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Biology Excursion

5/06/2017

SCHOOL NEWSLETTER ARTICLE BY SORAMI

On Friday, 12th of April, 2017, the year 11 Biology cohort went on yet another adventure. This term, the year 11 biologists went to Wangetti Beach and Hartley’s Crocodile Farm to observe the animals and to understand the succession of plants within the region.

For many of us it was our first experience of both Wangetti Beach and Hartley’s Crocodile Farm. We began our trip at Wangetti Beach. We quickly settled into our allocated groups and started our investigations in different areas of the beach. We then recorded the results of PH, surface temperature, wind speed and collected soil and sediments from the shore of the beach to the deeper side. When taking photos of plants, we found ourselves recognising the adaptations of certain plants. The view of the plants, and the waves crashing onto the headland and the beach was breathtaking. Two hours had passed before we knew it and we were again boarding the bus, this time for Hartley’s Crocodile Farm.

As everyone entered the wildlife park two beautiful sulphur-crested Cockatoos greeted us. They were certainly the centre of everyone’s attention and knew how to handle the amateur photographers. Because it was lunch time, we had a chance to kick back and relax at Lilies Restaurant, which overlooked the lagoon before heading off on a small journey, through the Gondwana Gateway, which shows the evolution of Australia’s most interesting fauna, such as the reptiles, the wombats and everything else.

The crocodile keeper took time to explain to us the characteristics and behaviours of crocodiles and he then patiently answered our questions. We also got to hold, baby crocodiles. At first, some of us were hesitant but we soon overcame our fears. After the show had finished we went for a stroll along the Wildlife Discovery Trail Boardwalks. We were introduced to two species of crocodiles, the Estuarine and the Freshwater. Some of the year 11 biologists were able to feed the crocodiles, using poles with food attached. The crocodiles’ jumping skills as they leapt, amazed us all

Then, using two boats, we cruised the lagoon. The boat cruise took us past crocodile habitat. The lagoon reflected their own habitat, and we were able to witness a part of their daily lives and observe their interactions with each other. The commentary was provided by the drivers, highlighting not only the behaviour of the crocodiles but introducing us to the plants and animals that share their home. For me, the cruise around Hartley’s Lagoon was the highlight of the day!

Boarding the bus for the final time, we returned to school. Looking back we remember spectacular views, incredible plants, perfect weather and crocodiles eating, sleeping, leaping and moving. Everyone had a fantastic time, we learnt lots and it was another adventure that we will remember. It was a great experience for all of us.