The Down Under Tour

7th November 1999

Last weekend while I was working, Anne and Bronwyn went to see the Down Under Tour. The Bank of America are sponsors of the U.S. Olympic Team, and they set up the Down Under Tour to go round the USA, show where Australia is, and show the sorts of things that can be done there. They used to have a competition where you could have won a free trip to Australia. Sadly, that competition is over, but you can still check out their games web site and see what else they have to offer.

The exhibition had a number of "buildings", each shaped out of blow-up relicas of the Opera House. Each "building" had a different theme. Anne enjoyed the big one at the back, the Sydney Opera House. They had classical music playing, scenes of our cities and the outback.

The Aboriginal Art Exhibit was a bit boring, according to Anne. Same old dot paintings and nothing new and exciting. The dot paintings could be ordered through a gallery in New York. They did have boomerangs and miniature didgeridoos for sale.

Anne said the Outback Airlines Experience was gut-wrenching. You sat in the little plane simulator and it bounced and jerked all over the place. On the screen inside the plane, you got to watch scenes of the outback.

[The exhibition]

This shows what the exhibition really looked like. Not too bad. They had Australians on the tour. They were from the tourism industry in Australia, and came over to spend 6 months on the tour. Then they go back and another shift takes over for the second 6 months of the tour. Anne enjoyed listening to the accents.

Schools went to the exhibition during the week, and then it was open to the public on the weekend.

[The Display]

A close up of the Opera House Exhibition. [Opera House Exhibition]

This is the brochure they gave away at the Exhibition. It's a pleasant introduction to Australia. All the people in it are young and brown and dressed for the beach, but apart from that it's a pretty good bit of advertising for Australia. [The Brochure]

Here's the map of Australia they gave away. They even included Tasmania. The map shows the locations of the displays in the exhibition. [Map of Australia]