Look up the movie Oddball. An Australian movie based on the true tale of the majestic Maremma guardian dog, it told the tale of how this dog brought back a penguin colony from the point of eradication by predatory foxes.
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Flagstaff Maritime museum in Warrnambool honors its Seaport heritage and also the Maremma. The museum is a recreation of a port village from the 19th century, and provides a living history of the sailing ships, whaling, settlement of this area and life in a time long gone by. In addition, at night there is a spectacular sound and light show, which we braved the cool conditions to attend, staying under blankets to stay warm. While I wasnt expecting a lot, I was blown away by the vivid story of the 2 survivors of the Loch Ard shipwreck that was evocatively narrated through the show. (our kids knew all about the story of Eve and Tom who survived the wreck, more than their parents, so the education system must be ok!)
The museum also includes the historic Garrison, which was built to protect the location in the 1800's from a perceived russian threat. We were quite surprised to come across the fort, our last fort exploration (albeit a larger version), being in Pensacole, Florida, USA, so it was interesting to see military maritime history in Australia.
Walking on cobblestones through the myriad of relocated and restored historic homes and businesses, full of authentic artifacs, and some featuring interactive displays, one truly feels that you have stepped back in time.
With the town highlighting the skills of the time such as printing, blacksmithing, and rope manufacture, if you are lucky, your kids will be fascinated by these lost arts. Fortunately, the village is not generally busy (except perhaps in school holidays), so we were able to wander around in a low key and unhurried way from buiding to building at leisure.
Look out for the interesting grave, typical of the time.
The highlight for our kids was the ducks that no doubt enjoyed an idyllic existence on the lake.
There are special presentations during the day, including a special talk dedicated to how Oddball was used to protect the penguin colonys on middle island. As a prior owner of a Maremma, it was a particularly special moment!