Looking for inspiration, tips and tricks for exploring our wonderful wild spaces?

Victoria is a truly special place for nature and there are many ways that we can connect with it. If you are planning an adventure, we have some handy hints for where to go, how to get there and what to do so you can enjoy the great outdoors while limiting your impact.

Ever wanted to try an outdoor activity like hiking, camping or snorkeling but didn’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered.

Once you’ve made it out there, what are some good ways to get to know nature? You might want to introduce yourself to a tree, learn how to identify common plants and animals, or take up a hobby like birdwatching.

Want to start recording your discoveries or turn your observations into useful data? Your favourite plants and animals to photograph could be part of someone’s citizen science project.

Header illustration by Trace Balla

I want to try birdwatching. Where do I start?

Ever thought you’d like to go birdwatching but found it all a bit daunting? Do you have to know your White-cheeked Honeyeaters from your White-throated Treecreepers to have any fun? And what about using binoculars?

This beginners guide to birdwatching reminds us that it really is all about watching birds, gives some helpful tips on how to spot them, resources to identify the birds we’ve found and introduces some binocular basics.

Caption: Azure Kingfisher. Image credit: Euan Moore

 

 

 

 

 


I want to try camping. Where do I start?

Whether you’re camping from the car or going on a long hike, one thing you’re going to need is nourishment! Try out these tips for staying well fed during a camping adventure while limiting your waste and impact.

Caption: Give camping a try. Image credit: David Tatnall

 

Fantastic Fungi

They’re fascinating and fundamentally important for most of the terrestrial ecosystems on the planet. So what are fungi really, what do they do, and how can you find them in nature? Check out Alison Pouliot’s amazing introduction to ‘The Kingdom of Fungi’ with this wonderful video.


Terrific trees


Have a special moment with a local tree.

Download the activity sheet

 

 

There are many ways to record nature. Some of us make a record for our own reflection, e.g. through a nature journal. Some of us have many, many photos of the plants and animals we encounter on our adventures sitting in albums or on our computers. But did you know you can also turn your observations into useful data for researchers and managers?

The following are just a few examples of great online resources for recording nature as a citizen scientist.

 

iNaturalist

iNaturalist is an online community platform where you can upload your nature observations and contribute to biodiversity science. You can submit your observations (e.g. photos, sound recordings) either as general data points, as part of a specific project (did we mention our ReefWatch program has its own Marine Life of Victoria project for you to join?), or in a BioBlitz-style challenge over a short time period.

iNaturalist also has a mobile app that is great for when you’re out in the field- you can upload your images as you go.

Visit iNaturalist

 

Atlas of Living Australia

The Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) is an Aussie biodiversity database designed to make it easier for anyone to access biodiversity information from museums, herbariums, government departments, research institutions, Indigenous knowledge holders, community groups, universities, and individuals. You can search the Australian Citizen Science Association’s Project Finder on the Atlas to see if there’s a citizen science project where your observations can be put to good use, or perhaps you can even create your own project!

Visit the Project Finder on ALA

 

Birdata

Birdata is BirdLife Australia’s new portal for birdwatchers to upload their sightings as surveys. There are a few different types of surveys you can conduct and your data may be useful to more than one conservation program- learn more about joining Birdata and how to contribute here.

Visit Birdata