Field Trips

A range of field trips were on offer. Alternatively, conference delegates could make use of the opportunity to visit tourism award winning outdoor museum Sovereign Hill (www.sovereignhill.com.au) situated directly opposite the Conference venue, or the Eureka Site and Museum of Australian Democracy (made.org) a short walk east up Eureka Street. 

Places were strictly limited, so delegates were reminded to select their preferred field trip at the time of registration. 
Please note, minimum numbers did apply for these field trips.


Field Trip 1 - Environmental Flows and the Moorabool River

The Moorabool Basin has the unenviable distinction of being the most allocated in Victoria with over 68% of the available water resource being captured by either urban water authorities, farm dams or irrigation. The Moorabool River has seen its natural flows reduced by nearly 90%. This tour of the river was led by the coordinator of People for A Living Moorabool (PALM), a group who has been active in securing environmental flows for the river. He provided perspectives on the challenges the river faces, the impacts of the existing environmental releases, and articulated opportunities that PALM see for improving its future resilience. 

When: 29 September 2016
Time: 1.00om - 6.00pm
Cost: $55 (includes a packed lunch)


Field Tour 2 - Volcanic lakes of the Colac region

Western Victoria is renowned for its volcanic plain and the diversity of its lakes and craters which are all part of the Kanawinka Geopark. The Colac region hosts several of these important features including the Red Rock and Basin Lakes, Lake Colac itself, and Lakes Corangamite and Beeac which form part of the Western District Ramsar site.  While some lakes are mostly fresh others are extremely saline and have unusual water chemistry. The region has been subjected to a drying climate and several are forecast to be mostly dry into the future. Groundwater plays an important role in maintaining the lakes and irrigation agriculture across the region. On this trip the group looked at the lakes and considered the region’s water management challenges under increasingly scarce water availability. 

When: 29 September 2016
Time: 1.00om - 6.00pm
Cost: $55 (includes a packed lunch)


Field Tour 3 - Wetting a Line in Lake Wendouree

Lake Wendouree was a natural swamp typical of those on the Victorian Central Highlands but it was dammed during the gold rush and has become a much celebrated recreational lake. The lake hosted the rowing and canoeing events during the 1956 Olympics and while mostly full, dried out in 2011 and actually caught fire. Adjacent to the lake is one of the first trout hatcheries in Australia which is still in operation. This trip was led by a local fly fishing radio personality and visited the hatchery before following the Moneghetti track along the southern shores of the lake while trying their luck (fishing gear supplied). There was also a chance the fishing may have be interrupted by a stop at the Lakeside or the Boatshed.

When: 29 September 2016
Time: 1.00om - 6.00pm
Cost: $35 (includes a packed lunch)


Field Tour 4 - Local Lake Ecology

Lake Wendouree was a natural swamp at the time of European invasion, used by the local indigenous people. It was modified since settlement and is now an urban wetland and was the site of the rowing races for the 1956 Melbourne Olympic games. It dried during the millennium drought, but is now refilled and presents a significant management challenge for the local council. Winter Swamp is a relatively unimpacted wetland that still experiences its natural water regime, and is likely to be similar to what Lake Wendouree was like at the time of settlement. It has a high diversity of water plants, and provides significant habitat for waterbirds. Delegates were invited to bring their waders to check out the vegetation, binoculars for water birds. Finishing at the one of the watering holes adjacent to Lake Wendouree. There was plenty of conversation about wetland management and restoration.....or not.

When: 29 September 2016
Time: 1.00om - 6.00pm
Cost: $35 (includes a packed lunch)


Our Sponsors