Year 6, 2023 – Canberra Tour

Hey everyone at home!

We hope you’re having fun even though we aren’t there!

We’ve had an amazing first day so far! An early start at Brisbane Airport wasn’t enough to scare away the excitement and smiles. After a short delay, we were off and soon we were flying through an amazing sunny day. Landing in Sydney brought back the rain and a visit to a busy baggage carousel. From here we met our wonderful bus drivers, Mike, Jeff and Peter, and we started off in a rush to regain our schedule.

Cockington Green was our first stop. It is a world of miniature buildings and scenes that made us feel like giants. The gardens are beautiful here no matter where you view it from. This is especially true of the train ride which circles half the park.

Our rotating itinerary began here and each bus went their separate ways to enjoy some of Canberra’s attractions. We’ll let the photos show you what we got up to and see if you can guess what we did!

See you tomorrow!

Edit – Due to technical issues, you can find a whole lot of our photos over at the genesisprimary Instagram account.

Today was an action-packed day that had something for everyone!

Today we had a much later start than Monday and, despite a crisp -3 degrees, everyone was ready to get the day started!

All three of our buses were rotating through different venues so we have a very mixed bag of photos for you. Unfortunately, the website is still having issues with uploading photos so head over to the genesisprimary Instagram page for some updates and we’ll upload more here or to the Facebook page tomorrow.

Some highlights from Tuesday:

  • The National Arboretum Playground – this was a wonderful opportunity to spend some energy in the great outdoors in an amazing playground. Everyone (even some teachers) had fun exploring this multilevel wonderland and the surrounding views of Canberra, Lake Burley Griffin and Black Mountain Tower.
  • The Australian War Memorial – our students represented themselves and the College in an exemplary manner here. Due to major renovations, the students only had an hour to take in what would easily fill a day. They were attentive, asking wonderful questions and took the time to let the significance of the place and space sink in. It was moving to see the students in a national monument dedicated to remembering the fallen.
  • Questacon – this multilevel world of wonder was a hit for all the students. Seven themed halls were filled with all sorts of weird and wacky inventions, stunning demonstrations and maddeningly simple looking challenges with tricky solutions. The students also loved the store here. Parents, prepare for the inundation of goo and soft toys in the shape of deadly bacteria!

The day was filled with more attractions and activities but we’ll leave it there for the night. We are all having loads of fun in between our tours too! Picnic lunches and games of Bop-Tag by the banks of Lake Burley Griffin have been particular highlights. Thanks for all the wonderful, mushy and hilarious messages that have been sent through the Instagram DM!

There was more but we’ll save it for another day!

Finally, the answer to the question, ‘Do you want to build a snowman?’ was, ‘YES!’

Wednesday was Snow Day and what a day it was! A below freezing start to our trip only got colder by the time we reached Cooma for a break and breakfast stop. Much food was dropped on its way to a mouth – shivering hands were to blame! Here we were sized and fitted for skis and all the accessories you could ever wish for. That is, if you were wishing for an epic day at the snow.

The drive up to Thredbo is a scenic one and we spied snow on the peaks well before we saw it up close. So many students had the wonderful experience of seeing and touching snow for the very first time today.

A short shuffle later (and a few dropped skis) we were into our lessons and enjoying laughing at each other and ourselves as we slipped and slid around the slopes. Staying upright is a delicate and challenging art. Today some were Van Gogh, others were finger painting and everyone was having fun.

After lunch, those that were a little more inclined to hone their skills headed to the magic carpet and got in some time on the learner slope. Others preferred to be creative with the snow.

It was a day to remember for sure.

Thanks to the help of the team back in Brisbane, more photos went up on Monday and Tuesday’s posts and Facebook should follow soon. We hope you’re enjoying following along our adventures!

Day Four!

Day four has found us back in Canberra on a beautiful sunny day visiting many of the ‘National’ attractions.

  • The National Library – this imposing building is home to just a fraction of the many millions of artifacts and documents that the library collects. Apparently, they receive over 1000 items per week and they carefully add it to the collection in one of their several Bunnings sized warehouses. Could one of us, one day, have something we write here?
    We were taken on a tour through the very quiet public reading room downstairs into what was once the heart of the building. Here we saw some very old technology that has been used in the past – things like floppy disks and a computer with a trackball mouse. Of course there were many other older things in the room but it was fun to see them in the same room as a newspaper from 1912. It was even more fun to watch the parents and teachers realise that the technology they had previously used was now considered an artifact!
  • The National Electoral Education Centre – this clever facility taught us about the rights and responsibilities of the voting public, how Australia ended up with a secret ballot system and the process of running a fair and free election. We then ran our own election to choose which fruit was best. Interestingly, the early polling was quite inaccurate and Peaches, the unlikely candidate, beat the front runners in two separate elections! We are running an investigation into election tampering tomorrow!
  • The National Museum – one of Canberra’s newest buildings is full of fascinating ideas and artifacts. Today’s tour had one of the museum’s educational team take us on a tour around some significant parts of the enormous building and tell us the stories behind some of them. It incredible to see the anchor from Flinder’s ship, the Investigator and have someone share with us why that object helps us to remember a small part of the story of Australia. We were even shown a bucket from some mining machinery that could fit half of our bus group into it at once!

We have another big day here in Canberra tomorrow so we’re off to bed!

See you tomorrow night!

Day Five – Year 6 Canberra Tour Wrap Up!

We’ve been back home for a few weeks now and the normal routines of everyday school have set back in. One this is sure though, a week of memories from our Year 6 Canberra Tour will last a lifetime.

Before we have a look at the final day’s activities, we need to thank a few people:

  • Our Brilliant Bus Leaders – Mrs Todd, Miss Aston, Miss Hilford and Mrs Wearne. They were so patient and flexible with every step of the way and our tour would not have been possible without them.
  • Our Genesis Staff and Parent Volunteers – signing up to a Canberra Tour is a brave thing to do but you did it anyway. Thank you for the love and care for our students you displayed and the extraordinary efforts you put in to making the tour a success. You went above and beyond the call of duty and we are so grateful to you.
  • Thank you also to the students for participating in each activity and for representing Genesis Christian College so well.
  • We are grateful to the Federal Government subsidy scheme PACER which subsidizes a portion of each child’s visit to our nation’s capital. This year the subsidy was given an additional boost from $60 to $90 which is put towards reducing the cost of each student’s camp levy.
  • We are also grateful for the vast number of staff who helped us along the way. We were blessed with diligent bus drivers, wonderful guides, and so many staff at airports, accommodation and various gift shops. Each of these were so patient with our excited students and large numbers.

Day Five saw us up early to pack our things and get ready to check out. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is sometimes to fit everything back into the same bag that, just a few short days ago, held everything so well! After some determined packing all of the groups we headed off for our epic final day.

  • Mount Ainslie – this geographic high point provides sweeping views of the entire city of Canberra. From here it is possible to see many of the landmarks we have visited through the week. It was stunning! You can really see Sir Walter Burley Griffin’s vision for the city.
  • Electoral Education Centre – here we learned about the electoral roll, who has the responsibility to vote and more. It is a fascinating display of history and interactivity. It culminates in the students running their own election using the preferential voting system. It was a hard-fought campaign throughout the week leading up to this point but, in a couple of buses, Peaches won the election and now holds an imagined electorate somewhere in Australia!
  • Parliament House – one of the highlights of our tour happened today. We toured the House of Representatives, the Senate and some even got to walk on the roof! There were many questions throughout the tour about how decisions are made and how they impact all Australians. It was wonderful to see the students engage and think about their country.

The day wrapped up with some thankyous and dinner outside the National Gallery followed by a run around before our flight. We had a short delay in Canberra but before long we were on our way home to Brisbane where there were lots of very patient parents waiting to see their loved ones.

What an incredible week of learning and adventure!