Tuesday 11th November – day 16

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Sadness lingered in the back of our minds as the trip drew to a close today. Good times were remembered and reflected upon throughout the days activities. Waking up to a beautiful morning gave us a positive outlook on the day, with most of us looking forward to discovering the desert environment at the Alice Springs desert park. We learnt in our own time about the sand, river and woodland habitats which can be found in the arid lands of Australia!!! An amusing birds of prey display was on offer for us today and without a doubt probably a good chance to take a rest from the heat under the big sails.
Anzac Hill was a particularly important part of our day as it marks a place for us to come to remember the fallen soldiers in WW1 on Remembrance Day today.
The Royal Flying Doctors museum and base was a relevant part of our trip today as Jacob fell ill in Uluru and was evacuated to Alice Springs just a week prior to the visit to the museum!! A great service it is and plays an important part in Ausralia’s healthcare system. Great thanks go to all the staff, doctors and pilots who serve the community through RFDS!!
Next on our relaxed agenda today was the School of the Air! Learning about how learning occurs in the outback makes us look at education from a different perspective. We observed the unique classroom activities undertaken via the internet whilst receiving an informative talk from the great staff they have there!
An evening full of speeches and reflecting upon our wonderful trips with all the ups and downs anyone would expect, created a lively atmosphere to finish off our last night and we headed off into bed!
By Jacob Riley and Mel Weddell

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The 2008 Big Experiences are nearly over and I hope you have enjoyed reading about the many amazing adventures your children, friends or relatives have had.

This year was the first time the Big Experience blog was implemented so it would be great to get some feedback on how you have found it.

Please leave a comment on this post to share your thoughts. Your comment will not appear on the site immediately but rest assured it will be read with interest.

Thank you.

Mr. Barlow

Saturday 8th November – Day 13

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Today we all woke up from what the teachers call a “sleep in”…… 6:30am. Everyone packed their belongings then packed their tents and had breakfast then left for Wallace Rockhole at 8:00am. During the bus trip everyone did their own thing then we stopped after about an hour at a place for a toilet stop called Mount Eveneta and some people got some food too. When we got on the bus they put on the movie “School of Rock”. Our next stop was for lunch and that was at the Camel Station which was at Stuarts Well. Most people had a camel ride which was very fun. Around the station there were  lots of animals around such as camels of course, llamas, Joey red kangaroos, emus and a dingo that you could pat. After all that we were back on the road again. Our next stop was Alice Springs and we had some free time to look around Alice Springs then headed back on the bus, then after 5 minutes of driving we stopped at a grave. The grave was for John Flynn who started the Royal Flying Doctors Service, also on that grave was his wife’s ashes. That was our last stop and we finally got to Wallace Rockhole, when we got there we set up camp and then had some free time. We went on about a 15 minute walk up the road and up a hill to see the West McDonnell Ranges, where we saw the sunset. We then came back and day thirteen came to an end.

 

By Josh Ramsay

Friday 7th November – Day 12

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The group woke up early today as we were setting off on an epic walk around Kings Canyon. This was our second day at Kings Canyon camp ground because our route to Oodnadatta was flooded days before. We had to be at the canyon to start the walk by 8:30am to avoid the desert heat. The walk was 7km long which is much shorter than the Uluru and Olga’s walk. The walk started off with a reasonably steep climb up a rock face which took a while, then it settled down into a steady trek along the top of the canyon. There were plenty of obstacles in our path in the form of climbs slim gaps and puddles. After an hour or so of brilliant views and walking we reached The Garden of Eden, a sort of oasis formed by rains and a spring further up stream. After a break and a swim in the natural pool we headed off back towards the car park, past more cliff faces and many more puddles. As we were on the home stretch we discovered the path from the end of the walk was blocked by the creek overflowing. Many of us ran through it or crossed via some well placed rocks. We were all thankful to be back on the air conditioned bus back towards the campsite. A very long afternoon followed, it started raining again and we were all just about ready for bed by 8pm, but we waited for the rain to stop.

 

Alex Nutman.

Wednesday 5th November – Day 10

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Today we celebrated my 15th birthday (Jessica Licen). We had a early start waking up at 6.00am. We had our normal breakfast and then we got prepared for the long walk that lay ahead of us. Once on the bus we travelled through Kata Tjuta national park and headed for the “big rock”, Uluru.  At the start we had about an hour with the national park tour ranger. It gave us a lot more if an insight of how the Indigenous Australians lived and ate. After the tour we got ready for the 9 kilometre walk around that base of Uluru. It was so hot but at least now we can say that we have walked around the base one if the most famous tourist spots in the world. After doing about half of the walk we stopped for lunch which was well needed as most people were a bit hot and bothered. We then set off to Mutijulu which is a water hole that the indigenous people used and it played a big part in their lives. After that we set off for the last leg of the walk and finally reached the bus. We went to the cultural center where another park ranger gave us a lot of information on the indigenous community that owned the land around Uluru. We then got to go back to the camp and hung around either going to town, swimming or have the shower that I am sure everyone wanted after walking in the 34 degree sun for 9 kilometers.

We then had dinner and partied it up for my birthday where we are singing to music.

 

Jessica Licen

 

Tuesday 4th November – Day 9

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MELBOURNE CUP DAY

 

Today we had a big road trip to ULURU. After a night of sleeping under the stars, it was a quick pack up and pancakes for breakfast. This morning we had another walk around and up the main road of Victory Downs. The bus picked us up and took us to a Roadhouse for a toilet and shopping stop. Back on the bus, we watched a film on the influential aboriginal man Bob Randall. He was taken away from his family and home. His land, culture, everything was taken away from him. Our next stop was Mount Connor. There was also a salt lake opposite it. Back on the bus we watched Grease. Then I saw the first glimpse of Uluru!! At the Ayres rock resort it was nice. We set up camp and had lunch. Then we had a Melbourne Cup sweep. We watched the race and my horse Bauer came second!!!! I won $14.60!!!! We now had free time. At 4:30 we all got on the bus and went to the Uluru  cultural centre and then watched the sunset over Uluru!! J Back at camp we had dinner then it started raining and thundering and lightning !!!

 

Thomas Kitt-Thompson

 

Monday 3rd November – Day 8

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This morning we woke up refreshed after sleeping in real beds. We got on the bus and drove out towards Marla. This was a little resting place for people traveling on the Stuart Highway. We had lunch here and we visited a little memorial for a Japanese tourist called Yosuke Shirabe. He was a good person who died trying to do the right thing. He stopped to help some tourists who needed roadside assistance and he was bashed and his vehicle stolen. He was found but he died in hospital. It made us think a little about life in the outback and what people would do when they are desperate.

 We continued to make our way towards the SA/NT border. We stopped here and physically pushed the 10 ton bus over the line.

  From here it was not a far distance to the station where we were staying the night. It was a bush camp which meant no water, no toilets and more importantly no people. We relaxed and enjoyed the open air, and the peaceful feeling of being isolated. It was interesting to see how different it is from living in suburbia. After a dinner and desert cooked on a camp fire we listened to the station owners and we learned about their lives, their work, and how they have changed because of the drought. We slept under the stars and enjoyed the open air and many shooting stars.

 

James Kilevics

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