Thursday, 21 July 2016

Winter holidays in Townsville

Australian schools generally have two weeks of vacation per term. This is my first year of full time teaching and I was glad of the winter break! I’m currently teaching in the outback and I decided to go to Townsville for vacation. Townsville is one of the major rural cities in northern Queensland. My brother Paul came up from Brisbane to spend some time with me too. I also had an impromptu trip home to Brisbane after some travel plans fell through.

I had been to the aquarium before when I had a brief stopover for work but it was so much fun being there with a company. The Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium has the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium. It has a diverse range of tropical, fresh and salt water sea life including sharks, jelly fish and turtles.


As it was the school holidays, there were many shows on. We practically spent the whole day there..

We saw the main attraction in the museum which was the exhibit of the HMS Pandora. The Pandora was a British ship that sunk in the Great Barrier Reef in 1791. The boat was in Australia to arrest the mutinous crew of The Bounty. The Bounty had been on an expedition to get some breadfruit from the Pacific Islands to grow on British slave colonies.
Some of the Bounty crew had forced their superior, Captain William Bligh and his supporters into a dinghy so they could use the ship to sail back to Tahiti. They enjoyed the lifestyle and some had started families.

For years, there were accounts that Captain Bligh was a cruel tyrant but modern historians believe he was fairly tame for that period. He wanted a tight run ship but he wasn’t a people person which put him at odds with people.

We also saw a Lego exhibit called Towers of Tomorrow. There were huge sculptures out of Lego of  Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, Taiwan’s Taipei 101, Japan’s Tokyo Skytree, Kuala Lumpur’s twin Petronas Towers  and Sydney Tower.

This museum has an extensive collection of Australian army artifacts. It was my favourite place that we visited during our stay in Townsville. The artifacts were arranged by the war that they came from. I found it humbling to be reminded of the sacrifices that people have made for this country.
On the last day of my holiday, I learnt the train I was supposed to be travelling on had derailed. So I decided to go home to Brisbane for a few days. It was great catching up with my family and friends. I didn’t end up going on the train again as they still had no fixed it so I took the bus back to my rural community.

I’ve come back to my job as teacher all refreshed. What I did learn was that I need to make more time for myself. Last term, most of my life was about work which I believe made teaching a harder experience. 


  1. I am glad that you were able to enjoy the visit to the museum and also spend some time with your family afterwards Carlyn. I saw the movie Mutiny on the Bounty when I was a kid, but did not make the connection to Australia, so it was kind of neat to learn that (or re-learn that). I love visiting museums, as I love history and artifacts and the like.

    1. I didn't know that Mutiny on the Bounty was a real event. I always thought it was just the name of a famous book.


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