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Adventures, long drives and belt buckles
Story by Phoebe Melvin
Queensland tour was an amazing four weeks in which I drove over 5,000km. While the school shows and public exhibitions were a lot of fun, my highlights were without doubt the adventures I had on the long drives between locations, and the events going on in the towns we were staying in. Along the way I managed to rack up a huge number of fun and exciting life experiences. As a Melbourne girl it was an eye opener to go to a rodeo in Charters Towers and see all the glittery belt buckles, see men jumping off horses to wrestle steers and watch little kids riding bulls.
In Hughenden the whole Science Circus went fossicking for fossils, and found plenty of fossilized shells and turtle bones. In Mt Isa some of the team went and had lunch in an old Melbourne tram (I travelled a long way to have a bit of home!). While in Camooweal we were so close to the border that Nina and I were allowed to drive over into the Northern Territory. In Burketown we were invited to go fishing and croc sighting with the locals, but despite being the barramundi capital of Australia we caught nothing! While we were in Longreach I had the chance to stand in the engine of a Boeing 747 at the Qantas museum, and go to a stockman show which included saddles and bridles covered in fairy lights, a show-stealing horse and plenty of whip cracking. While in Gladstone I went to the annual show that was on. There were Monster Trucks, stuntmen on motorbikes, for the first time in my life I played arcade games (I have a stuffed pony to prove it!) and ate fairy floss like it was going out of fashion.
On one drive I stopped to fossick for sapphires with Dan, and on another drive we went fossicking for thunder eggs, both of which were great fun. Both times we were left to sort through rocks and dirt to find what we were after. Seeing the thunder eggs cut open was really cool, every single one was unique with different crystals formed inside. And it was so amazing to find sapphires amongst the stones we had just been washing! I can’t wait to get them back once they have been cut so I can turn them into a beautiful one-of-a-kind reminder of this year.
There were also plenty of beach combing adventures, stunning sunsets, nighttime trips to the mines, flying foxes, lakes, lookouts and crazy wildlife to see along the way. All in all, it was the most amazing trip, and I can’t wait now for our final tour of the year in Tasmania—to see what experiences we can have there.
Science sounds at the Port Augusta School of the Air
This story comes from our visit to Port Augusta, South Australia, where we had the chance to reach students over hundreds of kilometres through Port Augusta School of the Air.