Penshurst Volcano Discovery Centre and Mt Rouse


Today we visited the Penshurst Volcano Discovery Centre to learn about our local volcanic history and the formation of our landscape. After completing a worksheet at the Discovery Centre we went up Mt Rouse to this quarry site, which clearly shows the two eruptions – a scoria layer on the bottom and a basalt lava flow on the top (with soil and vegetation above that layer). We learnt about Maar volcanoes, formed when magma erupts into a water table and massive amounts of steam are produced, blowing material out of the crater. Tower Hill is an example of a Maar volcano. Mt Rouse is a scoria cone, produced when lots of gases shoot material into the air, where it cools and falls into a cone shape. Mt Eccles is a fissure volcano, formed when lava escapes from a split in the earth’s crust.

Year 8 students finished their Earth Science Assessment tasks today. Kirsten’s My Studiyo Rock Quiz  and Maddy’s My Studiyo Rocks! are great examples of student-created, online tasks. Georgia produced an excellent video using Photostory that is available at TeacherTube.

After walking down Mt Rouse we had a BBQ lunch and planted about 1,000 trees at Green’s Lane, Hawkesdale. One of my students asked “Why are we planting trees?”

  • To reduce erosion – the tree roots hold the soil together
  • To provide habitat for insects, birds, reptiles, mammals and other organisms
  • To provide shade and shelter for stock
  • Trees use carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and store carbon
  • Trees add value to farms
  • Trees reduce salinity by lowering the water table
  • Trees reduce evaporation from the creek and keep the water cooler
  • Aesthetic reasons – they look nice!

Please leave a comment below telling me two things you learnt at the Volcano Discovery Centre and what you enjoyed most about the day.



  1. Che

    On the last Friday of October 2010, my year -6/7 G and R- went to the Penshurst to learn more about volcanoes.

    We took the bus up Mt. Rouse and then walked down all the way to the Volcano discovery centre, where we did a worksheet, and watched a PowerPoint about the different kinds of volcanoes.

    At the discovery centre there were heaps of different types of rocks, my favourite rock was Olovine, with black rock on the outside and green crystals on the inside it was very special. 🙂

    We went to a 3287 Greens Lane farm we also had a BBQ lunch and planted around 1000 trees, after that we went for a swim in the dam.

    To finish it off it was a very nice day with good weather and I had fun. 🙂
    -Che Johnson :D-

  2. Chris

    i learnt that the lava from MT Rouse to went 60 KM to port fairy, and i leanrt that a maar valcano makes lots of smoke

  3. Messiah Kennedy

    i learnt best that the qurries in mount rouse exploded twice in a 12 mount peirod
    the best thing i did was run down mount rouse

  4. steph

    i learnt how to use an tree planter thing, and i enjoyed the walk down mt rouse i also learnt that mt rouse is a scoria volcano

  5. Kiri

    I learnt that when Mt Rouse erupted the lava flowed all the way to Port Fairy and I also learnt that Mortlake is famous for all the olivine rocks they have.

    My highlight of the day was walking down Mt Rouse.

  6. emily

    I learnt not to wear a singlet when your going to be in the sun all day
    and i also learnt that tower hill is a maar volcano and a maar volcano is when lava mets water and the water boils and steams

  7. Ben Casey

    I learnt that the lava flow from Mt Rouse went through our farm, forming the basalt in the rocky barriers. I learnt the there were two eruptions from Mt Rouse and the first formed a scoria cone, that was breached by the lava of the second eruption.
    I liked the BBQ at Andrew and Britt’s place and I liked planting trees on the farm.

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