Friday, May 23, 2014

Aussie trip day 2 – 11th May 2014 – Tasmania Devil Conservation Park and Port Arthur

First of all, Happy belated Mother’s Day! This year, I had to separate with my dear son. However, he sent the Mother’s Day wishes for me early in the morning before we left our apartment :)

It was a cold Sunday morning. The cartoon song from SJ’s mobile had woken me up from my deep sleep. Time shown was 8am. SJ had already been busy preparing breakfast in the kitchen and was helped by Celipu. Leen and I were preparing ourselves and by the time we were done, the breakfast was ready!

Wonderful breakfast :)

Wow! Again, I was impressed with the food prepared by our Chefs hehe… Both prepared scrambled eggs, cheese sausages, pan-fried Haloumi cheese, and spinach salad with salsa. Nyum nyum… I felt like having breakfast in the restaurant rather than at home. Thank you SJ and Celipu for your delectable plate!!! Happy meal lifted up my mood, especially breakfast. Hehehe… ^^

That morning we planned to go to the ‘Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park’ to see the renowned carnivorous marsupial, which would only be found in the wild on the Australian island state of Tasmania. Since we were there, we had to see it!!! Moreover, it’s reclassified as endangered animals in 2009 due to the drastic devil facial tumor disease that attacked them and reduced their populations greatly.

'Taz' (Pic source:

I bet you heard about ‘Taz’ - the animated cartoon character feature in the Warner Bros “Looney Tunes” series) or saw it before. “It was portrayed as a ferocious albeit dim-witted omnivore with a notoriously short temper and little patience. He ate anything and everything, with an appetite that seemed to know no bounds. He was best known for his speech consisting mostly of grunts, growls, rasps, and his ability to spin like a vortex and bite through just about anything. (Source:

Well, to be honest, I didn’t watch that cartoon, but I knew how Taz looking like. However, the real Tasmanian Devil wasn’t look like Taz as reflected in the cartoon. The real Devil didn’t spin like a vortex as it was described. It didn’t have spike hair and big broad shoulder as it was shown in the cartoon character. It looked more like a big version of rat (black in color) for me haha…

Tasmanian Devils at Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park

Don’t be deceived by its look though. In the first instance, they both looked so cute. Not until you walked closer and watched when the staff fed them with a piece of carrion, usually wombat. They were fighting for it noisily, running here and there, trying to eat it just for itself selfishly. They had a very strong jaw able to tear meat and crush bones. They looked famished and starving, as if never eaten for ages. At that moment, they looked scary, like a monster, which reflected their names suitably.

Well, for the time being, enough about the Devil. I felt bad towards them. At the same time, I felt very lucky being born as human being. Hope we didn’t have to behave like them just to satisfy our basic need.

Birdies at Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park

We walked to the bird’s area. There were few birds in the park and they were all inside the cage. They were Cockatoo, Kookaburra, Cape Barren Goose, Green Rosella, Galah or rose-breasted Cockatoo, etc. I felt very grateful being able to see these birds, which was uncommon to be found in Singapore or other part of the world. It opened my eyes to see the diverse type of animals, birds that existed around the world.

Soon after that, we entered into the Kangaroo area. Once we walked in, many Kangaroos were there standing up waiting for the staff to feed them food. They were clever, weren’t they? They knew the feeding time was coming :) It was a big green land and there were more than, I wasn’t sure, 30? 40? And they came in different sizes. However, I couldn’t find any with the pouch in front with the baby kangaroo inside as what we often saw in the cartoon or picture hehe… Too bad :)

Feeding Kangaroos at Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park

Well, they were right. In a short while, the staff came in with two buckets of food on his hands. He started feeding them and letting us feeding them too. I fed the kangaroo before, fifteen years back, and I forgot how it felt like. So whenever I tried to feed them again, I wasn’t used to it. I was scared and my palm was ticklish when their tongue touched into it. Hahaha…. In the beginning, I dropped their food many times as I was too scared. But looking at others on how they were so calm, it made me wanting to try again. After few tries, I started to follow the motion and finally able to smile calmly towards the camera. Lolx!!!

It was a very nice experience, mixed and matched with Kangaroo. They were all tame, friendly and approachable. They didn’t attack you or hurt you. It just felt great! :) We saw some other animals there such as quoll and possum before we left the place and drove toward the Port Arthur Historic Sites.

Port Arthur Historic Sites - Tasmania

“Port Arthur is a small town and former convict settlement on the Tasman Peninsula, in Tasmania, Australia. It is one of the Australia’s most significant heritage areas and open air museum, build during the 18th and 19th centuries within the British Empire.” (Source:

Other than that, it was also the scene of the worst massacre event happened in 28 April 1996, which killed 35 and wounded 23, by Martin Bryant. Read more about the event here.

SJ had informed us about the massacre incident inside our itinerary. I had a good read about it and it made my hair standing up when reading it. So, other than visiting this historic site, we would also love to see the Memorial Hall built and pay our respect to the victims.

We purchased the Bronze Pass at A$35 per person. It included access to the sites area; 40-minute guided walking tour, and 30-minute harbor cruise. Before joining the walking tour, we walked through the basement part of the building where we could find the more details background of the convicts who were sent to this island.

Robert Goldspick, 25 - One of the convicts sent to Port Arthur

We were given a card each person to identify which convict we were looking into. It was interesting. Each people offended different criminality, came from different age (some were juvenile convict, as young as nine), had different background, occupation, received different punishment (also measured in different period of time), had to work in different kind of job while in prison, such as: construction, stone-cutting, shoe-making, cooking, etc.

One of the tattoos meaning

“Most convicts transported to Australia never saw their families again. Many hoped though that one day they would return to their loved ones. As symbols of that hope, they left mementos behind, such as love tokens made of copper coins, and others would tattoo their skin with promises of reunion. Many tattoos would have meaning of hope as they believe that ‘without hope man is nothing’.

Gorgeous autumn view at Port Arthur, Tasmania

We joined the walking guided tour in less than ten minutes as my friends felt boring and weren’t quite understood with his accent. We had to stand up and listen to him all the while. Therefore, we decided to walk on our own throughout the area and took lots of photos of the beautiful yellow leaves’ trees around. Oh my!!! We were very lucky being able to experience the beautiful autumn view at that moment. It was simply gorgeous!! :)

Under the beautiful autumn yellow leaves' trees at Port Arthur

Beautiful fallen leaves :)

While walking, few friends kept recommending the place to have our lunch. “Hey, there was wooden chair and table beneath the tree! What a nice place to have our lunch there!”; “Hey, should we eat there next to the Mason Cove and sit down on the grass?” or “Hey, should we stop now for lunch?” But instead of stopping and sitting down, we kept on walking throughout the area. We just couldn’t waste our time enjoying the beautiful view surround us until it was time for the ferry to depart.

Port Arthur, Tasmania

We ended up having our lunch inside the ferry. Lolx! We brought our own bread, ham, salad leaves, cookies, chips, fruits, and so on and purchased our hot beverage from the small café inside the ferry. I made myself a delicious ham sandwich and had it with chips and café latte. Hhhmm…. It’s wonderful!!!

We didn’t listen to the guide who kept explaining what happened in the past surrounding the area, instead we were too busy having our lunch, and some were taking a power nap on their seats. But we all had taken a good rest there and recharged ourselves for the day.

Port Arthur Memorial Garden - Tasmania

After disembarked from the ferry, we returned back to where we got in. This time, we walked towards the Canadian Cottage. Behind it, there was a Memorial Garden to commemorate the victims of the massacre in 1996. On the stone floor, there was short poem reading like this:


We said our prayers in our heart right in front of the wooden cross. May all sentient beings be born in a better place, live a better life and be happy. Sabbe Satta Bhavantu Sukhitatta.

Magnificent sunset ray on our way back to Hobart city

After visiting this place, we went back to Hobart city passing through the bridge and witnessing the beautiful sunset from afar. We felt blessed that we were alive and kicking, being together with friends and family, and all this wonderful life that was given to us. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

Home cooked dinner for the day :)

After visiting supermarket and buying more cheese and wine, we went home preparing our dinner, had it together, and continued with cheese and wine session. This time, we talked longer, mostly about what happened with friends during our high school time.

Photos collection by Celipu :)

Celipu brought his album photo from the past and it brought our memories back about what happened during the time. Again, they were talking about me and my ex-classmate whom I always fought with, asking me if I ever fell in love with him. Hahahaha… Kepooooo……. :P

We talked until about 12.30am then took a bath and fell asleep. That was a great day and night together. Thank you everyone!!! Hope you enjoyed it the way I did! :)

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