What can I expect from a Junior Ranger activity?

VicP_D4_0585The Junior Ranger program is run every school holidays. Summer, spring, winter and autumn. Each season, there is something different to explore, whether it’s dipping your toes into sparkling rockpools or getting up early to find our feathered friends. Two weeks before each holidays, look at the What’s On listing for more information about activities in a park near you.

But what can you expect when you come along to a Junior Ranger activity with a Parks Victoria ranger?

  1. You’ll meet a passionate and knowledgeable ranger who will be more than excited to share their knowledge with you. They will introduce themselves and make sure that you will be safe on your adventure.
  2. You’ll be shown some of the most exciting parts of Victoria’s Parks and maybe even visit places that few park visitors ever see!
  3. You’ll get your hands dirty playing games, creating masterpieces, exploring streams, catching bugs and rummaging around the beach or bush.
  4. You can ask lots of questions and learn about unique plants, quirky animals, awesome rock formations and special historical sites.

It’s important that you’re well prepared for your Junior Ranger adventure. You’ll need close toed shoes, a water bottle, hat and sunscreen and be ready to check the weather on the day. Rangers aren’t put off by bad weather! So pack a coat just in case, and don’t forget to bring along an adult too!

If you can’t make it to a ranger led activity you can still be involved with the Junior Rangers, sign up to the mailing list or try one of our Explore on your own activities.

Explore further than before with new Adventure Trails!

Adventure Trail header

Check out the new Adventure Trails at Brimbank and Werribee parks!

Adventure Trails encourage you to explore further than before discovering new plants, animals, special places and hidden trails along the way.

Available from park information centres or downloadable from Make and Do, Adventure Trails provide fun facts and activities to try at each marker point, helping Junior Rangers become familiar with map reading along the way. Each trail fosters your curiosity to find what is around the corner, there is something new every time!

Get to know the Junior Ranger Way before you go and let us know where you’d like the next Adventure Trail to be!

State Coal Mine colouring competition

Show off your artistic flair and enter the State Coal Mine’s colouring competition!

Download one of the four artworks that each represent the State Coal Mine’s rich history. Entry options to download include

Running from 27 Dec – 25 Jan

Two categories 5-8 years of age and 9-12 years of age

Judging 27 Jan by a panel of local artists

Prizes $50 or $25 Toyworld Wonthaggi Voucher for first and second for each category

Address your entry to

State Coal Mine Wonthaggi

Att: Junior Ranger

19 – 37 Garden Street

Wonthaggi VIC 3995

 

Google goes underwater

Ocean street view

How cool! Google’s street view has taken a dive underwater. You can now explore the world’s oceans from home to find playful seals, Blue Gropers, Port Jackson Sharks and lots of other unique marine plants and animals.

Even cooler is that you can see many of these animals for real just off our coastline! Grab and adult and a snorkel and head to one of our 24 marine protected areas dotted along the coastline to see diverse and colourful animals. Little fish, big fish, sponges, kelp and seagrass meadows are waiting for you to explore while the water is warm. You might even be lucky enough to spy a Weedy Seadragon drifting about jetties, definitely not seen in the google images as it only lives in the southern waters of Australia. Don’t forget the camera!

Junior Rangers love bird watching!

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Take a look outside – can you see or hear a bird calling? They’re in your backyard, at the playground and even in the trees at school. This week is national Bird Week, and to celebrate we’ve created a new Bird Watching activity for you to try. Head out to your local park to see if you can spot some locals, discover where they live and what different kinds of birds like to eat. Best of luck Junior Rangers!

Climate dogs round up our weather

 

Have you ever wondered why some years we have lots of rain, some years it’s really dry? There are a lot of different things happening in the sky that create our weather, and sometimes it’s so complicated we don’t know what to expect.

Luckily, we have some clever climate dogs to help us understand Victoria’s weather a little more.

As we head into spring, keep an eye on the weather and see if you think it is a wet spring or a dry spring, and what you think this means the climate dogs have been up to.

Win tickets to Disney’s Planes Fire and Rescue Family Preview Screening

PLANES: FIRE & RESCUEExciting news Junior Rangers! To celebrate our love for Victoria’s national parks, and the role Parks Victoria plays in managing fire in these special places, we’ve got tickets to Disney’s new animation Planes Fire and Rescue. And best of all, we’d like to invite you to come along!

Dusty, who you might remember from the first Planes animation, is Piston Peak National Park’s hero. If Dusty came to visit Victoria, which national park would you show him and why?

To win a family pass to Disney’s Planes Fire and Rescue Family Preview Screening at Victoria Gardens, Richmond, all you need to do is download the entry form and send your response to email hidden; JavaScript is required. Download the entry form from more detials.

Brimbank’s new playscape just got better!

Brimbank Park wheelchair med resA new all-terrain wheel chair available at Brimbank Park now makes it easier for children with a disability and their families to enjoy visiting the park’s playscape.

The new wheelchair is a great addition to Brimbank Park, particularly as the new playscape has been designed especially to cater for children with a disability. You can also take the all-terrain chair nearly anywhere in the park, as it is suited for sandy and semi-rough tracks and can easily disassemble and fit in the back of a station wagon.

There is no charge to use the chair, and it can either be borrowed on arrival at the Brimbank Park Visitors Centre, pre-booked by phoning 13 1963. All-terrain chairs are also available free of charge in the Grampians, Wilsons Promontory, and Point Nepean national parks Cape Conran Coastal Park, Lysterfield Park, and at locations near the Great Otway, Alpine and Mornington Peninsula national parks. For more information, visit the Parks Victoria website.

Keep our coasts clean

 

Victorians are lucky to boast a unique and diverse coastline. From rugged cliffs to surf beaches to bays, our coastline has a lot to offer. Unfortunately, Victorians also have a lot to offer with tonnes of rubbish accidently flowing through storm water systems and into the sea.

Plastic pollution poses a major threat to the marine ecosystem. Plastics don’t break down like organic materials (e.g. wood or leaves). Instead, plastic hangs around for a very long time. For example, a plastic water bottle will last for 450 years. In the ocean, plastics get bumped around and broken into tiny pieces, but never fully disappear. These tiny pieces are easily mistaken for food and can clog up marine animals’ digestive systems. This causes serious tummy aches and is sometimes fatal!

Once plastic gets into the ocean it is hard to remove. However, we can help by reducing the amount of water that washes into the sea in the first place. For example, everyone can reduce the amount of plastic they use by remembering green bags at the shops, reusing take-away containers, and refilling water bottles instead of buying a new one. If every Victorian made even a small effort, it would add up to a big difference for marine animals.

Grab Shell Dude! – Baby loggerhead turtle rescue

loggerhead

Photo: Ron Waters

While holidaying at Mallacoota Inlet (far eastern Victorian coastline) some keen eyed kids discovered a lost baby loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). Just as the turtle was to be returned to the water, Parks Victoria’s Ron Waters noticed the river was closed to the ocean, spelling disaster for the young sea-goer. Instead, some telephone calls were made and the turtle was taken to the Merimbula Aquarium, where the turtle will be rehabilitated and released by expert hands.

What if I see an animal in need?

If you see a native animal you think needs help, report it immediately. Even the best intentions to help (as with returning the baby loggerhead to the river) may cause more stress to the animal. It is always best to call an expert for help.

Report injured animals to Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) Customer Service Centre on 136 186. You can also get in contact with a local Parks Victoria ranger by calling 13 1963.