Sunday, July 17, 2011

Catching the breeze

The National Museum of Australia extends over three levels. I took this photo from the top level - the Australian Journeys gallery - looking down into the children's area between the Old New Land  and Landmarks galleries on the ground floor, and further to the other part of the Landmarks gallery on the lower ground floor. The brightly coloured cupboards hide surprises for kids, and there's an activity booklet to go with them. There are also short red pillars with things for kids to look for in each area of the museum - a great way to keep them engaged and really looking at objects they might otherwise dismiss as just 'old stuff'.

That's a full-size windmill you can see. Obviously it's not set on the high tower familiar to anyone who's travelled through country areas in Australia, and it's quite impressive to see one up this close. This one has 24 blades - they can range from 11 to 36. The more blades, the slower the wheel will turn, but the less wind is required to get it started. It's 6 metres across, was made in the 1920s, and came from Kenya Station in Queensland. There's more information on this particular windmill on the museum's website.

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