Thursday, 21 July 2011

Genealogy notes 19-21 July 2011

Time flies and some days genealogy doesn't get a look in. We have spent the last couple of days on the road between Adelaide and Mount Gambier in South Australia. After leaving the family in Adelaide we went back to Hahndorf to have a better look around as it was so wet and foggy when we first went there. There is a real sense of history and tradition there and while having lunch we were able to read about all the first families in the area.

Then it was off to Mount Gambier via Monarto and Naracoorte - both excellent places to spend a few hours or more. Monarto is the South Australian open range zoo committed to extinct or facing extinction animals. We were privileged to see a baby bison which gives a new meaning to cute on a large scale. It is a huge place and a bus takes you to the various areas for a closer look. I couldn't help comparing it to the Werribee Zoo which is the Victorian equivalent and although Werribee is much smaller, I think it has more animals and more of them freely wandering around together.

After Monarto it was a visit to the Naracoorte Caves which is now on the World Heritage List and as it was school holidays, quite a few families and kids as well on some of the cave tours we did. I first went there in 1982 before a lot of the infrastructure which is now in place to protect the caves so I noticed some differences but still a fascinating place. If you want to visit all the caves open to the public you probably need more than a day. I think it was that early visit that encouraged me to to archaeology as a mature age student at University of Queensland a few years later.

We finally made it to Mount Gambier just in time to pick up fellow Unlock the Past expo speakers Carole and Kerry from the airport and we all paid a visit to the venue to get ready for the opening tomorrow morning. All the exhibit tables already set up looked interesting and there is a wide range of talks and speakers so it looks set for another great SA & VIC Border expo. As usual I will try and tweet and do a daily expo blog. Stay tuned.

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