Friday, January 9, 2015

Picnic weekend at Mt Field

THERE will be much to see and do at Mt Field National Park this weekend as the summer ranger program reaches the half-way point. The Mt Field Picnic Weekend will feature discovery tables, photographic presentations and guided walks. Check the whiteboard at the Visitor Centre for the weather-dependent activities with the Discovery Ranger.

The summer discovery ranger program operates in many of our national parks, connecting visitors to our parks, beaches and remote places and learning what is great about our island state, with messages that encourage children and adults to protect these beautiful places.

Mt Field National Park is about an hour’s drive from Hobart and half an hour from New Norfolk. Discovery Ranger Alex Dudley has been leading activities including as tree walks, children's activity events, bug detective and guided tours around Lake Dobson.

Discovery Ranger Alex Dudley at work.
A ranger since 1990, Alex has found himself working throughout Tasmania with the Discovery Ranger Program. 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," he said. “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,” Alex said.

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. Dr Magali Wright of NRM South will be visiting Mt Field and surrounds this summer to experience the diversity of landscapes and the native plants and animals that they support, such as platypus in the Tyenna River, tree ferns in rainforest gullies and beautiful alpine tarns.

“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," Dr Wright said.

On the way to or from Mt Field visitors can stop at Derwent Valley winery cellar doors, New Norfolk's various attractions including its antique shops, the Salmon Ponds, Redlands Estate, Westerway Raspberry Farm and Two Metre Tall Brewery just to name a few. Lovely Maydena is worth a visit for a ride on the Railtrack Rider, which has also branched out to National Park. There are even great places to cool off at the Maydena, Bushy Park and New Norfolk swimming pools.

The Discovery Rangers environmental engagement and community outreach program is now in its 36th year and reaches more than 30,000 people each summer.  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.

Click here for more information about visiting Mt Field National Park.

Mt Field summer ranger program

Saturday, January 10 & Sunday, January 11
Mt Field Picnic Weekend. A variety of interpretive presentations will be occurring throughout the
weekend, including discovery tables, photographic presentations and guided walks. Check the
whiteboard at the Visitor Centre for the weather-dependent activities with the Discovery Ranger.
3pm – Up the Creek. Tasmania’s waterways are generally healthy - but how healthy are they? Learn
how you can keep them pristine as you meet some of our aquatic friends. Meet at the Visitor Centre.

Thursday, January 15
11am – Ecology is Everything! Join Discovery Ranger Alex on a short nature walk and have your eyes opened to a new world at your feet. Meet at the William Crooke shelter behind the Visitor Centre. (1 hr.)
3pm – Feral Peril. Introduced animals and plants are a major threat to many iconic Tasmanian species. Learn how to identify and reduce these threats. Meet at the Interpretation Centre. (1 hr.)

Friday 16th January
10am-noon – Roving Ranger. The friendly Discovery Ranger will be on the Russell Falls Track. Have all your Tassie wildlife questions answered, and get some local knowledge along the way.
3pm – Weird, Wild and Wonderful. Discover some of Australia’s spectacular and bizarre fauna with Discovery Ranger (and photographer) Alex. Meet at the Fagus Room. (1 hr.)

Full details are on the Parks and Wildlife Service websiteActivities are free, but a Park Pass is required for activities in the park. Wear appropriate clothing, sunblock, repellent and footwear. Activities may be cancelled in adverse weather (check with visitor centre staff). Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. For further information about the program at Mt Field contact Discovery Ranger Alex on 0428 407 598.

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