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Laura's Australia Adventure

Healesville Sanctuary - Day Three

Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Give me a home among the gum trees..."

We started off with the unofficial anthem of Australia, and we were off to Healesville Sanctuary. As soon as we arrived at the sanctuary, we walked around for a quick walk to see the emus and koalas. After a quick photo op, we journeyed off to a room where we learned all about the sugar glider. The sugar glider weighs about 80 grams and is a bit smaller than a squirrel glider. Its main predators are snakes and owls. We also learned about snakes, we now know that they get thier energy from outside sources. Also, snakes have a slower metabolism and they are known as cold blooded animals. After we visited those animals, we visited some of the many nocturnal animals in Australia. We even fed some of them; they ate right out of our hands! After, we went to the animal hospital located on the sanctuary. We watched an autoposy of a kangaroo, and I could hardly stand the stench of the rotting kangaroo flesh (I'm sorry if that paints a picture in your head). The bowels were extracted from the body, and we learned that kangaroos have the same number of heart chambers as humans. Next, we rushed to the amazing bird show where we saw a barking owl, black breasted buzzard, and even the huge wedged tail eagle. They flew right over our heads, and a gust of wind brushed our faces. Background noises were filled with little children's shrieks of excitement. After the bird show we went straight to lunch, to the bus, and back to the hotel.

The Otway Fly -Day Two

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Today we visited the amazing Otway Fly where we learned all about the rainforest. We even planted the largest tree native to Australia, the Mountain Ash. We also planted the million year tree called Myrtle Beach. The Myrtle Beach tree fed the dinosaurs, so planting one myself made me connect to the time of the dinosaurs. We traveled a small part of the rainforest mostly by elevated platforms that connected to each other all throughout a section of the forest. Next our guide, Peter, showed us to a near creek where he gathered some fresh water for us all to drink. Surprisingly enough, the water was extremely clear and fresh. It was even better than bottled water! Next, we made an uphill journey back to the main building. After we arrived at the main building, we had a quick bathroom break. We boarded the bus and we headed to the hotel to freshen up. Next, we went to the Amazing Melbourne 360 degree view restaurant and we viewed the amazing night cityscape. We were finished eating, so we started the drive back to the hotel to get ready to make a new blog posting, and have a great night of sleep.

First Impressions - Airport and Day 1

It all started when I witnessed with my very own eyes, the gigantic plane we would be riding for about fifteen hours. We would be doing all of this to set our feet on the magical place known as Australia. The flight was quite long and quite cramped. However, I managed to deal with the struggles of feeling that your legs would fall off. After the extremely long flight, we landed­ in the great Melbourne, Australia. After we went through all of baggage claim and customs, we boarded our private bus. There, we met our new travel instructor, Amanda. After we were given a basic introduction, we were off to the Moonlit Sanctuary. There we saw all kinds of animals including the famous kangaroos, a koala, a wombat, wallabies, and much more. We even went on a wallaby walk where we fed wallabies from our own hands! Next, we learned all about frogs and how they are very vulnerable to changes in our environment. We also learned that without frogs, our ecosystems would suffer. We even learned that the Egyptians used frogs as pregnancy tests. Soon after, we went to go on a walk to see animals when they are most active… at night. The night walk was very exciting because we had no idea where we were walking, and there were puddles everywhere. After we came back from the night walk, we were all very tired and ready to go to our hotel, Hotel Ibis. I roomed with all of the girls from my school. We each had our own beds and we started to drift off into sleep. We woke the next morning at around 5:30. We started to get ready and we went down to the buffet breakfast bar together. When we were done enjoying our delicious breakfast, we loaded up into the bus and we were off to the next location… the Otway Fly.

Just Hours Left...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Today is the day when I board the direct flight to Australia. Today is the day when the exitement finally hits me.


I have now completely finished all of my packing and I cannot wait any longer. I have been counting down to this adventure for more than twenty days. Now instead of counting down days, I am now counting hours, minutes, and even seconds. I can only repeat in my head, "Hurry Up!"


Monday, May 18, 2009

Hey, my name is Laura Jacobs and I am in the eighth grade attending Walter Reed Middle School. In about one week, I will be taking an amazing adventure to the one and only Australia. This is an amazing opportunity for me because when I grow up, I would love to either be a photographer or a writer. This trip will be a great help to kick off the preliminary stages of my career.

I have always wondered what it would be like to go on this type of adventure. Exploring cultures and natural wonders is what I have been wanting to do for a majority of my life. Now, I will have the time to live my dream. I will soak in the culture, just like a human sponge. I will learn my part in helping Australian wildlife by doing things right at home. This is my once in a lifetime moment, and I plan to take it all in.

Of course, I'm not the only one going on this fabulous trip. My technology teacher, Mr. Shelton, and my computer savvy friends, Sophie, Lulu, and Elvira will be on this trip as well. On May 25, 2009 we will be starting our two week long journey to Australia. I'm sure this adventure is something we will never forget.

If you wish to follow me on twitter, you can find me at

Essential Programs Details

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