24th January, 2018.
Having reconnoitred the city the previous day, we were in a good position to make the most of the day. For one thing, we found out we could park for free for 6 hours at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens which is also a stop on the Hop On Hop Off bus itinerary. We arrived in good time for the 10.15am bus so we had 45 minutes to take a quick walk around the very impressive gardens.
The sub-Antarctic Plant House was amazing. As we have an interest in travelling to Antarctica, we found this exhibit quite interesting. There was a temperature drop of around 10 degrees on entering the building. And the wind generated was quite “refreshing”. The plant emphasis is on those found on Macquarie Island.
Outside again, this almost black succulent was quite striking.
Then we wandered through the Community food garden.
The Japanese Garden was really spectacular.
The French Connection was a bit obscure.
Alas, we had to cut short our visit to the Gardens as it was time to catch our bus. This time an open top.
Heading back into the city.
Back at the Visitor Information Centre, we now had a 30 minute wait for the scheduled start of the next loop run so we went to the nearby Mawson’s Replica Hut to soak up a bit more Antarctic atmosphere. The replication is very well done and we would have liked a bit more time to soak it all up but alas the bus awaited.
We had a different driver today but he had obviously been to the same driving school as our previous driver because he made negotiating those tight streets look easy.
Our first planned stop was at the Cascade Brewery and from there we planned to walk to the Female Factory not too far away. However, once I told Erich he could not take photos inside, he decided not to bother as neither of us is much interested in beer though I am sure the history aspect would have been of some interest. The outside facade is certainly unique.
This is the start of the Hobart Rivulet where the water runs down from Mount Wellington and apparently is used in the beer making process. The walk along the rivulet is very pleasant, mostly shaded and away from traffic. Unfortunately, we arrived at the Female Factory just 10 minutes after the commencement of a live performance depicting life back in the day. So we contented ourselves with a self-guided tour. Sadly, little remains of the original structures as the whole complex was sold off in 1904, mostly as separate parcels to various individuals who demolished much of the buildings. The only wholly remaining structure is the Matron’s Quarters.
Inside the intact Matron’s Cottage we found the record of my great-great-great Grandmother’s incarceration at the Female Factory.
Sophia was transported on the first voyage of the ship Rajah, the voyage where the Rajah Quilt was made by the female convicts to occupy their time. We can only assume Sophia was in some way involved with the quilt which is now in the possession of the National Gallery in Canberra. Although not on permanent display, the quilt is available for viewing once per year and we hope to be able to see it at some time in the future.
This is a metallic representation of the quilt displayed at the Female Factory.
We decided to walk back into Hobart along the rivulet which turned out to be much further than I anticipated but it was pleasant enough. We came across a Memorial to the Korean War, parts of which had not been recorded on the Monument Australia website so Erich documented the missing bits and sent them off for publication.
We hopped on the next red bus that came along to take us back to our car at the Botanical Gardens. As it was such a nice clear day, we decided to head up to Mount Wellington to take in the view over the city and surrounds. The road is narrow, winding and steep but the vistas from the top are well worth the drive.
Clambering over rocks for the highest vantage point was not on our agenda.