Featured image credit: Natalie Sanderson

Field Trips on offer at ESA-SCBO 2022

Morning Birdwatching

Depart from the front of Novotel Wollongong at 7am

Dates and guides

Monday 28 November with Alison Haynes and Kimberly Maute

Tuesday 29 November with Isabella Contador-Kelsall and Max de Beer

Wednesday 30 November with Isabella Contador-Kelsall and Max de Beer

The morning bird walks provide an opportunity to catch up with some of the 140 bird species that have been recorded in Puckey’s Estate. The reserve protects a variety of vegetation communities including saltmarsh, littoral forest and foredune wattle scrub. Tidal mudflats within Puckey’s Lagoon occasionally play host to an assortment of migratory shorebirds too.
Each walk will be facilitated by local bird or botany enthusiasts who will meet you outside the Novotel at 7:00am, returning by 8:30am. It’s a tame path, with total distance covered likely dictated by how many birds we find! Heavy rain may be the only condition that halts the morning walk – you’ll be notified at least 24 hours prior if the walk is cancelled.

See you there!

Behind the Scenes at Sydney Olympic Park – 25 years into a 100+ year ecological restoration project

The 2000 Olympic Games triggered a comprehensive and multidisciplinary effort to conserve and restore the ecological systems of Sydney Olympic Park, creating an enduring legacy of urban ecosystems rich in native flora and fauna. Today the Park is 25-years into a 100-year plus restoration project that began with the clean-up of over200 hectares of contaminated land and hand-planting of over 8 million individual native plants on newly-formed landscapes. Subsequent works have targeted improvements to individual systems and target species, addressing historical damage and fostering long-term resilience. Today the Park is well-known as an urban biodiversity hotspot – supporting endangered ecological communities and a high abundance and diversity of native plants and animals that are now uncommon in the Sydney region.

Park managers will take delegates for a behind-the scenes look at how adaptive management informed by ecological principles and ongoing monitoring and research is being applied to conservation of the Park’s eucalypt forest, estuarine wetlands, constructed freshwater wetlands and manufactured terrestrial landscapes, and will share strategies used to reach out to the growing human population at the Park’s doorstep. 

Date: Friday 2 December 2022
Depart Novotel: 8:00am
Return: approx 5:00pm
Participation fee: $120 inc GST per person
Inclusions: Return coach transfers, lunch at the park
What to bring: water and snacks, enclosed walking shoes, sun protection and hat.



Greater Glider & Nocturnal Mammals Night Tour

Join Team Quoll for a night of spotting Greater Gliders and other nocturnal mammals at Seven MB National Park. Team Quoll is a group of citizen scientists and researchers from the University of Wollongong on a daring quest to find and conserve the Spotted-tailed Quoll in the Illawarra and Southern Highlands. The spotted-tailed quoll is threatened with extinction and it’s up to us to do whatever we can, no matter how big or small our actions are, we can make a difference for these animals. Whether it be supporting feral fox and cat control, helping establish habitat corridors, monitoring populations of quolls and their prey, or slowing down at night when driving.
Tour leader: Meagan Powley (mjp94@uowmail.edu.au)

Dates: Sunday 27 November 2022 & Tuesday 29 November 2022
Depart Novotel: 6:30pm
Return: approx midnight
Participation fee: $45 inc GST per person
What to bring: Participants to bring own snacks. Warm clothing recommended, plus sturdy shoes and a headlamp or torch.


BlueScope in the Illawarra

BlueScope employs around 3,000 directly in the Illawarra and supports about 10,000 jobs in the Illawarra – including contractors, suppliers and other service providers who are dependent on the Port Kembla Steelworks.

BlueScope accounts for more than $2 billion in sales of locally produced steel each year, and the Port Kembla Steelworks has a production capacity of just over 3 million tonnes of steel per annum. The Steelworks covers 760 hectares.

BlueScope in the Illawarra is the home of COLORBOND® steel, which was developed at our own in-house – and Australia’s largest – manufacturing research facility.

All BlueScope people work hard to reduce the environmental impact of our operations, and we spend around $50 million each year on the operation and maintenance of pollution control equipment. Learn more about our environment programs and policies here.

Date(s): Public tours of the Port Kembla Steelworks are available most Friday and Saturday mornings
Times: Tours commence at the Inside Industry Visitor Centre at 9:30am and returning around 12:00 midday (click here for directions).
Booking link: https://www.bluescopeillawarra.com.au/about-us/tours/
To ensure your safety the following conditions apply:

  • Minimum age 10 years
  • All visitors must wear suitable clothing – long trousers or slacks and flat heeled fully enclosed shoes
  • Photography is not permitted whilst inside the Steelworks
  • Due to staircase access, the tour may not be suitable for people with mobility problems.
  • Smoking and the carrying of cigarette lighters is not permitted
  • Visitors with a heart pacemaker device may be restricted from certain areas

Fires and fires: visit to cultural burn and high severity bushfire sites with cultural land managers and fire scientists

Date: Friday 2 December 2022
Depart Novotel: 8:30am
Return: approx 5:00pm
Participation fee: $100 inc GST per person
Inclusions: Return coach transfers
What to bring: water and snacks, enclosed walking shoes, sun protection and hat.

Drive through areas of Yuin country affected by the 2019/20 Currowan bushfire and visit three sites including a recent cultural burn in the company of Noel Webster from Mudjingaalbaraga Firesticks who conducted the burn, Oliver Costello, founding member of the Firesticks Alliance, and Assoc. Prof Owen Price from the University of Wollongong.

Discuss issues about the impacts of and recovery from severe bushfires and how active fire management can help, from indigenous and western science perspectives.

Areas visited include Sussex Inlet Road, Jerrawangala National Park and Triplarina Nature Reserve Nowra.

Lunch will be at a cafe in Nowra at your own expense. You are welcome to bring your own lunch if you like.