The weather forecast for today is a high of 85 degrees and sunny.
We are told that Hobart is experiencing record temperatures. In the summer, the high may be 23 degrees Celsius. This is their springtime and today’s temperature is 27 degrees Celsius and tomorrow is suppose to be the same. I, for one, am not complaining!
We rose early for breakfast.
Then, we enjoyed an early morning walking tour of historic Hobart. We got a glimpse of Hobart’s rich history as we tour the city center, Salamanca Place and its surrounding areas.
This rather small city is the capital of the Australian State of Tasmania, the largest offshore island in the country. It is a seaport where you are never far from the water. While on its landward side, Mount Wellington rises more than 4,100 feet above the ocean’s edge. Hobart has a fascinating blend of Aboriginal, colonial, and maritime history that includes a wealth of Georgian architecture dating from its colonial period in the 1830’s.
We walked from our hotel to Sir David’s Park. We met our guide for the tour. He told us that most of the trees in this park are not native to Tasmania. He pointed out two sequoia trees from California that were planted in the 1920’s
He then showed us a tree planted in 1988. It was a Eucalyptus…the only native species. Eucalyptus in a Greek means fully covered. The seed pod/flower of the eucalyptus is the Tasmanian state floral emblem.
This park was originally a cemetery. In 1804, a group of people were sent off to protect the southern boundary of New South Wales from the French.
300 of them were convicts that were sent here from an English camp.
A child was born and died and it was decided that there needed to be sacred ground for Christian buriels. Two acres were set aside. 990 people were buried here. In the meantime, the town had grown up around the cemetery, so when more space was needed, a new cemetery was opened. The Cornelian Bay Cemetery. So, this older cemetery fell into disarray.
In 1926, fifty years after last burial, they removed the headstones, and left a few prominent ones. The bodies of all the buried were left. They used the recovered headstones as part of a wall just south of the original cemetery.
One gravestone that was left was that of a commoner. James Kelly, who was big in the whaling industry. There were twelve people in his family. Nine of the twelve are buried here.
As I mentioned earlier, as we walked around, we saw three major types of buildings.
We visited Franklin Square. Back in the day, you could only get to Tasmania by boat. If the acting premier of Tasmania died, certain people living in Tasmania would take over the position of premier until the new one arrived.
William Lodewyk Crowther was one of those people. He was a doctor. He was the temporary premier eight times.
Franklin was the fifth premier in 1838
We finished our tour just outside of Salamanca Market at a monument for Abel Tasman. He was an explorer who was looking for a trade route and discovered Tasmania.
We met up with a Jeanette, our trip tour guide. She bought us some fresh smoked salmon, so we all gave it a try. It was really good!
Then, we boarded a bus for the next part of our tour. Our driver was Alvin. He was a Lawn Bow champion.
As we drove from Hobart towards the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, Jeanette talked a lot about the history of Australia. She mentioned that the Dutch got here in 1642. Troops then walked across Australia and shot the original people. Those that were not shot were treated as subhumans. They were put into slavery. Men became station hands. Women were domestics. Many were raped which produced half caste children. These children were taken away to missions and the boys were trained to be ranch hands (unpaid) and the girls were trained as domestics (unpaid). In 1942 when the Japanese were bombing Australia, they put the mixed children on an island so that they would be bombed first.
The Originals were provided with blankets from the British. This eventually infected them with smallpox and many died. People today, who are currently in their 50’s and 60’s were racists. They feel that originals are subhuman. The treatment of Originals was bad until 1967. At that time, the Prime Minister apologized for their mistreatment and the country is trying to help them.
Original people live in the outback. The first time they saw a white man was 1984. They are nomadic. Fanny Cochran was the last full blooded aboriginal. There are no full blooded original Tadmanian people left.
The current population of Australia is 24 million. 80 percent live on the east coast. The population of Tasmania is 520,000.
There are no white swans in Australia. Only black swans. We saw quite a few on our drive to Bonorong.
There are no passenger trains in Australia only freight trains.
We learned that Tasmanian devils are being wiped out by cancer. Working hard to save them.
Wombats have mange and spreading. So this is another species that is trying to be saved.
The wombat is closet relative to koala. They are marsupials. They have a pouch that faces backwards. The reason is because they are a burrowing animal. If the pouch faced forward, when they dig, the dirt would go right into their pouch.
Only egg laying marsupials
Platypus and echina
Tasmanian tiger had a pouch
1936…Benjamin was last living Tasmanian tiger.
We finally arrive at the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, Tasmania’s most popular Wildlife park and a haven for injured and orphaned animals. We saw many species that are extinct everywhere but Tasmania, such as the Tasmanian devil, the eastern quoll, the Tasmanian pademelon, and the shy Tasmanian bettong.
Alicia is our guide. She shows us Judy, a 19 month old wombat. Judy weighs about 40 pounds which is only half of her full grown size. She eats grass. She is also fed oats, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Wombats are the largest burrowing marsupials. They can run up to 40 kph. Wombats have a cartilage plate used as a defense. At age two, wombats become aggressive and want nothing to do with humans.
The next animal we meet is Mickey, the 2 1/2 year old Tasmanian Devil. We learn about the cancer epidemic. It is transmitted by bites. It was discovered that they had it in 1995. 95 percent of the population was destroyed. Efforts started to try and find a cure. In 2006, a possible cure was found and is being tested. Still not sure if it is working. So, at the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, they are helping with breeding Tasmanian Devils..Their life expectancy is 4 to 5 years in the wild and 6 to 8 years in captivity.
The next animal we meet is the Koala. They are not native to Tasmania. Tasmania does not have the proper eucalyptus trees to support Koalas. Two were brought over from Kangaroo Island. It was discovered that the female was pregnant. So, the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary has three. They sleep a lot! We were fortunate to be able to go in the enclosure of the male koala, pet him and have our picture taken with him! What a special moment this was for everyone.
We then met Randall, the echina. He had been attacked by a dog. One of his legs is missing.
Kangaroos do not have a mating season. When the female becomes pregnant, she can hold off the embryo for up to six months. The mom decides the sex of her Joey. Many choose to have females when they are younger and have males when they are older. The reason for this is that the females stay with their mom and become part of the herd. But the males stay with their moms for only twelve months and then they have to leave the tribe and relocate. There can be only one alpha male….top dog….only one who can mate. We got to feed the kangaroos, which was another exciting experience. They were everywhere!
Dingoes are not native to Australia.
Alas, our time at the Wildlife Sanctuary is over. Time to head back to Hobart. On the way back, we stopped to view a large sandstone bridge that was built by convicts. It is the oldest still in use sandstone bridge.
We also stop in the historic town of Richmond. Richmond was a big military area. It is unarguably picturesque. We saw well preserved sandstone buildings, including a jail. This was the only male/female jail in its time. We ate lunch in this quaint little town.
After returning to Hobart, my sister and I walked to the wharf to check out the place that we need to be at tomorrow for our next tour. We walked back by Davis Park to find the wall that was built using those headstones. When we found it, we were really impressed with how each gravestone had been incorporated into the wall. Then, as we headed back to the hotel, we stopped inside a few churches to check out their interiors.
We arrive at our hotel and freshen up for dinner at a local pub. I have the pork roast and a glass of sparkling wine.
Back to the hotel to try and write this blog. I do apologize if I have written any incorrect information. I did my best to take notes about this incredible day as well as to enjoy all that we encountered today!
Whew! Time for bed so that I am fully rested to enjoy tomorrow’s adventure!