Monday, May 12, 2014


After visiting the Port Arthur historic site on Wednesday, April 30, we drove north to Launceston, a 4 hour drive. We learned that 16 months ago, a huge forest fire had raged through the area between Port Arthur and Sorrel, and evidence of that fire is seen everywhere by the blackened trees.

Driving through the countryside from Sorrel north to Oatlands, we saw beautiful landscapes with rolling hills of vast uninhabited country and many fields of sheep, and thereafter the land was flatter and less interesting. Very different from Cairns and PNG, but in its own way, very beautiful.

We arrived at the home of John and Rose Heys in Launceston, where we stayed till Monday. They were so hospitable to us and we had a wonderful time with them. Realize we knew no one in Tasmania, but being one in faith made it so easy to feel at home among these people. 

Our wonderful hosts, John and Rose Heys

Jerry used the opportunity to speak on several occasions. On Wednesday evening he did his talk on Romans - Living by Grace, for the congregations of Legana and Launceston in Legana Church, and afterwards he spoke about the seminary. On Friday evening we had dinner at the home of Phil and Therese DeRuiter, after which he did his power point presentation about Forgiveness to a number of consistory members and their wives. Sunday evening he spoke about Headship in Marriage to the men only. And of course, he preached twice - once in Legana and once in Launceston.  It was a great time to build relationships, seek and give advice, and connect with each others' lives and work. So rewarding!

At Phil and Therese DeRuiter's home

Ready to preach in the church at Legana

In front of the church in Launceston

While in Tasmania, we had some time to go sightseeing as well. It's a beautiful state! Rose took us out for a day. We went to her husband's shop where he showed us how they make kitchen cupboards. Then she took us to Mole Creek where we toured the King Solomon's caves. Beautiful stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and other formations. 

After a 20-minute walk through a rainforest setting, we arrived at picturesque Liffey Falls

Ria and Teny

On Friday Ria Bosveld took me to the Agfest, an agricultural show something like our plowing match, but on a bigger scale. The Agfest is a popular event held once a year for 3 days near Launceston, featuring the newest and the best agricultural and industrial products and demonstrations. Lots of craft tables, machines, small engines, animals, concession stands, etc. It rained most of the day, but nevertheless we had a great time.

Ria bought gumboots (rubber boots) for me to wear. My running shoes got wet and dirty quickly, and since she wanted a new pair of gumboots for herself anyways, and since we have the same size feet, I gladly wore them. I felt like a young kid again, splashing in the water and mud. Because of the rain, it was less busy than usual, which made it much easier and more enjoyable to see everything.

Since Jerry was not interested in the Agfest, he gladly stayed home to do some emailing and computer work. 

On Saturday afternoon John and Rose took us and 2 other couples out on the Tamar River in their boat. Rough weather but we had an enjoyable time. Friends over for coffee on Sunday morning, supper at John's brother's place, talking to new people at church, worshiping with God's people - Sunday was a good day.

Before heading back to Hobart on Monday morning, Rose and I went to the nearby gorge right in Launceston. You can't visit Launceston without seeing the gorge! Beautiful! We walked to the bottom and along the swinging bridge, just admiring another part of God's beautiful creation. 

The Cataract Gorge in Launceston

The Cataract walk over the gorge

Teny and Rose

And so another week has gone by and another leg of our journey is over. We really enjoyed our stay in Launceston, except for the COLD weather. Winter came early, they said. I happily borrowed Rose's coat for church and her fleece-lined jacket for sightseeing. We said goodbye to John and Rose, and really feel that here too, we have gained some new friends.

Overlooking the city of Launceston. Notice their lovely fall colours!

On the way to Hobart, we stopped at the town of Richmond and admired the little shops, the stone buildings, and the famous bridge.

The Richmond Bridge is a heritage arch bridge made by convict labour in the 1830's.
It is the oldest bridge still in use in Australia.

May 5 - After returning our rental car, we flew to Melbourne, and then to Perth. We have flown 11 of the 17 flights. By now we are pros at packing suitcases! Next posts are about WA.

Our rental car in Tasmania

1 comment: