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back to "New Zealand" (click pictures below to view) on to "Melbourne"

Tasmania seems to be the ideal place to live. Its economics and politics are reasonable and they boast the cleanest air. Aussies are moving to Tas to raise their families, in preference to the "big island". Their closest neighbor to the west is South America through the Indian and the Atlantic Oceans, while their eastern coast is washed by the South Pacific. At an animal park, near Hobart, we met some of the unique marsupial mammals of Tas and hand-fed wallabies and kangaroos, stroked endearing koalas and conversed with articulate cockatoos. We met, but did not pet, several of the infamous Tasmanian Devils. A very dangerous animal, the size of a small dog, he will attack and eat sheep, cattle and humans, if disabled in any way. A visit to an early prison at Richmond, a perfectly restored 1830s town, explained how Tasmania was built and settled by prisoners shipped over from England to remedy their crowded prison problem. Crimes that brought these original Tas settlers ranged from murder all the way down to pick pocketing and even being a debtor. Here is where Charles Dickens' model for "Fagin" in Oliver Twist and several of his young pickpockets were sent in the early 19th century. While wandering about seeking a vantage point from which to photograph Australia's oldest bridge and oldest Catholic Church, we happened upon a picnic of the local Rotary Club. As you can see, these Tasmanians are very friendly and gracious to Americans!


Tazmania Varmint Teddy Bear?
Gardens HEY! Where'd Dad go? TRAP!
Tazmanian Devil Wallabe Wombat