› Significant memories

Special memories of significant places in Oz

This week at school, my eight year-old son had to present a talk about a significant place in Australia, explain its significance and why we should protect it. On reflection, his talk struck me as significant for a whole different reason…

It was an important reminder of why we love to trip around this vast country of ours.

Priya (5yrs) and James (4yrs) after the hike up St Mary Peak in the Flinders' Ranges, SA.

At first he didn't know which place to choose. Then we consulted the map. I tried to help but he wasn't motivated. Eventually I suggested we look up 'mum's website' to think about the significant places in Oz we'd visited on our first 15 month trip around.

With little prompting, he decided on the Flinders' Ranges in South Australia. In a class of 25, he was one of two children to choose somewhere other than the Great Barrier Reef or Uluru.

What's more, he had a personal experience there.

We googled interesting facts about the Flinders' and why it was a significant place in Oz, like it being home to the wedge-tail eagle and rare yellow-footed rock wallaby, as well as millions-years old corals in the rocks.

Suddenly, his memory came flooding back.

My daughter saw one particular scenic photo and said 'I remember that', while my son recalled our hike up St Mary Peak. At 1100m above sea level, it was around 15 kms. He was four years old and walked the whole way. What an achievement, and what an incredible memory!

It's times like this I can't wait to get going again.

It's been just over five years since we set out on our first trip around Oz, and it is still paying incredible dividends. Later this month we're about to step into another adventure. We're going back to explore more corners of the South Australian outback along with a gloriously long visit to Tassie. After all, one loop around this country is simply not enough!

The kids will miss a term of school, but gain yet another whole world of learning.

For all their worldly wisdom at the ages of ten and eight, my kids have still got plenty of room in their memory banks to take in a few more significant places in Oz. Don't we all? I still have a long list to get through...and I simply just can't wait!

› Significant memories