Fresh Air Kids – Term 2 | Week 2


The Fresh Air Kids is a group of local families that want their children to spend time in the great outdoors, learning through playing in nature.

A community partnership with the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee, Fresh Air Kids aims to encourage local coastal kids to grow up observing the environment in more detail than even most adults do.


Date | 02.05.2017 – Anglesea Main Beach

The fierce and freezing winds felt like they were straight from Antarctica and greeted our Fresh Air Kids today. To their credit, the kids still went paddling in the Anglesea River – an event made even more exciting due to the fact it was flowing backwards, with small waves heading up and into the estuary from the ocean in what looked like a miniature tidal bore.

The Anglesea River Mini Tidal Bore

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A tidal bore in Amazon. Image: theinertia.com

In South America, the Amazon River experiences something called the Pororoca. On the highest tides of the year huge waves smash up the river for kilometers, often causing serious damage to the river banks. In China it is called ‘The Silver Dragon’ and races up a number of large rivers in major cities, surfing competitions are even held on these large waves.

There’s no way we could have surfed on the tiny waves coming into Anglesea River, but the principle was exactly the same. We don’t see it often at Anglesea because most of the time it is blocked up by a barrier of sand but due to the heavy rains recently, the river has a channel out to sea, and that allows a reverse of the river when the tide is high enough.

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Erosion of the Anglesea beach after high tides in May 2015

In May we have enormous high tides and when these combine with large swells, we see widespread damage to our coastline with dunes getting washed away.  This is exactly what happened in May of 2015, and May 2016.

Cleaning the Moonah Forest

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Fresh Air Kids hanging out in the Moonah forest

After getting thoroughly saturated crossing the Anglesea River we sought refuge under a small part of the fairy-land reserve, a stretch of Moonah woodland next to the caravan park. The Fresh Air Kids love Moonahs and the way their stems twist and twine and form a dark and spooky canopy cover.

We were able to enter these Moonah woodlands as it was already a highly disturbed patch of land which was filled with rubbish. Our team carefully made our way through to remove a bag full of rubbish which had been thoughtlessly discarded into the native vegetation.

We tidied every last chip packet and lolly wrapper and carried them back to the rubbish bins just in time before our bodies became hypothermic from the cold and wet. Good on you Fresh Air Kids!

Our Moonah woodlands are protected and listed as a threatened community under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. 

Want to get involved? We meet weekly on Tuesdays at 4pm and explore all the wonders and joys of our fantastic coastline. For more details please email me at peter.c@gorcc.com.au. Can’t wait to see you there!

Until next time,

Possum Pete

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