Sunday, February 6, 2011


Just before Christmas I was lucky to be able to spend a long weekend in Hobart, Tasmania. Which is one of my favorite places.

Hobart is the Capital city of Tasmania which is the Island South of Victoria,where I live, just across Bass Strait. Sadly it has a bit of a dark history.

The island of Tasmania was originally joined to the mainland, which it broke away from at the end of the last iceage. The Tasmanian aborigines arrived about 35,000 years ago, originally there were about nine different groups, originally at the time of European settlement the population of indigenous people was estimated at  between 7-10,000 people. This soon diminished after European settlement  due to spread of disease and persecution. By the mid 1830's the numbers were down to less than 300.

There are no full blooded Aboriginal people alive now, however there are many descendants still living in Tasmania, who I believe work hard to keep the cultures and beliefs of their  origins alive.

Tasmania is a wonderful place though as  much of the wildlife and plants are unique, many of the original buildings and historic sites have been left standing (as they should be) where as in more major cities like Melbourne and Sydney we've let a lot of our older buildings be left in a state of disrepair until they must be pulled down as they are no longer safe. Sometimes I'm sure this occurs not totally by mistake.

While I was there I spent a lovely afternoon in the Museum, went to the Salamanca market .... a must for every visitor, you can buy anything and everything here, old books, jewellery, arts & crafts, paintings and all sorts of odds and ends and of course lunch! We walked around the market and then went for a stroll back through the parks.

One of the parks in Salamanca,  St Davids Park is the original cemetery for old Hobart Town. Many people were buried here around the 1830's over time it was forgotten and no longer used and become overgrown however it was eventually turned into a park. Now the old headstones have been placed on a series of wonderful "memorial walls" and where you can still see them on display. The people who belong  to these head stones are long gone but happily not forgotten.

I didnt get to see much of the wildlife this time as all my time was spent in Hobart however one distinctive character who you will only find there is the Tasmanian devil.They are real characters, pretty ferocious and cute all at the same time. The're  marsupials with the mothers giving birth to tiny young who grow and develop in their pouches over time. 
Here's a pic of one courtesy of The Tasmanian Devil Conservation park:

There's a lot more to Tasmania than I can write in this blog. But for anybody planning a visit to Australia Tasmania is a definite must, the outback is interesting and the tropics get their fair share of publicity but Tassie, is a gem of a place and often overlooked, and if your a foodie.... its an absolute must!

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