Hobart to Tasman Peninsula

We were both awake briefly at 6:00 am but there was no hurry to get up. the next time either of us checked the time it was almost 8:00 am. We showered, dressed, and went down for breakfast which was included with our room.

Majella had poached eggs on toast with bacon. I opted for the yoghurt parfait, imagining a large glass with muesli, berries and yoghurt. It was a substantial bowl of muesli topped with yoghurt and strawberries. By the time I had done with that I had no need of more food.

We checked out soon after 9:00 am, left our bags, and set out to explore wet and breezy Hobart. Majella had brought an ageing umbrella that seemed inclined to turn inside out when the wind caught it. She decided we should shop for a new one and declared that she also needed a manicure. 

By time we had walked the short distance to the shops Majella had remembered seeing an old umbrella store in Launceston on a previous visit and decided that would be the most suitable place to buy a new one. She did get her manicure before we paused to think about what to do with the remainder of the morning that would keep us warm and dry. A quick search on my phone located the art gallery and museum a few blocks away and we headed there.

The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery occupies an old building that originally served for customs purposes. A large central space is surrounded by two levels of galleries with a variety of exhibits. We found our way first to a display about Antarctica, an odd choice since we were escaping the cold, and spent some time looking at displays about the geology, ocean currents, wild life, and history of exploration. 

From there it was on to an exhibit of ceramics with connection to Australian/Tasmanian identity and then a gallery of portraits. Beyond that was a gallery with a range of Tasmanian heritage items, mainly landscapes and some period portraits of First Nations people. The young man who was watching over the exhibits was very active in encouraging everyone to appreciate what we saw. He challenged children to find specific items and told us how a landscape showing Hobart had been enhanced to persuade potential European immigrants. He also recommended a book about Trugannini that tells both sides of her story.

By that time it was near midday and Majella decided we should have lunch at the nearby Hope and Anchor hotel, the oldest pub in Australia. After a large breakfast I was not wanting lunch but I had a beer while I watched Majella eat her soup.

On the way back to the Customs House Hotel we stopped to check out the statue of William Crowther that has been ‘revised’ with bloodied hands and face and an Aboriginal flag. A replacement plaque tells the story of his abysmal treatment of First Nations people. That seems a much more effective approach than simply removing statues of historical figures with dark histories. Far better to leave the statues standing and tell the expanded truth of what they did.

We collected our bags from the hotel and walked across the street to catch the Skybus to the airport. We had timed it well and had just a short wait. At the airport we quickly completed formalities with Avis and were soon on our way toward Port Arthur.

At Dunalley we stopped for coffee at The Cannery. There were photos of crates of lobsters that had been processed there in the past but we assumed they may also have canned fish. The building is adjacent to the wharf and across the water we could see a building that Majella thought might be a water tower. We asked and were told it is a castle, built by Gunter Jaeger (former owner of the Hope and Anchor where we had lunch). It was intended to be accommodation but ran foul of local government and is simply a private residence on a private island with a causeway to mainland.

When we were here in 2016 we had stopped to see the ‘tessellated pavement’ but were on a tight schedule and did not walk down. I managed to do that this time between showers and had a much closer view of the rocky platform broken into squared tiles.

The rest of the drive was easy and we arrived at Storm Bay B&B around 4:00 pm. Our original itinerary had us arriving in Hobart about that time so Sylvia was a little surprised to see us so early. That was no problem and we had soon met her husband Dave and settled in our room. Sylvia suggested possible dinner options and booked us into the RSL club equivalent in nearby Nubeena.

Around 6:00 pm we went out for dinner. Majella had pan fried scallops and I had steak. We were back before 7:00 pm and took time for chat with Sylvia and Dave about what we might see and do in place of the cruise that had been planned. There were numerous suggestions for walks that we might do, weather permitting.