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AustraliaAboriginal settlers arrived on the continent from Southeast Asia about 40,000 years before the first Europeans began exploration in the 17th century. No formal territorial claims were made until 1770, when Capt. James COOK took possession in the name of Great Britain. Six colonies were created in the late 18th and 19th centuries; they federated and became the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. The new country took advantage of its natural resources to rapidly develop its agricultural and manufacturing industries and to make a major contribution to the British effort in World Wars I and II. In recent decades, Australia has transformed itself into an internationally competitive, advanced market economy. It boasted one of the OECD's fastest growing economies during the 1990's, a performance due in large part to economic reforms adopted in the 1980's. Long-term concerns include pollution, particularly depletion of the ozone layer, and management and conservation of coastal areas, especially the Great Barrier Reef.

(This information is taken from the CIA The World Factbook)


Fish and Chips Heaven...
Submitted by bugsly on Friday, June 16, 2006 - 23:00 Australia | Boat | Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Physical and Health Education | Subway | Walk

Doyles Fish and Chips by the Bay has the best fish and chips I have had so far on the trip. We took the ferry to Watson’s Bay and enjoyed lunch on the water. It was great. Afterward we explored the town a bit and then caught the ferry back to Sydney.

Bugsly


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Stuffed Animals and Pearls
Submitted by bugsly on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - 22:58 Australia | Boat | Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Physical and Health Education | Subway | Walk

This morning my Dad and I returned our rental car and then went to the Australian Museum. They had a special exhibit about pearls. There was a natural history exhibit as well with lots of taxidermied animals like crocodiles, kangaroos, and many animals in jars in preservative. It was gross! And it also smelled bad in that room…

Bugsly


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Sydney...
Submitted by bugsly on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 22:56 Australia | Car | Foreign Language and Music Study | Life Sciences | Physical and Health Education | Subway | Walk

Today we arrived in Sydney. Our hotel is nice and right on the harbour. We went for a walk to see the city and eventually caught a really good meal right on the bay. The fish was fresh caught and cooked right away. It was delicious.

Bugsly


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Out and About in Parkes
Submitted by bugsly on Sunday, June 11, 2006 - 18:26 Australia | Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Physical and Health Education | Walk

Today we had a lot of fun by first going to the craft fair in a nearby town we had a lovely time and saw lots of cool crafts. After that we headed by the Westcott’s family farm and saw their HUGE tractor that they use to plant seeds. We stopped by a lavender farm that smelled extremely wonderful and had a great time checking out all the different kinds. Finally after being very tired we headed back and relaxed for the rest of the day.

Bugsly


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The Dish
Submitted by bugsly on Saturday, June 10, 2006 - 20:02 Australia | Car | Core | Walk

This morning we got up, had a great breakfast, and headed to see Parkes Radio Telescope from the movie “The Dish”. When we got there we went through the Visitor’s Center and then watched a movie all about the history of The Dish.

After that, we actually saw The Dish move while sitting in the Dish Café eating burgers and fries. It started to rain so we looked at it from inside before going in to see our second movie, (in 3-D) all about different types of galaxy’s such as spiral, disk, and irregular. Then there was even a second movie (also 3-D) that was about what is inside the dish and how it works. It was all very interesting and we learned a lot about the way it works and how to move it and such, we had a lovely day and it was all very interesting.

Bugsly


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Traveling from Burleigh Heads to Parkes
Submitted by bugsly on Friday, June 9, 2006 - 19:42 Australia | Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Life Sciences | Physical and Health Education | Walk

For the last three days we have driven all the way from Burleigh Heads on the coast, to Parkes, inland. The first day we drove to a town called Ben Lomond where we had our first night of freezing temperatures. We stayed on a farm called Silent Grove and had a wonderful time there. We got to feed some of the animals in the morning before we left.

The next night we stayed at a Bed and Breakfast called Roseneath in a town that is called the “Koala Capital of Australia”, Gunnedah. It was a great old Victorian mansion and we had comfortable beds and a really good breakfast in the morning.

On the way to Parkes today, my Mom saw a Koala hanging (asleep) upsidedown in a Eucalyptus tree. She was so happy to see one in the wild. We made our way to Parkes to stay at a Bed and Breakfast that my Dad stayed at several years ago. The owners, Helen and Mal Westcott, are wonderfully nice and we are going to be very comfortable in their home. We had a great dinner with them and went to sleep.

Bugsly


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The Pacific Ocean is Warm Here
Submitted by bugsly on Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - 19:36 Australia | Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Physical and Health Education | Walk

This afternoon we went to the Ocean and first we built enormous sand castles, and then we went diving into the warm waves. We swam until the sun was setting and were sad to leave the warm water of the Pacific.

Bugsly


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The Australia Zoo
Submitted by bugsly on Monday, June 5, 2006 - 19:33 Australia | Car | Core | Fly | Foreign Language and Music Study | Physical and Health Education | Walk

Yesterday we flew from Alice Springs to Brisbane, rented a car and drove to Burleigh Heads about one hour south of Brisbane on the ocean. It was a long day and we had dinner at the Lone Star Grill and Steakhouse and then went to see our first movie since we left home in December, “RV”. We laughed and laughed although it was pretty senseless when you really think about it.

Today we got up early and drove about two hours north to The Australia Zoo, home of Steve Irwin, “The Crocodile Hunter”.

We had a wonderful time seeing all of the animals, especially the Koalas, Kangaroos and Wombats. There were some crocodiles in the “Crocoseum” which is like an enormous stadium and pool for the crocs. The trainers are very brave and I don’t think you’ll see me doing that job anytime soon! We saw the crocodiles jump out of the water and took the raw meat hanging from the trainer’s hands. As I say again, you won’t be seeing me doing this job!

The Wombats were my favorite animal at the Zoo. They were the funniest looking and they are like Koalas and Kangaroos because they are marsupials too. We had a wonderful day at The Australia Zoo.

We were tuckered out by the end of the day.

Bugsly


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Alice Springs Desert Park
Submitted by bugsly on Saturday, June 3, 2006 - 19:14 Australia | Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Physical and Health Education | Walk

This morning we had breakfast at the Red Dog Café in Alice Springs. Michael and I had delicious pancakes and then we were off to visit the Alice Springs Desert Park.

At the Park we saw different kinds of animals, reptiles and insects in various habitats like Desert Rivers and Sand Country as well as a building called the Nocturnal House where we saw nocturnal animals in their active state (because the rooms were dark). There was a bat cave in the Nocturnal House with Ghost Bats. We saw them hanging from cracks in the rocks upside down. We also saw them fly away.

We saw Kangaroos lazing about under the trees taking an afternoon nap.

After the Desert Park, we went for a tour of The Royal Flying Doctor Service Base Station. We learned how The Royal Flying Doctors help people in the Outback of Australia. We saw the room where they receive their calls and dispatch the doctors and nurses where they are needed. They provide non-emergency care as well, running medical clinics throughout the Outback.

I am enjoying our stay so far in Alice Springs.

Bugsly


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The Road to Alice Springs
Submitted by bugsly on Friday, June 2, 2006 - 19:01 Australia | Car | Core | Foreign Language and Music Study | Physical and Health Education | Walk

This morning we got up super early to see the sunrise on the other side of Ayers Rock. When we got there, we weren’t alone, in fact there were more people there at 6:23am than there were for sunset yesterday!

After the amazing sunrise, we headed for the Cultural Centre where we learned all about the significance of Uluru to the Aboriginal people that live nearby. It was very well presented with video, art, and writings translated from the Aboriginal text. I left there understanding a lot more about their live and culture.

We headed down the road for Alice Springs. It was a long drive and eventually we made it there. We explored downtown Alice for a bit, then went back to the hotel for dinner and sleep.

Bugsly


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Fun Fact...

There are three types of "Kiwi's" in New Zealand. Kiwi birds, Kiwi fruit and the New Zealanders call themselves "Kiwis"!

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