Finishing Melbourneand Onto Alice Springs

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On Friday, we had a wine tasting tour scheduled.  However, first we had a stop a Grant’s Reserve Bird Feeding and a ride on the Puffing Billy Train.  The reserve was located in the middle of a wooded area.  As you can see, the trees grow big here.

Notice how white the trees are.  At night, they reflect the moonlight and act as light.  Also, because they are so tall and straight, they are ideal for ship building.  Because we were at a bird reserve, there were birds perched in the trees.

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While we were there we had a chance to feed the birds.  We were warned that they were heavier than they looked.  They also had sharp claws so we were told to be careful.

Yes, we had to have a good grip on the food dish because these guys were heavy and hungry.

After we left the reserve we headed for a ride on Puffing Billy.  Billy is a stream train.

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The neat thing about the ride was that if we wanted to we could sit on the window ledge with our legs dangling over the side of the train.  Of course, this is where I sat.  The only problem was that there is more of me than there is ledge.  and yes, soot kept flying back to land on my khaki slacks.  Minor inconvenience.

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After we had lunch at the Fergusson Winery.  The food was delicious and they had a really good moscato.  We then went to De Bortoli’s for more wine tasting.  I admit that this was a bit too much wine in too short a time for me.

After this it was back to the hotel.  Because we weren’t too hungry after the lunch and wine we had we thought we would just hit the market across the street and get some soup to take back to our room.

The next morning we left the hotel at 7:00 to head to the airport for our flight to Alice Springs, a 3 hour flight.

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As you can see from the map, Alice Springs is in the center of the country, the Outback region.  It is also a desert region, so although we needed heavy coats in Melbourne short sleeve shirts were fine for this region.

We arrived around noon, so before heading to our hotel we made two stops.  Our first stop was the School of the Air.  I admit that I didn’t exactly what this would be.  I thought it was a flight instruction academy.  I was wrong.  Because the Outback is so vast and people living there are so spread out there is no way children can attend a brick and mortar school so each student is given a laptop and log on to school.  The School of the Air has several studio classrooms where teachers broadcast lessons.

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Students usually come together twice a year for a fun day where they get to met their classmates and the teachers.

Here are some projects students put together.

This next picture has nothing to do with the school but I couldn’t resist taking it.  As we left the building we looked up into a tree and saw a golden spider.  All I can say is that I am glad I don’t have these in my house.

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To finish this post quickly, tow other places we visited were Telegraph Station which is one of the first means of communication in the Outback.  In PA we have signs warning about deer along the highways.  There they had different kinds of signs.

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And yes, we did see a wallaby roaming around.

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Our bus driver was also a didgeridoo player so he entertained us while we had a bit of lunch.

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The last place we visited was the Royal Flying Doctors.  Again, because people are so spread our if medical assistance is needed the doctors flew to the patients on a fully equipped plane.

Next week the highlight of our trip to Alice Springs – Kata Tjuṯa and Uluru.

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “Finishing Melbourneand Onto Alice Springs

  1. I so appreciate your pictures and today the map to show me where Alice Springs really is! Also love the kangaroo crossing sign! (Still jealous of your 2 play visit to NYC last week and HAMILTON! WOW!)

    • Yes, Alice Springs is really in the middle of the desert. Hamilton is really everything people are saying about it. So glad we had the opportunity to see it.

  2. I loved the Masterpiece production of “A Town Called Alice” and this got me thinking about it again. You gave a real sense of what it is like to live in a really isolated place.

  3. lindabaie

    I have a friend who has family in Australia and he plays the didgeridoo. It’s hard! What a marvelous array of visits this time. I love seeing about the train and hearing how the vast outback’s problems are solved. It must be so different to live far from others and cities. Thanks like always for your sharing.

  4. Terje

    Your days are filled with so many interesting places and activities. I think it is valuable that you are taking the pictures and writing down the different events and scenes. Wishing you lots of energy for continuous adventure.

  5. Judy C.

    Thanks for the continuation of your trip – so enjoying the places you have been. The school setting is quite interesting. It’s amazing what can be accomplished in this day of technology – makes one wonder what they did prior to the internet. The spider is really unique! A picture is close enough!

  6. You have the best days planned – a great mix of learning about the country you visit, good stuff to eat and drink, and a sense of fun and adventure in it all. Thanks for this view of life Down Under!

  7. Your travelogue is bringing back many memories of my daughter’s semester spent visiting Australia. Her home base was Byron Bay, considered by many Aussies to be their favorite beach venue. She loved the laid -back vibe of that town and the gorgeous beach they had access to. She visited many other locales and went by herself to Alice Springs and Ayers Rock (also known as Uluru). She nearly froze at night sleeping in a hammock in the outback! She has many amazing memories, particularly, of the fauna which is so varied and so amazing and unique. From what I can tell, visiting Australia is a life-changing experience. Thanks for your photos and travel notes. They are as close as I’ll ever get to Australia! Gdday, Mate!

    • How neat that your daughter spent time in Australia. We also visited Uluru and Kata Tjuta. In fact, that is next week’s post. Glad your are enjoying the pictures. I am enjoying yours as well.

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