This morning at the farm was SO MUCH FUN!! We did two different activities. First, we went on a big farm tour. Our guide, Mr Matt, said that we will be taking a luxury vehicle around the farm. When we got to it, it turned out that our “luxury vehicle” was a big cage attached to his truck! We all got into the big cage and held on tight as Mr Matt brought us around his farm. It was so much fun, because the big cage rattled as we went up and down the hills of the farm with us in it. Tae Woong said it felt like a rollercoaster. It was quite a cold morning, and the cool wind blasted our faces as we moved quickly along. We saw both wallabies and kangaroos on the farm. Most of the time, we could not get too near, because the sound of the truck would scare them away. However, there was one great big kangaroo hanging out under a tree, and he simply stared at us for a long time.
We got out of the cage to chase the cows. Mr Matt said he needed help to get the cows from one paddock to another, so we formed ourselves into a row, and started making noises and clapping. Even though the cows were soooo much bigger than us, they were afraid of us, and they actually started to move away! We managed to chase them all into the other paddock, although at the end of it, many of us had a lot of mud (and maybe a lot of cow poo) on our shoes. Aiman slipped at one point and managed to get some brown stuff on his sleeve, but he bravely wiped it off on the grass and kept going!
We also got a chance to feed the cows some hay. Again, the cows were quite afraid of us, and would not come get the hay from our hands. We learnt to be very quiet so that the cows would learn to trust us. Actually, it was quite scary having a huge cow come so close to us. Their head alone was as big as half our bodies!
Finally, we got to feed some baby cows, or calves. Mr Matt said that their mothers had abandoned them, so he was looking after them instead. We held up a bottle which had a teat on the end of it, and the calves came and started to suck on the bottle. It was quite hard to hold on to the bottle, because the calves kept pushing upwards on it. Mr Matt said that when they feed from their mothers’ udders, that action helps to release more milk. The fur on the calves was very lovely and soft. We learnt a lot of interesting things about cows today!
The second activity at the farm was a fantastic game called Life and Death. In this game, some of us pretended to be herbivores, carnivores, or diseases. The teachers were the Human Hunters, and they had big water guns! Our instructors released us into a forested area that was 2 and a half acres large, and we could hide anywhere. The herbivores and carnivores needed to get to water stations, but the herbivores needed to hide from the carnivores, and both the carnivores and herbivores needed to hide from the Humans! It was very exciting because some of us hid among the bushes, and managed to go the whole game without being “shot” at by the hunters. Some of us, however, had all our lives taken from us! It was very hard to be completely silent, because every movement we made produced a sound. That was why it was challenging to stay hidden all the time. This activity taught us about what it is like to be an animal in the wild, having to worry about being eaten, and getting water to survive. At the end of it, we were all very sweaty because of all the running around, but we thought it was really fun. :)
Our time at the farm was really fun, but after we had lunch, it was time to leave. We then drove to see the Twelve Apostles, but when we got there, there were only 4 to 5 apostles left! Our bus driver and guide, Mr Eric, said that many of the apostles had collapsed because their bases had been slowly eroded by the waves. Indeed, the waves looked very strong as they crashed into each of the large rock pillars. The scenery there was really very beautiful.
Next, we headed to the Otway National Park to experience the Treetop Walk. The trees there were really tall, especially the tree called the Mountain Ash! Our guide, Ms Kim, said that the Mountain Ash is the world’s tallest flowering species of plant, and they can grow up to 100m. They can grow so big that you could build a stable into the base of the trunk for horses to live in! Sadly, many of the biggest trees had been cut down by loggers, so the trees that are left in the forest are not as tall. Nonetheless, we saw some really huge Mountain Ash trees that were about 60 – 70m tall! We walked along a narrow metal path that was held up by very tall pillars, and we also got to climb up a tower to have a look at the forest from about 40m up in the air. The staircase leading up was really tiring, but we all made it – even those of us who are afraid of heights. Mrs Choy told us later that she thought we had been very brave. Finally, our guide told us about a species of snail that can be found in Otway National Park – we think it was called the Otway Black snail, or something like that :) Anyway, the snail is black all over, and it is CARNIVOROUS, unlike most snails. Ms Kim told us that it eats its prey by inserting a type of acid into the insects it eats, which dissolves their insides. They then suck out the liquid insides. Eeew! Andy managed to spot one of these snails on the way back. They look so small and harmless, we would not have guessed that it actually eats other animals!
Ok we have to sign off now – we are all looking forward to a really interesting day of sight-seeing tomorrow!
All of us:)