An Educational Trip to Melbourne, Victoria
Malaysia BBC Earth School Challenge 2017 winners embark on an educational trip to Melbourne, Victoria
The winners of BBC Earth School Challenge 2017 – Malaysia, embark on an educational adventure through Melbourne
As a reward for winning the Malaysia BBC Earth School Challenge 2017, the students and their teacher advisor from SMK Convent Bukit Nanas were whisked off on an educational trip to Melbourne, Victoria. The winning team were treated to a specially created itinerary chock-full of activities that showcased the depth and diversity of Victoria. Known as the world’s most liveable city, Melbourne oozes a laidback vibe and is a creative cosmopolitan that offers colourful street art, a rich coffee culture and a labyrinth of hidden laneways and arcades. Starting with an introduction to the city, the winning team got to embark on a guided city tour that covered major historical landmarks which included the Fitzroy Gardens, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Shrine of Remembrance, and Hosier & ACDC Laneways. During the tour, the students were treated to
interesting stories about the city and were enlightened about the historical past of the important monuments and landmarks.
Under striking blue skies, the city of Melbourne is a sun-filled destination that certainly inspires cheerfulness and beckons visitors to step outside and enjoy natural and wildlife experiences located not far from the city. To the delight of the students, the trip took them to several must-visit nature and wildlife attractions. From getting a taste of the genuine Aussie farm experience at the Warrook Farm to exploring an African safari adventure at the Werribee Open Range Zoo and watching the Penguin Parade on Phillip Island, the students got to experience different wildlife attractions where they enjoyed encounters with a wide variety of animals. In addition, the students also had the opportunity to leave the city behind to relax amidst natural vistas at Brighton Beach and participate in a Working Wetland Program at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Last but not the least, the students managed to squeeze in visits to themed attractions, Sovereign Hill and Phillip Island Chocolate Factory. Read on to see what the winning team had to say about their learning experience in Melbourne, Victoria!
SHARIFAH ZAHRA ALHADAD
As someone who loves cities, I find that Melbourne has a unique cultural character that sets it apart from other cities and a centralized urban core where dining, shopping and entertainment are all easily accessible by foot. I was in awe of how the city is so well-structured, offering so many great sights to see as it oozes a sense of modernity while still preserving its historical and cultural buildings. This is reflected in an interesting mix of architecture and cool street art which I got to catch a glimpse of at Hosier & ACDC Laneways.
During the trip, we participated in educational activities at the Royal Botanic Gardens and Sovereign Hill, an attraction that recreates the gold rush era in Australia. We also got to get up close with nature by watching penguins on Phillip Island and enjoying a visit to a stunning beach. All of this had really inspired me to look into topics I had never really been interested in before such as the history of other countries, the preservation of animals and more. The trip has truly given me the opportunity to explore a place far from home and mix fun with learning. I made so many lasting memories with my team mates as we enjoyed each other’s company and cultivated a strong friendship.
My experience in Melbourne was a mind-opening one with metropolitan city adventures infused with historical lessons. Our visit to Sovereign Hill and its mining museum showed us how Australia’s economic growth progressed from the past when coal was used in abundance. It is a different scene from our Malaysian palm oil and rubber industries, which play important parts in our country’s economy. The highlights of the visit included witnessing a gold pour demonstration, taking a ride underground to go on a fully-guided gold mine tour and trying our hands at panning for real gold at the Red Hill Gully Diggings. My personal favourite part of the trip, however, is the Penguin Parade at The Nobbies Centre. Watching the adorable penguins march in a line, we could not help but smile and think about these beautiful creatures and our environment. Seated in the stands overlooking Summerland Beach, we got to enjoy an up-close viewing of little penguins in their natural habitat as they eagerly looked for their burrows at one of the largest penguin colonies in the country at sunset.
If I could describe Melbourne in one word, it would definitely be ‘phenomenal’. This particular trip was indeed a memorable one as the experiences gained and the beautiful memories created were definitely one of a kind. I would like to first highlight one of my favourite tourist attractions, the Penguin Parade at Phillip Island. Despite the weather not exactly being in our favour due to the light drizzle, being able to witness the little penguins returning ashore after a day’s worth of fishing was undeniably a sight to behold. Through this, I have realised how imperative nature is in our daily lives and how we should all take the initiative to partake in caring for our common home, especially in this era when modernisation takes centre-stage and things like nature, to a certain extent are considered secondary.
Secondly, Sovereign Hill was also one of the many attractions in Melbourne that had successfully incorporated fun and action into our learning process. This outdoor museum accurately depicts Ballarat’s first ten year period after the discovery of gold,
otherwise known as the Gold Rush period. Guided by friendly tour guides, we were given an in-depth explanation about the thousands of people who travelled from all walks of life to Ballarat in the 1850s with one main purpose – to strike gold. My biggest take-away from this particular destination has got to be the importance of hard work and consistent effort in the pursuit of success and I’ve also gained profound respect for the people who travelled to great lengths all in the name of a better future.
A trip to Melbourne would be deemed incomplete if it were not for the beautiful tour around the Melbourne Central Business District. Thanks to our helpful tour guide, Andrew, all of us got a splendid glimpse of the Marvellous Melbourne, which is coincidentally the title of the oldest surviving documentary of this Australian city. Little did we know that this breathtaking metropolitan city offers more than just good food and coffee. Landmarks such as Brighton Beach, Yarra River, Shrine of Remembrance, Flinders Street Railway Station and many more make up this beautiful city that many Australians call home. A shopping spree at the iconic Queen Victoria Market, in my opinion, was an excellent way to end our trip.
One of the attractions I thoroughly enjoyed on our trip was the Royal Botanic Gardens. During our visit there, we had the opportunity to get our hands dirty and participate in the Wetland Program, which allowed us to learn about maintaining the gardens. Personally, the experience is truly refreshing as we were given the chance to engage in hands-on learning outside the walls of classrooms. From the moment I stepped into Sovereign Hill, I was blown away by how closely the themed attraction resembles the old-fashioned towns we see in old black and white photographs. From dirt roads to street shops, the attention to detail was simply amazing. In addition, there were also costumed children and adults who were waiting to greet us on the streets that seemed to be stuck in time. That was a really nice touch in creating an immersive experience for visitors. From the trip, I learnt so much about how thousands of miners made their way to the country to earn a fortune and it makes me feel grateful to be in a different era. Our visit to Sovereign Hill showed me that taking the extra mile and determination really pays off.
PUAN TAN SHIM YU (TEACHER)
Overall, the trip to Melbourne was an interesting and memorable one. We have a wonderful guide, Penny who gave us valuable information about life in Melbourne. Our tour guide and driver, Andrew was also very passionate and enthusiastic in introducing our destinations as well as important sights. All of us enjoyed the tour of Yarra River and Southbank which gave us a taste of the city life in Melbourne. During our visit to Warrook Farm, we got to enjoy farm activities that included milking a cow, which was a new experience for the girls. The Phillip Island Chocolate Factory tour gave us an insight on the laborious effort involved in producing its chocolates and we thoroughly enjoyed helping ourselves to the delicious chocolates. For me, the Penguin Parade at Phillip Island was one of the real highlights of the trip. It was really worth the wait watching the little blue penguins emerging from the sea one after another to make their way back to feed their little ones in the burrows. Sovereign Hill was also a very interesting and engaging learning attraction for those who enjoy a dose of history, literature and performing arts. Seeing the enjoyment the girls got from learning to mine for the gold flakes at the attraction was an unforgettable moment.
Shopping spree at the iconic Queen Victoria Market
Sovereign Hill resembles the towns we see in old black and white photographs
Meeting local farm animals at Warrook Farm
Sovereign Hill, an attraction that recreates the gold rush era in Australia
Learning to mine for gold at Sovereign Hill
Costumed children and adults were waitingto greet us in Sovereign Hill
Melbourne oozes a laidback vibe andis a creative cosmopolitan
Phillip Island Chocolate Factory
Exploring an African safari adventure at the Werribee Open Range Zoo
Royal Botanic Gardens
Brief respite from the city at the Royal Botanic Gardens
Werribee Open Range Zoo
Excited to participate inthe Wetland Program
The Nobbies, Phillip Island
Having fun taking photos at the WerribeeOpen Range Zoo
Mixing fun and learning with the Wetland Program
Exploring an African safari adventure at the Werribee Open Range Zoo