Backyard Adventures: National Wool Museum

September 3, 2013 in Australia, Oceania, Travelogue

National Wool Museum

We are enjoying Drysdale so much.

The Bellarine Peninsula is the curved spit of land that cradles the big bay south of Melbourne. In the summer it’s a tourist mecca, close enough to the city and yet far enough away to feel as though one has made an escape. This time of year, as winter melts into spring, it’s a collection of sleepy villages filled with quirky shops, local galleries and farmer’s markets on weekends.

We’re walking to the library on sunny afternoons, and picking through the Op-shops around the town. Hannah’s doing her best to fatten us up with cookies and scones. Ezra baked and decorated his first cake. The boys are out the door most afternoon to play with the Rickard kids, less than a five minute walk from our front door. They’re having nerf wars, falling off the pony, building push-carts, and generally whooping it up with the first genuine farm kids we’ve had the pleasure of sharing life with in quite a while.

Homeschool group

Thursdays are for sports, with about twenty other kids, in the Drysdale park just behind where we’re living. A three minute walk, tops. I’m learning lots about politics and the upcoming Australian election. The kids are learning to play net ball… sort of! Hannah’s found a music buddy in one of the dads; last week he taught her to play some Beatles. There are artists in the bunch so drawing circles form on the grass when they get tired of bouncing balls.

Fridays are fast becoming a community dinner night, with sixteen of us from one year old Adeline to a pair of live-in grandparents, eight boys under 15, and a lot of giggling and yelling with joy.

We’ve spent a couple of days shopping and walking around the central business district of Geelong, discovering junk shops and wool shops (I bought some yarn, I know you’re shocked!) We went to a used book sale and the kids loaded up.

shopping, geelong

With all of this going on around home, it’s all we can do to carve out time for some educational field trips. The National Wool Museum in Geelong was a huge hit. I know what you’re thinking, “A WOOL Museum?? Yawn.” Nope. It’s fantastic. If you are ever in this neck of the woods, you must go. The industrial revolution era carpet making machine is worth the trip alone! We learned so much about the wool industry in Australia, from the first stations built by settlers on land that wasn’t entirely theirs, reaping the benefits of the aboriginal practice of burning to create pasture, to the growth of large scale farming, sheep breeding, the collapse of the wool markets with the introduction of synthetics, to the importance of wool to the Australian economy today. There are loads of hands on exhibits that the kids loved, and we took a bit of video for you of the carpet machine in action!

As you can see, we’re keeping plenty busy! What have you been up to recently?

Ezra's first cake!

Ezra’s first cake!

Push cart racing

National Wool Museum

National Wool Museum

National Wool Museum