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Category Archives: Geography

To Ballarat via Google’s Shortcut

When we left Glenrowan,

we enlisted Google’s help

to direct us to Ballarat.

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The scenery was gorgeous.

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Come take a little drive with us and see how pretty it was….

(please excuse the bumpy footage; it was not the best of roads).

I loved how the trees seemed to reach over us.

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The trees thinned out after a while

and were replaced by these intriguing rocky outcrops.

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Wouldn’t they be interesting to wander around.

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I just loved the Victorian scenery.

It’s very different from Queensland.

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Now, this is where things got interesting.

We were driving along,

enjoying the scenery

when we noticed the road getting significantly skinnier.

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We wondered out loud where Google was taking us

and whether we should continue to trust Google.

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And then the road turned to dirt!!!

We definitely had words with Google at that point!!

Where was Google taking us?!!

We decided that the best course of action was to continue onwards,

since we’d already committed so many hours to this journey already.

But there were many times when we seriously wondered if Google knew what it was doing

and if we’d ever arrive in Ballarat.

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After passing a couple of dead wombats on the road,

seeing a live echidna cross the road

and sharing the road with a whole herd of cows,

the dirt road turned back to bitumen…thankfully.

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And we did eventually make it to Ballarat and our hotel.

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It was a nice big room

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and it had a washing machine too

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…although some people like to call it a spa.

🙂

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Posted by on December 4, 2018 in Australian Holiday, Geography

 

Adelaide and a Wedding

Last month, we went on a little trip south to Adelaide.

We were heading there for my brother’s wedding

but decided to stay a few extra days to check out the city.

Now, first, let me tell you,

that Adelaide truly is the city of churches…at least in the city centre.

My golly gosh!  There were so many!

And it was not uncommon to see a couple of churches in a row.

Yes, side by side!

Oh and they were beautiful churches.

Actually, there were lots of beautiful historic buildings.

Hats off to Adelaide and their foresight and determination to protect their heritage buildings.

With all of their beautiful buildings, mixed with plenty of green spaces, Adelaide was a really pretty place to visit.

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We had only one complaint about Adelaide and it’s a major one.

Adelaidians can not drive!

Or, at the very least, the drivers we experienced in Adelaide had little regard for others on the road.

They just changed lanes without checking if anyone was beside them, many of them without even bothering to indicate!

Even buses did it!  (We also saw a city bus, full of passengers, go straight through a red light!)

Driving in Adelaide, for us, was a nerve racking experience,

The whole time, we drove expecting that, at any moment, the car beside us would change into us.

So, for us, Adelaide was a stressful place to visit.

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Now, back to the nice parts of Adelaide.

Their museum was gorgeous. Clearly a lot of money has been spent…well spent.

(Hear that Brisbane Museum, yet another museum that is nicer than you!  But I digress…)

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The museum makes use of a number of buildings, one of which is a gorgeous heritage building.

It was lovely and a piece of history on display as much as the artifacts in the cabinets.

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The old display cabinets haven’t been tossed aside in favour of ‘new but not beautiful’ cabinets.

Adelaidians know how to preserve history.

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Our only complain about the museum was the almost total unrepresentation of colonial history.

There was a huge focus on Pacific and Aboriginal cultures,

but very little on South Australia’s colonial history.

We’d wanted to learn more about how South Australia, the colony, came to be,

but, we went home none the wiser.

Come to think of it, the Brisbane Museum is the same.

In Australian museums, where is the British heritage that makes up a part of our history.

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However, we did enjoy the Pacific cultures exhibits.

There’s a lot of beauty in their artifacts.

Cultures that value beauty enough to include it in even their practical implements are to be esteemed.

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I have to say though.  Even beauty isn’t going to make this ‘pillow’ comfortable.

Thank you to whoever come up with the idea of soft fluffy pillows.

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Our favourite displays from the Aboriginal exhibits are always the dot paintings.

But, just recently, I found out that dot paintings, as we see them, aren’t ‘traditional’ art,

but, instead, only begin in the 1970s.

Yes, seriously.  Google it.  I was shocked too.

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Speaking of things I like, look at these squirrels.

I loooove squirrels.

Sadly, Australia has none.  😦

Squirrels are much more interesting to watch than koalas, who simply sleep all day.

Yes, I’d swap for them.

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In Adelaide Museum, there was a whole taxidermy exhibit displaying animals from different regions.

We hadn’t even heard of some of the animals,

but we’re not animal people so that doesn’t really surprise me.

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The discovery room is always a popular museum location.

They keep all the creepy yet cool stuff there.

Check this out – a shingleback lizard with twins!

Cool!!

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Even dead, this shark is fearsome-looking.

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Yes, son, he could probably swallow you whole, although he prefers to nibble or chew.

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The exhibit I was most looking forward to was the Douglas Mawson exhibit.

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We’d read up about him and his fateful expedition, before heading to Adelaide

(and we are keen to see the hut replica in Hobart).

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I can’t even imagine what it is truly like in Antarctica.

Yes, it’s cold, obviously, but it’s also windy.

The average wind speed is 69km/h!

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Hubby’s favourite exhibits are always to be found in rooms related to Ancient History

so he was excited to find that Adelaide has a room dedicated solely to Ancient Egypt.

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The museum has two complete mummies and the sarcophagus for one of them.

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At first I thought some of the artifacts must be replicas.

I mean, how would South Australia have received such artifacts to keep.

But, on closer inspection, I found that just about everything was authentic.

So I had to find out more.

I discovered that, in 1890, the South Australia governor commissioned Reverend William Roby Fletcher

to acquire ancient artifacts from London and Cairo.

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I also found this quote written by Fletcher in 1892 in “Egyptian Sketches”

(which I may have to read in its entirety as the snippets I read were fascinating!),

“This body snatching is a curious business. It is an odd sensation to stand on a mound of rubbish and see bits of dirty sponge-like stuff, and shreds of cerements and human bones lying all about.  You pick up one of these spongy bits and find that it is fibrous muscular tissue.  You get interested and poke into the sand, and then, turning around, see a youngster holding a head in his hands, which he wants to sell you for 10 or 20 piastres, or the hand of some nameless beauty torn from her mummy…Somehow one gets over the awkwardness of one’s feelings, and is quite ready to pocket a rare scarab, or an amulet, or a papyrus roll if fortunate enough to get one…”

This extract may explain why there were ‘bits’ of mummies’ bodies also on display.

Can you see the mummified hands and feet in the photo?

There are also mummified cats next to them.

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Despite it’s macabre origin, we still loved the Egyptian room.

It was totally fascinating.

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Of course, we didn’t spend our whole holiday at the museum.

We also visited the Mall’s Balls.

All of the tourist sites said it was a must see.

Ummm…peoples.  Why?!

This is not an attraction.

It’s just a sculpture.

We snapped the obligatory photo and moved on

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…to the real attraction on the mall – the bookstore!

The Dymocks in Rundle Mall is to die for.

The children’s section goes on and on.

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But the fun didn’t end there!

This bookstore had TWO storeys.

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I was so overwhelmed with glee that I found it hard to focus on what I wanted to buy.

But I found this treasure and was delighted.

It was a good read.

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While in Adelaide, we also visited the zoo.

The meerkats were at the top of our must see creatures.

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Adelaide Zoo has a meerkat that is losing her colouring and turning white.

There is a sign at the exhibit that explains that she turned white over only a few months,

but that no one knows why.

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Apparently, in all other regards, she seems healthy enough.

How interesting.

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The monkeys also impressed us.

Who doesn’t love the monkeys?!

These fellows were swinging from branch to branch and tree to tree,

putting on quite a display.

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Birds don’t ordinarily impress me but this Golden Pheasant really caught my attention.

What a beautifully coloured bird!

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Of course, you can’t visit Adelaide Zoo without checking out Australia’s only pandas.

They are only on loan to Adelaide for ten years, which means that their time here is almost up.

(They arrived in 2009).

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When we arrived at the exhibit, Wang Wang and Fu Ni were waiting in their glass enclosures

for their keepers to do whatever they were doing in their outdoor enclosures.

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But, we didn’t have to wait long for them to be released.

Don’t they look so cute and cuddly.

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Yes, we have to remind ourselves that they are bears, with big teeth and big claws.

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Okay, enough tourist stuff.

Onto the wedding, the whole purpose for our visit to South Australia.

It was held out in wine country at this gorgeous old church.

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This church is the only one in Australia that has a crypt built beneath it.

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Don’t my ‘not so little’ men scrub up well.

What you can’t see is that one of these boys,

who will remain nameless,

didn’t realise that there was cardboard under the collar of his new shirt

and so he spent the whole day and night wearing cardboard around his neck.

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You see, I wasn’t there to inspect their appearance before leaving the cottage.

I’d dashed off to help my brother-in-law dress and care for his three daughters

(as my sister was in the bridal party).

My nieces are, of course, adorable.

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I mean, check out this sweetie.

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The same sweetie who fell fast asleep during the ceremony in a matter of two minutes.

I left her to go and do a reading for the service and came back to sleeping beauty.

Yes, in this exact position.

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The service continued nicely while she slept and my brother married my new sister.

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And, at the end of this holiday,

I had another married sibling

and I had visited another Australian capital city.

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Posted by on August 12, 2018 in Family Events, Family Life, Field Trips, Geography

 

It’s a Bit Wet Around Here

We’ve had a ‘bit’ of rain around here recently.

So much so that the premier closed all of the schools in the region for two whole days.

It’s a bit of an epic event; the result of ex-cyclone Debbie.

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Yesterday, on the way home, we stopped at the little Red Bridge to have a look at the flooding.

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We live nearby but our little pocket of the area is completely water-free (thankfully),

so it was a bit surreal to see all this water so close to home.

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It’s more like an inland lake than a river,

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and so fast flowing and treacherous.

There was lots of debris around the area – a pole, a water tank,

and all sorts of mysterious objects

that you can only wonder where they came from and what they used to be.

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It was amazing to see.

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This is a park we quite enjoy visiting.

I dare say we won’t be visiting any time soon,

well, not without a dingy or a canoe.

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The river apparently peaked on Saturday (these photos were taken on Sunday)

so I dare say it’ll take a couple of days before the river is back within its banks.

What’s left behind will be a lot of work to clean up,

especially for all those people whose homes were in the path of this water.

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The good news is that all the dams in the area had a much needed topping up.

🙂

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2017 in Family Life, Geography

 

Wonders of the World

The Brickman “Wonders of the World” exhibition was in Brisbane this past week

and we almost didn’t go.

The price!  Ouch!

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But, at the last minute, we snagged some discounted tickets

and we’re so glad that we did!

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This exhibition was brilliant!

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We spent between two and three hours exploring the exhibits

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and building our own creations.

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The theme, obviously, was Wonders of the World

and there were plenty of wonders to see.

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(It was also amusing and horrifying to listen to people talking about the exhibits.

According to one person, the Christ the Redeemer statue is in Rome.

And here I was thinking it was in Brazil.)

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We enjoyed revisiting wonders we have seen in real life.

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Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Ancient Wonders still existed?!

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At the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

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a little Lego sculptor was still hard at work creating the exhibit for us.

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Over at the Temple of Artemis

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we saw a sacrifice to the goddess.

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And if you look closely,

you can see just how much research went into the accurate design of these buildings.

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We were impressed!  🙂

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Many of the exhibits were almost as breathtaking as the originals.

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The Notre Dame Cathedral is a building I would love to see in real life.

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Of course, the Notre Dame isn’t complete without Quasimodo.

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While the exhibits as a whole were impressive,

it was the details of each that appealed to us the most.

Almost all of them were cut-away models,

which allowed you to peer inside.

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Guess what we found behind the Hollywood sign?

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No, not graffiti, although that was included to enhance the authenticity of the sign.

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You’ll never guess.  I’ll just have to tell you.

We found ELVIS!!

He’s living in a subterranean room behind the Hollywood sign!

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“Wonders of the World” is quite a large exhibition with displays in several rooms,

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many of which are simply breathtaking.

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The Arc de Triomph is another wonder I’d love to visit.

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Just look at the detail on this model.

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Such attention to detail.  🙂

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Even the scenes around the models were fantastic.

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But, my absolute favourite model and building

is St Basil’s Cathedral in Russia.

Isn’t it gorgeous?!

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Everywhere you looked, in and around this building,

there was something interesting and amusing.

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If you know your history,

you’ll know whose statue is being pulled down.

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Did you see the fallout shelter under the statue?

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What about the Mutant Ninja Turtle about to collect some pizza?

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For the Minecraft fans, there’s even a creeper to be found,

if you look carefully.

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There’s even another Aussie stripped down to his budgie-smugglers?? (aka swimmers)

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I think the biggest crowd-pleaser was the Titantic model.

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Isn’t it fantastic?

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We spent the most time at this model as there was so much to see –

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people clinging to the decks for dear life,

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crowding onto life-rafts,

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the ultra-rich hogging life-rafts in order to save their treasures,

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and this dedicated postie who continued to sort the mail even in the freezing Atlantic waters.

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There are even scenes that you can see through some of the windows.

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Throughout the exhibition, we were also hunting for Eddie the Explorer.

He’s hidden in many of the scenes.

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We hunted high

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and low for Eddie.

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We found saw strange characters

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and even saw Harry Potter and his owl on a bus in London,

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but, we only found a certain number of Eddies.

No, we can’t disclose that number

as you have to enter the number into a Lego competition.

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There were so many masterpieces at this exhibition,

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as well as lots of opportunities to make your own Lego masterpieces.

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If you are thinking about going to Brickman’s “Wonder of the World” exhibition,

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save your Christmas money and definitely buy tickets!

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It is worth every dollar.

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We loved it!

(P.S.  Brisbanites, tomorrow is the exhibition’s very last day in Brisbane so run, don’t walk, to get tickets!!)

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2016 in Art and Craft, Field Trips, Geography, Technology