Self-guided nature trails where participants scan QR codes to navigate the wilderness and learn more about their natural surroundings will form the centrepiece of Lake Macquarie City Council’s annual Explore Our Great Outdoors program rolling out this month.
Sustainability Engagement Coordinator Chris Harle said the trails harnessed technology now familiar with everyone to help locals discover amazing flora and fauna on their doorstep that might otherwise go unnoticed.
The first walk will operate 10-16 January, starting at Bennett Park in Valentine and winding through Green Point Foreshore Reserve.
The following week will see a similar trail established at Rathmines Park.
“This is a fun, free, healthy and interesting activity that can be done in your own time, at your own pace, and with minimum COVID worries,” Ms Harle said.
“Feedback received from the kids who have tested it so far has been really positive. They’ve enjoyed the treasure hunt feel of the walk, and came away with lots of new knowledge about our great outdoors.”
The trails are designed for children aged five and over, although Ms Harle said kids under 16 should be supervised by an adult. Each is about 1.7km long.
This year’s Explore Our Great Outdoors program features activities running through to 20 January.
- Aboriginal dance sessions at Green Point on Tuesday 11 January
- Stand-up paddleboarding for beginners at Warners Bay on Wednesday 12 January
- A kite-making workshop at Charlestown Library on Wednesday 12 January
- A ‘seagrass saunter’ at Wangi Wangi on Thursday 13 January
- An evening disc golf session at Rathmines foreshore on Thursday 13 January
- A beach safety workshop at Redhead Beach on Friday 14 January
- African drumming sessions in Speers Point Park on Tuesday 18 January
- A ‘rockpool ramble’ at Swansea Heads on Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 January
- An introduction to sailing at Toronto Royal Motor Yacht Club on Wednesday 19 January
- A ‘dawn chorus’ birdwatching walk around Belmont Lagoon on Thursday 20 January
Bookings are essential for all activities apart from the self-guided nature trails. Many activities are free, while others are available for a minimal fee.
“We’re so lucky to live in a place like Lake Macquarie, with an abundance of amazing things to do outdoors,” she said.
“This year’s program is designed to shed light on some of those activities, get families out of the house and give kids something fun and healthy to do during the school holidays.”
Go to lakemac.com.au