When I moved to Tasmania a couple years ago I wrote a short article about how wild it was, and how the church was in bad shape here. Despite this, I believe that Tasmania has much to offer Adventist families who believe in our inspired mission and are serious about preparing for the end of time.
As last day Adventists, we have been warned by Ellen White to get out of the cities, buy land and become self-sufficient. How many of us are actually taking this seriously? Are we taking heed to the warnings about the cities and surrounding areas that will be hotbeds of persecution & difficulty at the time of the end? Your families and loved ones deserve to be protected against what is coming, while maintaining a healthy distance from the cities in order to evangelise and warn others.
You will be very surprised to learn Tasmania is about the size of Ireland but 5 times less populated. My goal in this article is to challenge you to consider eloping to a land that time forgot—but where God is very present. Below are my top 10 reasons why Tasmania should be considered a worthy destination and lifestyle change for Adventists.
1. Tasmania’s temperate climate. One of the things I have quickly learned is that born & bred Tasmanians don’t want anyone to know how good it is here and so they create myths. On more than one occasion I have been pulled aside and quietly spoken to, “ssshhhh, we don’t want them knowing how good it is, let them believe it’s cold.” I kid you not! There is an understanding among Tasmanians that you keep your mouth shut and create rumours and falsehoods to turn people off from coming here.
The myth that Tasmania is a cold place is simply not true. I have been here 3 summers and two winters and have actually experienced the opposite. For nine months of the year Tasmania’s weather is quite temperate. From September through to May there are no extreme temperatures. This cannot be said for any other state in Australia. Tasmania has a drier winter like many states in Australia but it cannot be said that Tasmania is always cold. Winters here are more like the eastern states, not as much rain and mostly sunny. The summers here are to die for with temperatures reaching the late 20’s and occasionally going over into the 30’s. You hardly notice the heat at all, unlike many other states where heat waves and sweltering temperatures are the norm.
2. Cheap land. For the average sale price of a house in Australia you can become an instant millionaire in Tasmania. Tasmania’s property market is a buyer’s delight with properties up to ¼ of the price of the mainland. Most properties have either ocean or snow-capped mountain views with creeks and streams running through them. You may think your $200-300k property isn’t worth much but checkout what it can buy in Tasmania and I am sure you will be shocked. Even if you just bought land and built a home, you would still score yourself a property with such grandeur, there will be nothing else that compares on the mainland for quality, value and beauty.
3. Fertile land. The rich black soil and greenery of the Huon Valley where I live produces and produces year after year. Whether it is growing fruit, vegetables or livestock, the quality of food is testament to the healthy fertile soil of the region. The second tallest tree (by a measly 9 meters), in all of the world lives in Tasmania in the Huon Valley. Fruit trees grow in abundance on the side of the road for anyone to gather. Most properties are ex-apple orchards and now run livestock—which over decades have become very fertile fields where the grass grows chest high. The region is known for its high quality food because of the abundance of another resource which is my next point.
4. Water. If you don’t have this one essential element on your end time property then it’s game over. Thankfully, water is in abundance in most of Tasmania. Beautiful rivers and creeks course throughout much of Tasmania, especially its southern regions. There is hardly a property that does not have a dam or a creek running through its borders. This natural resource is everywhere and with generous rainfall all year round there is no need to water. Springs bubbling up out of the ground in most properties are common. Just bring the seed, dig it in and Tasmania will do the rest.
5. Spiritual culture. Because of its fertility and climate, Tasmania has attracted a lot of alternate lifestyle people who are into organic growing and market gardening. It’s not uncommon to run into vegetarian people who are very open to talking along lines of health and healing. Enter any weekend market or a country café and see the array of vegetarian dishes on offer. Together with Tasmanian’s incessant appetite to talk your ears off, you have common ground upon which to converse. They are quite open to spiritual things.
6. Beauty of nature. If you have ever been to New Zealand and marvelled at its beauty then Tasmania will remind you of that. It’s like a little New Zealand for its variety of coastline and alpine regions. There is so much to do for families with children and some of the country towns are so quaint, it is like a Huckleberry Finn adventure as you drive through. You need to put out of your mind anything you ever thought or knew about Tasmania if you have never been here. It’s impossible to describe, and best experienced. In my region regular visits from Orcas, whales, seals and Albatross let you know that you are not far away from the large subcontinent of Antarctica. What a wonderful vast and magnificent place to raise a family in the purest air in the world and one of the least populated states in Australia.
7. Off the grid. Tasmania has a culture off the grid living that I have never seen in such intensity before. It is home to a large Amish population who I had the pleasure of meeting and had a Sabbath lunch with. Yes they are Sabbath keepers. I believe there is a lot we can learn from the Amish in this regard and so it is not uncanny they are here in numbers already. What we know from our view of the end times, there is the need to tap into this way of living so as to be prepared for the inevitable….not being able to buy or sell.
8. Isolation. We know that Europe is where the trouble will begin. Australia is far from Europe and Tasmania is further again with a day’s sea voyage separating us from the mainland. Geographically and culturally, Tasmania is isolated and very independent in outlook. If something does eventuate (and we don’t really know what that will be), then we are in a very good part of the world if it trickles down to us. The Bible encouraged the early Jews to flee to the hills when they saw the impending drama unfolding (Matt 24). Tasmania offers the same sanctuary as a good place to hold up during any catastrophic world event. If it came to it, there are caves, forests and wilderness here where nobody could find you for years.
9. Tasmanian laws. When it comes to laws handed down from our various governments, Tasmania stands out as one state that drags its feet and doesn’t like to be told what to do. Tasmania had the highest rate of imprisonment for homosexuals anywhere in the world up till May 1997—when it recently repealed its anti-homosexual laws. This is typical of Tasmania who snubs its nose at the rest of Australia in defiance, telling them that they’ll change when they’re ready and not before. I like that about Tasmanians and it may be a saviour in the end when laws come in swiftly to take away our liberties and rights.
10. Population ratio. Tasmania has the lowest Adventist per population ratio out of any conference in Australia. The church in Australia is doing badly and with Tassie flatlining as well, opportunity arises for it to become Australia’s new mission field. So Tasmania is the largest unreached people group for our specific message in our nation. If there is a state to be saved through our message, it’s Tasmania. What a fantastic opportunity to work in an ancient paradise where there are very few Adventists. Maybe that’s one of the reasons God called my family here. We don’t quite know what it is exactly, but with God’s help we are wanting to build an army and do church like it’s never been done before.
In order to reach the masses with the last message in this spectacularly wild and untouched part of the southern hemisphere, we will have to work very differently and quickly… not like the snail’s pace of the current clogged top-heavy system. You will also be interested to know that Ellen White visited here in 1895 to attend the marriage of her son Willy. During her visit she said:
I came eight miles from Brother Lacey's home to this place, right in “the bush,” as it is called here. In America we call it the forest. This place is right up in the mountains. In appearance it is very much like Colorado, with its hills and mountains and valleys, and there are houses and small farms of cultivated lands right in the forests…The weather was beautiful—cool and sunshiny—and the air was fragrant with the blue-gum trees.” - 4BIO: 191,192.
WARNING: You need to be quick.
The land prices are being squeezed by the Australian property market, so many of the best fertile blocks are slowly being snapped up. It won’t be long before this buyers’ market is gone and while the land will certainly be worth it, the price may be out of reach for average Adventists. Employment-wise, Tasmania is the same as the mainland with high need in the Hospitality, Health and Aquaculture industries. In fact, we are having a building boom down here too with all trades stretched beyond limit because mainlanders are investing heavily.
God is calling people to Tasmania for a reason. We see it in the people we meet and there are clear signs that something impending is going happen. Whatever it is, we need to take seriously our church teachings and the council of Ellen White. "Get out of the cities and buy land" she said. We stepped out in faith and are doing this but don’t come crying when it’s too late. My part is done. If you dip out I will say "I told you so."