An early start to drive the 200 km to Auckland where we boarded our Quantas jet for Sydney - we are ferried during the stop-over to the Australian domestic terminal and then on for our 90 minute flight to Hobart. The airport shuttle took us to our hotel, the Wrest Point Casino to be our home for two nights. A long day!

Hobart city was founded in 1803 as a penal colony rings the Derwent River and with a free morning before we joined the tour group we exploring the waterfront and visiting supermarkets - Woolworths and Coles, observing contrasts of architecture and revelling in the warm 29 deg. 


We meet our tour guide Robin and Smiley our driver and climb aboard our bus with 50 other passengers for an orientation tour of Hobart city centre with its early sandstone buildings, 19th century waterfront warehouses which once bustled with whalers, soldiers, bureaucrats and businessmen but now house cafes, restaurants and studios and bustle with shoppers and visitors dwarfed by modern architectural high-rise.

Next we ascended Mount Nelson, it's peak rising 1270 metres for panoramic views of Hobart, the Derwent River and Storm Bay from the early 1861 Signal Station on the Truganini Reserve. (The higher Mount Wellington was shrouded in mist) This site was important as one of a chain of signal stations that linked Hobart Town with Port Arthur - Hobart is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney.

The Botanical Gardens were a highlight - we took in the atmosphere of peace and beauty.



We returned to our Hotel for a drink and at dinner met with our new travelling companions.

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