Chip & Bere Tour to New Zealand and Australia – Australia Day 28 and 29.

 Southern Africa Conservation and Communities Tour to New Zealand and Australia – July and August 2011


Tuesday 26th July

Melbourne, known as the ‘Food Capital’ of Australia.  Started the day off with an early morning breakfast presentation to Rotary Club Central Melbourne Sunrise in the City.  We then did another of our whirlwind sightseeing tours of the City.

Charlene sitting in The Lord Mayor's seat in Town Hall, Melbourne.

We went to Town Hall where we were given a very informative tour of the building and were privileged to go into the back of the Hall to see the make up of their grand organ which was built in 1929 after the original organ was destroyed in a fire. The organ stands at 9.75 metres high.  The casework is made from Queensland Maple.  More than 483 kilometres of wire, 3000 magnets and 32,000 electric contacts were used in the electrical equipment.

Some of the 6000+ pipes that make up the organ, Town Hall, Melbourn.

The organ has a staggering 6,024 pipes and is the second largest organ in the world today.  It was refurbished in 2001 at a cost of AUS $4.5 million by the Schantz Organ Company of Orville in Ohio which entailed dismantling, the organ and many of its parts to ship to America to complete the work and to then ship it back and reassemble it.  Many famous organists from around the world feel privilaged to play this unique musical instrument and concerts are held on a regular basis.

The Civic Centre, Federation Square, Melbourne.

We were told that Federation Square was a ‘have to see’, a civic centre and cultural precinct, although, it is also globally famous for its ‘ugliness’ and has carries much architectural debate around its design.  It was opened in 2002 and attracts millions of visitors each year.  It also houses the Australian part of the art collection of the National Gallery of Victoria in the Ian Potter Centre.

Aboriginal artworks displayed in the Ian Potter Centre in Federation Square

There are over 20,000 Australian artworks including paintings, sculpture, photography, fashion and textiles and the collection is the oldest and most well known in the country.  We visited their current display of Aboriginal art work, steeped in culture and history.

A stroll around the iconic Melbourne State Library, a building recognised for its heritage architecture takes one back in time.  You can almost imagine a scene from the Harry Potter school being filmed in its central domed La Trobe Reading Room, the most impressive architectural feature of the library.  Opened in 1913, this octagonal building is six stories high and can house 32,000 books and 320 readers at its desks.  When the library first opened in the 1800’s, only men and women over the age of 14 with a ‘respectable appearance and clean hands’ were allowed to enter, things have changed significantly since then!  Beautiful ornate carved wood and flow marble floors remind you of a bygone era, now integrated with ‘modernisms’ of todays technology.

A ‘traditional’ day in Melbourne would not have been complete without using the central tramway system to get back to where we were staying and Charlie was so excited to receive a rhino badge.

Caution Rhino's Skate Boarding.

The City Trams are currently running a safety campaign using a rhino as their lead to remind pedestrians to look, listen and be alert around trams and to reinforce the message that walking in front a tram can have the same effect as walking in the path of a rhino.

Wednesday 27th July

Departed from Melbourne for Hobart, Tasmania.








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