Last month we had the pleasure of welcoming our first overseas visitors. What did we do? Here are five things that we considered important to do.
1. Let them be a part of our daily life
Having lived in Australia for some months already, our daily life does not feel very different to us anymore. But it is to someone who is new to the country. So we did what we normally do and took your visitors along. Even if it was just for a visit to the local supermarket, or our favorite mall.
Since our special guests both have a background in education, it was the primary school visit which was the most valuable experience.
As a parent you can get involved in classroom participation, so we went to Luka’s class for an hour to help out with the math hour. They are always happy with some extra hands, so that was win-win.
The emphasis on different backgrounds that all children have here in Australia, but that we are all part of the same country and we can be proud of that, is just one of the many values that they actively teach here. We went to a cultural dance incursion at school, where they could witness this first hand. And it truly impressed them!
2. Discover the city
Melbourne is a not city that you ‘do’, but have to experience.So we wandered around, listened to some of the many street musicians, watched some of the street performers. Well, that latter one was more an activity that the kids forced us into…
We also took them to the state library, one of our favorite places, which is a landmark and a cultural icon in the city. A place where it is not strange to loose Kai, only to find him in the chess room again. On our last visit he was challenged by an elderly man, who was doing his utmost not to loose, but was unsuccessful.
3. Discover new places
Use the excuse to do all the things that you wanted to do, but never came around to yet. We also discovered new places for us, like going up the Eureka tower, Melbournes highest building. And went for a road trip to the Mornington Peninsula.
And we went to some of the less known and hidden treasures, like seeing the Penguins at St Kilda Bay, who come out on to the pier. Almost in the middle of the city.
4. Culinary experience
Food wise they also experienced some of our culinary life here: we had a barbie, made them a kangooroo stew, ate home made hot cross buns and went dining in Box Hill.
Box Hill is a predominantly Asian area. With all the unreadable street signs and the many Asian restaurants it almost feels like you are walking around somewhere in Asia. The food is delicious and at least you can read if you order chicken, beef or some unfamiliar other animal, since the menu comes in English as well.
5. Get close to the wildlife
It is a definite must for anyone to see and get close to the native Australian wildlife. We saw our first kangaroos in the Grampians, our first koala’s at the Great Ocean Road and our first Wombats in Wilsons Promontory and got up really close to a kookaburra in the Grampians.
If you have limited time with your guests (as we did) then the second best thing is to go to Healesville Sanctuary.
And what about traveling?
The traveling around Australia they have done by themselves. We would have loved to join them, but were not able to. So we had to do it with the stories, pictures and adding more items to our 38 things to do in Australia list.