Day 205, Year 2: Playing Like a Tourist
Date: Thursday, November 15, 2007
Weather: Partly Sunny Day
Location: Bundaberg Port Marina, Australia
Today was our day to “play” like we were tourists. Well, actually we are tourists, but it doesn’t feel that way when you are living on your boat in another country. We’ve just temporarily moved our home. After the requisite amount of varnishing, we took off with Paul and Marie of Ranger in their newly purchased car. We went into Bundaberg and found the Botanical Gardens. On these same grounds are the Bundaberg Historical Museum and the Hinkler House Memorial Museum, the Fairymead House Sugar
Museum, and the Bundaberg Railway Museum. We only made it to the first two today, but hopefully we will have time to return on another day and visit the other museums. Both the Historical Museum and the Hinkler House Memorial Museum are tiny museums with a small town flavor. Things aren’t too fancy here, but the Historical Museum gave a nice overview of the development of this sugar cane town and the Hinkler museum taught us about a person that is very important to the history of this town. Bert
Hinkler was born in 1892 and by 1912 he was building and flying gliders. Actually a fragment from that first glider was carried into space by the Challenger space shuttle. As we all know, the Challenger met with disaster but the small fragment of the Hinkler glider was found floating in the Atlantic and returned to the Hinker House by NASA in 1987. Hinker was revered as Australia’s greatest pioneer solo aviator after flying solo from England to Australia, and then completing a number of other
solo long-distance flights. On a flight from England to Australia in 1933, Hinkler crashed in Italy and was buried in a Florence cemetery. Born in Bundaberg, but living most of his adult life in England, the home he built there was relocated to Bundaberg in 1984. It is now the home of the Hinkler House Memorial Museum, but in another year the Hinkler Aviation Museum will open next to the Hinkler House. Construction is well under way.
The Botanical Gardens were the most pleasant surprise of the day. It is all about the birds. Ibis, Cattle Egrets, Intermediate Egrets, and Pukeko nest here and their numbers abound. There are also many smaller birds like the Pied Butcherbird that made the gardens their home. The walkway through the gardens wind around a series of ponds where we saw lots of large lizards that skitter across the ground and then leap into the water. They were great fun to watch.
On our way back through town, we stopped at the Bundaberg Rail Station and bought our train ticket from here to Brisbane. We will leave here on Monday morning, November 26, around 10 AM and arrive in Bribane around 2 PM. We will stay at the Kookaburra Inn in downtown Brisbane before catching our flight to the US on Tuesday morning, November 27. Although the flight to Boston takes more than 24 hours, we will still arrive at Logan Airport in Boston on Tuesday, November 27 at 10 PM–the same day
we left Brisbane. The wonders of crossing the dateline!