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  • Writer's pictureRobert Lainhart


What a day…

I woke up in Launceston this morning and drove a few minutes to Cataract Gorge. I had a few minutes to walk around the gorge’s basin and crossed a neat suspension bridge over the river.

I then began a 3 hour dive across Tasmania. It was quite a relaxing drive as it was scenic and the traffic was minimal. At the end of the drive I arrived at Port Arthur where I would begin one of the best experiences of my trip so far.

After a quick bus ride to Eaglehawk Neck, I boarded a specially build jet boat to venture up Tasmania’s rugged coastline. It was a fairly calm day on the Tasman Sea which is comparable to massive swells elsewhere. The boat ride felt more like riding a roller coaster than an average boat ride should, however this made it way more fun.

Immediately after leaving the bay we were greeted by hundred foot tall cliffs protruding straight from the ocean floor. Within these cliffs there were amazing geological formations including both above water and submerged caves, arches, and mammoth rock towers. We made our way down to the bottom of Tasman National Park and Tasman Island. Although relatively small Tasman Island looks huge from sea level. Before helicopters, the only way to reach the top of the island was to travel by boat, hop on a makeshift chairlift which was basically a wire with a bucket hanging from it, and then climb a near vertical path to the top where a lighthouse stood alerting ships of the danger. In fact, this area was one of the most dangerous areas in the ocean thus leaving hundreds of ships underwater.

Before we headed back along the coastline we spotted a large congregation of birds flying off in the distance. Our driver took us over to investigate and what we found amazed us. A pod consisting of hundreds of dolphins were feeding in the waters. In every direction you looked you could see dozens of dolphins leaping out of the water to breath. As our boat made our way into the pod the dolphins rode our bow creating a stunning spectacle. It was quite awesome.

After returning to land I ventured up to Port Arthur historic site which was home to the oldest convict settlement in Australia. Today only the ruins remain after the prison was shut down in 1877. It is a really neat place with some great history.

Finally I concluded my day by driving to Hobart where I would spend the night.

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