In my recent trip to Tasmania (Tassie, to us) we travelled from Hobart on the east coast to Strahn on the west. It’s over five hours of driving through mountainous terrain part of which was through the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park with an incredible amount of zig-zags!
Tassie has a lot of penal colony history amongst which are Port Arthur, Richmond Gaol and Sarah Island to name a few. The one that affected me the most was Richmond Goal and by that I mean, in an eerie sort of way. I took a few steps into the first cell and my chest felt instantly tight and heavy, my breathing laboured with such an overwhelming feeling of oppression that I had to get out FAST! I didn’t have time to take a photo and simply stepping back into the courtyard didn’t ease the feeling. I had to leave the compound altogether. It made me feel ‘uncomfortable’ and that stayed with me for a few hours. The other two penal colonies: Port Arthur and Sarah Island were sanitised of ‘feelings’ by comparison – something I was grateful of 🙂
Port Arthur is a small town and former convict settlement on the Tasman Peninsula, in Tasmania, Australia. Port Arthur is one of Australia’s most significant heritage areas and an open air museum
Richmond Gaol is a convict era building and is the oldest intact gaol in Australia. Building of the gaol commenced in 1825 and predates the establishment of the penal colony at Port Arthur in 1833.
Sarah Island: The Macquarie Harbour Penal Station, a former British colonial penal settlement, established on Sarah Island, Macquarie Harbour in the former colony of Van Diemen’s Land, now Tasmania, Australia, operated between 1822 and 1833.
Facts & Figures about Tasmania:
- Is an island state, part of the Commonwealth of Australia
- Located 240 kilometres (150 mi) to the south of the Australian continent, separated by Bass Strait
- The state includes the island of Tasmania, the 26th largest island in the world, and the surrounding 334 islands
- The state has a population of approx 507,626
- Tasmania’s area is 68,401 square kilometres (26,410 sq mi), of which the main island covers 64,519 square kilometres (24,911 sq mi)
- Almost 45% of Tasmania lies in reserves, national parks and World Heritage Sites.