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Year 4 at Dubbo

Week 6 term 3, 2023

A Recount of My Dubbo Excursion

5:50 am in the morning. I’m up, ready for possibly the three most exciting days of my life. I arrived at school with my dad and little sister. Outside the MPC, an excited crowd of forty-six kids and a lot of excited and anxious parents. At 7:45, we headed off to Dubbo, where Mcfeeters Motor Museum, the Parkes Observatory, the Zoo, Dundullimal Homestead, Dubbo Gaol, and the Wellington Caves awaited us.

My favourite part of the excursion was the Dish. At the Dish, as we went over the rolling hills, covered in bright yellow canola, the huge bowl-like dish came into view. At first, all we could see was the receiver or focus cabin. The focus cabin is held in place high above the dish by long poles protruding out from the rim. Later, we saw the long poles holding the cabin in place. After a few seconds of anticipated waiting, the whole thing came into view. It’s magnificent! At the base, there’s a “room” where other astronauts can go. Right after the base finishes, the dish starts. The actual dish is more like disk, with a metal framing right before the smooth white plating. To get to the focus cabin, workers have the Dish facing to the ground. Then, scientists climb onto the dish and take a ride. Once the dish is pointing up, they climb a series of ladders to the focus cabin.

When we got to the Dish, we sat down and had lunch. Unfortunately, someone thought it would be a good idea to feed the birds, so therefore, that one bird brought back all his gang! After lunch, we went inside to watch a series of fascinating short films. The animation was amazing and 3D. Thus, when we were “flying through the galaxy” the stars appeared to come at us! After that we did a scavenger hunt where we had to answer these questions and figure out the word at the bottom of the page (it was astronomical). After that, we bought souvenirs and got on the bus. I really liked the dish because intimidating size, and the role it played when man was on the moon.

My least favourite part of the excursion was the Dubbo Gaol (pronounced jail). When we got there, we met our tour guides and headed off. Our first stop was the Old Gaol Well. When the prison had its most prisoners, the prisoners had to do everything themselves. This included fetching water. Next, we went to the male division. The part that I didn’t like here was a very sad story. Back then, people didn’t know about mental illness, so if you had depression you were put in jail. You were put in the padded cell so you didn’t hurt yourself. You stayed there until you were either deemed crazy and put in an asylum or set free. Another bit that I didn’t like was the room after the female division. It showed all the ropes that were used for hanging, and showed and said things that were plain-out nasty! Anyway, we finished the tour and got back on the bus. Other than the things that I didn’t like, it was a fairly good experience.

Do you know the difference between a stalactite and a stalagmite? The way I remember is ‘c’ is for ceiling because stalactites hang from the top. ‘G’ is for ground because stalagmites start from the ground. Why am I mentioning these? That’s because we visited the Wellington Caves and I’m proud to say that I was part of the very first Year 4s to go to the Caves. We saw the wonders of God’s creation in these underground labyrinths. In the 1860s a cavern in the Cathedral Cave was used as a church. A bible left by the priest is still there, covered in crystals. Climbing the steps back to the outside world was a feat! We realized how unfit we were, as we puffed and panted our way out.

Overall, Dubbo was a really good experience. However, I was grateful to be home, and I came back to see that my home had changed a lot – in good ways and bad ways!

By Amos McLean 4F


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