UNE South Australian Alumni Chapter Fossil Adventure

On the weekend of 21-23 September, a group of South Australian UNE Alumni and friends met at Adelaide airport for a late afternoon flight to Kangaroo Island for a special fossil tour event hosted by Bob and Jenny Teasdale.

Guests were welcomed at an official dinner at the Ozone Hotel where guest speaker, UNE Professor John Paterson, spoke about marine life on Earth over 500 million years ago! The captivating presentation highlighted how the fossils which now give evidence of these creatures, have been magnificently preserved at the Emu Bay shale site on Kangaroo Island, where guests would be exploring and fossicking for themselves over the coming days.

The following morning brought with it perfect spring weather, and the guests were transported to the Emu Bay fossil site.  Although originally discovered on the shoreline, the best fossils are now being found much further up the slope at Buck Quarry. Professor Paterson and Associate Professor Diego Garcia-Bellido from the Adelaide University and SA Museum, led the group on the tour, introducing them to the team working on the site that day and allowing guests to fossick for themselves.

A small group were led down to the beach where Diego showed evidence of fossils amongst the rocks, pointing out various geological features along the way and those who stayed at the quarry were fortunate enough to explore the ‘reject pile’, armed with small picks, hammers and a great deal of enthusiasm.

Much of the remainder of the afternoon allowed guests to explore the surrounding natural beauty of the island. Dr Pip Masters, a local environmentalist led the group along a short walk of the Kingscote waterfront. South Australian Alumni Chapter president, Wendy Di Monte described the afternoon as one of great natural beauty.

“The wildlife was prolific, with huge pelicans paying homage, black swans sleeping at the water’s edge and a private seal show performing slow motion acrobatics just a few metres away from our group.”

The final day of the weekend saw the group head to Australia’s first gin distillery – KI spirits, home of the much acclaimed Wild Gin. There were opportunities for tasting of gin, liqueurs, coffee, and affogatos accompanied by KI Spirits famous “Drunken ice-cream”.

Following their tasting the group headed to the Kingscote Farmers’ market at Bay of Shoals where they were able to further peruse local produce and explore the stalls of charming handicrafts and goods.

A stop off at Pennington Bay and a delightful Devonshire tea at Pelican Lagoon featuring Kangaroo Island wines and cheeses, rounded out the weekend before guests departed back to the mainland.

For those fortunate enough to attend, the weekend was an incredible experience to remember and treasure for many years to come and is just one of the reasons why staying engaged and active as an Alumni of UNE can be so rewarding.

If you would like to know more about upcoming events or further information about our Alumni Chapters, please contact our alumni office at alumni@une.edu.au or give us a call on (02) 6773 3365.