NZSP Division 2 (Waikato)

Serving the Children of the World®

A report on Lisa Woolerton's trip to Australia as part of the 1998 Kiwanis Australia - New Zealand Youth Exchange.

Lisa's Trip Report

Text and photograph by Lisa Woolerton.

Going to Australia has been one of the highlights of my life.  I met many different people from all different backgrounds but mainly those people came from the big city that I was overawed by.  To me, Melbourne is so far the biggest city I have ever seen, and is also the most exciting.  I was given the opportunity to participate in activities such as visiting zoos, where I saw Australian Native Animals like the eagles, wombats, flying foxes, snakes and at the other zoo I saw bicens, buffalos, and rhinoceros.  There was only one hiccup with my trip, I went when there was no gas available for showers, heaters or cooking.  Never mind though, I still had a fantastic time.

I arrived at the Melbourne Airport and was given a big warm welcome to Australia by Alan and Ivy Wren.  I ate lunch with them and they took me to the place where I was to spend my first few nights in Australia.

Lisa Woolerton and friends

Lauren, Lisa and Skye.
Lisa Woolerton (center) flanked by the daughter of one of her Australian hosts and a 'mate'.

When I was staying with the McLennan family I was taken to the Queen Victoria Market, up the Rialto (which is a really tall building) from which we could see a lot of Melbourne, and the Healesville Sanctuary.  This is where we saw the native animals such as the wombats and snakes (both of which I touched), and the eagles, platypus and flying foxes.  We also visited the IMAX cinema (here there was a really big screen) and saw a documentary on The Elephant Kingdom.  For dinner, my host family presented me with kangaroo meat and chicken sausages.  I had never eaten these before so I was surprised that I liked them.

Pam Carpenter drove me all the way to Port Sea and we visited Arthur’s Seat.  She also took me to my first of two Kiwanis Meetings.  It was the Waverley club.  It was interesting because it was my first speech in front of a lot of people.  I have to say, it did go better than I expected.  Pam also took me into the foyer of the casino (The Crown).  I was surprised at the ceiling.  It was made out of crystals.  Sadly, my photos didn’t come out very well.  The water displays were also unusual.

In the middle of the holidays, I stayed with Mike and Kerry Turner (and Skye and Kirk).  With them I visited St Kilda’s Market and went into the Hard Rock Café to have a look around.  I also visited Chadstone Shopping Mall.  It was big.  Everything was awesome.

Mike Turner dropped me off at the Wilson’s place where I met Anne and Ed Wilson.  I was taken to the Scienceworks where there was a K’Nex expo on.  Some of the models made out of K’Nex pieces were huge.  With the Wilsons I visited Werribee Park Free-Range Zoo.  It was here that we saw bicens, buffalos, and rhinos and other animals living together in one big enclosure.  I spoke at the Doncaster-Templestowe Kiwanis Club that night.  This went well although I was a little less prepared than I would have liked to have been.  (I’d like to say thank you to Ed and Anne Wilson who have since sent me an Australian Calendar for 1999).

On the 8 October Bryan Morrison drove me to Ballarat to visit Sovereign Hill.  This is an old mining village where you can pan for gold and walk through a gold mine. We did both of these and we also saw the gold pouring (this is where a man pours gold worth a lot of money and makes a gold block with 99.9% pure gold).

I stayed with the Morrisons that night and was taken to Jim and June Sinclair’s on 9 October.  While staying at the Sinclair’s I was taken to have a ride on the Puffing Billy.  (The Puffing Billy is a steam train).  Some of the views from the train were picturesque.

In conclusion, I’d like to say a huge thank you to my hosts and to everybody who helped to make my holiday a success.  I had an absolutely fabulous time and would recommend this experience to any future exchangee.