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Lulu's Australia Adventure

Day 2

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Today, after waking up at 5:30, me and my 3 friends from school that I am rooming with, Elvira, Laura, and Sophie, went down to breakfast and enjoyed our first, although very early, breakfast at Hotel Ibis. After boarding the bus, we drove to the Otway Fly National Park. To get there, we drove along the Great Ocean Road. The Great Ocean Road is a magnificent road that runs along the shores of southern Australia. The road was build during World War I when Australian Veterans needed employment. We stopped in some sea-side towns and viewpoints. It was amazingly beautiful!!! Next we headed inland to Otway Fly. There, we had a chance to plant two kinds of trees that primarily grow in the Australian rainforest, the Mountain Ash tree and the Mortal Beach tree. The Mountain Ash tree is the 2nd tallest tree in the world, next to the California Redwoods. They grow up to 400 feet tall. The Mortal Beach tree fed dinosaurs thousands of years ago. Then our guide, Peter, took on us a tour throughout the rainforest. We learned about the different kinds of trees and how the Aboriginal people used the forest for resources. We also drank water from a stream. We hoped we would see platypus, but unfortunately we didn’t. The water from the stream tasted really fresh and yummy. The air in the rainforest smelled amazing because of all the trees around, unlike smoggy LA. Now we are headed off to dinner.

Day 2

Day 1

After getting all of our luggage at the airport, and realizing that the Colorado Kid’s luggage didn’t make it, we drove to the Moonlit Animal Sanctuary, an hour drive from Melbourne. Once there, we followed animal specialists around to experience one of their normal workdays. First, we helped fix up a wombat enclosure. Because Wombats dig a lot, the enclosure was covered in deep holes. The animal specialist, Marion, fist had to catch Rita, the wombat, which was a probably the biggest task of the day. First, we dug up dirt from another location and drove it back to the wombat enclosure. We used the dirt to cover up the holes. Then, a few of us went of to collect branches to decorate and remodel Rita’s cage. After that, we went on a Wallabies walk. We got food and got to walk around and feed the Wallabies out of our hands. They were sooooo cute J. Some were really shy, while other walked up to you. After the wallabies, we tested the fertility of squirrel gliders. We each got to fill out the official lab sheets and watch the squirrel glider be tested. They were soooo cute and had the biggest eyes. After the squirrel gliders, we were going to go and weed a section of the sanctuary, but because it stared POURING we had to change our plans. Instead of going weeding, we instead learned about diets of all the animals. When the specialist showed us mealworms, the Colorado kids and their teacher dared to EAT some!!!!!!!! It was sooooo gross. TO make the matters worse, when we got back to the cabin, we learned about frogs and their diets. When the animal keeper fed the frog a cockroach, Ashlee had the nerve to eat one herself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After being completely grossed out but also impressed that she would dare to do something like that, we enjoyed our first traditional Aussie BBQ. When it got dark outside, we went on our night walk around the sanctuary to see the animals that are night active. We petted and fed bettongs, and let a bird bite us. The best thing though on the way back was that we got feed and pet kangaroos in the dark!! It was so amazing!!! We also got to see a Koala eating eucalyptus. It was so adorable!! That wrapped up our day at the Moonlit Sanctuary and our first day in Australia. Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel to get a good night rest.

Essential Programs Details

Duration 14 days
When May 25th - June 7th, 2009
Focus Marine Biology
Conservation/Wildlife
Aboriginal Culture