Park open day a great success
23 October 2014
The recent community open day held at Flinders Chase National Park was a great success and was an excellent opportunity to welcome local community members into our parks. Residents were able to experience the upgrade of the Rocky River Visitor facilities, which were destroyed in the 2007 fires. It also highlighted several new trail experiences and enabled community members to revisit their favourite places in Flinders Chase National Park.
A short guided tour of the new heritage walk was popular, especially as members of the Friends of Parks KI Western Districts provided morning and afternoon tea at May’s homestead. Members dressed in period costume and attendees were serenaded with bush ballads.
Locals were impressed with the improvements to May’s Homestead, as many could remember the days when the facilities were basic. ‘Last time I visited there was no electricity’ one of them observed, ‘it looks much more comfortable now’ she said.
A longer guided walk to the Platypus Waterholes showcased the spectacular spring wildflowers, fire history, biodiversity and our iconic egg laying mammals (monotremes). Platypus are one of many species introduced to the park in the 1920s when it was identified as an island refuge for threatened species.
Back at the Visitor Centre, beautifully preserved fossils from the island’s megafauna were on display and their discovery, excavation and preservation was interpreted in a short presentation held in the Visitor Centre’s Interpretation Area.
The children were kept busy with ‘Natureplay’ activities including treasure hunts, puppet making and kids’ quizzes, designed to encourage them to enjoy exploring the outdoors and feel at home in the park. Skipping ropes, balls and hula-hoops had them burning off energy at Snake Lagoon where a light lunch was provided. A display of colourful echidnas and platypuses, made by Parndana Reception students demonstrated the close links many of our children feel for the natural environment of our beautiful island.
If you missed out on attending the open day, then why not come out and visit Flinders Chase while the park is wearing its spring colours? You could stay in atmospheric May’s homestead or one of the suite of Heritage accommodation options provided at Flinders Chase National Park (which receive excellent reviews from visitors and rates 4.5 on tripadvisor). Islanders get a 50% discount on the Kangaroo Island Parks Pass and KICE students and their immediate families have free entry to the park.
Plans are already underway for next year’s open day, scheduled for 18 October 2015.