What do a melting wax sculpture of a man, a shrapnel-scarred lifeboat and a trusty robot named Isaac have in common?
They are among the objects in Canberra’s cultural attractions which are most likely to stop kids in their tracks.
Others on the list of objects which children most frequently stop to look at include luminescent spearheads, the Australian flag and a portrait of Bob Brown that has similarities to a ‘Where’s Wally’ picture – in the sense that the more you look at it, the more you find.
VisitCanberra recently took to Twitter to ask which objects kids stop to look at the most when they are on a school trip to Canberra.
It was an interesting question given that around 165,000 school children visit Canberra each year and the fact that the answers could provide some good insights for local families looking at where to go these school holidays.
Six of our most popular cultural attractions responded – using their wealth of experience in conducting tours for school children to narrow down the attractions which get the most attention.
Assistant Manager at the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre, Robert Smethills said that a lot of locals come to the visitors’ centre and the school holidays provide a great opportunity for local children to visit some of the attractions so popular with the tourists.
“I think in this day and age and certainly over the last few years we’ve seen more locals being tourists in their own backyards,” Mr Smethills told Region Media.
He said that, given the cooler weather, these attractions have the added benefit of often being indoors.
Below are the objects in six popular Canberra attractions named most likely to attract a child’s attention.
National Gallery of Australia: The melting wax sculpture, ‘Francesco’, depicting Italian art curator Francesco Bonam always seems to make kids look up. The giant candle will finally be extinguished on 23 August and is currently missing his head – and much more.
National Museum of Australia: Luminescent spearheads from the Kimberley (WA) often catch the eye of kids on school trips, according to the museum. “Each individual spearhead is an extraordinary object in itself.”
Australian Parliament House: Apparently school kids love to stop and look up at the flag which flies above Parliament House 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and from the exact centre of the building. Among the reasons? “It’s huge – 12.8m x 6.4m – or the side of a double-decker bus with the flag mast rising to 81m.”
National Library of Australia: This object can speak for himself and carry up to 16 kilos. “Our trusty robot Isaac stops both adults and kids in their tracks,” the library said. Isaac plays an important role at the library transporting items to the reading room but his novelty value may be even greater.
Australian War Memorial: “The bullet and shrapnel scarred lifeboat which carried the Anzacs onto the beach at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 always draws a gasp from new visitors to the Memorial, old and young,” the memorial said. Click here to find out more.
National Portrait Gallery: “Dr Brown and Green Old Time Waltz,1983 by Harold Thornton is a portrait of Bob Brown during the campaign to stop the damming of the Franklin River. It has so many aspects of the campaign captured in the painting and there are so many curious things to discover,” the gallery said.
Asked by VisitCanberra if there was a particularly interesting part they could point out, the gallery said: “It’s like a Where’s Wally picture. The more you look at it the more you’ll find.”
Are there any other objects that tend to stop you in your tracks or you find are popular with kids? Let us know in the comments below.