After the packed program of yesterday, our conscientious tour managers Mr Kang and Mr Desmond had the foresight to plan a restful, relaxing day. Our pupils spent the day getting to know some of Australia's unique creatures.
First, after a full breakfast buffet and an hour's bus ride, we hit the Healesville Sanctuary, a wildlife conservation and education center. There, the pupils had 2 hours of self-exploration, where they encountered enchanting animals like free-ranging wallabies, lyrebirds and blue-tongued skinks, offerings of Australia's unique evolutionary lines as an island continent.
This was followed by an hour's guided experience of petting and feeding a throated frogmouth, a ring-tailed possum and a diamond python! What wondrous creatures! Unable to see such critters in our corner of the world, the children were understandably excited yet were extremely respectful towards the animals. The team is so proud of them!
We then watched a bird show called Spirits of the Skies, which taught the children about the special adaptations some birds had developed for survival yet how, without a conscious effort toward conservation, they still would not be able to survive for long. The message was brought home to the children as they ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the birds' display of natural flair and talent.
After a quick, nutritious lunch, we headed to ride a remnant of the past: Puffing Billy! A steam engine from the early 1900s, it was lovingly restored by volunteers of the Puffing Billy Preservation Society and is one of the best preserved steam railways today.
Interestingly, the children were reminded of their time spent in CERES, exploring energy sources (specifically burning coal), when they saw the plumes of white smoke rolling from Billy's smokestack. Very astute, kids!
The most fun-filled part of the day was yet to come as we all had the opportunity to hand feed Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and Rosellas! The children, though apprehensive at first, quickly warmed to the inquisitive birds and let them get real close and personal!
After the birds had their dinner, it was time for ours! A sumptuous Thai spread at Sawadee Thai Restaurant began with a lovely celebration for our birthday girl, Sharifah Batrisya!
Many many thanks to tour managers Mr Kang and Mr Desmond for organizing and liaising with the restaurant to get her a mouth-watering fruit cake! She was also presented with a gift, card and picture signed by all her friends and teachers to round off her special Aussie birthday. Hope you had an awesome day, Batrisya! :)
It's back to school tomorrow as we visit Cowes Primary School and extend an international hand of friendship to their students and staff!
Till then, cheers mates!
Team Eunos@Melbourne 2013