There is a magic about the Hills – especially on a rainy day, when there is the smell of wood smoke in the air. And out into the rain the people came to help preserve the habitat of our native platypus, as part of Belgrave’s 11th Annual Platypus Festival this afternoon.
I am constantly pinching myself that I live so close to the Dandenongs
– but today just served as another reminder of why this part of the world is so
There are platypus living in the waterways off Belgrave Lake, Monbulk Creek and towards Birdsland Reserve – therefore making Belgrave Lake Park a very fitting place for the Platypus Festival.
There was a sausage sizzle, activities and live music
The Animals from Oz tent was also pretty exciting to visit – where you could meet fruit bats, tree frogs and Bubblegum the Blue-tongue Lizard.
When the time came for Animals from Oz’s final furry friend
to emerge from his enclosure and say hello –
‘Who do you think is hiding in here?’ the ranger asked us. ‘I’ll
give you a clue – he likes to sleep, and also likes to eat a lot of fresh
‘It’s a sheep!’ said one of the kids.
‘A skeleton!’ said another.
Instead, out wombled Dozer the 4 year-old wombat – Dozer, not only because he likes a nap, but ‘when he gets going, he’s a bit like a bulldozer!’ (He was pretty reluctant today to come out into the cold!)
All in all it was great afternoon (albeit a little bit wet,
in true Dandenongs style), and a great way to learn more about local
initiatives to help protect the platypus.
The move, initiated by the Victorian Alliance for Platypus Safe Yabby Traps, came following thousands of platypus deaths each year, as platypuses would find their way into the yabby nets (to eat the yabbies), become trapped and then tragically drown.
It is hoped the ban will cut down the number of deaths.
The Platypus Festival is held in Belgrave each year. For more information on the festival, or to help protect our native platypus, get in touch with the Platypus Education Group here.