Videos and Information Relevant to Australia
I went to Broken Hill with Marlene. Broken Hill is a mining town in outback New South Wales, Australia. The line of load in Broken Hill is the richest deposit of Silver, Lead and Zinc in the world. We saw a beautiful sunrise and a huge Wedge Tail Eagle just sitting on a fence. There were also a lot of Emu's around. The roads are long and there is not a lot to see for miles and miles. When we arrived in Broken Hill, we went to the Tourist Information Centre, to get some maps and I had a sit on an Emu (not a real one!) We had a look around the town and saw the fountain at the Twin Lakes. We stopped to have a look at the Court House. It is a very beautiful old building. While we were there I had a close look at a sort of dug out canoe. Carved from Bloodwood, it represents a contemporary interpretation of aspects from traditional indigenous culture, including images portraying animals from the river. The canoe is made in two pieces, weighs approximately one tonne and contains water to represent a certain irony that it has lost it's function-it cannot float. Water is vital to this region and to the traditional people, the BAAKANTJI, which literally translates as "People of the Darling River". I visited Brown's Shaft at the Junction Mine and then went to see where The Royal Flying Doctor is based. I saw one of the older planes they used before and one of the new ones. On top of JP Keenan lookout, I got a good view around Broken Hill. I was very excited to go and see the gallery of the famous painter, Pro Hart. There was an amazing painted Rolls Royce car! At the Living Desert, there are Sandstone sculptures and a Flora and Fauna sanctuary. There is so much to see and do, even though the town is a long way from anywhere. I enjoyed my visit very much.
I went to Mt Buffalo with my friend Neil. Mt Buffalo is in the high country in Victoria, Australia. We had a look at Mt buffalo Chalet. You can stay there and be right in the middle of the snow. We made some snowmen and had a look at a couple of the ski runs. Cresta Valley run was closed while we were there. We went tobbogining at Dingo Dell ski run. I froze my little butt off but we had a great time.
I went to visit my friend Michelle in Geelong. Geelong is a regional city in the state of Victoria in Australia. It is on the edge of Corio Bay. We had a look at the beautiful view of the city and the waterfront. We went for a walk around the waterfront. It is very nice, with lots of palm trees and places to eat. They also have lots of interesting Bollards, which depict the history of Geelong. I had my photo taken with some of them. We had a look at Cunningham Pier and the 100 year old Carousel. You can ride on the Carousel, it is fully restored. We waited for the ride to finish before we took the photo. We went further around and had a look at Eastern Beach. There is a beautiful swimming area and playgrounds. After that, Michelle took me to see the home ground of the local Australian rules football team. The Geelong Cats. They are doing a lot of work outside the stadium. Then we took a drive to the Surfcoast and went to Bells Beach. That is where they have the famous Rip Curl Pro surfing competition at Easter every year. There were a few surfies in the water when we went. Thanks Michelle. I had a wonderful time. It is a beautiful place.
While visiting Lightning Ridge, Marly went fossicking with Opal Jim, at the Grawin opal fields.
While visiting Lightning Ridge, Marly met Barbara, who runs the Lightning Ridge Historical Society.
While visiting Lightning Ridge, Marly met Kaye, at the Opal Wilderness shop.
While visiting Lightning Ridge, Marly went to see the Australian Opal & Fossil Centre. They have a wonderful collection of Opal and fossils. In the video, some of the exhibits are explained.
I went on a quick trip to Parramatta, with Marlene. Parramatta is a suburb in Sydney, Australia. We got there late and I got to have breakfast in bed the next day. Then we went for a walk along the Parramatta river. You can get the Rivercat and go along the river to Sydney. You come into Circular Quay under the Harbour bridge. We went to the market at Parklea. It is the biggest undercover market in Australia. We visited Sydney Olympic park, where the Sydney 2000 Olympics were held. We had a look at the cauldron that was used in the opening and closing ceremony. It is now a water feature. Also the stadium where the opening and closing ceremony was held. We visited Bondi beach as well. It was a whirlwind trip but I had fun.
I went for a drive along the Great Ocean Road, with Marlene and Ellen. It is one of the great drives of the world, hugging the coastline with spectacular scenery and also going through rainforest and farmland. We had a look at Bells Beach, famous for surfing. There were only a few surfers there but we did see an Echidna! I must say, the toilet block at Bells Beach is one of the nicest I have seen. It has beautiful murals over it. We saw the memorial arch and stopped at some lookouts. It was time for a rest when we got to Lorne. Then we moved on and got to the Twelve Apostles. There are only 9 now but they still look great. Then it was off to Loch Ard Gorge. Lots of steps going down to the beach but worth it if you can make it back up. We had lunch in Port Campbell. Then we went to The Arch and also London Bridge, which fell down in 1990, so it isn't really a bridge anymore. We finished our trip at Peterborough. I will tell you a bit of history of the road. The road was built by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932, and is the world's largest war memorial; dedicated to casualties of World War I. The Great Ocean Road was first planned towards the end of the first world war. Surveying for the road started in 1918 - with the road suggested to travel from Barwon Heads, follow the coast west around Cape Otway, and end near Warrnambool. In 1918, the Great Ocean Road Trust was formed as a private company, under the helm of president Howard Hitchcock. The company managed to secure £81,000 in capital from private subscription and borrowing, with Hitchcock himself contributing £3000. Construction on the road began on 19 September 1919, built by approximately 3,000 returned servicemen as a war memorial for fellow servicemen who had been killed in World War I. An advance survey team progressed through dense wilderness at approximately 3 kilometres a month. Construction was done by hand; using explosives, pick and shovel, wheel barrows, and some small machinery. Several workers were killed during construction. The soldiers were paid 10 shillings and sixpence for eight hours per day, also working a half-day on Saturdays. They used tents for accommodation and made use of a communal dining marquee and kitchen; food costing up to 10 shillings a week. Despite the difficulty involved in constructing the road, the workers had access to a piano, gramophone, games, newspapers and magazines at the camps. The road was closed at Eastern View from 10 May 1922 for further work; opening again on 21 December along with tolls to recoup construction costs. The charge, payable at Eastern View, was two shillings for motor cars and 10 shillings for wagons with more than two horses. In November 1932, the section from Lorne to Apollo Bay was finished, bringing the road to completion. The road was officially opened with Victoria's Lieutenant-Governor Sir William Irvine holding a ceremony near Lorne's Grand Pacific Hotel and the road subsequently being acknowledged as the world's largest war memorial. In its original state, the road was considered a formidable drive; fitting only a single vehicle comfortably at a time. Areas with sheer cliffs would be most hazardous, with only few places for drivers to pull over to allow others to proceed in the opposite direction. On 2 October 1936, the road was handed to the State Government, with the deed for the road presented to the Victorian Premier at a ceremony at the Cathedral Rock toll gate. It was at this time that the tolls were also removed. In 1962, the road was deemed by the Tourist Development Authority to be one of the world's great scenic roads. It also had sections widened between the Lorne Hotel and the Pacific Hotel to improve traffic, while aiming to preserve it's character. Despite improvements, the road was still considered a challenging drive; the Victorian Police motor school even using it for training around 1966. Over its life, the Great Ocean Road has been susceptible to natural elements. In 1960 the section at Princetown was partially washed away by water during storms. It experienced landslides on 11 August 1964 and in 1971. Both closing sections of the road near Lorne. Because of the terrain surrounding the road, it was also closed due to bush-fires in 1962 and 1964, particularly in areas with nearby camp-sites. In January, 2011 a section of the overhanging cliffs collapsed due to heavy rain. The Great Ocean Road is now home to The Great Ocean Road Marathon. I had a wonderful time and if you have the opportunity to go along the road, I would highly recommend it.