A hill is a high place.
A mountain is higher than a hill.
A creek is water that moves along.
A river is like a creek but very big and long.
Trees and rocks are part of the land.
What are natural features?
Natural features are part of the land, and many were in a place before people lived there. Plants, rocks, sand, soil, sea and streams are all natural. They are not made by people.
In our communities, most trees have been planted by people, and sometimes there are huge old trees that were planted many many years ago, or that were in that place before people made their homes there.
There are communities that live near or in or on natural features. The life people live is sometimes different according to those natural features.
A forest is a huge area full of trees that no one has planted. The trees make seeds that are spread by wind or fire or by animals, and new trees grow from those seeds. Forests are home to many wild animals. People who live in or near forests can walk and hike there, they can enjoy animals and birds that people in the city or town don't see. But they must be careful to make sure their homes are safe from fires, and must have an escape plan if a bushfire comes near their homes.
Hills are places where the land is high. We can tell when we are walking up a hill because it is harder than walking somewhere flat. Sometimes there are groups of hills, sometimes just one hill on its own.
People can build houses on the sides and tops of hills, and roads can be made on hills. People who live on hillsides often have a good view out across the land.
Mountains are much higher than hills. Some mountains are so high they always have snow on top, some have snow on top only through the winter. The sides of mountains are steep so roads are narrow and winding, and it is difficult to build houses. Houses need to have a roof that snow can slide off rather than pile up and get too heavy. People who live in high mountains can ski in winter, but it gets very cold. No one lives at the top of the highest mountains in the world.
Rivers and Streams
Rivers are strips of moving water. A river is very small where it starts high up on a mountain, and is sometimes called a stream or creek. It travels across the land to the sea. It gets bigger and wider as it goes along. People who live along rivers often have boats, and sometimes can water ski. They can fish and swim. The birds they see are different from other places.
A natural pond is a dip in the earth where water collects. Plants grow in the water and around the edges. Sometimes a pond can dry out and then fill up again when it rains.
People who have ponds in their neighbourhood can hear the frogs croaking, and can see small fish, tadpoles and other little creatures in the water. But they have to be careful in summer and spring because there may be snakes nearby.
A lake is a bit like a pond, but is much much bigger. Most lakes have a beach all around, and trees or hills around it.
Plants and trees surround a lake.
There are fish in the lake and waterbirds on and around it.
Sometimes there are houseboats, and boats for fishing and waterskiing.
Some lakes are very large. A few are dry part of the time and fill up when there are good rains.
Rocks are part of the earth. When the earth around a rock washes away or is blown away by the wind, the rock sticks out of the earth.
Some places are rocky, with many big rocks that have been there for many hundreds of years.
The sea is natural, and the beach at the edge of the sea is a natural feature too. A beach is made up of many tiny grains of sand. There are often rocks at the edge of the sea too.
Communities near beaches have thousands of holiday makers all through the summer, and then the rest of the year is quieter. They can swim or surf, walk along the beach, walk when the tide is out to explore rock pools. Some may have boats or yachts.