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Source to Sea

The kanamaluka /Tamar Estuary Source to Sea Program is an excursion for schools and community groups designed to introduce our community to the wonders of this local waterway by exploring its journey through the catchment. 

The kanamaluka Tamar Estuary Source to Sea program is an educational activity by Tamar NRM.
Source to Sea Logo

What are the key details?

What: Full-day excursion (approx. 9.00am - 3.00pm, unless other arrangements have been made)

Suitable for: Primary to secondary students and community groups  

Location: Kings Meadows Rivulet - Start at Kate Reed Reserve, finish at Queechy Lake 

Mode of transport: Bus (see optional extra) and walking (distance approx. 2 km)  

Available on:  Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (subject to availability) 

What to bring: Packed lunch and snacks, water bottle, good walking shoes, hat and sunscreen, pen or pencil, camera (optional). 

Cost: Free (participants are expected to provide their own transport)

Resources: Source to Sea Workbook

Tamar NRM_Source to Sea_A3 booklet11 pages
Download PDF • 6.39MB

What to expect

On the day, participants will visit various sites through the catchment and meet experts along the way where the participants will be invited to explore, observe, question and problem solve issues relating to one of many local waterways in the catchment. 

The Source to Sea experience provides a valuable opportunity for participants to increase their understanding of the natural environment – how it’s physical and ecological elements operate and interact, as well as overlaying the human interactions and cultural aspects significant to our local waterways. 

By catchment we mean the area of land which is bounded by natural features, such as hills or mountains, or human altered landscapes such as towns/cities, or agriculture from which all run-off water flows to a low point  

Assistance with bus costs

Tamar NRM has limited funds available to assist where groups have difficulty with the cost of transport for this excursion. Consideration will be given to school or group circumstances and size.  Please get in touch with us to discuss. 

Timing of a typical day 
  1. Kate Reed Reserve – Source of the Rivulet and remanent vegetation area - Indigenous Culture, Water Testing, Plant identification 

  2. Urban and Industrial Impacts – On route 

  3. Disappearing Rivulet at Kings Meadows High School – Flood Mitigation and Engineering (bus) 

  4. Reappearing Rivulet – Kings Meadow Shops - Rubbish and Waste impact on the waterway (bus) 

  5. Walk to Punchbowl - Observing Land use impact on the way 

  6. Punchbowl Reserve – Geology, Galaxia and Gambusia (walk) 

  7. Queechy Lake –  End of the Kings Meadows Rivulet – Fresh water meeting the estuarine environment (walk) 

  8. Riverbend – Marine/estuarine environment (bus) (optional element) 

What we investigate  
  • What is a catchment and what does it look like  

  • The Kings Meadow Rivulet – a small part of a bigger fluvial system 

  • The water cycle and the movement of water over the landscape and how it shapes the earth’s surface 

  • The diversity of land and aquatic habitats in a catchment and the life they support  

  • Identifying macro-invertebrates as an indicator of water quality and water testing  

  • Importance of vegetation in the catchment and invasive species  

  • The cultural significance of local waterways 

  • The effect of human activity such as modification to stream flow, land clearing, urbanisation and other land uses 

  • Why healthy waterways are important and how we can all help to improve the health of our waterways  

Some comments from year 4 students
'I liked how Geoff gave us ochre to out on our hands. Ocher is used by aboriginals. They smash it up to make a face paint.' 
'I didn’t know you could have one part of the rivulets be really yucky and another really clear.' 
'I like it when David told us creatures live in the mud and birds come to eat the creatures.'
'I didn’t know there was a seal that came down the river to the water at Punchbowl.' 
'It was kind of weird because heaps of rubbish at Kings Meadows. Down at punchbowl reserve there was no rubbish.' 
'If you see rubbish pick it up and put it in the bin so animals don’t die.' 
Some comments from year 7/8 students
'The excursion was great because we could learn about how human impact affects our local waterways. I also had a chance to learn about turbidity, salinity and pH. It was really interesting how while the water looked clear, looking into the turbidity tube it was really dirty. Also, it was interesting that the water was really salty at the source because of the salty soils.'
'I found out new information about macro invertebrates that I never heard about before.'
'It was pretty good testing water with my group for salinity, turbidity, pH and the depth and width of the rivulet.  It was fun getting into nature seeing the rivulet and the bugs that live in the water and the riparian vegetation. I enjoyed being the scribe for my group and collecting the data.'
'The thing that stood out to me were the different types of water bugs and how different water bugs thrived in different parts of the river catchment.'
'The excursion was good. I enjoyed looking into the hole where the rivulet disappeared at Kings Meadows high school and I loved seeing the waterfall at Punchbowl reserve park.'
'Two things that had stood out for me were seeing the model at the beginning and seeing how humans can influence the flow of water by building the retention basin. The second thing was the amount of creatures actually living in the water!'

Links to the Australian Curriculum  

Source to Sea aims to address elements of the Australian Curriculum both in its Learning areas and General capabilities as well as addressing cross curriculum priorities from Foundation, through to secondary school levels (Science, Social sciences, Geography, Earth Science and Biology).  Please contact us to discuss how we can integrate your specific class or group needs. 

Contact us 

This excursion can be modified/adapted to suit any age or interest group. If you are interested in the Source to Sea Program please get in touch with the Project Coordinator Trish Haeusler at  



Funding Acknowledgement

In 2021, Tamar NRM secured funding through the TasNetworks Tasmanian Futures Sustainable Future Grants Program to facilitate a kanamaluka/ Tamar Estuary, Source to Sea Education Program. Tamar NRM is continuing this program into 2023.


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