February 4, 2024
Let's start with the Tasmanian Devil! Actually, we didn't see a real one, but we learned a lot about them.
They are carnivorous marsupials
They are actually shy and would rather hide than fight
They are ferocious eaters, and have among the strongest bites of any animal for its size.
They make a loud screeching noise
Tasmanian devils are an endangered species
Photo credit - San Diego Zoo
Hobart is the capitol of Tasmania, a state in Australia. The aboriginal name of the city is Nipaluna. We had a wonderful tour there with a great guide. Besides being knowledgeable about the area, he had some great bad jokes to share. For example - Why shouldn't a person wear socks while playing golf?..........Because they might get a "hole in one"! (haha)
The city of Hobart has a similar background to many cities in Australia. It was founded as a penal colony for prisoners sent by England, and grew from there. Some of the prisoners ended up being executed, but many of the prisoners, sentenced for minor crimes, went on to be contributing citizens to the success of the city. The old prison buildings are still being used today for a variety of office or other businesses. One prison, the Female Factory, is now a UNESCO site.
Hobart appears to be a culturally diverse and welcoming city. The people we interacted with were all friendly and helpful, with the exception of one woman who gave our bus driving by a "thumbs down."
Some interesting architecture included a University of Tasmania building that looks like it is bulging or bending (it really is just an optical illusion).
We also observed a range of housing from beautiful Victorian or Edwardian homes, to wharf-workers homes which traditionally had corrugated steel roofs. Like the rest of Australia, the facade of the historic homes needs to be maintained as it originally looked. A newer home is owned by the owner of a Catamaran company. Can you tell which picture that is?
Below are pictures of the oldest brewery in Tasmania and the oldest bar/hotel in Australia:
Mount Wellington is the tallest mountain in the area and also the home of many metal mines (mostly copper and zinc). The rain and fog blocked the view of the top of the mountain.
It was a busy day in Hobart today. The city was hosting an Ironman competition, which made the traffic a little difficult, but was also fun to watch.
Botanical Gardens seem to be very popular in Australia. The one in Hobart not only had interesting plants, it also had a beautiful view of the city. The pictures below show that view, a macadamia plant (I had no idea they looked like that!) and a beautiful Eastern Rosella bird.
Fun facts - the newly crowned queen consort of Denmark, Queen Mary, was born in Hobart, and her three sisters still live here. Another famous person born in Hobart was Errol Flynn.
Good Bye Hobart...
We will be sailing for two days with our next stop in Dunedin, New Zealand.