Banner image: The immense trees and tranquil, ferny undergrowth of Great Otway National Park make it one of the most special places to visit in Victoria. Image: Parks Victoria
Your lights at home aren’t the only thing that glow – did you know that some organisms in nature also have this ability? Known as the Jewel of the Otways, Melba Gully is a beautiful place to visit in both the day, for its beautiful forest surroundings, and the night, for the presence of glow-worms. Take time to stop and listen to the sounds of Melba Gully as the glow-worms light up the environment around you.
I started volunteering with Parks Victoria this year when I saw that they were starting the Great Gariwerd Bird Survey. The opportunity included 10 weeks of classes which I was very excited about. I was a novice bird watcher and was getting frustrated that I couldn’t identify birds because I didn’t know what I was looking for. The course looked at lots of different groups of birds and how to tell them apart. We also worked on identifying birds by their calls, which is a very handy skill as seeing bird at the tops of very tall trees is really hard!
Follow these 4 simple steps to create your profile and start booking your Junior Ranger adventures!
Have you ever visited The Great Ocean Road? Maybe you live near it? Well, just a stone’s throw (not that far) you will find a Wildlife Reserve known as Tower Hill. This historic park is on the land of the Gunditjmara peoples. It erupted over 32,000 years ago (wow!) and is Victoria’s largest dormant volcano. There are so many reasons to visit Tower Hill for International Mountain day Junior Rangers so keep reading!
Hunting for Pobblebonks
There is a good chance you have heard of the Pobblebonk Frog, because it is one of the most well known frogs in Victoria! If you don’t know the name Pobblebonk, maybe you know it by its other name, the Banjo Frog? It is named this because of the banjo-like ‘plonk’ or ‘bonk’ sound it makes.
Its ok if you have not heard of this frog at all, because by the end of this article you will and you may even be able to go out and find some yourself!
Ever wonder what the landscapes and wildlife seen by European settlers in the 1840s was like? At Woodlands Historic Park, you can get a feel of just that! The park has a 150-year old homestead, Indigenous scar trees, native woodland and grassland and much much more! (more…)
Holiday Program Update
Hello junior rangers – we’ve made it to the holidays and we are so excited! Have you been online to book your activities yet? Spaces are filling up fast so make sure you go to https://juniorrangers.com.au/whats-on/ to secure your place.
Can’t make it to an activity this time? No problem! Our Park Rangers plan to bring the parks to your living room with our live events. It’s a great chance to ask them lots of questions about our wonderful wildlife and have them answer live on air! Our Junior Rangers also have you covered as we share more ideas to get you outside exploring and having fun outdoors.
Junior Ranger Activity Challenges
A little while ago we celebrated the winners of our spring school holidays Macpac competition, Kaia and Sana, and shared some of their wonderful photos with you all. Lots of you emailed in to tell us what you had been up to and we loved receiving all your photos too. Junior Ranger Kaia has sent us something since we spoke to her, which was inspired by all the ranger videos that we posted as part of our ‘30 things in spring challenges’. Check out our winner’s blog and Kaia’s video about one of her favourite parks and some of the wonderful plants and animals that live there.
Summer Challenge # 2 Can you make a two minute Junior Ranger video talking about your favourite park? Send it in juniorrangers.com.au and we might feature it in our next newsletter.
If you’re a little shy in front of the camera why not take up Summer Challenge # 3 sent in by Junior Ranger Zachary.
Find some thin and bendy branches, stems or grasses that you’re allowed to use at home.
Christmas star tree decoration
Our live webinars are back!
We know how much you loved our live events with our Park Rangers so we have more planned for the holidays. Join Ness and Ebonee as they explore some of the treasures from Serendip Sanctuary.
To book your place, click here to register.
Merry Christmas and a Happy 2021
From everyone here at Parks Victoria and at Macpac we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and can’t wait to see you out enjoying the parks over the summer holidays. Don’t forget to email us your activity ideas and photos of you enjoying the outdoors!
Hi, this is just an update to let you know that the information in this post relates to our Spring Holiday 2020 progam. As a result you’ll find that the webinar series has ended and the Macpac competition has finished, however the remaining content is still available for you to explore, including recordings of each of the webinars. Please read on, and enjoy!
Welcome to our blog on the 30 things to do in SPRING. Our poster here has all the activities for you to complete over the holidays. Below you will find more details about some of the challenges we have set out for you plus all our webinars and videos from our wonderful Park Rangers.
Challenge no. 7 – Play ‘leaf shape bingo’. Download the bingo sheet here and look for shapes in nature that match the shapes on your sheet. The first one to fill their sheet or find 3 in a row wins the game
Challenge no. 12 – Become a citizen scientist and join our bioblitz (23 – 25 September). Sign up with iNaturalist and become a citizen scientist for our 2020 Parks Victoria BioBlitz. Look for plants and animals around where you live and upload photos of them to our page here. Our Park Rangers will be checking in to see what you have discovered so sign up today and be ready to join us from 23rd September until 25th September.
Here are our live events as our rangers come direct from the parks to your homes at the exact same time! Click on the photo to be taken to our bookings page.
Exploring Serendip’s Natural Treasures’
Join Ranger Vanessa on a virtual tour of Serendip Sanctuary and discover its natural treasures. Meet some of Serendip’s animals, like Eastern Barred Bandicoots and Eastern Grey Kangaroos, and learn about their unique features.
(The live event has now ended. See the recording here).
Life in the Intertidal Zone’
Join Ranger Ellie to explore Victoria’s marine habitats and the creatures that live in them. Learn about the diverse and fascinating ways that creatures survive and thrive in this ever-changing environment.
(The live event has now ended. See the recording here )
Wildlife super sleuths – Sharpen your super sleuth skills and join Ranger Julia to discover which animals have been around, using the clues and evidence that they leave behind.
(The live event has now ended. See the recording here.)
Thursday 1st October @ 10am. Discovering Wadawurrung with Ranger Ebonee – Join Ranger Ebonee, a proud Wadawurrung woman as she discusses the importance of Country.
(The live event has now ended. See the recording here)
Here are our Ranger videos for your access at any time during the holidays. Click on the videos to view.
22. Let’s go Birdwatching – Ranger Lily shares some tips n tricks for being a successful birdwatcher
23. Floodplains of the Goulburn – Join Ranger Emma as she shares some of the ageless beauty of Redgums living on the floodplains
24. Join a Minibeast Survey – Ever wanted to be a marine scientist? Join Ranger Yani as she demonstrates how to do a minibeast sampling survey
25. Bird Brain Quiz – Join Ranger Han to learn some bird facts and test your knowledge
26. Create a Nature Journal – Ranger Lucy shares some of her own tips designed to help you explore nature in new and creative ways
27. Join the Parks Victoria Bioblitz – Parks Victoria’s annual Bioblitz is happening between September 23rd – 25th. Join Ranger Han as she demonstrates how to get started.
28. Scratching Around – Join Ranger Kelly as she explores the secretive and surprising world of the Mallee Fowl
29. Explore the Maribrynong River – Join Ranger Sharyn as she shares some of the wonders of the Maribrynong River, both above and below the water
What did you get up to over the Easter holidays? While staying at home to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Charli, Zoe and Joshua along with lots of other Junior Rangers were busy discovering nature in their own backyards. As our Easter program went digital, our JR families were encouraged to try out some fun activities to get to know their backyards a little better.
From bird watching to night-time critter sounds, our young rangers got to experience nature that was right under their noses. To add to the challenge, we asked everyone who completed an activity to send their treasure hunts, bird observations, creature features, and whatever else they had done, into us so we could see all the wonderful experiences that were happening around their homes. The response was amazing, and we could tell straight away that everyone was having lots of fun.
Here are some of the entries from our winners…
Macpac, our principal partner of the Junior Rangers program offered two families the chance to win a voucher to spend on their next essential outdoor item and we’re so glad that we could do it at random as it would have been so hard to choose!
You can see that our winners, Charli, Joshua and Zoe sent in some wonderful activity sheets, photos and drawings about their backyard encounters which we loved. Here is a little more about why they got involved with the Junior Rangers program and what they love about their own backyards…
Charli, aged 11 from Mornington Peninsula has been a Junior Ranger for over two years. Charli could remember two Junior Ranger activities with our rangers, where she went along with her brother and sister, Will and Milly. One was at Coolart Wetlands and Homestead and the other at Arthurs Seat. Coolart was great because there was lots of bird watching and Arthur seat’s fun because they got to try and identify different animal poo. She particularly remembers the green square poo belonging to a wombat.
Charli enjoyed our nature treasure hunt and our creature feature activities over the Easter holidays because she could combine her love of arts and crafts and birds. In fact, Charli loves birds so much, she helps her family care for the finches they breed in their back yard. “There is so much to love about my backyard,” says Charli. Apart from the two budgies that belong to her, there is a possum that nests in the tree and Charli loves the liquid amber tree because the leaves are a lovely colour this time of year. Her favourite bird? All parrots! Charli often sees rainbow lorikeets them flying over her house. What a great backyard to be exploring and a worthy winner of our Macpac competition. Thanks, Charli.
Winners of our $100 Macpac voucher, brother and sister Joshua and Zoe, gave us an insight into their Junior Rangers activities by way of video interview surrounded by their incredible backyard bush. First Zoe interviewing Joshua and then Joshua interviewing Zoe. Here’s what they had to say…
Thanks to everyone who sent in their activities. Whatever your backyard there is always something to spot, even in the city! Look out for more of your entries online as we’ll be posting others on our Parks Victoria Facebook page.
Our competition has closed for now but you can still download all our activities on our Make & Do page. Why not check it out? We’d love to hear from you.
Our digital holiday program is sadly drawing to an end, so we thought you may like to take your last activity and turn it into an overnight adventure! The final activity released today is called Adventures After Dark and how better to study creatures and sounds of the night than during a backyard Easter camp out! Join Ranger Carlie, setup a tent in the back garden and have a nature adventure at home.
Thankyou to all of the Junior Rangers and families who sent in their completed activity sheets over the last two weeks. There have been some wonderfully creative entries received and it has been so exciting seeing such enthusiasm for making eye-opening discoveries in your own backyards! Hopefully we will be able to share some of these in our next update. Remember that we are still inviting you to send in your completed activity sheets to be in the running to receive one of two Macpac vouchers. Entries must be received by 11:59pm Sunday 12th April.
Did you miss out on receiving our activity sheets as they were sent out? Make sure to sign up to our mailing list at https://juniorrangers.com.au/mailing-list/
Grab your furry friends, a torch, some snacks and maybe even catch the Easter bunny at work! Don’t forget to email us your work and camp out stories!