Tasmania - previously called Van Diemen’s Land; also called the Apple Isle; its inhabitants called Taswegians - is a fabulous island to the south of mainland Australia.
As the 2016 Year 6 students and accompanying Staff jetted towards Launceston on 10 June, we not only sang Happy Birthday to Emelia but we were all very excited to be heading south for history, geography, stories, drama, challenges and friendship. As Jacob Bonnor stated, ‘We were off on a seven day sleepover!’.
Many students had never seen snow and our hopes were high. Saturday 11 June was not only Ethan’s birthday but a delightful surprise. We awoke to a view through the window of the whole landscape covered in snow and flakes falling! It was magical! It was totally exciting! In fact, the snow was so thick that we had to change our plans as the Dove Lake road was closed. The Year 6 students never saw Dove Lake – but – they did have an amazing walk through pencil pines layered in snow; a massive snowball fight and even built a snowman.
We journeyed on to Strahan and again enjoyed the fabulous entertainment provided by Kiah and ‘The Ship that Never Was’ show. The Gordon River Cruise was a highlight. Sarah Island was miserably cold and wet – perfect for imaginings of rough, tough convicts.
Hobart was the next stop – via the winding hills of Queenstown; Nelson Falls and Derwent Bridge. Our base at the Grand Chancellor was amazing and the Winter Festival outside added to the excitement. We toured Hobart area, Richmond, Port Arthur and the Female Factory. The history of our country comes alive in Tasmania and the students took it all in, adding to their solid curriculum-based understanding.
We were very fortunate to have a wonderful group of students who represented Somerset College with style and respect to all whom we met. All Staff were very happy with these lovely boys and girls some of whom have said -
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‘We opened the curtains at Cradle Mountain and there was a pademelon sitting in the snow.’ – Ali Strickland
‘The best part of the Tassie Trip was when we had a massive snowball fight!’ - Lucia, Esther (and in fact most of us!)
‘I really enjoyed watching an animal that I had never seen before.’ - Rylee Childs
‘My favourite part of the trip was the Gordon River Cruise. The views were amazing, my best pictures came from there. And the breeze was so cool. If I could, I would have stood there forever – though I couldn’t because if I did, my face would be frozen wide open.’ - Marc Hagan