Snap, Crackle, Pop

A well lit fire is the beginning symbol of a cold night about to set in, especially when the wood engulfed by flames occurs at midday. Although the sun is shining bright, the wind carries the oceans mist over the hill and onto the block. Fingers crossed the sun keeps shining.

When we first arrived late Thursday afternoon, we were confronted with debris from last weeks powerful storm. Winds reaching up to 130km per hour carried logs, sticks, wire, tin, anything loose from our neighbours yard into ours and vice versa. Not to mention – April’s monthly downfall over a 24hour period. Luckily, our cows, sheep and chickens are robust little creatures and managed to survive the cold nights and high winds. Good Friday started with a casual clean up, check up and cut down of branches and fallen trees. Soon after, my family arrived. This included my mum, dad, sister, brother in-law, niece and two nephews. 

The weekends adventures took us to fairytale forests, pristine beaches, bush land and across hidden pathways. Along our journey, we stumbled across many tourists who don’t know the difference between right and wrong- these tourists on a number of occasions showed disrespect to our country, our environment and our wildlife. Being Australian, I was astounded by the disrespectful behaviours the tourists showed, I felt in part like it was a personal attack on me. Although originally born in Poland, Bart considers Australia home and also felt it was our duty to ‘protect’ what we have by gently reminding these tourists of the right thing to do. 

EVERY time we have travelled, we have ALWAYS respected the country we are in, the culture it has and their ways of protecting their environment. However, over the past few days of visiting tourist destinations in our own country, we haven’t seen the same respect returned. How can someone travel and show no gratitude for the place they are in? We were saddened to witness this first hand. Some of the things we saw were outrageous! 

Trekking through a gully of glow worms, we found people shining bright white lights on them to see – perhaps they did not know they were meant to have a soft red light instead. We witnessed a man trying to capture the glow worms in a plastic bag and someone climbing barriers where the worms were being trampled. Although it is a free site to see these spectacular creatures, it does NOT mean you can do what you want and wreck their natural environment. 

Glow Worms call Australia and New Zealand home. They are recognised for their bioluminescence. While beautiful, these animals are sensitive to changes in their environment. We need to protect them. Dependant on permanently wet habitat, the country’s continuously drying climate has restricted glow worm colonies to a handful of locations across the country. When visiting these locations, it is extremely important to ensure as little impact on the larvae as possible.

Here’s some tips for visiting glow worms:

  • Use your torch to shine on the ground only – do not shine it directly at the glow worms or use red cellophane to cover your torch end;
  • Do not use flash photography – use a long exposure to capture their light;
  • Do not smoke;
  • Keep noise to a minimum;
  • Do not touch them.

Further more to our glow worm encounter, we found a family of 11 crossing on undesignated pathways in one of our most beautiful forests. By doing so, it can cause soil erosion and damage to native vegetation which in turn has an impact on local fauna. 

These places we visited as a family, we stuck to the paths and admired the variety of picturesque scenery that this new country we call home, has to offer. We hope that you can show your respect and do the same when visiting. 
Natalie Beach

Australian coastline on a beautiful Autumn day

Being led down a garden path in the natural forest filled with Australian natives

One of the many creek beds almost empty from Australia’s dry climate (luckily Winter is almost here)

Our friendly sheep grazing as the sun goes down

This beautiful forest of trees lies in one of our most native areas- and yet these trees were introduced from America in the early 1930’s

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