Didgeridoo Music, Walk-A-Bout Tours
Australia Day Saturday January 25
• 9am - 11AM didge jam session with Bernie Haley in the Smith Building Lecture Room
• 10am explore BTA's Australian Plants collection; Guided Tour with Outback Horticulturist Paul Chambers
• 12 noon Dine on Lamb and Foods of Australia $25-a-plate. CALL AHEAD TO CONFIRM THIS EVENT
• 130pm Didgeridoo Jam and Australian stories beneath the eucalyptus and gum trees (Gold Canyon didge player Bernie Haley is shown in the photo at right and is our Emcee for the didge jam)
Experience a taste of The Land Down Under -- the plants and culture of Australia are closer than you might expect, particularly on a special Saturday in late January when Boyce Thompson Arboretum celebrates Australia Day January 25.
Didge players, and those who own a didge but never learned the technique of circular breathing to play it, are invited to join Musician Bernie Haley for an informal didge jam session from 9-11am in the lecture room. For details or to sign-up, Call Bernie at 250. 927. 5544, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Haley will also offer a concert open to all visitors that afternoon from 1:30-3:00, outdoors beneath the Eucalyptus trees if the weather is clement -- or in our lecture room of the Smith Building if the event of rain or excessive cold.
At 10:00 join a walk-a-bout through our Australian plant collections; the Arboretum has a forest of massive Australian red gum and eucalyptus trees. Why have Australian trees in the Sonoran Desert? Learn more on a guided tour at 10am lead by Outback Horticulturist Paul Chambers (owner of the Australian Outback Nursery in Tonopah). Did those beer commercials make you want to learn How To Speak Australian? Visit that link above and explore to find a whole page dedicated to "Dingo Lingo" words and phrases.
Want a sneak preview? Arboretum Volunteer Mike Rolfe filmed Australia Day Highlights
one recent year, check out this clip:
Australia In AZ. Want to hear a real, live Australian truly talk the talk? Be here at 10:00 am when Paul Chambers guides a tour of our extensive collections of plants from that massive continent -- many of them purchased as seedlings or saplings from Paul's own Australian Outback Plantation in Tonopah.
Paul Chambers joins us to share his knowledge and expertise with Australian plants on a guided tour through the Eucalyptus Forest and Walkabout trail. Paul's Australian accent is genuine -- and his talk will be peppered with Dingo Lingo phrases.
Chambers founded this unique nursery in 1980 after moving to the Valley from Indianapolis following his former career as an Indy 500 mechanic. After designing landscapes for Indy 500 winners Gordon Johncock and Tom Sneva he earned a degree in horticulture from Canberra Technical College in the Australian Capitol Territory, and began sowing seeds collected in the Australian Outback in his own backyard in Phoenix. "Local landscapers purchased our unique varietals to plant along the freeways around Phoenix, now you see the stately Ghost Gum trees well established and providing Arizonans quick shade and shelter," recalls Chambers. "We've grown, and now have a sanctuary of more than 100,000 trees at our 240-acre Downunderontop Ranch in the West Valley, near Tonopah; its open to the public." One of Arizona's success stories, Australian outback plants are now distributed through Lowes garden centers in Arizona, Nevada and California. Chambers is also famous for growing a special type of eucalyptus with leaves harvested to feed koalas, gorillas and giraffes in zoos across the U.S. Learn more about Chambers, a colorful AZ/OZ character with certified Outback roots, on his 10am tour.
Bring Your Didge -- Get In Free
Afternoon Didge Jam from 1:30 - 3:00 pm. Saturday afternoon starting at 1:30 p.m. we'll have live didgeridoo music -- where blocks of powerful sound from this ancient aboriginal instrument will be punctuated by quieter times for Australian expats to share the 'mic, telling their own stories of life and culture from the Land Down Under.
Learn more about life in Australia from local author Marilyn Stewart, an Arboretum annual member who lives in Mesa -- in past years she has been a speaker at this event. She wrote Child Of The Outback, and also Footprints And Fragrance In The Outback? Read more about the author and her experiences growing up in Australia at www.childoftheoutback.com
Another visitor to watch for is Paul Chambers of Australian Outback Nursery <www.downunderontop.com> .
Frequent Arboretum visitors will tell you they particularly enjoy a stroll past the giant eucalyptus tree which we call "Mr. Big." They may also tell you that this property is home to one of North America's largest collections of Australian plants-- at least 449 species in the arboretum collection that have Australian roots.
Australia Day gives our staff a chance to showcase the walkabout trail, the Drover's Shed and trees such as "Mr. Big," which is more than 140-feet tall and has an eight-foot girth. This River Red Gum tree was planted in 1926 when the Arboretum's first opened to the public.
'AUSTRALIA 101- Everything you need to know to prepare for travel Downunder! Matt Welch, director of the Australian Tourism Centre, based in Tucson, has been here in years past to present workshops on everything you need to know about going to Australia. With handouts, videos, and hands-on experiences, you can learn many new things and feel ready to travel downunder. Learn more with an email to Matt Welch [Australia4U@aol.com], or call his office at 520-296-3788.