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Crocs, fish, bugs and birds at free family festival on Ash Island
The community are invited to a hands-on, entertaining and free ‘Back to the River’ Family Festival this Sunday 29 April from 9am to 2pm on Ash Island at Hexham.
Hosted by the Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority (CMA) the Family Festival will be an activity-packed event taking place at this very special sanctuary along the Hunter River, located just fifteen minutes from Newcastle in the Hunter Wetlands National Park.
Kooragang Wetland Rehabilitation Project (KWRP) Manager Ms Peggy Svoboda said ‘There will be something for everyone at the festival including the Croc Stars Reptile Show, ‘Nuts about Nature’ activities, face painting, water bug surveys, bush art activities by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and plenty of displays. Down by the river visitors can tour a working prawn trawler and aspiring young anglers can take part in fishing clinics. All of these activities are completely free.’
‘The Newcastle Bird Observers Club will also be in attendance to share their wealth of knowledge on waterbirds from the permanent Kooragang inhabitants to the migratory species that travel from as far as Japan and Siberia to spend the summer in the Hunter estuary.’
‘The theme of the festival is Back to the River and visitors will get a chance to participate in guided historical tours and displays showcasing the past history of the island’s former inhabitants.’
‘As part of the KWRP’s ongoing historical investigations, staff and volunteers will be recording the stories and memories from willing festival participants. Bringing along old photos and documents on the day is encouraged.’
Ms Svoboda added ‘the festival is also a great opportunity to meet the KWRP’s volunteers and staff, who have planted over 170 000 trees since the project started in 1993 and transformed the island from degraded agricultural land into internationally significant wetlands.’
For a gold coin donation visitors can enjoy a barbeque lunch and wine tasting with Brokenwood Wines. The island also has a number of picnic areas and a free shuttle bus will be operating to help visitors get around.
Ash Island can be accessed via Ash Island Bridge, 100 metres east of McDonalds on the Pacific Highway at Hexham.