Serendip Sanctuary - A Great Place for Kids
Wednesday 12 February, 2014
Serendip Sanctuary is located around 20km north east of Geelong, just off the M1 Freeway, near the town of Lara. It’s been described as a wildlife oasis in the Western Volcanic Plain, with a wide variety of native birds and mammals. A visit to the sanctuary is a learning experience for all ages and one you will never forget.
Serendip is the perfect place to learn about and get up close to the native wildlife of Victoria’s Western Plains. It has over 150 species of native birds such as the Bush Stone-curlew, Brolga and Freckled Duck and is home to native animals like the Eastern Barred Bandicoot, one of Victoria’s most endangered creatures.
Birds can be seen up close from bird hides and in aviaries; preening, feeding, incubating their eggs and rearing chicks. There are a number of short walks around Serendip that provide close encounters with wildlife. On the Wildlife Walk you might see Emus and Eastern Grey Kangaroos grazing, Brolgas trumpeting, Whistling Kites soaring overhead and Yellow-billed Spoonbills wading in shallow water.
You may be even lucky enough to see one of the five young Spotted-tail Quolls which were born at the sanctuary late last year. Quolls are endangered native creatures that are rarely seen in the wild as they mainly hunt at night.
Serendip is a great venue for families as children can take part in hands-on activities such as ponding with nets. The park also has excellent facilities; smooth tracks for prams, open space for play, free barbecues, picnic tables under shelter and baby changing facilities.
Other fun activities are:
- Seeing how many of Serendip’s 150 plus bird species you can spot such as the Whistling Kite, Bush Stone-curlew and Tawny Frogmouth.
- Visiting Serendip’s Ponding Site and catching water bugs using dip nets. If you’re lucky you may even catch a fish. You can look at the bugs’ cool features using magnifying glasses.
- Testing your bouncing skills against the resident kangaroos at the long jump pit.
- Serendip is also an excellent place to hold a children’s birthday party.
Serendip Sanctuary also offers a Junior Ranger program for children aged 5-12 during school holidays. The activities are free and include a Behind the Scenes tour, Mini Beast Discovery and Bush Detective. Kids can also do some DIY Junior Ranger activities by visiting the website and printing off Wildlife Detective – how to unravel some of the secrets of the bush, and Discovering Trees – get to know our trees.
Serendip is more than just an animal sanctuary. It has a curriculum-based education program for students from Prep to Year 12. This provides unique hands on opportunities to learn about the wetlands and grassy woodlands of the Western Volcanic Plains and their native birds and animals.
Bookings are essential for the school holiday Junior Ranger programs, and can be made on 13 1963 or at www.juniorrangers.com.au. Serendip’s next holiday program is during the Easter holidays.
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