The 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?
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!
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!
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
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!
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!
Exciting 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?
A 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.
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.
Millions of shore birds will be tweeting “See you later, Australia!” as they hightail it out of here in search of warmer weather. Having spent the summer in Victoria’s wetlands and saltmarshes, most will be gone by the 10th May. Shorebirds’ bodies have gone through a series of changes in the lead up to their long journey north. Fatter bodies, skinny legs, bigger heart muscles and brains wired to be half asleep and half awake at the same time will help these birds on their continuous journey north.
Where can I spot a shorebird before it leaves?
Victoria is proud to have eleven internationally significant wetlands. Test your bird spotting skills at one of these sites and create your own pair of wetland stilts in honour of their journey. You can also learn more about migratory birds at http://farewellshorebirds.org.au/
Two rare nocturnal animals have recently been spotted in the Grampians National Park. In December, cameras set up in the bush captured pictures of a Long Nosed Potoroo (left). Then in February they also caught a glimpse of a Spotted-tail Quoll (right). Both these animals are very rare, with the Spotted-tail Quoll thought to be extinct for the last 140 years.
This is very good news for the animals living in the Grampians National Park because it suggests the environment is healthy and there aren’t too many pests or predators hanging around. “We have been undertaking extensive fox control and other conservation works across this landscape for decades, and we know those efforts are paying off” says Ranger in Charge Dave Roberts.
Potoroos and Quolls are nocturnal, meaning they are awake at night hunting for food and sleep all day. While you might not see these rare animals in person, you can still search for clues that they were there by looking for their footprints, shown in the picture above.
Which other animals you find in your local park? Check out our Wildlife Detective activity to help hone your skills and find hard to spot animals.