School excursion

Living Country, living culture

Stage 1 (Years 1-2), Geography, Katoomba area in Blue Mountains National Park

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Join us for Living Country, living culture – a Stage 1 (Years 1-2) Geography excursion in and around Katoomba. Our Aboriginal guide will take students on a journey through traditional and contemporary culture.

Read more about Living Country, living culture

Students will learn how Aboriginal people have a strong connection to their environment, known as connection to Country.

Together we'll examine Aboriginal artefacts and learn of their uses. We'll explore the bush environment and discuss how specific plants were used for medicine and bush tucker. Students will take part in fun, hands-on activities such as ochre blending.

They'll leave with an appreciation of Aboriginal culture in this region.

This excursion is staged at several key areas in the Blue Mountains. Choose from:

This excursion is designed to support the Features of Places unit from the K-10 syllabus.

For program outline, safety and practical information about this excursion, see info for teachers

Stage Stage 1 (Years 1-2)
Learning area Geography
Student outcomes

GE1-1. Describes features of places and the connections people have with places

GE1-2. Identifies ways in which people interact with and care for places

GE1-3. Communicates geographical information and uses geographical tools for inquiry


Students will:

  • Learn about traditional and contemporary culture with an NPWS Aboriginal guide
  • Examine a range of Aboriginal artefacts
  • Understand the different roles within a traditional Aboriginal community
  • Take a guided walk and explore natural resources, including traditional ochre for paint, and other bush materials.
  • Listen to Aboriginal stories of family, culture and place
  • Learn how Aboriginal people relate to the local environment around them, and why this is so fundamental to life. 
  • Learn about Aboriginal spiritual life. 

Excursion details


Monday to Friday during school term

Guided. Available on request.
2hrs 30min
Medium. Wentworth Falls track, Three Sisters walk and Red Hands Cave walking track are medium grade. An easy grade option is available at Fairfax Heritage walking track.

Prices start from $395 incl GST per group (up to 20 students).

Meeting point
  • Three Sisters walk: Lilianfels Park, outside the coach drop-off zone on Echo Point Road, Katoomba.
  • Wentworth Falls track: Wentworth Falls picnic area at the end of Falls Road, Wentworth Falls.
  • Fairfax Heritage walking track: Blue Mountains Heritage Centre, Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath.
  • Red Hands Cave walking track: Red Hands Cave carpark located at the end of Red Hands fire trail
  • Other locations by request
If you would like to organise a NPWS school excursion please get in touch with local staff or use the 'Enquire' link for the online form.
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Info for teachers

All the practical information you need to know about Living Country, living culture.

Program outline

  • Welcome, acknowledgement of Country and safety briefing 
  • Cultural and artefact presentation led by an Aboriginal guide 
  • Question and answer session with your Aboriginal guide
  • Hands-on cultural activity 
  • Guided bushwalk to develop a deeper connection with Country 
  • Explore bush resources in the local environment
  • Share in local stories belonging to this special place 
  • Farewell and depart

Getting there and parking

The following information lists directions to the 4 Blue Mountains locations from Sydney:

Three Sisters walk

The Three Sisters and Echo Point are in the Katoomba area of Blue Mountains National Park. To get there:

  • Take Great Western Highway (M4 and A32) towards Katoomba 
  • At Katoomba, turn left off the Great Western Highway at the traffic lights, then follow the signs to Three Sisters and Echo Point. 

Wentworth Falls track

Wentworth Falls track starts from Wentworth Falls picnic area in Blue Mountains National Park. To get there:

  • Take Great Western Highway to Wentworth Falls
  • Turn onto Falls Road at the traffic lights and follow the sign towards the national park
  • Continue to the end of Falls Road to reach Wentworth Falls picnic area.

Fairfax Heritage walking track

Fairfax Heritage walking track can be accessed from the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre, located in the Blackheath area of Blue Mountains National Park.

  • Take the Great Western Highway to Blackheath. Turn right at the Blackheath traffic lights onto Govetts Leap Road. 
  • Drive for 2.5km. After passing through the park entrance, take the second exit from the roundabout.

Red Hands Cave 

Red Hands Cave is in the Glenbrook area of Blue Mountains National Park. Access to the cave is via Red Hands Cave walking track (6km loop) that leaves from the southern side of Glenbrook causeway.

  • Turn off Great Western Highway at Glenbrook onto Ross Street
  • Turn onto Burfitt Street, which becomes Bruce Road.
  • The track starts at the causeway.


Three Sisters walk 

  • Parking is available near Echo Point. Please note that time limits and parking fees apply.
  • Designated coach parking is available next to Lilianfels Park at the end of Echo Point Road, Katoomba.

Wentworth Falls track 

  • Parking is available at Wentworth Falls picnic area, including designated disabled spots and coach parking.
  • Overflow parking is available on Falls Road.

Fairfax Heritage walking track

  • Parking is available at Blue Mountains Heritage Centre, including several designated disabled spots.
  • Bus and coach parking is available.

Red Hands Cave 

  • Park at the national park entry station or continue past the park entry gate to the carpark on the southern side of Glenbrook causeway. There's no parking at the causeway.
  • Please note that vehicle entry fees apply, and bus sizes are restricted due to tight bends on the road.

What to bring

Please wear long pants, closed comfortable shoes and bring a hat and sunscreen. Be ready for all weather conditions with a jumper and raincoat. Remember to bring extra food and water, and any necessary medications. Please bring your belongings in a backpack rather than a plastic bag.

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Pre activity briefing: participants will be briefed at the start of the activity/day.

Safety equipment: NPWS staff carry radios and first aid kits, hold current first aid certificates and are aware of emergency procedures.

Staff accreditation: NPWS staff have current Senior First Aid accreditation. They are experienced in working with groups of students in the natural environment and have excellent knowledge of the specific areas they are visiting including potential hazards. NPWS is committed to a Child Safe and Friendly Environment. Our staff have been screened for child-related employment and have completed a Working with Children Check.

Emergencies: NPWS staff are trained to deal with emergencies and emergency procedures are in place. Ongoing supervision of a student following first aid treatment will be the responsibility of the visiting school.

Risk assessment and risk benefits

Our rangers and guides have the technical skill and experience to assess the risks and the benefits of a variety of activities delivered as part of our learning programs.

We believe in including opportunities that allow students to learn and experience for themselves through exploration in the natural environment.

Please make your own risk assessment based on the information provided. Detailed potential risks and controls are provided for the site to assist teachers in risk management planning. Teachers and carers should be aware of, and consider the needs, abilities and medical conditions of students when visiting this site. The supervision of students remains the responsibility of the teacher. The school must ensure an adequate number of adult supervisors are present.


Disability access level - hard

The Wentworth Falls and Red Hands Cave excursions are not wheelchair-accessible. The excursions at the Three Sisters and Blue Mountains Heritage Centre at Blackheath are wheelchair-accessible.

Please let us know in advance if you are bringing someone with special needs so that we can plan accordingly.