While we were in Hobart for Noah's two year 'angelversary' we spent a day at Port Arthur - a former convict settlement. We had actually planned on going to Port Arthur with our friends the Winkels from the USA, when they came on a cruise ship to visit Tasmania, but they arrived when there were terrible bush fires in the area, so we ended up going to the Tahune Airwalk with them instead.
It was incredible to see just how huge the bush fires were as we drove down. It was sad to see new houses being built and knowing what had happened, and crazy to see older houses right next to the new ones which were lucky to have escaped the fires somehow. It was nice to see new growth on the trees all the way down to Port Arthur.
The boys had never been to Port Arthur before, but Aaron and I had gone a couple of years after we were married. Aaron and I went about a year after the massacre so it felt a lot different this time, and things had changed a lot since we had visited. The whole entrance had changed, the cafe where many people were killed was now totally gone, and it was a lot more interactive. I was very impressed with how much they had improved things since we last went.
The boys didn't know very much about Port Arthur before we went, so on the way we were talking about why Port Arthur was set up and what some of the convicts were sent there for. When we got there they were excited to learn more about it.
When we entered we were each given a playing card which matched one of the convicts. We could read about why they were sent to Port Arthur and the boys cards were related to children who were as young as eight years old. A tour guide was telling us that four and five year old children were sent to work in those days. I laughed with her about how I couldn't get Kobe to walk around Port Arthur without him complaining that he was tired!
The boys loved the things that you could do in the museum, which you went through before going outside to go on a guided tour, harbour cruise and then explore on your own.
He was more than happy to pose in this photo for me though! He was cracking some other tourists up as Jay and Harri just wanted to get the photo over with, but Kobe kept smiling and posing.
The boys loved that they were given their own children's map which had things for them to do on the way around. They had to answer questions at certain spots to get a stamp from one of the tour guides, and could draw different things that they saw on their map. They were able to get one of the stamps at the commandant's house when they found out which commandant served the longest.
The quilts were so beautiful. I was tempted to steal one for my bed at home! ;)
I love the old church.
Kobe is the kind of kid that you want to kill half the time, and the other half you are just laughing at the funny things he says and does. He knows how to make you laugh and was cracking us up with the poses he kept doing whenever I would pull the camera out.
I hate getting my photo taken, especially since I've been eating my feelings for the past two years and have a lot of weight to lose, but this is proof I was actually there.
I asked Jay to take the photo for me and he said 'What!? You ask your least favourite son to take the photo so he's not in it!?'. He's a very cheeky and funny teenager lately. Here is a photo of my least favourite son, just to prove he was also there ;)
We had a wonderful day and even though we were there for about five hours, we could've stayed a lot longer as there was so much to see and do. I'm sure we will go back again sometime.