Friday, 11 October 2013

Port Arthur

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. 

After we went on a short guided tour with a group, we had fun exploring the different buildings on our own. 

The boys were patiently waiting for Kobe to come over for a photo, but I actually love this pic more than any I took that day.  I thought Kobe would get bored, but he loved going through all the old buildings and ruins.  It was like a big adventure for him.

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 separate prison was a lot different to when I saw it before.  It had a lot more information about the prisoners and what it was like to be in there. 

I loved seeing inside the houses.  The boys had to ask a question at the junior medical officers house to get another stamp on their maps. 

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.


  1. I will have to tell the boys about their ancestors that I have researched, and why they were sent out to Tasmania,as convicted felons.
    That should get them excited.
    Port Arthur is so beautiful, hard to believe how hard and cruel it was.
    Loved the photos.
    Love Mum.

  2. Awesome! I haven't been for about 10 years, need to take the kids next time we are down south. Great photos, especially the spunky teenager at the end ;)

  3. Next time you should stay over and do a ghost tour! They'd love that :)

  4. Have you thought about taking up photography? You take lovely pictures :-)

    1. Paige she IS a photographer already:0

    2. Thanks so much Paige. I love photography and had a little stint of doing it for other people as people kept asking me to take pics for them. I had a photography blog and photography FB page too, but have decided it's not something that I love doing for other people so much. My love really is just taking pics of my boys and capturing moments for our family. I've shut my other blog and FB page down and aren't doing it anymore, but still love taking pics for myself :)

  5. What a cool site! Hope to check that out someday. Looks like a great educational experience. Love the colors of the brick against all that green. Simply beautiful. From the photos it looks like it is so serene and quiet there. Glad you got to go take the boys to check it out. By the way, we watched a show this summer about ghost hunters and they stayed there overnight. Pretty spooky!

  6. What an absolutely fascinating place!

    Your 'least favorite son' is getting so grown up, and all of them so very handsome.

  7. I can't believe how much your 'Least Favourite Son' has grown so much and changed in the face since we saw you last. You seriously don't look like you have been eating your feelings. If I had been through what you have and eat my feeling the way I do, I would need a crane to lift me out of bed.

  8. Such a beautiful post. My hubby and I visited there a year or so after we were married too. An eerily beautiful place. The church is most definitely a favourite... the carpeted grass and flowers. Love.
    Looks like you had a wonderful time together. The boys are delightful!

  9. Growing up my mum never wanted to be in photos either, because she thought she was too fat. It was always just me and my brother. Even when we had family portraits taken, she'd just put up the ones without her on the wall. It was kind of a strange feeling... like the feeling of unity was lessened somehow.

  10. Beautiful photos! Love Koby's poses they are so cute, he is such a little character it seems :)
    I haven't been to Port Arthur or Tassie for that matter since 1991. I would love to go there again and take Hubby. We seem to have a stand off at the moment,,,other than the usual money factor of course lol,,,,,but if we go he wants to fly and I want to go on the ferry (he hates boats of any size). His suggestion is that I take the car and the kids on the ferry and he flies and meets us there, lol we shall see!

  11. Those pics are amazing!! Port Arthur is so great. I love the whole feel of the place. I love that pic that was your fav too especially as Harri and Jay have their same legs up against the wall.


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