My parents fell in love with Tasmania when they visited, and pretty much demanded that whilst I was there, I go on the Tasman Island Cruise. They loved it, and seeing as I don’t drive, it was a nice way to see more of Hobart and the surrounds. In fact they paid for us to go on it as a birthday/christmas present!
The day started up and early. We had to meet at the docks at 7:45am. It was coooold. Winter in Tasmania, right on the wharf, that early. Golly, it was cold! We met our bus tour guide and other passengers and were on our way.
Tasmania has gorgeous scenery. It’s the closest I’ve come to New Zealand scenery in Australia. Our driver told us a lot about the history of the towns and of the devastating bush fires that passed through the area a few years ago. Some places are yet to rebuild.
We were dropped off at a cafe near the Tasman Peninsular whilst the driver went and picked up a few passengers from elsewhere. We had juice and a yummy muffin.
We were picked up and taken to our boat (an awesome 12.5m Naiad boat, which got us so close we could touch the rock face!!). We got suited up in survival suits and given ginger for motion sickness. Don’t I look fancy?
By now it was around 10am, and it was a BEAUTIFUL day, but still cold. I had multiple layers, and the survival suit and I still felt frozen at times. I was thankful the day was so clear and calm as we still had a few waves we crashed down from that had my stomach somersaulting like it does on a rollercoaster.
Seeing all the rock formations, the sea so clear at times you could see what lay on the sea floor, and knowing that at one point, if we kept on heading South there would be no land until we hit Antarctica. Spot the birds up there? This is also the trip where I got to see at the seals I talked about previously.
Can you believe people from all over the world travel here to climb the totem pole and candlestick! Nu-uh, no way could I do that! These photos don’t do them justice.
The candlestick from the other side.
We finally made it to Tasman island, where we were greeted by the still in place mechanics used when the lighthouse was manned. It’s one of the most isolated lighthouses and was built in 1906. It became automated in 1976.
To get anything onto the island, including people, they would take a small boat out to a smaller rock (which you can’t see, we’re in between the rock and the land in this picture) and use a basket on a flying fox to get across. Then hauled by an engine-driven winch along a steep tramline up a cliff to an elevation of about 700 feet, which you can just make out in the picture below.
It was STEEP! Light straight up! I wouldn’t make it up, and i’m sure i’d probably break my neck trying to navigate the way down. The whole family would move and live there, I think there was often 2 families at once. If you have a spare moment, go check out this page.
After that, we headed back and made our way to Port Arthur, which you can read about here. If you ever make it to Hobart, I’d really recommend you go on one of the Tasman Island cruises. I am SO thankful for my parents for making sure I got to experience it!
I have to admit, I am a little scared of boats, but I felt fully safe the whole time & glad that I did it. (It once took my parents a few days to get me on a paddle steamer in water a few feet deep!)