Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Snowies, Penguins, Tassie

This has been a difficult week because we did not have internet until we arrived home, so we are not sure if you still would like to know what we did, but here are the pictures of our travels of the last few weeks with a little discourse and hopefully, you never have to look at the picture collection of 7,000+ again.  :)  So back to this trip - we headed south from Sydney and made a quick stop at Goulburn to take a picture of the big sheep!  One of our missionaries had described this to us and we thought at first we were going to see a ship - but after much description and reiteration, we learned it was a sheep!  So here you go - the Big Sheep (pronounced ship) in Goulburn, NSW.

As we headed to the Snowy River Mountains, we learned that all names must have at least 4 syllables and sometimes more.  

Jindabyne was a quick stop as we learned about the tallest mountain in Australia, Mt. Kosciuszko, and went looking for the Man from Snowy River and a few brumbies.

We found his house!!! Of course, he wasn't home and he had let all the brumbies go on the run, but we had a fun drive through the mountains seeing snow again for the first time in 18 months, and wondering why all these trees are dead?  

The Snowies, as they are lovingly called in Oz.  This is where they all learn to ski and in the winter, this place is packed.  We chose a warmer season knowing we would see plenty of snow when we arrived home. 

This is Snowy Creek and Snowy River is farther down the mountain.  The water is crystal clear and further down the mountains, the platypus play at night.  But we did not have time to stay and find them.

Brumbies were even harder to come by and we had to both whistle to get his attention so that we could take his picture.  He is pretty good looking.  We saw several stations offering horseback riding but we had to press on. 

As we were driving along in a little town called Corryong          we saw this sign and stopped.  We wanted to go to the museum, but he was just closing for the day.  Here is the real story, according to the the residents of Corryong.

The town even has this as it's welcome sign just to prove that this is where the Man from Snowy River lived.  "JESSSSSSSSSSS"!  And just for Alita, we rolled the windows down on the car and yelled that!

We made it to Albury and spent the night in this beautiful old home that is now a bed and breakfast.  This man had done a great job of restoring this home and the next morning we enjoyed a full English breakfast proving that in Australia, they still keep the great old English traditions - eggs cooked to order, sausage, bacon, toast, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms.  We are still not sure how they all stay skinny!

From Albury, we drove to Phillip Island, home of the fairy penguins.  We again stayed at a bed and breakfast called Seas the Day!  and Elder Feil had a partner instead of a companion!  :)

This island is a wonderful animal reserve and this wallaby or roo wanted to have his picture taken.  We also saw black swans but you can only post so many pictures on a blog and still keep others interested!

Can you believe this island view?  The point of this place is to see the Parade of Penguins, but you cannot take any photos that night because the penguins do not like the flashing!  So we took photos before and after.  The stands are full of people waiting until sunset to see the little guys come ashore.  They go and fish all day in the ocean and as the sun sets, return home to their burrows to feed the young babies.

Our amazing hosts at Seas the Day also cooked a beautiful English breakfast, provided blankets and torches for the Penguin Parade, and were most kind and welcoming.  If you head to Phillip Island, say hi to Jeanette and Bill for us.

Nobbies point is at the very end of the island - this is also a reserve not only for the penguins but for the seagulls.  We saw more gulls than the Ocean City Boardwalk in the summer and that is saying something!

Since we couldn't take pictures of the real penguins, we snapped this shot in the gift store - you buy one of these for $35.00 and then give them back the sweater to use for an injured penguin - no we did not!  But the penguins were real cute!  They come up the beach in the dark because they have to avoid their predators - who go to bed at sunset!  They actually climb over these rocks and walk across the sand by the hundreds to get to their burrows, shown below.

 They tag some of the penguins, to track their movements and while doing that, we were able to see this little penguin egg.
From penguins, to Tassie, and if you are following us on a map, you know the kind of mileage we are covering!  We actually flew from Melbourne to Launceston, Tasmania.  This is the Cataract Gorge just outside of Launceston.  

We left Launceston and started our drive around Tasmania to Hobart.  This is dairy country and well known for delicious butter, cream, ice cream, cheese and chocolate.  Of course we sampled all four!  I knew Mrs. D would get a kick out of this picture!

This is the man from Tasmania!

 We drove to Sheffield, the city of murals.  Every building in town has a mural painted on it showing something from the history of the town.  
Our new favorite animal - echidnas!  So cute and cuddley.  You just want to snuggle them.  They were all over the bush in Tassie and when we stopped the car to see them, they would burrow into the ground to hide.  

The beautiful Cradle Mountain.  We drove all around the area and stayed in Strahan that night.  

We have gone from bush men to river cats!  This was a great cruise on the Gordon River that started out in very rainy weather, but by the end of the day the sun came out and the river and ocean were beautiful.  We stopped at Sarah Island to hear a presentation about the convicts building up this area and learned about the mining in the surrounding hills.   

 A wood carving of a Roo about 12 feet high.  Wasn't sure DHL would want to ship this one home, so had to leave him behind.

 We tried to visit all Queenstowns in the Pacific Area.  This one was a mining town and reminded me of my roots in Ely, Nevada.  As always, the viewing sights are just as incredible as the views!

Another beautiful falls called Russell Falls.  We have become Falls experts and are now ready to rate them I, II, III according to whether or not you should go and see them.  This one is a II.  Stay tuned to later blogs when we show you the I's.  

This is the way to camp in Tasmania - especially at Lake St. Clair, especially when it's 7 C!  The room was toasty warm, the bed was soft and the bedding was luxurious.  We enjoyed a very good night's rest.

 The views were incredible.  We even took a selfie!  
 The final stage of our 5 days in Tassie was Hobart.  Again we stayed at a bed and breakfast called The Hall.  The gardens were pretty and they had a beautiful vegetable garden that we were allowed to use for making our dinner.   
We had to drive up to the top of Mt. Wellington for this spectacular view.  I kept much weight is this platform built to hold???  It was about 10 C, with gale force winds and we were shivering.

At Church the next day was the nicest surprise - this couple served with our friends the Greenways in Indonesia and were close to one of our missionaries in ASNM from Indonesia.  We had met them several times in Sydney when they came to check on Elder Ezra.  

The second surprise was former Elder Leatua who is home being a great YSA and serving the Lord in his home ward.  We had a nice visit with all of them and felt at home in Hobart!

This was almost scarier than a bridge but the view from Mt Wellington and the city of Hobart was worth the fear - but hurry up Tom and take the picture so I can get off of this precipice.

In Hobart we found the Salamanca Markets, and Margate!  You can tell that we must have all come from England as we share the names in Australia and America.

 Hobart is a very clean, picturesque city with cute houses and old architecture.  These front yards are about 3 feet wide, but they make them look much bigger by packing in lots of flowers and bushes.
When I was taking this picture of Elder Feil, I almost got blown over by the wind - you can't really appreciate the cold temperature or the gusty wind of Hobart harbour.  This statue was commemorating the first man to make it to Antarctica.

Our friend in Lehi recommended the Cadbury Chocolate Factory, which we decided sounded good - no pun intended.  But they do charge an entrance fee of $4.00 now days, they do not take you through the factory, they only show a video of the making of chocolate, and they give you 3 small candy bars for a sample.  The rest, we payed for!

As the sun sets in Hobart, we get on a plane and head for Melbourne.  We will share that adventure in a few days.  We loved Tasmania - clean, simple, verrrrryyy cool temperatures, and yummy food.  We ate our way through Tassie and now are ready for more adventures.  We have learned that mission friends are forever friends and we have been excited to see and visit them, even for just a few hours.  Our Heavenly Father has created a beautiful world for us and each day he puts the finishing touches on with spectacular sunsets.  We are blessed to spend a few days seeing the rest of the world down under.  Everyday we are thankful for family and friends who love us.  We love all of you!  We are grateful to our Heavenly Father for the many opportunities we have been given.  From the Temporary Tassies,  Elder and Sister Feil 

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