Strahan, a town in the west of Tasmania, was originally founded as a port access for the mining and timber operations in the area. It also became known for Sarah Island, a notorious convict center. Nowadays the town brings in a fair amount of tourism and is also working on a growing fish farm industry. While here I did the Gordon River Heritage Cruise which takes you to a few of these areas.
Hells Gate, the opening to Macquarie Harbour. So called because of the small opening for navigation and because the convicts headed to Sarah Island saw this place as hell.
The fish farms in the harbour
Sarah Island, this is where second offender convicts ended up. There was a lot of harsh punishments given to them. The bulk of the men were sent out in work groups, and there was also a lot of ship building here. Eventually, it was closed when Port Arthur opened.
This is what remains of the bakery that was used on the island.
This was originally built to be a courthouse on the island but instead ended up as a barracks for the convicts.
Our lunch on the cruise consisted of fresh produce, cheese, cold cuts, salmon, and salads.
After the cruise, we went to Ocean Beach for an afternoon stroll.
In the evening we went to go see a play called "The Ship That Never Was" put on by the Round Earth Theatre Company. It's about a group of convicts who escape Sarah Island on a ship, go to South America, and are later captured and brought back to trial. They're sentenced to hang, but the play talks about how they try to get out of the charge. It's pretty fun, and the needs a lot of audience participation as there are only two actors in the show. It's great if you want to learn more about the history of the area and have a good time. Showtimes and prices can be found here.
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