Friday, July 26, 2013

The early morning rain stopped as we arrived in the beautiful quaint seaside town of Strahan.  We were not planning on staying the day, but quickly changed our mind and signed up for two tours:  a visit to the local Little Penguin colony in the late evening and a river cruise the following day.

Stephen checked out the local waterfall, namely Hogarth Falls. Caroline gave her heel (spur) a needed rest.

The Fairy* (or Little) Penguin visit was wonderful.  We departed just before sunset on a small boat (The Bonnet Island Experience) and headed out to Bonnet Island.  We first passed through Hells Gate out to the Southern Ocean (the small boat can only handle this depending on the sea conditions) and promptly turned around and headed back in, through the heads, where we feasted on fine cheese and wine while waiting for the sun to go down and the Penguins to waddle into their burrows.  After dark we went ashore the tiny Island (probably only 30 meters end to end).  Our group of six had the chance to see about 12-16 of the smallest of all Penguins in their burrows.  Really neat stuff.

* These penguins were once called Fairy Penguins. I googled the name change. I will leave it up to you. To me they will be Fairy Penguins. (Caroline).

The Seaside Port of Strahan.
The Cemetery is evidence that the town is several hundred years old.
A Fairy Penguin on Bonnet Island.

We stayed in Risby Cove where we got a good deal on a one-bedroom suite directly overlooking the water.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

We joined World Heritage Cruises for a cruise around Macquarie Harbour and up the Gordon River (Tasmanian Wilderness Unesco World Heritage). First stop was Sarah Island, a former Penal Colony and apparently one of the hardest of all Australian Penal Colonies. Second stop was a Salmon and Ocean Trout fish farm located in the middle of the huge harbour and which was actually quite interesting.  After lunch we walked in the temperate rain forest to see the Huon Pine.  Overall, a good day out.

Intensive Fish Farms. Here a farmer is feeding the fish.
Gordon River which is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
The White-bellied Sea Eagle.