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Tennyson Dunes Open Day

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
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Event:
Come for a day of fun at the beach
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Find Fun Things to Do at Friends of Tennyson Dunes Open Day 2017


Tennyson dunes is a coastal area located between Grange and West Lakes Shore. It's one of the few Adelaide beaches that have survived largely free of development, although some houses have been built right on the dune system.

The huge rolling sand dunes at Tennyson were seen as rather remote before the early 20th century. The only sign of civilisation in the area until the 1880's was the Military Road connecting Glenelg to Fort Glanville and Fort Largs. The road was important to the defence of South Australia but was frequently covered in sand drifts, much to the inconvenience of travellers.

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Estcourt House 1900 (Image: State Library SA B41005)


With the 1880's came a burst of development at Grange, Semaphore and Largs Bay, and one of the developers built the grand mansion Estcourt House in the Tennyson dunes. Despite this, no other housing was built in the area for many years due to the swampy nature of the marshes inland. Unfortunately, development has continued to the present day, with ugly mansions being built only recently on the Tennyson dunes.

As late as 1962, an aerial photo of what was to become West Lakes shows the barren area inland, although clearly houses had been built along the dune system at Grange to Tennyson by then.

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Aerial Photo of West Lakes 1962 (Image: Atkins Photography, Darian Smith Collection)


The Tennyson dunes remained largely intact despite the massive development at West Lakes which changed the environment forever. The beach and dunes ecology has survived substantially, leaving the flora and fauna to flourish. For more about the history of Tennyson dunes see this fascinating article.

For decades the conservation minded residents of the western suburbs have worked to protect the Tennyson dunes, and give the native flora and fauna a chance to thrive. They have held working bees to plant native vegetation, and remove invasive species. Their efforts seem to be working, because it's still possible to see Painted Dragon lizards scurrying across paths. Snakes still live in the sandhills too, while predatory birds still prey on unsuspecting small animals.

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Aerial Photo of Tennyson Dunes Today ( Copyright 2016)


The Friends of the Tennyson Dunes group formed in 1995 and worked relentlessly since then to protect their beautiful natural environment. This year on September 34 they are again holding their free Tennyson Dunes Open Day. It's a family day of fun things to do, with guided walking tours, talks by expert coastcare volunteers, nature play and other activities for kids.

All of the activities are free things to do, but most of the guided tours must be booked in advance. These were so popular last year that they booked out in advance so please book early to avoid disappointment.

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Colourful Native Pigface Flowers at Tennyson Dunes


Free things to do, talks and guided tours (bookings essential) start from 10am on the open day, running through to about 3pm. The topics on offer (some are repeated) include:
Birds of the Coast with Ali Ben Kahn
Beach Combing with the Malacological Society
Coastal Dune Plants with Sarah Telfer
Natural History of the Tennyson Dunes with Assoc Prof Victor Gostin
Climate Change and Coastal Erosion with Jason Quinn
In Search of Dragons with Tim Milne
Nature Photography for Beginners

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The Free Guided Tours Through Tennyson Dunes Are Fun for Kids


Free things to do from 10am - no booking required
This year take part in a very special Mini Bio-Blitz

At 12 noon
Welcome
BBQ lunch by the Kiwanis
Tennyson Dunes Fair starts with market stalls

tennyson dunes open day, tennyson dunes, open day, friends of the tennyson dunes, west lakes, flora and fauna, free things to do, activities for kids, fun things to do, painted dragon
A Painted Dragon Lizard in Tennyson Dunes at Last Year's Open Day


Find out all about the Open Day on the Friends of the Tennyson Dunes website and Facebook page, and don't miss all the fun things to do at Tennyson beach this year.
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Why? Come to the open day for fun things to do at Tennyson beach
When: From 10am
Where: Tennyson Beach
Cost: Free!
Your Comment
Estcourt House was connected to what was then known as the Adelaide Childrens Hospital for many years. Some children who were convalescing were transferred to Estcourt House
by r.eng (score: 2|348) 762 days ago
My favorite beach in the 1960's..use to see trotters there.Must take another look..do not remember now where I parked my car...it was just a little park right on the beach.Hardly any one ever went there.Some time white crabs would line the beach...was told not to eat them...because they might be toxic...so never did.
by noelp (score: 3|1180) 755 days ago
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