While many of us have had to head back to the office the first week of January, it doesn’t mean our Summer is over – far from it. January is a time when the weather stays warm and there are ample weekends of warm weather to head down to the beach or out to one of Tassie’s fabulous parks.
One of the things that both local and visitors can enjoy during Summer is Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service’s Discovery Ranger Program – found at tourist and recreation sites throughout the state.
The Discovery Ranger Program connects visitors to our parks, beaches and remote places and celebrates what is great about our island state, with messages that encourage kids and adults to protect these beautiful places.
The program, which includes free, fun, engaging activities at the many sites, runs from Saturday 27th December 2014 to Monday 26th January 2015. One of the feature sites is the stunning Mt Field National Park.
Mt Field National Park is an hour’s drive from Hobart and Discovery Ranger Alex Dudley will be leading activities including as tree walks, kids activity events, bug detective and guided tours around Lake Dobson.
Alex, who has been operating as a ranger since 1990 has found himself working throughout Tasmania with the Discovery Ranger Program since then. He believes his love of nature is a gift that can be enthusiastically and willingly shared with others to generate joy.
“I enjoy the challenges and rewards of introducing people to the natural world, of demystifying nature’s connections while enhancing the wonder of what may be seen as the mundane.
“I enjoy sharing my own passion for the little miracles of the everyday, and sneakily encouraging responsibility in the package of a newfound connection to a place and its inhabitants, and opening eyes of strangers to the magical world we inhabit. In short, I love sharing the wonder which is what has kept me returning over so many years,” Ranger Alex explained.
NRM South’s Dr Magali Wright will be visiting Mount Field and surrounds this Summer to experience the diversity of Tasmanian landscapes and the native plants and animals that they support which might include platypus in the Tyenna River, tree ferns in rainforest gullies, beautiful alpine tarns and a few stops on the way home enjoy local produce.
NRM South supports the work of the Discovery Rangers, in particular messages related to biosecurity and protecting our amazing wild places from pests and disease.
“Mt Field National Park and surrounds are a great destination from Hobart, as you can see so much in a single day trip. The Discovery Rangers do an amazing job in helping visitors connect with natural environment and encouraging responsible enjoyment of Tasmania’s wonderful natural places.”
Like Dr Wright, visitors to Tasmania can enjoy the delights of the area surrounding Mt Field including the Westerway Raspberry Farm and venues such as the nearby Redlands Estate Distillery and Two Metre Tall Brewery.
The Discovery Rangers environmental engagement and community outreach program is now in its 36th consecutive year and inspires over 30,000 people each summer. Activities will be held at a number of southern locations including the Tasman Peninsula, Bruny Island and Mt Field National Park and the City of Glenorchy.
Activities range from the ageless rockpool rambles and guided walks, to quiz nights and wonder tables. They are suitable for all ages and provide a fantastic opportunity for the community to enjoy their local national parks, reserves and coastal areas with an experienced and passionate discovery ranger.
There will also be a range of community events including volunteering opportunities, health and wellbeing experiences and expert talks.
Discovery Rangers can be found at the following locations from 27 December 2014 to 26 January 2015.
- Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area
- Northwest coast
- Narawantapu National Park and the northern coast
- Tamar Island Wetlands
- Northeast coast
- Bay of Fires Conservation Area
- Freycinet National Park
- Maria Island National Park
- Tasman Peninsula
- Bruny Island
- Mt Field National Park
- Lake St Clair
There will also be Penguin and Shearwater Guides at:
- Bruny Island Neck
- Lillico Beach Conservation Area
For up-to-date information on activities near you, please check your local park or reserve noticeboard, community noticeboard, or visit the Parks and Wildlife Service website at www.parks.tas.gov.au
For further information and to speak with Ranger Alex Dudley, please call Sam Cuff (Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service) on 0400 968 570.