Sunday, August 19, 2007

Pre-Tour: Sydney to Melbourne 5-9 September

Leader: Mr. Kees Van Haasteren, born and educated in the Netherlands.

Kees began his working career with the Curacao Trading Company in Amsterdam. At the age of 24 he emigrated to Australia and immediately became involved in agriculture, ultimately managing a large Merino wool, prime lambs, beef breeding/fattening and cropping property in the Central West of N.S.W.

Mr. Kees has obtained an Advanced Diploma of Farm Management (Orange Agricultural College now part of the Charles Sturt University) and has developed strong interests in Landcare and production/sustainability balance. Having been a Tour Leader since 1997, Kees is able to combine his international background, skills in Australian Agriculture and language capabilities (English, Dutch, Spanish, German, and French) to provide a unique resource for the benefit of international visitors.

Days 1 and 2. Gather in Sydney for two night stay (most of day one free), Next day tour to Animal Quarantine Station (where honey bees are shipped) , visit to the NSW Department of Agriculture (research on bees), University of Western Sydney (bee research), bee queen producers of Western Sydney; dinner cruise on Sydney Harbor.

Day 3. Syndney to Canberra, vising villages of Bowral and Mittagong, honey extraction plants (Goulburn or Queanbeyan), CSIRO Division of Entomology, Mt. Ainslie.

Day 4. Canberra to Echuca, tour foothills of the Snowy Mountains, scenic eucalpyt country, late afternoon arrival and dinner cruise on the old paddlewheel vessel on the Murray River.

Day 5. Echuca to Melbourne, Bendigo to Maryborough, visiting Australia Honey Corporations packing plant and local beekeepers.

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