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Port Authur Historic Site

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View Tasmania with 2 toddlers! (Winter 2013) on Goannaray's travel map.

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The Port Arthur Historic Site is amazing! Really well set up, and abounding with information. There were plenty of different passes available to choose from, giving different levels of access to different things. Discounts were also available for elegible people/members (health care card, YHA, QANTAS Frequent Flyer, etc.). We chose to get a Bronze Pass which included a walking tour, harbour cruise tour, access to most buildings, and was valid for two days if we wanted.

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On entrance, each of us was given a card with a person's name and picture for the Lottery of Life exhibition. While we were waiting for our allotted walking tour, we went through the interactive displays set up in the lower level of the visitors centre, following the stories of the people named on the cards we'd been given. I'd been given a young boy who ended up being not too bad off, considering some of the stories of others that I followed, out of interest later. The interactive displays and associated stories were excellent. Gaining the attention and interest of all ages. From toddlers, right through to the elderly.

The walking tour went for approximately 40 minutes, and gave a brief overview of the site. It was well worth listening to as it greatly helped with looking around and understanding things better later. Sonia and Kaden weren't to thrilled by it however, prefering to make noise and run around, resulting in Clancy and I only partially hearing the guides explanations. It didn't help that there was a constant cold wind blowing the day that we were there either. No rain though, so that was good!

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The harbour cruise tour on the MV Marana was also really informative, providing close up views of the Isle of the Dead, and Point Puer. Thankfully there wasn't too much of a swell, and after seeing a large group of school children constantly going in and out to the deck of the boat, I finally relented to Sonia's requests and took her out onto the deck for a while as well. She thoroughly enjoyed it, despite the rather strong wind!

We were able to access a database in the museum to see if any of our predecessors had been there. None appeared for the surnames Clancy could remember, however I found three when I searched under my maiden name. Who knows if they're related or not! For lunch, we decided we'd enjoy the warmth of the Port Cafe, and found it child friendly and rather busy. I'd hate to imagine how busy it'd get during the busier warmer months!

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The majority of the buildings were able to be reached with a pram or wheelchair, however access into quite a few of them involved steps. We spent nearly a full day wandering around soaking up the history. Both Clancy and I enjoyed wandering through the fortified stone, convict built buildings more than the staff houses, and found the Seperate Prison particularly sombre. The whole area was presented really nicely like a park, but reading all the signs and trying to imagine what it was like back in the day... it would've had a totally different atmosphere then.

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Posted by Goannaray 10:24 Archived in Australia Tagged buildings parks winter boat ocean history tasmania convicts toddlers port_arthur 2_toddlers_in_winter_tasmania! eastern_tasmania interstate_overseas

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