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Finding the colour green in Australia
I’ve always loved the colour green and wondered whether, given our reputation as a sunburnt country, I might have been born on the wrong continent. But now that Tasmania tour is done and dusted, I’ve realised I was merely born on the wrong island. Driving between towns for school shows felt like a strange yet pleasant mix of Australian bush and English garden. On sunny days I wanted nothing more than to get out and explore, and fortunately I got a chance to see two of Tasmania’s natural beauties in between our Science Circus shows.
The first of these was a very spur of the moment decision. Driving between Devonport and Hobart, Talia and I saw the signs for Mole Creek Caves and decided to turn back to see them. I mean really, limestone caves and a chemistry-related name? How could we possibly resist? Our choice was rewarded before we even arrived at the cave entrance, with the short walk from car-park to cave revealing an echidna on an afternoon stroll. Inside the caves themselves we marvelled at the beautiful formations and learnt how stalactites, stalagmites and other amazing limestone features were created. But perhaps the most magical moment was just before the end of the tour when we turned off all the lights and I finally got to see glow worms in real life. While the tour guide taught us they weren’t true worms (they’re the larval stage of flies, who knew?!) they definitely had an impressive glow.
But that wasn’t all that Tasmania had to offer in terms of amazing scenery. Just half an hour from our last stop on tour was the Mt Field National Park so along with my fellow adventurer Martha I spent a couple of hours walking the trails. Mt Field is known for its beautiful waterfalls and these certainly didn’t disappoint. Emerging from the foliage into the spray at the bottom of the three tiers of Russell Falls was truly awe-inspiring. But I think both Martha and I were equally impressed by the tall trees walk. While we’d been told we would see one of the tallest flowering plant species in the world, the swamp gum, we still weren’t prepared for how big they would be. It was only by walking alongside a fallen one that we could really appreciate how tall these giants were. And as if all this weren’t enough, on the final hundred metres before we arrived back at the visitor centre a Tasmanian pademelon decided to farewell us. Don’t worry Tasmania, I’m sure I’ll be back soon!
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.