Encounter Marine Park – Park of the Month | Fun Family Activities | Jan 2018

Encounter Marine Park – Park of the Month January 2018

You’re invited to celebrate Encounter Marine Park as park of the month in January 2018. Join in a range of fun and inspirational activities along the coast. Park of the Month is an initiative between Nature Play SA and the Department for Environment, Water and Natural Resources.

Go on a ranger-guided walk around Granite Island, learn about coastal birds and rock pool critters, visit the sculptures at Granite Island Recreation Park or join a guided snorkel tour.

If you’re staying at the Pt Elliott Caravan Park or Second Valley Caravan Park in January you might be lucky enough to spot the new education van ‘Coral’ the caravan.

Check out Nature Play SA’s 40 things to do in Encounter Marine Park brochure or their beautifully illustrated ‘Natural Treasures to Discover Within Encounter Marine Park’ poster.


Nature Play SA

Nature Play SA have also just launched their Family Membership. There’s three membership options for families to choose from, with all packages including their Wild Ones magazine – a beautifully presented nature play magazine packed full of ideas, articles, photography, original watercolour illustrations, and seasonal inspiration.

Members can also receive special offers and discounts off the Nature Play Shop, along with access to unique nature play resources, events, and other products such as their ‘Adventures By The Sea’ wood-bound field guide. The first edition is a durable postcard-sized guide with almost 100 pages of ideas, adventures, weird and wonderful facts, and things to discover along the coastline.

Find out more about Nature Play SA Family Membership here.


Mandala Magic
Tuesday 2 January 2018 | 10am – 12noon | FREE | Port Noarlunga jetty (north side)

Park of the Month activities kick off with a Kaurna Welcome to Country and a live art installation in the sand, next to Port Noarlunga Reef Sanctuary Zone. Join in as experienced artist Sue Norman creates a 10-metre wide sand mandala right before your eyes, using nothing but her skills and a stick! Mandala making is an ancient art which, in this case, will be crafted to represent the life cycle of marine creatures living within Encounter Marine Park. This will be a cultural spectacle not to be missed!

Families are invited to join in or they can sit back and watch as the mandala is created over two hours. Come and meet the new marine parks education van ‘Coral’ the caravan.

Dog’s breakfast and kids marine activities
Thursday 4 January 2018 | 9am – 11am | FREE, registration required |  Gold Coast Drive, Carrickalinga (at the carpark and toilet block opposite Lyddon Road).

Bring your dog along (on a leash) for a free dog’s breakfast and learn how to share the beach with the endangered Hooded Plover living in this area. The new Marine Parks van ‘Coral’ will also be in tow, which will provide hours of fun activities for the kids to learn more about the animals that live in Encounter Marine Park.

Sharing our shores – shore birds and more
Tuesday 9 January 2018 | 9am – 11am | FREE, registration required | Kent Reserve, Kent Drive, Victor Harbor.

Come along and learn more about the shorebirds residing at your local beach. You may be lucky enough to see an endangered Hooded Plover guarding their precious eggs that have been laid straight on top of the sand. With the help of their partners at Birdlife Australia, learn how to recognise the resident and migratory birds that live along this stretch of the coastline. Dogs (on a lead) and their owners are also welcome.

Coral’, the Marine Parks education van, will also be on site providing some pop-up activities for the kids including art, craft, games and giveaways.

Second Valley snorkel tours 
Friday 12 January 2018 & Saturday 13 January 2018 | Various times | Bookings via eventbrite – $8.75 per person | Second Valley beach carpark at the Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries marquee.

Join in a safe and supervised snorkel with Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries. With all snorkelling and safety equipment provided, each small group is assigned their own snorkel guide so that you can fully immerse yourself in this underwater world. You will be amazed at the variety of marine creatures that reside at Second Valley and you might be lucky enough to spot a leafy sea dragon or blue devil fish.

The event is suitable for children 5 years and over, who are good swimmers. At least one caregiver must accompany and supervise children (ratio of one caregiver: two children)

Please note that this event may be cancelled if weather conditions are unsuitable.

Science at the Surf Club
Monday 15 January | 6pm – 8pm |  FREE, registration is required | Port Noarlunga Surf Club, Corner of Saltfleet Street and The Esplanade, Port Noarlunga.

Dive a bit deeper into the science of managing marine parks. Who are the people managing our marine parks? Why do we have marine parks and what difference do they make? What is citizen science and what are we finding out through these projects?

Hear industry experts and passionate people share their knowledge and experiences about the work that goes into managing your local marine park. There will a photographic display by world-renowned marine scientist Carl Charter to enjoy whilst you mingle and enjoy a drink.

Suitable for all ages and wheelchair accessible.

Reef ramble
Aldinga Reef Sanctuary Zone | Tuesday 16 January 2018
| 11am
Lady Bay, Normanville | Wednesday 17 January 2018 | 11:30am

This event is FREE, however, you must register via Eventbrite.

Explore, discover and photograph. Become a citizen scientist when you join Reef Watch and Marine Park staff on a guided reef ramble of the southern end of Aldinga Reef. This is a great way to learn more about our unique rock pool creatures and to contribute to their conservation.

Participants will find and identify marine life on the intertidal zone and collect data to help in their management and conservation. This event is open to children over 5 years old but parents must accompany their children.

Community seagrass planting day at Kingscote
Wednesday 17 January

Go and learn about the important role that seagrass plays in the marine environment. Help restore a seagrass meadow in the Encounter Marine Park by planting seagrass sprigs underwater. A unique, family-friendly way to get involved in ecological restoration.

Port Noarlunga river and beach wander
Wednesday 24 January 2018 | $5 per person | Registration required

Join the Friends of Heysen Trail on their twilight Port Noarlunga Beach & River walk. Explore historical locations within the town, then around the lower river estuary before crossing the mouth to return along the beach.

Sharing our shores – Aldinga marine life and shorebirds
Wednesday 24 January 2018 |  9:30am | Suitable for all ages groups | This event is FREE, however, registration is required | Snapper Point car park, Aldinga.

Have you heard about the intertidal zone? The intertidal zone is an area of land where the land meets the sea, and it is sometimes wet and sometimes dry. The intertidal zone is rich in microscopic sea life, which provides a bounty of food for the visiting birdlife. Join their partners from Bird Life Australia and other experienced ornithologists when they set up camp for a few hours with their ‘scopes and bino’s to watch the antics of the birds. The marine parks caravan, ‘Coral’, will also be on site to help entertain the kids with a swag of activities to learn more about the fascinating intertidal zone at Aldinga Reef Sanctuary Zone.

Port Noarlunga Reef Sanctuary zone snorkel tours
Sunday 28 January 2018 |  $8.75 per person | Meet at Port Noarlunga jetty, 30min before your snorkel time.

Join a safe and supervised snorkel with Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries at Port Noarlunga Reef Sanctuary Zone. With all snorkelling and safety equipment provided, each small group is assigned their own snorkel guide so that you can fully immerse yourself in this underwater world. One of the best snorkelling locations in Encounter Marine Park. You may encounter fish species such as leather jackets, sweep, wrasse and magpie perch.

The event is suitable for children 5 years and over whom are good swimmers. At least one caregiver must accompany and supervise children (ratio of one caregiver: two children).

Please note that this event may be cancelled in the event of unsuitable weather conditions.

For event registrations and bookings click here.

10 things to do in the Encounter Marine Park

  1. Try fishing from Port Noarlunga jetty
  2. Visit the SA Whale Centre at Victor Harbor
  3. Go for a snorkel at Port Noarlunga Reef
  4. Try surfing at Middleton Beach
  5. Go for a kayak in Horseshoe Bay and around Pullen Island
  6. Check out the rock pools at Aldinga Reef (without taking anything)
  7. In winter, visit the viewing platform at Basham’s Beach to watch the whales in Encounter Bay
  8. Take some sand home and look at it through a microscope or pair of binoculars (look through the other end of the binos)
  9. Go beach combing and collect any rubbish you find
  10. Look for bryozoans wrapped around pieces of seagrass that have been washed up on the beach

beach exploration


adelaide school holidays summer

For more information and all enquiries please visit the Department for Environment, Water and Natural Resources or Nature Play SA website.

What:  Encounter Marine Park | Park of the Month

When: January 2018 (see dates & times above)

Where:  See locations above

Who: Everyone

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

Image Source: DEWNR


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