Called to Serve

We have loved traveling and being with family for the past two years but we felt the call to serve another mission so here we are in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for the next year.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Australia and Tasmania 2012

On October 22 we headed for Auckland, New Zealand. We spent two weeks enjoying the green, green landscape and all the beauty of the country. We also spent time in Rotorua and Queenstown. Hopefully, I will post pictures of those two weeks eventually.  From Queenstown, we flew to Melbourne to spend time with Jonathan and his family.
The first day that we were in Mulgrave, Jonathan decided that we needed to go on a little outing.  We drove for about an hour to Cape Schanck. 
It was all smiles as we started DOWN the trail.
Our destination is at the very bottom point of the hill.  There was a really nice boardwalk trail the whole way.
There are tide pools that the kids had a great time exploring.
Sea Stars
We also visited another beach where the kids could play in the sand and water and Wayne and Jonathan took a hike up the nearby hill.  The beach is one of their favorite places to go.  It is really nice to have so many close by.

 We had four days to visit with Jonathan and family at their home.  Plenty of time for games, playgrounds and just having time together.


Thomas' pet Stick Bug

 We took time out one evening to take "Sister Smibert" and her mother to dinner.  Sally was one of our missionaries in Guam and it was so nice to meet her family.  That is her twin brother, Caleb, and her grandmother Lola, mother Lee. 

After our time at Jonathan's, we packed up again to accompany them on their vacation.

We took a ferry across the Tasman Sea to Tasmania.  It was interesting driving onto the ferry.  Once we got into the belly of the ship, it was somewhat of a tight squeeze getting out of the car and to the elevators.

We were lucky enough to get rooms in the very front of the ship with a big window.  The kids thought it was all a great adventure.

After an all night cruise across the sea, we landed in Devenport and headed for Cradle Rock.  We boarded a shuttle bus there and visited several spots in the park where we could hike trails.

There was a cute little boathouse on the lake.  Not sure where the boats were.  It all looked lonely.
Little Miss Sunshine - even though it was windy and cold.
There were lots of observation decks and little waterfalls.  A very nice break in our long drive to Hobart.

In Hobart, we stayed in an old Georgian house that has been converted into several rentals.
We entered a gate into a narrow passage to the back of the building and then had to climb some stairs to get to the third floor - the entrance to our apartment.  We had the third and fourth floor. 
  Looking out the side window all you saw was the wall of the next door neighbors.
 The floors looked like they were original to the house but the kitchen had been updated.  The counters were cement.  It was interesting looking in all the little cubbyholes and on shelves as the house was decorated with a lot of antiques.  We noticed that the owners like to shop at Ikea.

I had fun reading in the Fainting Chair otherwise known as a chaise.
Wayne, Margo, Caroline and I visited the Female Factory and were the only ones in a dramatized tour.  Contrary to the name, they did not manufacture females.  This was the prison.  Since there was a shortage of women in Australia in its beginning, women were shipped from Great Britain for the smallest of crimes and sent to the prison.  Like in Les Mis, it could be for just stealing a loaf of bread to feed their children.  The passage on a ship was 3 months long.  By the time the women landed they were in better health then when they left since they were being fed regularly.

This woman took on the persona of Jane and told what normal daily life in the prison was.
This man played both the overseer of the prison and the doctor who was actually sympathetic towards the women.  It was time well spent and we were glad that the boys had not wanted to come.  Caroline did such a good job of remaining quiet and listening for a very long time.  Of course she may just have been scared by the overseer.
We were only a couple of blocks from the wharf and so we had to go for fish and chips ( just the chips in my case ).  After eating, we wandered the area until time to go on a bay cruise.
Wayne was quite fascinated with this man and his little steam engine boat.  We actually saw him later out on the water.
We saw a lot of sail boats.  This is the harbor that is on the Sydney to Tasmania yacht race circuit.
After two days in Hobart we headed for Port Arthur.  This area was another prison.  This time it was the men we learned about.  Unlike the Women's Factory, this prison incompassed a huge area.  The ruins of the buildings still remain and are quite impressive.  After a guide talked about the prison we were able to wander the grounds on our own. 

This was the building that the prison director lived in.  It is still in good shape and is used as a museum.
Some of our own little jail birds.

From Port Arthur we continued on our journey up north again.  We had a reservation at a beach house in Bicheno for the rest of our trip.  Margo had found it on the internet and once again she excelled in her travel agent duties.

The view from our house.

There was a wrap around deck and we enjoyed the bar-b-que.

Just down from the house was a blow hole.  Margo had done her research and we knew just the right time to go and see it spouting.
On our walk to the blow hole, Thomas spotted a little penguin snuggled down in the rocks.  He was really good at spotting things that the rest of us passed right up.

Another view of the house from the road below.  About 9pm each night, the adult penguins would come in from the sea where they had been gathering food for their young.  They walked up from the beach and right next to our house.  Their nests were in all the foliage you see.

One of the activities Margo had planned was to hike to the top of a hill overlooking Wineglass Bay. 
Bottom of the hill.
Gradual slope up - even though it felt a little sleeper than gradual.
Some areas were definitely a little steeper and needed to have steps built.
Interesting chair at a resting point.

Proof that I actually made it to the top.  So glad I survived!
We did a lot of driving and so there were a lot of naps in the car.  Margo devised a way to keep Carolines head from bobbing.  Thank goodness she was wearing a belt.  It actually worked real good.
This was a park near where we stayed.  Margo told us that this beach was like one in Australia that is called Squeaky Beach.  When you walk in the sand it actually makes a squeaking sound.

Nice tide pools and fun for the kids to rock hop.  Lots of shells and seas stars to see again.

We also found a really nice nature park to visit where we saw lots of different kinds of animals. 
The only place you can see Tasmanian devils is in a place like this park.  There are signs warning to watch out for the Tasmanian devil but you rarely see them.

This little guy was fed some kangaroo meat and he is eating bones and all.  Quite an impressive sound as he eats.
White peacock
Sheep everywhere - even down to the sea.

Our last day in Tasmania.  The ferry did not leave until that evening but we had a long drive again.  On the way back to Devenport we stopped where there was a gondola ride over a large ravine. 
With a one way ticket you can walk back and go over the Alexandra Bridge, a suspension bridge.

We were still a little early to get on the ferry boat so we went in search of a playground to keep the kids entertained.  Looks like Jonathan likes to be entertained too.  Too bad his stomach did not agree.
Once again, we boarded the Spirit of Tasmania for our overnight trip back to Australia.
We arrived early the next morning.  We spent the day playing games with the kids again

and later in the day, Wayne and Jonathan hiked 1,000 Steps while Lucas, Caroline and I played at the playground at the bottom of the hill.  Again, eagle eye Jonathan spotted a critter.  What looks like a porcupine is actually an achidna.

After 3 1/2 weeks it was time to go home.  I was ready but not really ready.  You get to a point where the traveling gets old but it is always so sad to leave the grandkids. 

1 comment:

Margo said...

You beat me to it!! I do think you gave me way too much credit here, however : )