Wrapping up NGT involvement in Summer By The Sea 2020

Wrapping up NGT involvement in Summer By The Sea 2020

To beat the summer heat, over 300 ‘cool’ activities have been happening in January across Victoria’s diverse and fascinating coastal and marine environments as part of the ‘Summer By The Sea 2020’ program. This program has now been running in the summer holidays for 25 years, and is a partnership between Coastcare Victoria, Parks Victoria, and many community groups, organisations and activity providers.

Holiday-goers and locals have enjoyed hanging out with some of the NGT team during several activities, including ‘Creatures of the Night’ in Nelson, ‘Beachcombing’ in Nelson and Port Fairy, and ‘Rockpool Rambles’ in Warrnambool. We thought we would share some of the interesting moments and finds …

Jess led the Rockpool Ramble at Pickering Point with some help from Jodie, venturing out with an energetic group. The intertidal platform had lots of deep holes to explore at low tide. The participants were excited to find many different types of algae, sea stars, sea anemones and, by far the most exciting, sea hares! The kids loved watching the snails crawling, and some visitors from overseas were thrilled as they realised the connection between their home-town creatures and their Australian ‘cousins’.

Kids and adults (and guides!) were very excited about the snorkelling/beachcombing combination at Port Fairy … but that was the day it rained (actually, it poured!). Half the kids got to snorkel with Daktari (because it doesn’t matter if it rains when you are in the water). The other kids got creative with Jodie and learned about ‘dingoes’ (snails with long noses that eat meat), and ‘wombats’ (snails with roundness that eat plants), then made some art about the experience while waiting to get their wetsuits on. A few extremely keen and brave kids beachcombed, seeing Sooty Oystercatchers, Hooded Plovers, and cuttlefish bones that showed their life histories in their ink stains and tooth marks. Unfortunately the waves really built up and we had to call off the afternoon session.

And then, just after the Kookaburras welcomed the night, small groups of keen night time explorers went off venturing through the Kurrawonga shrub with Nicole. Many night voices were whispering in the bushes and the Ring-tailed and Brush-tailed Possums in particular put on a show. After a while, the group were all focused on listening in to the night. With senses heightened, it is amazing how loud a group of people sound – even if they’re not talking and just quietly walking along the track on the look-out for some wildlife.

It was easy to miss the beauty of the sky and the shades of the night while concentrating ears and eyes to the trees, trying to find a Sugar Glider up high. The night tours at Kurrawonga were a good reminder that we should go outside at night more often. Every night is so different and there is always something to hear, see and enjoy. What are you doing tonight? Maybe it is your perfect night to step outside! And keep an eye out for the Summer by the Sea program in 2021. If you want to get an idea of all the great activities that may be on offer, or want to see if there an activity you are interested in over the next few days,  you can see the full 2020 program here.

The Summer by the Sea project is coordinated and funded through Victoria Coastcare and the Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning and is aimed at encouraging holiday makers to make the most of our beautiful coastlines.

Jess Bourchier