Join Jules and his family from Travelling Family Circus, ambassadors of the Real Life Classroom. They are sharing their adventures as they travel through Tasmania, visiting Fossil Bluff.
Welcome to a true Real Life Classroom paradise. What a fantastic day to ‘go back in time’ and visit Fossil Bluff, Wynyard in Tasmania. We covered MANY topics that day! There were so many historic and geological wonders for the kids to discover, observe, touch and share with the family.
Firstly, it is called Fossil “Bluff” because it is a type of broad, rounded cliff and is literally embedded with millions of fossils that are over 275 million years old. That is back at the time when Australia was still connected to Gondwana! In the words of our little geologist, Aiden (10) “I couldn’t believe how many fossils I could see in the stones!!! Touching them was very special because they are sooooo old!”. To be honest, I couldn’t believe it either; Fossils in the cliff galore!!! Fossil bluff is divided into 3 rock layers.
The boys learned all about sedimentary rocks, land formation and erosion. They also saw the very beginning of fossil formation when Aiden found breccia which is a pile of tiny pebbles (yellow quarts) and shell held together by iron-rich mud. He cracked it open and discovered beautiful, and perfectly in tact shells embedded within the breccia sediment….another 10, 000 years from now, those shells will be beautiful fossils!
This is where the real life classroom really comes alive, to be able to see the cycle of fossil formation from beginning to end is really an amazing experience and one we truly recommend. There are over 300 known species fossilised in the cliffs at Fossil Bluff. From algae, coral and brachiopods to snails, sea urchins and sharks teeth. Fossil Bluff is also the discovery site of an extinct genus of whale called Prosqualodon and Australia’s oldest fossil marsupial, Wynyardia Bassiana, which was apparently a possum-like animal.
The sea life in the rock pools was fascinating and the boys discovered and observed just how rough life can be for these creatures. We watched waves pounding upon them as we waited for the tide to go out so we could look at the fossils. This was a perfect example for the kids to learn about how animals are able to adapt to their environment in order to survive.
We discovered later when talking to the locals, that there are also many sea caves you can explore at low tide. If you have the time, they would be amazing to investigate.
At the end of our day, it was so good to be able to go back to our warm and cozy Apollo R.V. – or our “Classroom on wheels” as we affectionately call it! There is nothing better after a day at the beach than to snuggle up with delicious hot chips, fish and potato scallops…or potato cakes as Tassie people call them!
Thanks for joining us and we look forward to seeing you on our next adventure!
Click here to read more about the Real Life Classroom journey in Tasmania.