'Singing Sand' - a Wilsons Promontory EarthCache
Welcome to BFMC's first Earthcache. This cache is for (pretty much) anyone, but was put together with families with young GeoKids in mind. We stayed at Tidal River with the GeoKids over a long weekend and found that the existing EC's were a bit beyond their capabilities so have designed this one with the GeoKids in mind (from both a participation and access point of view)
This cache has been placed in line with the Victorian Regional Guidelines with the approval of the Area Chief Ranger from Parks Victoria
Facts about sand
Sand is a mixture of very small pieces of different rocks or minerals such as granite and feldspar and sand stone. Sand grains are between the size of gravel grains (which is from 2 mm to 64 mm) and the size of silt (which is around 0.0625 mm to 0.004 mm). It is found on beaches, and in deserts.
Sand is most of the time made of silica (silicon dioxide, or SiO2). Sand is also formed by Granite by weathering and erosion. Sand is made from large boulders eroding (being broken apart by wind or rocks). They get smaller and smaller until they reach the beach or a low lying area. Sand dunes are made when wind or a river pulls sand into a mountain-like shape. They can be found in deserts, but sometimes high up on beaches too.
A person who collects different sand samples as a hobby is called an ‘arenophile’.
It can also be used to make sand castles!
Singing sand is a term used to refer to sands that produce a distinct sound, either by being walked on or by wind blowing through sand dunes. This particular beach at Wilson's Promontory is an example of the former. If you walk along dry sections of sand and scuff your feet with sufficient force (not a lot is needed), you can hear the sand make a distinctive sound.
This beach is one of the most iconic locations within Wilson's Promontory and can be accessed via a short walk from the parking co-ordinates listed. Alternatively, there are a number of walking tracks that will also bring you here, including from the Tidal River Campgrounds:
Tidal River Track
Starting at the Tidal River footbridge, this popular walk offers spectacular coastal views as it climbs up and over the headland
that separates Norman and Leonard Bays and descends to the Beach.
Time: 50 minutes.
Questions to log this EarthCache
Make your way to the posted coordinates, on the way visit WP1, which is near the end of the track from the carpark. If you access the beach from the carpark you will walk right past it. You will see an information sign here regarding hooded plovers, which nest in the nearby dunes. Please take a moment to familiarise yourself with what you need to do in order to not disturb these endangered birds whilst visiting the beach. The following question is not a requirement to log this cache but an optional bonus to demonstrate you visited the sign:
Bonus Question: Name the photographer who took the 'main image' on this sign
Now, make your way down to the posted coordinates, which will bring you onto the beach itself
Q1: Walk along the sand, scuffing your feet as you go. Describe the sound you hear (hint: the beach is named after it), and whether it is a high-pitched, or low-pitched sound? Dry sand works best for this, but please keep in mind what you have already learned about the hooded plover.
Q1 Logging Task: Take a picture showing your geocaching name written in the sand (abbreviations of long caching names will be accepted). You can write it with your finger, a stick or you could even scuff it in with your feet while doing Question 1. There is a cluster of large red boulders adjacent to the posted coordinates (approximately 30m west). Please ensure these are visible in the background of your image as proof of your attendance at GZ. Close-up images of a caching name written in sand that could have been taken at any beach will not be accepted. This image must be attached to your 'found it' log.
In the visitors center at Tidal River (WP2), you will find a range of information signs. One of these will help you answer the following questions. NOTE: The visitors center is open 7 days a week, the hours may vary depending on the season. You can check opening hours at the Parks Victoria Website.
Q2: What is the main characteristic of the sand at this beach that makes it produce a sound?
Q3: No sound would be produced at this beach if the sand contained many tiny what?
Please send your answers to the 3 questions to me through Message Center or through email. Your picture for the logging task should be attached to your 'found it' log. If you cache with a group I will accept a single message with answers for the questions, please include the name(s) of the other cacher's you are submitting answers for, however all found it logs should have a picture attached.
Feel free to log this cache as found straight away. Please do your best to send answers through within a couple of days. Found it logs where I have not received answers within a week or that do not have the required picture attached may be deleted.