Young ‘bush detectives’ are taking part in summer holiday activities across North East state parks and reserves, with third-generation campers at Mount Buffalo dabbling in entomology yesterday.
Parks Victoria is running a range of programs this month, and seasonal ranger Sam Doherty introduced a group of children to some of the critters found in Lake Catani yesterday.
The ‘mini-beast discovery’ included identifying and catching bugs, and testing the pristine Alpine water they live in.
Andrew Farrow’s children Fred, 7, and Pippa, 4, were eager to get their hands dirty.
“I grew up in Albury-Wodonga and we now live in Melbourne, but we like to get back here a couple times a year,” he said.
“I went camping here as a kid, and now that I have my own family it’s good to come here.”
The family are spending a week at the Lake Catani campground, about 45 minutes from Bright, and took interest in Parks Victoria’s bug discovery activity and damper-making workshops.
“It’s hard to get activities that are interesting for all ages – they’ve loved the mini-beast discovery,” Mr Farrow said.
“There’s so much to do up here – we’ve been enjoying going canoeing.”
For the older adventurers, Parks Victoria is also running free guided tours this weekend and next weekend of Wallace’s Hut and Cope Hut at Falls Creek, among historic structures dating back to the 1880s that were not destroyed by the 2003 fires.
Education and interpretation officer James Adams said the range of free programs designed for kids aged six to 12, running at Mount Buffalo, Bright, Wangaratta and Cobram over the next two weeks, helped immerse them in the outdoors.
“Spending time playing and learning outdoors provides children with developmental benefits, such as improved physical and mental health and social connections,” he said.
“All the activities are designed to inspire curiosity.”
For information about the kids’ activities, visit www.juniorrangers.com.au.