GeoZentrum Centre in Gams
Gams is pretty special. Not only is it a lovely, small town, but also it is also home to the GeoZentrum Centre and a geology museum, which by itself is already quite unique. Many say that it’s the most beautiful of all geology museums and we’d also like to claim that it is the friendliest of all. Just one more thing: make sure to go on one of the guided tours through the museum in order to get the geological maximum out of your visit.
Who’s in the mood for a little time travelling? And by using the word ‘little’ we are only referring to the duration of the activity, because the journey itself will take you back several million years. In the streets of the town of Gams and in Nothklamm Gorge, step by step you will learn more about geology and how different the scenery must have been when oceans and beaches existed here. To prove it you can even find fossils on the ground!
You wouldn’t believe it, but geology is actually fun! Those who visit the GeoWerkstatt Workshop will soon discover this fact to be true, because at the workshop you can take matters into your own hands; bring the stones you have discovered and turn them into beautiful jewellery and other souvenirs. The extra bonus is that you will also find out about all the exciting things that happened here millions of years ago.
The wooden walkway, spanning a total length of 700 metres, takes you floating through the gorge that the roaring Gamsbach Creek has created here. As you go over stairs and bridges you will encounter dripping as well as raging waters. As the gorge is easily accessible from Gams it is a perfect option for those hot summer days when the temperatures are elevated. Make sure to pay close attention, maybe you’ll get lucky and even find a fossil from times gone by.
Become a cave explorer for a day – at Kraushöhle Cave! On a hot summer’s day, the cool climate inside the cave is particularly pleasant. Equipped with a jacket and a flashlight you will be following the footsteps of the great speleologist Franz Kraus. Passing the heavy, green gate you will soon discover a dark world. The tour not only opens up your eyes and ears, but is also sure to stimulate your imagination with all it’s mystical figures and formations.
A highlight of the region is the hike through Wasserlochklamm gorge to the unpredictable water hole. The ingredients are: a suspension bridge, four wooden staircases and bridges, five waterfalls and a breath-taking view of the Salza. Right on top you might even hit the jackpot when the gates at the water hole open up as you are arriving. Sounds dangerous, but is indeed something for the whole family. Don’t miss the baked potatoes and waffles at Wasserlochschenke restaurant.
Ardning is home to one of the largest and last remaining moors in Austria. That is why this habitat is strictly protected, but it is still open to the public. Thirteen stations are waiting to be discovered by the visitor. In order to do so you should bring along two hours of your time. On the trail you will come across the Ennssteg Bridge, the ‘Berry Garden’ and the ‘Moor Tower’. The latter offers a great view of the wetlands.
Still looking for an exciting excursion? Why not book a guided tour of the Odelsteinhöhle Cave at Kölblwirt Inn? Famous for its aragonite crystals, the cave is a true highlight among the caves in Styria. It is located at 1085 m and while wandering through small and large halls, your guide will also tell you why it was declared a natural monument back in 1931.
Lettmair Au Theme Trail
From the visitor centre at the Weidendom it is only a short walk to the meadows of Lettmair Au where you can immerse yourself in the beautiful landscape next to the Enns River. The fun and interesting stations will teach you a thing or two along the barrier-free way. Halfway through the barrier-free theme trail, with a total length of 1.5 km, you will come across an observation deck. Stop for a while and take in the landscape at the river – it will give you strength.
The museum in Gstatterboden might be more than ten years old, but it is still as fun as it was on its opening day. The virtual ranger ‘Sepp’ will tell you one or two things about geology and you also will be able to test your knowledge on this topic. You can even take a virtual flight over the National Park and the beautiful mountains of the Gesäuse, allowing you to see Planspitze Peak from a whole different, and even more impressive, angle. Only requirement: no vertigo. But in any case you should bring along two things to the pavilion: time and a healthy appetite.
Since 1910, Vienna’s drinking water has been flowing from the Hochschwab all the way to the capital. The Second Vienna Spring Water Main was a technical masterpiece, which the museum attests to. There, you will also learn about sanitation at the source and about the global water cycle. The guided tour takes about 90 minutes and is sure to make you a whole lot smarter. Strolling around on your own, the film footage and interactive stations will also give you a helping hand.
The Gansergrotte Grotto is only a few steps away from the Gasteigre Rundwanderweg Trail which ascends gently from Mooslandl. It has been operated as a subterraneous quarry between 1831 and 1869. The solid conglomerate has been used for millstones of local mills and for door posts. Depending on the snow conditions the Gansergrotte Grotto is accessible the whole year around.