Last Friday at the lovely (cough cough) hour of 4.30am, Terry, James & I rose, loaded our suitcases into the car, picked up two passengers, and headed to the airport for our much anticipated GEMS & Cadets leaders conference.
It’s probably a good thing we left so early, in that it was quite cold even here in Brisbane, so we were fairly well rugged up for our chilly arrival in Hobart later that morning.
James managed to do his day’s schoolwork during the 2.5hr flight south. :0)
Although quite chilly, it was wonderful to step off that plane knowing we were back in the beautiful state of Tasmania. We LOVE Tassie and hope to move there one day, or at the very least, have an extended holiday. We also have much loved relatives & friends who live there, so it’s always great to be able to catch up with them.
After being picked up by our lovely conference hosts at the airport, they kindly dropped our group of 12 in Hobart City for some sightseeing while they took our luggage back to the camp site. We had been in Hobart City for a day when in Tassie in early 2013, but there was a very busy market going on at that time, so it was great to see Salamanca Place empty of market stalls this time around.
Down at the wharf, it was great to the see the Aurora Australis in dock. Here is a great site with info on it… http://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-antarctica/history/transportation/shipping/aurora-australis
After some great lunch at an Irish Pub on Salamanca Place.. guess what… I had Irish stew… Well, you have to don’t you? LOL. We had a couple of hours of leisurely shopping in Hobart before being picked up again by our hosts, and taken to Dodges Ferry, where the conference was being held. The temperature starts to drop quite early in Tassie, so by our 3pm pick up time, we were very glad to be getting in the nice warm bus.
After settling into our ‘digs’ for the long weekend, we spend some time meet/greeting, catching up with old friends, making new ones.. and generally having some great fellowship with our fellow GEMS & Cadets leaders from all over Australia. As everyone was coming in from all over, new arrivals were appearing at all times through the evening. By 9PM, everyone had finally arrived and we could sit down for our first session.
Getting to bed by 10.30, it was great to snuggle down into our sleeping bags (they could handle temps up to -8 degrees celsius). Having gotten up so early that morning, and basically talked ALL DAY LONG… we were all very tired.
Saturday morning was a far too early wake up at 7.30 (Yes, I know… I’m a bit precious with my early saturday mornings, however Soccer is helping me to adjust temporarily.).
Breakfast was followed by the morning session, based on our Theme for 2014/2015… ‘It’s God’s, handle with Care’. Focusing on Psalms 8 & 22, it was a great message. Reminding us all of the great responsibility we have as GEMS & Cadet leaders with these impressionable young girls & boys.
Finishing up the morning session, we all loaded into busses to head to a few of Southern Tasmanians great sights. First stop – Eaglehawk Neck & the Tessellated Pavement.
All in all, it was a great day of getting to see some more beautiful Tassie spots that we’d missed last visit due to the Dunali Bush fires. It was great having James along with us for this trip, but we certainly missed our older two.
Heading back for a late afternoon session at conference, some time on the slippery slide (as you do), followed by dinner and an evening session, some toasty warm times had around the open fire were enjoyed by everyone !!
Sunday was a day of church, more sessions, as well as prep for the Biennial AGM.
Monday was to be a busy morning of pack up for all but our group, as we were staying on for an extra day, but thankfully we were able to stay on at the campsite for our extra night.
We headed off in our hire cars to explore. Terry, James & I to meet up with my cousins at a fantastic Bistro right on the beach in Blackman’s Bay.. and the others to travel up to Mt. Wellington. While I was disappointed to have missed it, we had been up there before in our previous visit, and I was very excited to be getting together with my cousins. The lunch was delicious too !!! On our way to Blackman’s Bay, we stopped for a quick look at Dodges Ferry and got this great pic on the Jetty. It was particularly cold from Sunday morning through to us leaving on Tuesday, so it was amazing to see so many people going out on boats.. standing in the water in shorts etc at the boat ramp, but I guess they’re used to it. We also always love travelling over the bridge to Hobart… don’t know why.
Meeting up with the rest of our QLD group after our time with cousins & their trip up Mt. Wellinton, we headed to the house of an Uncle of one of the conference hosts, who started a whiskey distillery in his shed. He has since grown it to be a world renowned label that is extremely sought after.
Heading off from Blackmans Bay, we headed to a much anticipated dinner at … wait for it… Pizza Hut !! We no longer have any ‘eat in’ Pizza Huts in Brisbane, so it was a bit of a novelty to get to go to one.
Crawling into bed that Monday night was with some excitement to be going home in the morning, but some sadness too… We love being in Tassie !!
All in all.. a really enjoyable long weekend in Southern Tasmania !! If you haven’t been to Tasmania, I would highly recommend it !!!!!
Blessings peeps !!!
Lv Fi xox