In the eighty years of convict transportation to Australia, between 1788-1868, some 162,000 people (including children) were transported. Only 24,000 of these were women and a half of these women were sent to Van Diemen’s Land. It was a male dominated population most certainly. Hobart in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) received approx. 65,000 men and women transportee’s sent out from Britain, Ireland and several other English colonies. Many of their crimes were crimes of poverty and the brutal consequence of the industrial revolution, famine, as well as political crimes.Continue reading
One of the highlights of our visit to Tasmania was our venture into the convict punishment precinct of Port Arthur, stretched out as it is on the Tasman Peninsula at the very southern end of Aus’. A penal settlement, isolated by the cold antarctic winds and separated from the main Tasmanian island by the savage dog line across the isthmus of the peninsula which kept the convicts in, and the good society of Van Diemen’s Land out. The Dog Line was accompanied by a guards hut where guards and their families lived and this was as close as polite society came.Continue reading
Two hundred years ago two young sisters (children really) stepped off the “Castle Forbes” which had just docked into the new settlement of Hobart in Tasmania. Ann and Margaret Honeyman were just 11 & 10 years old. They had been newly indentured to the Reid family as maids to the Reids two babes. They had left their mother and two younger brothers aboard the Castle Forbes to travel onto Sydney Town having just received news that their convict father, who they hoped to join up with in Sydney Town, had died. These two girls, new arrivals to the penal settlement of Hobart, a town settled just 18yrs prior, were Scottish emigrants now bound for the colonial outpost along the Clyde River in the highlands near to what was to become the township of Bothwell on the Central Tasmanian High Country.Continue reading
At the moment I am thick into another trip plan… one coming up soon, and as usual I have two or three of these trip plans sitting on my desktop as I develop them as the mood takes me. A number of travellers like to just go with the flow, and there are certainly times when this is the fun way to go, but then at other times planning is a part of the enjoyment of discovery and I wouldn’t even consider not building up a plan for any given tour… Even the roughest of rudimentary plans is a good option.
Traveling as we do as a lifestyle choice, as opposed to a 2-4 week or month stint across the country, we do have a broad based guide that gets us to where we want to go and then there are times where we just head off in a general direction… or in pursuit of a general goal or season respite… or even in pursuit of an interest, but the trip plan is an essential part of our future plans and I wouldn’t be without it. Mind you these trip plans are very malleable … such as this years primary plan which was to have seen us up in the Kimberley, but instead saw us spending 6 months in and around Perth… exploring, instead. Plans change as does your focus, and often. It is best to roll with the waves and enjoy the ride. Continue reading
Visiting Tasmania offers some unique experiences, from wild west coast shorelines to the wonderful charm of colonial heritage preserved across an entire state. The tales of bushrangers, convicts, survival and peril… they are all there. One of the things I most enjoy though is the wilderness and wildlife and Tassie offers a sate of these. We enjoyed exploring Fern Glade, and the wonderful wild populations of Platypus, we loved the penguins colonies, so active over the breeding season, but most of all it was the mystique of the Tasmanian devil. Each time we visit the Apple Isle, we make a plan to call into one of the Tasmanian Arks, those wonderful places, where the Tasmanian Devil is being nurtured, cared for and given the tools of survival.
Following is a video clip of our most recent visit to Trowunna Wildlife Park near Launceston and what a delight it was!
In one spectacular day we ventured in a loop down from Forth, and south, inland into the Canyon Region. Our aim was to explore the Gunns Plains Caves and it was a true delight. The caves travel deep under the mountain through to the other side and much of their length is still unchartered with extensive wet caves, sinkholes and active underground streams. Geoff our guide was a wonderful, full of tales and anecdotes, he was as entertaining as the caves were beautiful.