Top 10 ways to have fun on the beach when its cold outside

Its suddenly a little cool down our way and we haven’t even hit winter yet!

Don’t despair though, because in our eyes it’s still beach weather. What? We hear you ask ….

Yes, we know, you usually spend time on the beach when its 35 degrees plus, but we reckon that if you don’t come down in the cooler months you might just be missing out on a really great holiday.

Not only are the below ideas fun for all ages, but they are also FREE.

Bike riding is fun and family friendly and its a great way to see our scenic coastline.
Bike riding is fun and family friendly and its a great way to see our scenic coastline.

 

First things first –  what are the advantages of visiting the beach in the cooler months?

  • You won’t have to fight for a spot on the sand – take your pick!
  • All of the activities below are FREE.
  • You’re much less likely to get sunburt – although make sure to use SPF even when its overcast.
There's so much to discover on the beach! Kids love to find interesting things, especially in rock pools.
There’s so much to discover on the beach! Kids love to find interesting things, especially in rock pools.

 

Here’s our top ten fun things to do on the beach when its NOT 40 degrees: 

  1. Sand art: Test your creative skills and make sand castles or sand sculptures.   This one is fun and can be made into a competition – you just need an impartial judge! The only materials required are a bucket and a trowl, there’s plenty of natural decorations to be found lying around.
  2. Volleyball, Football, Soccor or Cricket: The best way to warm up is to get moving! You’re not going to feel the cold when you’re running around hitting or catching a ball and the soft sand is the perfect crash mat for those epic catches.
  3. Cycling: We are blessed with some fantastic bicycle tracks on the coast …get on your bike and check some out! There are tracks for all levels of rider and parts of the Surf Coast Walk is perfect for cycling.
  4. Photography: There’s nowhere quite like the great ocean road for spectacular scenery. Get your camera out and take some incredible shots of cliffs, wildlife, beach scenery or your friends and family.
  5. Wildlife spotting: Grab a pair of binoculars and head off on a beach safari. See if you can spot endangered animals like the Hooded Plover or Rufus Bristlebird or some of our more common but equally cute friends such as echidnas and koalas.   For a sure fire way to view some wildlife, head on over to the Jirrahlinga Koala Wildlife Sanctuary where you can meet all sorts of furry friends.

    Head out on a wildlife walk - there's so many amazing animals to be spotted.
    Head out on a wildlife walk – there’s so many amazing animals to be spotted.
  6. Have a picnic. If it’s not swimming weather but it’s not too windy or overly cold a picnic is a great activity. You’re spoilt for scenic spots and if it is a little chilly you can bring some hot chocolate.
  7. Fly a kite: There’s no place quite so perfect for kites as the beach. Kites are inexpensive and can even be made at home. Kids and adults alike will love this activity.
  8. Play Pictionary: The beach is a perfect canvas for drawing pictures which you can turn into your very own outdoor Pictionary game.
  9. Visit the rockpools: Rockpools are often full of interesting wildlife and sea plants. Discover little underwater worlds and identify the sea life.
  10. Do nothing.   This is probably one of our favourite options! Lie around, read a book, eat great food and RELAX.

 

Are you someone who likes the beach in the cooler months? What do you like to do at the beach when the weather is a little more wintery?

Market stall raises coastal awareness

Visitors to Torquay have been learning about protecting the coast and identifying wildlife as part of the Nightjar markets held during January.

Fun educational activities
Fun educational activities encouraging people to learn about our coast.

Free educational activities including everything from quizzes and puzzles to learning how to look after rare Hooded Plovers were enjoyed as part of an environmental education tent funded by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee.

The tent was run by local environmental education group EcoLogic on behalf of the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee.

GORCC Education tent
The GORCC Environmental education tent.

EcoLogic Interpretation Officer Regina Gleeson said that the tent had been popular with children who enjoyed a variety of different activities.

“The attendance at the tent has been good and people have been interested in learning about protecting our beautiful coast,” she said.

“It’s nice that visitors to the coast can use this opportunity to learn about our precious coastline and how they can help look after it.”

The tent also provided people with an opportunity to learn more about environmental volunteering, caring for lost or injured wildlife and sand dune erosion.

Identifying threats to wildlife
Identifying threats to local wildlife.

Ms. Gleeson hoped that after visiting the tent, people would have an increased awareness of their environmental impact and be more inclined to care for what’s around them.

“It’s great that this is the one stall which focuses on looking after the coast. Hopefully people will take away with them the environmental messages we are promoting and will put them into practice when they get home,” she said.

An example of how we protect hooded plovers.
An example of how we protect hooded plovers.

Visit the GORCC website to:

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Marine activities a hit with families

Kids on the coast have been getting up close with marine environments and enjoying everything from ‘adventure safaris’ to ‘ranger yarns’ as part of the free Summer by the Sea program. Children participating in a ‘rock pool ramble’ activity in Torquay recently were delighted to discover a range of unusual sea creatures in the rock pools at Point Danger.

Brody, Milly and Jessamine with starfish
Brodie Mascoll, Milly Dundle, Marine Park ranger Alicia Ivory and Jessamine Turner with a  sea star  found during the rock pool ramble.

Marine Park ranger Alicia Ivory who hosted the activity said the discovery of chitons, sea slugs, sea stars and blue bottle jellyfish in the rock pools helped to highlight the importance of looking after our local marine environment. “The plants and animals living in places like Point Danger Marine Sanctuary are sensitive and diverse with over 96 different types of sea slugs recorded over recent years,” she said. Participants Milly Dundle and Jessamine Turner said finding the different creatures was their favourite part of the activity. “I really liked finding the sea stars and learning that it’s important to put the rocks back where you found them so that the animals don’t get lost or hurt,” Milly said.

Milly Dundle with a starfish
Milly Dundle with a sea star.

Local resident Jill Tregonning said the chance to see the rock pools was a great opportunity for both herself and her granddaughter Milly. “Even though you live here, you don’t know and appreciate what’s under your nose until you actually see it,” Jill said. Summer by the Sea activities are an opportunity to uncover more about our precious coastal and marine environments with the help of expert guides. The annual event sees families come together to participate in fun, educational activities that are enjoyable for all age groups and participants range from locals to day trippers and regular visitors. “These activities help visitors learn how to look after the environment, while enjoying the parks. “It’s not just the children but also the adults who love learning new facts about the species they regularly see each time they visit the rock pools,” said Ms.Ivory.

Brody and Kai ??? with Marine Park ranger Alicia Ivory learning about the creatures which live in rockpools.
Brodie and Kai Mascoll with Marine Park ranger Alicia Ivory learning about the creatures which live in rockpools.

Ms Ivory said understanding why each species is important helps people realise how special our marine environments are. “It’s great to see people getting out and experiencing these amazing places that are protected for ours and future generations,” she said. Summer by the Sea is run by Parks Victoria and the Department of Sustainability and Environment. More information is available at www.dse.vic.gov.au/summerbythesea.

This article featured in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast Column.

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