Central Coast Council’s environmental-education team organises many fun waterways-related events in which you can learn more about our lakes and the catchment while collecting tips for how to better care for the environment. Every one of Council’s activities is also an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded community members and cheer on each other’s sustainable efforts. The events include kayak tours, green-living workshops, catchment crawls and citizen-science workshops. They’re free and open to everyone, but bookings are essential.
Council’s free kayaking tours of Tuggerah Lakes are an excellent opportunity to learn more about our lakes while leisurely paddling downstream and watching the estuarial wildlife. After some pleasant time on the water, everyone joins up for a walk in the rainforest.
‘Paddle to Pedal’
Flex your muscles and become an eco-expert! During each fun kayak paddle on our stunning Tuggerah Lakes, everyone enjoys the close-ups of the unique local aquatic wildlife. After the kayaking part is over, we hop on bikes to ride along the lakes’ southern shores. This ‘paddle to pedal’ adventure is a great chance to chat with local experts about our estuary’s health.
Brisbane Water Eco-Exploring
Climb aboard a charter boat to learn more about aquatic ecology! Join Central Coast Council team on a journey of discovery while enjoying Brisbane Water’s scenic views. Listen to the critters sing their serenades, chatting about our waterways with University of Newcastle experts to discover what makes our waters unique.
During this catchment crawl, you can visit remote parts of the Tuggerah Lakes estuary. Travel by bus with local eco-experts to explore the secret nooks and crannies of our wetlands, creeks and rivers while learning simple steps we can all take to become a Tuggerah Lakes’ ambassador.
Join Council’s environmental-education team to explore the Central Coast’s bushland and waterways. Become a member of our amateur eco-science squad to explore and investigate the areas and collect important scientific data about them. Council uses the new information to better understand the waterways and the creatures that call them home. The topics covered include ‘Hollows as Homes’, ‘Birds of Woodlands’, ‘Waterbug Blitz’ and ‘Insects and Native Bees’.
Home in the Hollows
Hollows are vital for our tree-dwelling animals. In our ‘Hollows as Homes’ workshop, you learn about how important tree hollows are as habitat for our native birds, snakes, frogs and small mammals. Participants will be shown how to collect data by using the Hollows as Homes mobile app.
As Chirpy as a Bird
In our ‘Birds of Woodlands’ workshop, the focus is on the many facets of woodland-bird identification and data collection. You learn how to collect and record bird sightings by using an app for helping ecologists better understand our local species.
Meet the Bugs
Each year, thousands of Australians become curious bug detectives. In our ‘Waterbug Blitz’ workshop, you investigate the health of our waterways and wetlands while exploring the world of diverse waterbugs. Using a mix of basic tools (hand lens, ice-cube trays and plastic spoons) and the Waterbug App (available for both iOS and Android phones), you learn to identify all the tiny water creatures. The information you collect is uploaded to the national waterbug database.
Curious as Can Bee
In our ‘Insects and Native Bees’ workshop, you expand your knowledge and understanding of native bees and other pollinating insects. As an amateur watcher of insects and butterflies, you become a member of a science project that aims to create a database of Australia-wide insect sightings. You track the insects by using the Butterflies Australia mobile app (available for both iOS and Android phones).
In this series of fun yet knowledge-rich workshops, you become the master of sustainable living. Along with like-minded community members, you get your hands dirty by learning the basics of worm farming, composting and keeping backyard chickens.
We say ‘Busy as a bee!’ for a reason: these yellow, buzzing, honey-making and pollinating insects are one of the most crucial members of our ecosystem, because they contribute to the health of our agricultural and garden plants. Do you know that Australia has more than 2000 native-bee species and that greater Sydney has over 350 of them? In the ‘Native Bees’ workshop, you get a chance to dive deep into the world of bees, learning about their behaviour and lifestyle and what has an impact on their health. Everyone is provided with a toolkit to build a wooden ‘insect hotel’ to take home.
The Backyard Bird Count
People of all ages enjoy this quintessentially Aussie event, in which you observe and count the birds living near you – in your garden, local park or town centre and at the beach. BirdLife Australia uses the data you’ve collected to monitor how the local birds are faring. The Backyard Bird Count event takes place once a year, between 19 and 25 October, because spring is birds’ busiest season. You download a mobile app to join in. During the week, you can count as many birds as you like during a 20-minute period.