Tasmania, the most southerly state in Australia, an island, separated from the mainland by the Bass Straits. A beautiful place with huge diversity in the climate, landscape and wildlife.
Vast areas of wilderness and huge untouched forests with no roads or population are unchartered territory, especially in the south west.
We spent a week in Tasmania (see section on Faith Goes Walkabout- Walkabout Australia).From echidnas and wombats to Tasmanian Devils and Duck Billed Platypus, the wildlife is amazing. The temperate rain forests with the Tall Trees of Sassafras and Arras and beautiful beaches are stunning.
The history of Tasmania since the arrival of the white settlers doesn’t make good reading and the church was part of this difficult time. Tasmania was established as the place of last resort and conditions were really bad. Conditions were harsh and made worse by the elite class who continued to make large amounts of money.
The aboriginal population was destroyed and any people left were made part of the settler’s way of life. There are many stories, and a recent book called Wanting by Richard Flanagan is about a young girl Mahinna around 1839 and her move into the governor’s house.
Maybe it’s when travelling that we are taken to places, not only beautiful but where we learn about life, that we start to increase in wonder and look back in amazement.
Tasmania, a great place and very far south on the other side of the world.
Rev’d Sue Martin
Curate at Gayton group of parishes