Hobart, Tasmania

Leaving Port Arthur for Hobart, we detoured via Richmond. Richmond's most famous landmark is the Richmond Bridge, built in 1823 to 1825, around the time of the town's first settlement. It is Australia's oldest bridge still in use. St John's Catholic church was built in 1836, and is considered the oldest Roman Catholic church in Australia. The town was initially part of the route between Hobart and Port Arthur until the Sorell Causeway was constructed in 1872. Present-day Richmond is best known as being preserved as it was at that time. It is primarily a tourist town, with many of the sandstone structures still standing. I wasn't really that impressed with Richmond.

In Hobart we stayed at the Salamanca Inn. This is a very central hotel offering large rooms with cooking facilities. I thought that it offered good value for money and would recommend it to anyone staying in Central Hobart. Reception staff were average, that is some good and some bad. We had a room service meal which was poor. The pool is a small indoor offering which did not tempt me. A bonus was free parking on site. A negative was that you have to pay for Internet connection, at five dollars an hour. This is unforgivable and mean minded at a hotel charging this sort of price, why do they do it ??

Although it is a World Heritage Site, part of the Australian group that makes up the WH convict sites, the Cascades Female Factory has the appearance of just been added for political correctness. There is nothing here, a couple of a empty yards with foundations etched out on the ground to show where the walls were. There is nothing else, the ticket office is just that, there is no film nor commentary available there. The Cascades Female Factory was a self-contained, purpose-built institution intended to reform female convicts, where the inmates did laundry and needlework services, offsetting some of the colony's penal costs.

Finding it was difficult as the signage on the roads was very bad. The staff were enthusiastic, but really it was not worth the effort of finding the place. It would never have made World Heritage status if it had not been lumped in with all the other convict sites.

We had a drive south from Hobart and stopped for lunch at The Home Hill Winery. You can choose to eat inside or outside , with a pleasant aspect over the vines. As well as the restaurant you can taste their wine selection or browse for gifts in the souvenir shop We enjoyed their unwooded Chardonnay with our meal. It is not fine dining but I don't think that they would claim that it was. It is a good showcase for their wines.

   

Hobart is a pleasant city to wander round, but offers nothing outstanding for the tourist to remember. In many ways it has outgrown the original settlement, and little "old" now remains. After our sojourn in Hobart, it was back to the airport and a flight to Adelaide. Well not exactly a flight to Adelaide. Tasmania is so small that there is not enough demand for that, and although it would be only an hour's flying time, one has to go via Melbourne, and a rather annoying 4 hour wait in transfer there, before flying on to Adelaide.

On to South Australia

Australia 2013/2014