Monthly Archives: July 2013

Sovereign Hill

At Sovereign Hill there were people dressed up in old clothes. It’s an old gold mining town. We had a little tour at the start. The man told us what it was like to be a digger in the gold fields. He was dressed in old fashioned clothes and acted like he was really doing it. He told us about how people stole things and got killed or died cos the doctors weren’t very good. He said the best way to make money on the goldfields was to sell things to the miners. Then we walked around to the place where they walked down into a mine. We lined up and went down some stairs. I lead a part of it. The part I lead went to where someone found some gold. The safe opened and there was the gold. It was so heavy Mum couldn’t lift it one bit. When we got out, it was so bright. We saw a wheelwright at work. A wheelwright makes wheels out of wood. They had wooden spokes and a metal tyre band. He would have made coach and wagon wheels.
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We saw a candle maker working, a tin smith who made candlesticks and kitchen stuff and a blacksmith who was putting names on horse shoes. At lunch time, we saw some soldiers in red coats who shot their muskets into the air.
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It was well worth going to cos NZ gold towns would have been nearly the same.
By Emelia

Note from Mum: Sovereign Hill is a replica gold mining town in Ballarat, Victoria

The Shot Tower

On the same day we went to the gaol, we went to the shot tower.
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It’s a tower they used to make shot in. The shot was made by dropping molten lead down the tower, in a long chute, into a bath of cold water.
This is the long chute 🙂
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On the way down the lead split into little drops, like rain. When they land in the water, they cool down quickly. After the shot lands in the bath at the bottom of the chute, it gets sorted by getting dried and rolled down a table that had a gap in it. The good shot jumped the gap and the bad shot fell down a hole and was remelted and dropped down again. Then they took the shot down another inclined table and un-round shot rolled off the sides and got remelted and taken back up the top too. The shot that was left got sieved to size and polished in a rotating barrel for one and a half hours and put in 13 kg bags. Most of the shot was supplied to the munitions factory, west of Melbourne. They still use this technique to make shot today, though not in this tower. This tower is part of a shopping centre in the middle of Melbourne. The way of making shot was developed by some baron who had tipped buckets and buckets of molten lead onto the heads of his enemies from the wall of his castle. Deciding to clean out his moat, he noticed that the lead had turned in to droplets.
G 🙂
This is the bath:)
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The Old Melbourne Goal

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Today we got arrested. Don’t worry, it’s not for real! We got locked in a cell. Dad had to go with the men and was put in one cell while Mum and us were put in with the women. One woman had a baby that cried and cried. They had a padded cell so people couldn’t hurt themselves. They began building the gaol in 1841 and opened it in 1845.
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People were arrested for lots of different things – being drunk, behaving badly, vagrancy(that means you don’t have a house to go to) as well as the usual things like robbery, fighting and stuff. Children were arrested, too. The youngest one was 3 years old. He was in prison for 6 months for “being idle and disorderly”. 2 girls (aged 13 and 14) were imprisoned because they had no where else to go.

In the olden days, if you were really naughty, you got hanged. People got hanged for murder, robbery, shooting and arson.
Ned Kelly did a lot of bad things, like horse stealing and bank robbery, so they wanted him dead our alive. He made armour out of ploughs. He was hanged in 1880 because he shot a policeman.
When you were hanged, they put a rope around the criminals neck. Then the executioner pulled a lever and the floor disappeared from under the criminal’s feet. Women were hanged, too. 133 people got hanged at the gaol. The last one was in 1924, when they closed the gaol.
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E 😉

Wednesday 24 July

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We are now in Melbourne. We flew in on Monday and are staying with friends of Mum and Dad’s. Today we went out to town and went shopping for shoes. I got some Converse trainers. From there we drove to the zoo. There were heaps of meerkats. We saw giraffes, gorillas, zebra, pygmy hippos, birds, butterflies, SNAKES, tarantula, lizards, bongos, snow leopards and tigers.

Mum’s fave animal was the Mandrill, a type of monkey, and the platypus, a duck beaver thing. I liked all of the snakes. They had lots of poisonous snakes. I also liked the bongos, they were like antelope but clay red and white vertical stripes. They had these things with the small cats called coati. They reminded us a bit of badgers.

They had lots of them too, but not as many as the meerkats.
My fave cat was the Cerval. I think that was the cat that the Egyptian goddess, Bastet was based on. Maddison, you would have liked the tigers and the fluffy snow leopards.

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They had a golden coloured brown bear. We saw a cute little baby elephant called Milani, which is Indian for Jasmine. She was about 140kg when she was born and is already over 300kg – no one I know was that big as a baby! There were lots of birds, Spoonbills and pied herons were my fave birds. They had black headed capuchin (ca-pu-chin), which were my fave monkeys.
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There was also this cool butterfly dome that you walked through and all the butterflies were just flying around loose. They even landed on Mum and Emelia.
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We were lucky to see a wombat on the move. Usually they are sleeping. This one was eating and burrowing.

From the zoo we went to the Fitzroy Gardens, looking for Capt. Cook’s house. Was he Australian? If not, how come his house is here?
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We also saw the fairy tree, carved back in 1931, and this weird mini tudor town. Apparently, the people of Victoria sent food to Lambeth when there was a shortage there after WW2. To say thanks, they gave the people of Victoria this model village. It was weird. Still, I suppose it’s the thought that counts. Tomorrow, we’re off to the gaol where Ned Kelly was hung.

G 🙂

Skiing!!

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We spent our last week skiing at Cardrona, Wanaka. Our school came down on a trip. The school kids picked up skiing really quick. Most of them had never been before. Grace and I went up Captains with two of the parents. It was really fun to ski with different people. It’s also my favourite part of Cardrona.

We also went to Puzzling World. There was a new part of sculptures that we had never been to before. The maze was really slippery because of the ice. No matter how much you do it, it’s still hard. My friends and I were the last ones to get out but we did manage to go to all the corners.

We had a snow fight and got to build snow men too. Mine is Chirpy, my cockatiel.
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