Hunter eco activities Feed

Want to help your kids be a Conservation Biologist for the day tomorrow?

Ironbark Creek Catchment Safari. Wandering through the Hunter Wetlands Centre

We’re heading out for a quick walk through the Hunter Wetlands National Park tomorrow to search for White Ibis as part of the Australian white ibis community survey.

Those of you in NSW, Queensland and Victoria can join in too if you like? More details here.

I reckon, that if you want to maximise your chances of spotting one, a trip to your local tip is your best bet. There's a reason these birds are commonly known as the bin chicken or tip turkey. 

Other opportunities to get involved in nature conservation

I’m noticing more and more opportunities for the community to get involved in nature conservation these days. And I suspect we’ll see even more over time given that one of the key objectives of the National Strategy for the Conservation of Australia's Biological Diversity is involving the community.

Another opportunity I want to look into is mangrove watch.

Do you know of any other upcoming family-friendly nature conservation activities/events? 

Here’s a few for the Hunter region during November:

Have a lovely weekend.

Perfect opportunity to contribute to your community ~Clean up Australia Day~

Clean Up Australia Day is on next weekend. We've registered to help out at our local park. How about you? Are you going to help clean up Australia?

IMG_2490-1 Little Eco on her second Clean Up Australia Day. This year will be her fourth.

Soap making fun and a weed wander

I recently had the pleasure of attending a soap making workshop run by Hunter Vally herbalist Pat Collins. Pat is the author of one of my favourite books, Useful Weeds at Our Doorstep, so I was thrilled to receive an invitation to the workshop from one of my lovely blog readers. Thanks Wendy!.

We made some lovely natural soaps using herbs and weeds.

IMG_6679We harvested Aloe gel....

IMG_6682Juiced Chickweed...

IMG_6684 And made lovely camomile milk...


All up we made five different types of soap and a batch of lovely stinging nettle hair conditioner.

We also had a weed wander. We wandered though the garden and Pat told us about the medicinal and culinary uses of the various weeds and herbs.


I came away with a few more of Pats books. I couldn't help myself. They are full of so much good stuff!


'Pats Herbal Recipes' includes loads of natural chemical free culinary, cosmetic and medicinal recipes. First on my list to try are carrot moisturising cream, lipeze, thistle hair conditioner, nasturtium capers, lavender biscuits, comfrey fritters, insect repellent cream, sun protector cream, and a tonic tea.

'More recipes from Pat'  includes even more great recipes, including a section devoted to baby care.

I'm particularly impressed with 'Bush Wise'. It includes information on useful native plants, bush craft, survival skills and has a great recipe section. I'll definitely be trying the rabbit casserole, kangaroo tail soup, Prickly Pear cough syrup, and the Warrigal Greens and Macadamia nut pesto. There's even information on how to cook insects (I think i'll give the creepy crawlies a miss). 

Find out more about Pat Collins

You can find out more about Pat by visiting her Total Health and Education Center website. Her books and herbal goodies can be ordered from the center (price list download).

Pat runs workshops by invitation. I'm keen to invite her to give another workshop in Newcastle in the New Year. The hard bit is choosing what to have a workshop on. Herb & Home Healing, Bush Flower Healing, Making Cosmetics, Bush Tucker, or Self Sufficiency? They all sound like fun. Send me an email if you are interested (see email link in top right hand corner under my 'hello').

Indoor bicycle storage ~ bedroom wall feature ~


Do you like our new bedroom wall feature? 

We didn't have any space to store our bikes. We don't have a garage and our shed is too small so our bikes were crowding our study.

I went in search of stylish indoor bike storage inspiration and found plenty. Who knew bikes could look so good inside?!

Reassured that bikes could look good when stored properly, we decided to use our bedroom wall, took down our wedding photograph, and added a simple bike wall mount for Daddy Eco's bike. I simply park mine below.

I love that I'm reminded every morning that I should ride my bike and leave the car at home.

For the Novocastrians among you, there's a few upcoming events I thought you may be interested in.

Next Friday night (22nd October) Maggie Hamilton will be giving a presentation on 'Whats happening to our kids".

Friday night is also the opening night for a Fair Share Festival, which continues all day Saturday (23nd).

And for Sydneysiders, on Sunday evening (24rd) David Suzuki is speaking at the Opera House. I'm actually heading down for this,in my opinion, not to be missed talk. Check out his full Australian Tour schedule here.

Have a lovely weekend.

Don't forget 'Raid My Wardrobe' tomorrow


For those of you in Newcastle tomorrow (Sunday) don't forget the unreal second hand clothing event 'Raid My Wardrobe'. I came away with some great finds last time (shown above) and this time there will be twice as many stalls!

Raid My Wardrobe Newcastle: Sunday 21st August 10am to 2pm at the Newcastle Basketball Stadium, Broadmeadow.

Future 'Raid My Wardrobe' events are to be held in Maitland, Central Coast and Sydney. More details here.