Canberra Tour 2015 - School Blog

 

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Day 1
 
We have arrived in Canberra!! After a long and bumpy flight, we have met our Coach Captain Ian and arrived at the Gold Creek Resort. We are well and truly ready for a good nights sleep. It is a busy day tomorrow and we are very excited to visit Parliament House and the Museum of Australian Democracy. 
 
We are off to sleep now, you will be able to read all about our day tomorrow in our blog. 
 
Night night from A1 
 

Day 2

We were up bright and early this morning and straight to breakfast. We had a great meal including: cereal, bacon, eggs, hash browns and sausages. Soon after we were on the bus and headed to the Parliamentary Education Office to learn about Federal Elections. We watched an impressive hologram show that explained how our voting system works. It was very interesting to learn that Australia was one of the first countries to allow women the right to vote. Next we participated in a mock election where we elected our own leader.

After a quick morning tea, we were off to The Museum of Australian Democracy (Old Parliament House). Whilst here we embarked on a digital treasure/information hunt. We learnt a lot along the way.

Next we were off to Parliament House. We began our tour at the Australian Electoral Commission, where we debated a Bill that recommended students should participate in a minimum of 3 hours physical activity per week.

Next we began our tour of The House of Representatives and The Senate. Unfortunately Parliament isn't sitting this week so it was quiet, however; we were lucky to have our local Federal Member for Stirling, Michael Keenan come and visit us.

Next we were off to one of the highest view points in Canberra, Black Mountain. We stood 845m above sea level and had a beautiful 360 degree view of the National Capital.

We have just finished our dinner and are laying in the hall watching a movie before bed.

Tomorrow will be another exciting and action packed day.

 

Day 3
 
Our third day began at the Australian Institute of Sport. Our guide Michael, who is a cricket athlete showed us around the amazing facilities. We got to see the Aquatic Centre which is considered one of the best training pools in the world! Next we were off to the Gymnasium; several Australian athletes were training for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. Soon after, we walked across to the Indoor Volleyball Centre. Did you know that our Australian Volleyball players are all over 200cm tall? 
 
The National Museum of Australia was great! We began with an educational program called 'Meet the People'. Here we learnt about the important objects kept in the museum. After the program our guide showed us around the galleries. Here we got to see the first ever Holden built, Phar-Lap's heart, huge mining equipment and we watched a video about Australia over time, in a revolving cinema. 
 
After a hotdog for lunch, we headed over to the the Australian GeoScience Centre. We learnt about sedimentary rocks, volcanoes, tectonic plates and earthquakes. Our guide spoke about how frequently earthquakes occur around the world; we were all amazed at the number in a week!! Our last activity at GeoScience involved us all jumping up and down on a special mat that recorded our movements on a richter scale....We created a good shake!
 
Later in the afternoon we headed to the Australian Arboretum. There is an amazing playground to explore.... We had a ball!
 
Our last stop before dinner was to Black Mountain Tower. We jumped into the lift and headed to the top of the tower. Here we had an amazing 360 degree view of Canberra. We were able to spot many landmarks that we have been to and a few that we are headed to tomorrow.
 
After dinner we were back on the bus and on our way to AMF Bowling. This was a blast! The teachers didn't realise we have so many great bowlers. Time flew whilst we were having fun and soon we were back at the hotel and in bed.
 
Looking forward to visiting Government House, the Mint and the Australia War Memorial tomorrow. 
 
Day 4 

Our last full day in Canberra began at Government House, home of Sir Peter Cosgrove. We had a great tour of the house and the surrounding gardens lead by Roger the Butler. We had the opportunity for one student to play the piano located in the entertaining wing. We learnt about the four major roles of the Governor General; his main responsibilities revolve around the 4 C's: Constitutional matters, Ceremonial events, Commander and Chief of Defence and  Community involvement. Unfortunately he was in Darwin when we arrived so we did not get to meet him. 

Next stop was the Royal Australian Mint. Here we learnt about the history of Australian Currency dating back to when goods were traded instead of money. The Australian Mint is a large building that can produce over 2 million coins per day! We finished our visit off with pressing our own special coins.   

We were all looking forward to visiting the Australian War Memorial and it was definitely worth the wait! We had great tour guides who took us around the brand new World War 1 exhibition and the Afghanistan War display. It made us realise the sacrifice that so many young men and women made for our country. Our last activity at the War Memorial was a special wreath laying service. It was a touching and respectful service. 

After a quick dinner, we visited the National Dinosaur Museum for a torchlight tour. We learnt many new and interesting facts about the dinosaur era and shopped up a storm in the gift shop!

Day 5

Our final day in the National Capital began at the National Capital Exhibition. Here we learnt about the competition that invited people from all over the world to design the layout of the city. Walter Burley Griffin and his wife were the winners. Their design is extremely well thought out and highlights the beautiful existing natural features of Canberra. Did you know that Canberra was almost named Shakespeare? Canberra was a great choice for the name of our National Capital as it means 'Meeting Place' in the indigenous language.

Next we visited the National Portrait Gallery. Here we got to see some of the Nation's best paintings, sculptures, photographs and drawings. There are many galleries to wander including the Women of the World Gallery and the Early Settlement Gallery. We really enjoyed our visit!

Our last stop before the airport was Questacon. Questacon is very similar to Scitech however it is enormous! We experienced the feeling of free falling on the Giant Drop, watched a spectacular simulated lightening storm and challenged a robot to a game of air hockey. The teachers found it quite a challenge to get us out of the gift shop at the completion of our booking.

We are now onboard our flight home and are looking forward to seeing our families. We experienced many new things, made new friends and have made great memories we will keep forever. What a great week!