Last stop, Sydney!!

G’day mates! Geting off the plane in Sydney, we were met with a bustling city, full of tourists and natives all taking in the spectacular sights and sounds of the 2nd annual Vivd Festival! A much busier and lively feel than Melbourne but we managed to navigate the city like pros. Views of the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor bridge were definite highlights. We all conquered our fears or slight uneasiness of heights while climbing the harbor bridge and our little Atlanta natives proved to be pretty natural surfers.  It was the perfect book end to an absolutely incredible trip! Many thanks to Señora Tresize and her friends for making this a life changing experience!

Signing off for now. Cheers!

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Rainforests and reefs!

Our second day in Cairnes began with a lovely hike through the rainforest at Mossman Gorge with our guide Skip. He told us stories about the aboriginals that live there, their history, beliefs as well as the kinds of plants and animals that live in the area. Beautiful!

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Our next stop was Fitzroy Island where we packed in for a night of camping and a couple days of snorkeling on the fridge of the Great Barrier Reef. We also visited a sea turtle rehabilitation center and took a lovely morning hike up to a light house all right near our camp site! Our brilliant marine biologist, Maggie gave a couple lectures to the kids on animals we would see out on the reef as well as informed us on the positive and negative impact humans have on the sea life.

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On on our final day in Cairnes, we took a ferry to the outer reef for more snorkeling. Students spotted everything from Dolphins, sea turtles, amazing corral and even a small shark! The waters were absolutely breathtaking and Mrs. Harris even got to meet the skipper and drive the boat! (While it was on autopilot of course)

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Next stop, Cairnes!

We have had an incredible time on this leg of our journey in Cairnes. Our first stop was Cooya Beach, where we met up with our aboriginal guide, Link to get into some spear fishing! He also gave us a short lesson on the didgeridoo. Not an easy instrument to play!

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School visit and hot springs!

We started off the day with a trip to a private school similar to Pace called St. Leonard’s College, where our kids were paired up with local students of around the same age. They attended two classes together as well as a recess/snack period. By the end, we teachers were delighted to be greeted with smiling faces all around! We all felt so grateful for this opportunity and hope to bring back some of the cool ideas and differences to our school life at Pace.

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After our school visit we hopped back on our bus and headed to the hot springs at Mornington Peninsula. There the students did a bit of yoga and mindfulness practice before jumping into the breath-taking hot springs. It was the perfect end to the first leg of our Aussie adventures! Now off to Cairns!

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Water and penguins!

 

imageimageimageimageimageimageAfter a brief lesson on desalination and the consequences of fresh water dumping in the ocean, students got the chance to search for Australian ocean life such as snails and starfish at Shack Bay! The highlight of the day by far was the visit to Phillip Island to watch the “little penguins” parade back onto the beach from the ocean. We were not allowed to take pictures of the little guys for their safety but it is definitely a sight we will remember forever!

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