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Life Missions

(5 out of 5 complete)

Meet a kangoroo or a koala face to face

Visit the Sydney Opera House

be on top of a snowman

visit a beautiful beach

take a picture in front of a Courthouse

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Travelog for: Hugo

Osasco, Brazil - 21st February 2009

By: karla

Im so glad my mom found me a host in Australia. Im already on my way there, I cant wait to arrive!!

* Posted Feb 21, 2009, 10:00 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Orange, NSW, Australia - 3rd March 2009

By: sararingham

Hey mom! I've finally arrived in Australia. Thankfully I had Iago to talk to while I was there... and there are a couple other toyvoyagers here currently with me. Sara says tomorrow two of them will be moving onto other hosts (one in Japan and one in Mexico - crazy yes?)... well Sara says she got put to a couple jobs in Bathurst so in the next week or so they'll be out searching for some wild kangaroos to see if I can spot them... :-) Well I'll write a proper update with some photos soon! I've been resting a lot since I got down here! Write again soon! <3

* Posted Mar 2, 2009, 10:47 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Orange, NSW, Australia - 3rd March 2009

By: sararingham

Hi! It's been really boring around here lately.. Sara hasn't been able to get out as much as she would have liked to so we've been sitting at home with her... well, nothing much interesting has been going on but today Sara tried kangaroo for the first time. So she thought this was note worthy... we all smelled it and it actually smelled really yummy! It looked just like a steak and Sara says it actually just tastes just like beef, but very very lean, almost no fat at all.. yummy!
Not much there but sometimes I wish we could try new things too - so here was Sara's dinner (or part of it anyways) from the other day. I promise more interesting things ahead in the days to come! Write again soon!

* Posted Mar 5, 2009, 7:36 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Blayney, NSW, Australia - 5th March 2009

By: sararingham

Today we were taking a small road trip. No where exciting but Sara took this as an opportunity to show us what the Central West is full of... which sadly isn't all that interesting, but hopefully you'll find it a bit more interesting... it's very dry and brown here. There's been barely any rain, so now that it's Autumn, we're hoping for a bit more rain... *fingers crossed* first stop we went to a small town called Blayney which has a population of only 3,000 people...

Here I am at the top of the highest point in Blayney, Church Hill... you can see the whole town from here...

...and here's the rest of the view around Church Hill from where we're standing...

Coming down from Church Hill we went down the main street to our next destination... here I am on the main street which is called Adelaide Street...

We're back on the road again... I'll update more soon!

* Posted Mar 5, 2009, 7:53 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Carcoar Dam, NSW, Australia - 5th March 2009

By: sararingham

Next stop was the Blayney Wind Farm and Carcoar Dam which is just outside of Blayney and Carcoar... here I am in front of the wind turbines...

Sara also decided to show you Carcoar Dam... if you click that link you can see what Carcoar Dam used to look like. Since the Central West has been in a drought for so long the water level is much much lower than at the moment... here I am in front of what is left of the dam...

Kind of puts it into perspective how much of a drought Australia is in, especially inland from the coastlines... here's a closer image of the water level. You see that line on the hill just below the trees? That's where the water used to be... can you imagine THAT much water evaporating? Scary isn't it?

...and here are a couple more photos of the wind mills that run the wind farm...

Write again soon!

* Posted Mar 5, 2009, 8:27 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Carcoar, NSW, Australia - 5th March 2009

By: sararingham

Next stop was Carcoar which is one of the many tiny towns between Blayney and Cowra, so we decided to get a few photos. Carcoar has a population of around 400 people... so very small, here I am on the main street...

...there's sadly not much to see here but Sara took us down to the little river that runs through the town. Sara says her and her husband Daniel used to drive here from Blayney to here to have picnic's once in a while. :-) Isn't it pretty?

Back on the road... we're almost there! Another 40 minutes or so... write again soon!

* Posted Mar 5, 2009, 8:46 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Cowra, NSW, Australia - 5th March 2009

By: sararingham

Last stop, we're finally there! We've arrived in Cowra which is a town about half the size of Orange, with around 13,000 people. There's not too much to see here... Sara and her husband had to do a few mystery shops. So we just waited, after all the jobs were done we all went down to the Lachlan River... we saw a LOT of bird life while we were there... here I am in front of the river...

Walking down to the river there were a lot of aboriginal paintings on the underside of the road (which passed over the river)... here are some of the paintings...
Can you guess what some of the animals are? Well, there are dolphins, echidna, turtles, fish, dugong, kookaburra, and snakes. How interesting is all that? Isn't it pretty?

You can't tell but there are HUNDREDS of Long-billed Corella's... they're making heaps of noise but they're fun to watch. Sara took a short video of them in the tree... you can watch the video here. It's short and you can also hear the noises they make... they were crazy... here are a few snap shots of them as well...

...and we even got to see a bunch of Australian Wood Ducks...

After spending an hour or so at the river we decided to head home. It had already been a long day and it was only 230pm. Crazy! Well back home we go... write again soon! Miss you mom I hope you enjoyed my day out!

* Posted Mar 5, 2009, 9:20 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Bathurst, NSW, Australia - 11th March 2009

By: sararingham

Today we took a trip to Bathurst... and something Sara does always when she goes to Bathurst is she goes and sees if she can spot any kangaroos. They're commonly just outside of the town on a road going towards Blayney. They're in a farmers paddock which is now slowly being turned into a more residential area sadly. So now they're being pushed farther and farther out of the town... this time we actually did spot some kangaroos... can you see him behind me?

Here's a close up of that same guy:

I know! He's really really small but Sara couldn't get much closer... when she tried not only did that guy hop off... but all the others as well. Sara didn't even notice those guys, they blend in so well to the dry grass don't they?

We were kind of rushed in Bathurst today so we didn't see as much as Sara would have liked to show us... but there's another stop in the mean time... write again soon! :-)

* Posted Mar 19, 2009, 1:36 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Mount Panorama, NSW, Australia - 11th March 2009

By: sararingham

Right near the kangaroos actually is a famous Australian race track... Mount Panorama.. which holds the famous race each October called the Bathurst 1000 this race means all of the Central West (where we are living currently) is flooded with people for a weekend and Australia shuts down because on Sunday everyone is watching the races. Sara told us there was a couple times she went out when she lived in Blayney (population 3000) there was like no one out.. it was literally like a ghost town... well now's our time to take a little part in something very famously Australian... :-)

Here I am in front of the Mount Panorama gate... you can see in the background the sign on the side of the mountain (which is the close up in the picture above)...

Here's the starting gate... although we started from the other side so there are no pictures of us there sadly...

...and here's some pictures of us going around the track...

...at the top of the mountain Sara took a very quick photo to show the view from the top of the mountain (which is right above that white sign that says Mount Panorama)...

After we took a ride on the track we got out of the car and visited a now famous statue of Peter Brock who won the panorama races a record 9 wins before he died in a car crash in 2006, very soon after Steve Irwin died actually! Here we are in front of his statue...
...here's a better photo of it...

...we also learned a bit more about the race track. They have some huge signs along the side of the gate (which I'm standing in front of in one of the first pictures)... Sara couldn't get a good photo so she'll just write out what it says:

Shortly you will be on Mount Panorama. A 60kph scenic drive offering spectacular views of Bathurst and surrounding country side. The last true public road racing circuit left in Australia. Twice each year it is of special significance to the motor car and bike racing enthusiasts rising almost 200 metres and falling through a succession of bends, it has heart-in-mouth appeal to drivers and spectators alike.

With motor racing in Bathurst as early as 1911, the Vale Circuit for motor cycles was opened in 1931 and when abandoned, a scenic road albeit a race circuit, was constructed to the Bald Hills, now Mount Panorama.

The home of the toughest and most famous car race in the Southern Hemisphere, the Toohey's 1000, it is a unique test of man and machine with every driver striving to do the perfect lap.

This has changed somewhat from the first Australian long distance classic, the 500 miler at Phillip Island in the early sixties, shifting Bathurst in 1963. The Bathurst City Council, Australian Racing Drivers Club, ATN Chanel 7 and sponsors alike have been involved in this phenomenon of excitement, spectacle and human drama, Australia's greatest motor race the Toohey's 1000.

Since 1938 the Easter Australian Grand Prix for motor cycles has been held here. To every Australian motor cycle enthusiast Bathurst has the most magic of all, even though in 1989 the Grand Prix went to Phillip Island and in 1991 to Eastern Creek.

It's amazing how much I learned today about Bathurst and the most famous part of Bathurst... this last weekend we actually watched a race at Mount Panorama, it was some kind of 12-hour race... how crazy is that... can you picture going around that thing for 12 hours. I think I'd go crazy! Well I'll update again soon! Miss you mom! <3

* Posted Mar 19, 2009, 2:02 pm [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Orange, NSW, Australia - 28th March 2009

By: sararingham

Today we decided to do a bit of the touristy stuff in Orange since we've seen the surrounding areas it's now time to explore the town we've lived in for the last few weeks. We packed up the car and took a short drive. The first stop wasn't too far from where Sara lives, it's Banjo Patterson's birth place. Which wasn't where we are but very close to where we are standing... here I am on the bust that looks like Banjo...

If you don't know, Banjo Patterson is a very famous Australian and he's even on the $10.00 note down here. He's famous for writing the poem Waltzing Matilda... if you've never heard it here it is:

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong,
Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
And he sang as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
And he sang as he watched and waited 'til his billy boiled,
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Down came a jumbuck to drink at the billabong,
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee,
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag,
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tucker bag,
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Up rode the squatter, mounted on his thoroughbred,
Up rode the troopers, one, two, three,
"Where's that jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker bag?"
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
"Where's that jolly jumbuck you've got in your tucker bag?",
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Up jumped the swagman and sprang into the billabong,
"You'll never take me alive", said he,
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong,
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me".

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me"
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong,
"You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me."
"Oh, You'll come a-Waltzing Matilda, with me."

Right near the Banjo Patterson bust is the remains of the old Templers Mill... here's the rubble... can you see us on it?...

How about now?

...here we are!

Sadly people use the rubble as a bit of a garbage pile sometimes... really sad actually... but here's a bit of information about the historic templers mill...

In 1828, the land between Orange and Suma Park was granted to emancipist Simeon Lord as part compensation for the land he had surrendered to Governor Macquarie in 1811 in Sydney. It was probably Lord's son, Thomas, who built and supervised the district's first flour mill on the property, which retained the Aboriginal name Narrambla.

It is possible that the grinding stone was first operated by convicts but in 1840, when the mill was acquired by John Arthur Templer, these were replaced by horse works. In 1848, Templer installed a 12 horsepower steam engine and boiler, and the mill's chimney probably dated from this time. Farmers brought grain for grinding at one shilling a bushel.

It was in Templer's homestead among the trees by the creek that his great nephew, Andrew Barton Paterson, was born on the 17th of February 1864. Banjo Paterson as he became known, is one of Australia's best known and most popular poets.

Templer's Mill operated until about 1870. The boiler was later used for many years at Heap's Brewery in Moulder Street, Orange. The remains of the mill, considered dangerous and beyond repair, were demolished in 1971.

Last stop we got to see the memorial to Banjo which is right next to the road... here we are in front of the memorial...

The Australian Poet Andrew Barton Paterson "Banjo"

Was born 17th February 1864 at the Narrambla Homestead which stood 8 chains North East of this memorial. Erected 1947.

"And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended and at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars."
-Clancy of the Overflow

On the way back to the car we got a view of the surrounding areas of the birth place... this is a lot of what the areas around Orange looks like. As you can tell, we really are in a bad drought with how brown the grass is... we haven't had a good rainfall in months!

That's our visit to the famous poets birth place... now it's time to move onto the next big tourist trap in Orange... this is a bit longer of a car ride... write again soon!

* Posted Mar 30, 2009, 5:07 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Mount Canobolas, NSW, Australia - 28th March 2009

By: sararingham

Next stop was around a 20 minute drive from where we were and technically on the outskirts of Orange... but knowing what it was that would be understandable. Not something you'd expect to see in the middle of the rural area of New South Wales... but an extinct volcano! Seriously, how crazy is that? It's the highest point West of the Blue Mountains which is on the outskirts of Sydney, around a 2.5 hour drive from where we are now... it's the famous Mount Canobolas... here I am at the top of the mountain...

The top photo you can the city of Orange in the distance... looks so tiny from up here... here I am on the compass at the apex point of the volcano... this is where you stand and it shows the direction to look to see the different cities and towns in the region... on a clear day you can see hundreds of kilometers.

Here's the panoramic view around the top of the mountain from one side to the other... as you can see it has a lot of radio and TV towers. Honestly it's a huge eye sore... oh well!

There are lots of hikes and bush walks all around the apex point of the mountain... we got to learn a bit about the mountain while we were here. If you see in this image you can see there are lots of "vents" where there were smaller less active volcanoes surrounding the main volcano... here's a bit of information about Mount Canobolas...

Mount Canobolas volcanic complex is listed in the Commonwealth Heritage Register for it's unique geological composition and location. These factors have resulted in a distinctive vegetation pattern, containing rare and unique species, which in turn contain habitats for a number of equally unique animals.

Within a 30 kilometer radius of Mount Canobolas, approximately 30 vents are known to have erupted. These eruptions commenced about 50 million years ago and halted approximately 10-15 million years ago. The Mount Canobolas vents erupted over that entire period, while others within the 30 kilometer radius were active for shorter periods. The basalt capping has largely weathered away producing fertile soils as far away as West Wyalong. Which is 222 kilometers away from Orange or just under a 3 hour drive West of Orange.

After we had a bit longer at the top of the volcano and a few more photos we started to head down the mountain. Half way down, we stopped and got a picture of the mountain and a better view of Orange from above. The small mountain next to the main apex of Mount Canobolas is called Little Canobolas, it's a 2km walk from the top of the mountain...

Well, we're not quite done yet... we have one more place to visit before we've seen all the main touristy areas of rural New South Wales (this area anyway)... write again soon with more photos of our next stop!

* Posted Mar 30, 2009, 5:41 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Lake Canobolas, NSW, Australia - 28th March 2009

By: sararingham

Next and last stop today is Lake Canobolas which is really the only water source in the region beyond Carcoar Dam which you saw a few weeks ago. Which is almost non existant. Thankfully there's more to this lake, although it is a man made lake... here I am in front of the lake... isn't it pretty on such a sunny bright day like today?

There were a LOT of ducks right near where we were standing... sadly we didn't have any bread to feed them... Sara says how she loves to feed the ducks and always feels a bit bad when they approach her and she doesn't have anything to give them...

All of us toyvoyagers decided to sit in one of the gum trees near the beach and relax for a little bit...

We sadly didn't stay very long since it was already almost 6pm! Would you believe it? Well one last look at the lake and it's time to head home...
Well that was a huge day for us, we got to see a lot of interesting things... but we've seen a lot of rural and regional New South Wales. I'll be leaving to my next host soon! Write again soon! Miss you mom!

* Posted Mar 30, 2009, 6:54 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Orange, NSW, Australia - 7th April 2009

By: sararingham

...wait what?

...why are we waking up at such an ungodly hour? We've just started to adjust to having the clocks put back an hour... and now were getting up at 5am, being packed into the car to go somewhere? why? Well at least we can sleep...

In the mean time we had to get some petrol, here we all are, awake and at the petrol station... time to move on, we're already 20 minutes off schedule...

Write again soon... at our next destination...

* Posted Apr 8, 2009, 9:59 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Wellington, NSW, Australia - 7th April 2009

By: sararingham

Next stop is Wellington... it's a small town of around 4,500 inhabitants. Since it was still very early we decided to just pass by instead of getting what we had to do done here... so moving on through... here are some photos driving through the town...
As you can see it's a pretty small town... as we were coming out of the town we actually saw a train it wasn't long before the train was way behind us... ah well it was cool while it lasted... moving onto the much larger town ahead... write soon!

* Posted Apr 8, 2009, 10:04 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

Dubbo, NSW, Australia - 7th April 2009

By: sararingham

Next stop was the much larger town of Dubbo. Dubbo is closer to the outskirts of the real "outback". There's a lot more red dirt, and you've got a very large zoo called the Western Plains Zoo which is has a huge breeding program for African animals since the weather is very similar here to African weather patterns. It gets *very* hot during the Summer... here are some photos driving through Dubbo...
...Sadly we weren't able to spend much time in Dubbo, we still had so much to do outside of Dubbo... and we had a few more hours of driving. Sara apologizes that we didn't do anything really interesting today... but we got to see a lot of the area she lives in... it's very beautiful but so very dry... we're on the road again, it's time to get to our next destination...

* Posted Apr 8, 2009, 10:10 am [Quote] [View just this post] Go to the top of the page

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