselves to anything else. The caravan park has emptied out today being the end of the long weekend, so hopefully the low-lives have moved on!

About mid morning Michelle and Craig arrived with Bronte and Josh. The grandchildren were looking forward to going out in the rubber duck to catch some fish. We drove around to Stewarts Bay and launched the Zodiac and motored across the bay. The kids managed to each catch a fish large enough to keep, however we threw back many flatties that were too small to keep. We also caught a couple of small mackerel and a parrot fish that were also thrown back.

At about one hundred meters from the beach the kids decided to roll out of the dinghy and they swam to the beach while we continued to shore without them. Back at camp David cleaned and filleted the fish, which Bronte and Josh had for lunch. We also barbequed a few sausages for lunch then sat around the fire while the kids toasted marshmallows on the fire.

Craig and Josh prepare for a fishing trip

Craig and Josh prepare for a fishing trip

Bronte ready for a fishing trip

Bronte ready for a fishing trip

A late night visitor looking for food

A late night visitor looking for food

Posted by TwoAces 17:21 Comments (0)

Port Arthur - Day 3

Sunday 9 March 2014

Mainly sunny with a temperature range of 12 to 23 Degrees. However a little breezy with wind strengths of 20 to 25 knots.

On the way to the shops we checked out the launching ramp - only about 10 boat trailers today compared to 40 - 50 yesterday. We needed some petrol for outboard fuel, however the local shop no longer has fuel bowsers, the caravan park had run out of fuel on Saturday morning, and we had to drive over to Nubeena for fuel. While Port Arthur is one of Tasmania's prime tourist destinations it is almost inconceivable that fuel is not available at Port Arthur, particularly on a long weekend.

Later in the afternoon we went for a walk to Stewarts Bay which is a short walk from the caravan park. While we were walking along the beach a 2.8 metre inflatable with a 9.9 HP outboard motor left the beach and raced across the bay. Clearly our 3.1 metre inflatable could cope with a 9.9 HP motor. Maybe next year we will look at buying a larger motor.

Boats moored in Stewarts Bay

Boats moored in Stewarts Bay

Stewarts Bay beach

Stewarts Bay beach

Stewarts Bay Lodge jetty

Stewarts Bay Lodge jetty

A 2.8 metre inflatable with a 9.9 HP motor

A 2.8 metre inflatable with a 9.9 HP motor

Posted by TwoAces 17:19 Comments (0)

Hobart to Port Arthur

Friday 7 March 2014

Forecast for today was mainly sunny with a temperature of 22 degrees.

Once again we are going to Port Arthur for the March long weekend and have booked to stay the following week. This will be the 4th year that we have booked our site for the following year and have been on site 25 each year. As is usual the caravan park is fully booked with all of their cabins booked out as well. We were all packed up and ready to roll at about 11:30 am, when we realised that bumper to bumper traffic was coming down the Richmond Road. Enquiries revealed a serious accident - a truck and three cars - had blocked the road near Sorell. Enquiries of the Police call centre 131 444 revealed that the road would be closed for some time and all traffic was being diverted via Richmond. This was not so bad and only added 12 kms to our relatively short trip.

We stopped at Dunalley for some lunch by the side of the Canal and watched a couple of cruisers pass through the canal on their way to the East Coast. Traffic was generally fairly light and we arrived at Port Arthur without incident. It was interesting to note that almost all of the trees burnt during last years bush fires in the vicinity od Dunalley had sprouted new growth.

Stopped by the Dunalley Canal for lunch - rubber duck on the roof rack

Stopped by the Dunalley Canal for lunch - rubber duck on the roof rack

Dunalley Canal swing bridge open for a couple of cruisers

Dunalley Canal swing bridge open for a couple of cruisers

Grand Banks cruiser passing through the Dunalley Canal

Grand Banks cruiser passing through the Dunalley Canal

Dunalley Canal looking East

Dunalley Canal looking East

After setting up on our site we unpacked the rubber duck (a 10 foot Zodiac Inflatable) and inflated it with the foot pump. When packed up in its carry bag it is about 4 feet by 7 feet and fairly easy to manage on the roof rack when the van is attached. When it is inflated it is 10 feet by 5 feet , and while easy enough to carry on the roof rack it is too large to carry with the van attached. Last week David had installed some retractable wheels to the transom to make it easier to drag around, even on sand.

After dinner we lit the fire and spent the evening enjoying the warmth of a good fire.

Full set up with satellite dish - Rubber duck still in its carry bag

Full set up with satellite dish - Rubber duck still in its carry bag

Site 25 - set up with the fire lit

Site 25 - set up with the fire lit

Posted by TwoAces 19:41 Comments (0)

Port Arthur - Day 2

Saturday 8 March 2014

Mainly sunny again with a temperature range of 12 to 20 degrees. It is interesting to note that the temperature at Port Arthur is consistently 4 to 5 degrees less than in Hobart.

There was not much breeze today (less than 10 knots) so we decided to take the dinghy out for a trial run to see how easy it is to get it off the roof rack and back on again. We checked out the Garden Point launching ramp, but it was much too busy with 40 to 50 boat trailers parked all over the place. Second port of call was Stewarts Bay beach but it not so easy to get from the car park to the beach to launch the Zodiac. We then headed around to the first beach on Carnarvon Bay where you are able to drive onto the sand for launching and retrieval.

Zodiac inflated and ready to go

Zodiac inflated and ready to go

Retractable trundle wheels on the Zodiac

Retractable trundle wheels on the Zodiac

After launching the Zodiac we went for a tour around Carnarvon Bay out to Point Puer and the Isle of the Dead, then back across the bay to the Port Arthur Historic Site. With our 2.2 HP Suzuki outboard we are a bit underpowered, but it will do for fishing until we can get something a little larger. When we got back we found that we had forgotten to retract the trundle wheels so we had been towing a bit of sea grass and seaweed around the bay - perhaps we are not as underpowered as first thought.

The Beach where we launched our rubber duck

The Beach where we launched our rubber duck

Bay Retreat accommodation

Bay Retreat accommodation

Isle of the Dead at Port Arthur

Isle of the Dead at Port Arthur

Port Arthur Penitentiary ruins

Port Arthur Penitentiary ruins

More Port Arthur ruins

More Port Arthur ruins

Port Arthur Commandant's Residence

Port Arthur Commandant's Residence

Port Arthur Hospital ruins

Port Arthur Hospital ruins

Posted by TwoAces 18:43 Comments (0)

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