School excursion

Past in the present at Davidson Whaling Station

Stage 1 (Years 1-2), History, Davidson Whaling Station Historic Site

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Discover what life was like in a whaling colony in the 1900s. This Stage 1 (Years 1-2) history excursion is designed to support the K-10 history syllabus topic, Past in the present.

Read more about Past in the present at Davidson Whaling Station

The Davidson family worked alongside a local pod of killer whales (orcas) to hunt and capture baleen whales in a relationship known as ‘the law of the tongue’. Once processed, the lips and tongue of the baleen were returned to the orcas as a reward for their service. This unspoken agreement would endure for generations, until John Logan, neighbour of the Davidsons, broke this trust. The consequences were devastating.

In this fascinating history excursion, students will explore the Davidsons’ home, Loch Garra homestead, and its grounds in Twofold Bay. They’ll learn about the local Koori Aboriginal people who lived in this area for over 5000 years before colonisation.

This is a unique and memorable excursion for young enquiring minds.

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

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

HT1-2. Identifies and describes significant people, events, places and sites in the local community over time

HT1-3. Describes the effects of changing technology on people's lives over time

HT1-4. Demonstrates skills of historical inquiry and communication


Students will: 

  • Visit a former whaling colony and explore the buildings and grounds that housed one of the important families from this colonial period
  • Learn about the local Koori people, the traditional Aboriginal custodians of the land  
  • Learn how colonial settlement changed the local environment, and how relationships were formed and changed over time. 
  • Hear fascinating accounts of how man and beast worked together to hunt baleen whales, which were harvested for their oil, baleen and bone. 

Excursion details


Monday to Friday during school term

Guided. Available on request.
Davidson Whaling Station, Davidson Whaling Station Historic Site

$18 per student, minimum of 20 students. If your group is more or less than 20 students, call the NPWS Merimbula office on 02 6495 5000.

Meeting point
Meet in the Davidson Whaling Station Historic Site carpark
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 Past in the present at Davidson Whaling Station .

Program outline

  • Welcome, acknowledgement of Country and safety briefing 
  • Historical investigation of the Loch Garra Homestead
  • Walk to the beach and try works to learn about the colonial whaling period 
  • Survey the local environment and learn about the Koori people, the Aboriginal custodians of this land
  • Traditional bush foods and medicines are identified, and students learn about Aboriginal life
  • Game and wrap-up, if time permits
  • Farewell and depart 

Getting there and parking

Davidson Whaling Station Historic Site is approximately 10 mins drive from Ben Boyd National Park.

To get there:

  • Travel south from Eden on the Princes Highway for 18km
  • Turn off at Edrom Road and drive for 11km
  • Turn left into Boyd Road
  • Drive for 4km to the station’s carpark

Road quality

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • Dry weather only


Parking available in the Davidson Whaling Station Historic Site carpark.

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. Bring a low-waste lunch, a refillable water bottle 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 - medium

Assistance may be required to access this area.

  • A gently sloping paved path and boardwalk run down to the historic house
  • The try works site and beach are not wheelchair-accessible