School excursion

The rookery roundabout at Muttonbird Island

Stage 1 (Years 1-2), Science and Technology, Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve

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Explore Muttonbird Island on The rookery roundabout, a Stage 1 (Years 1-2) Science and Technology excursion. Students will see an active nesting rookery for thousands of wedge-tailed shearwaters (muttonbirds) and learn about their fascinating lifecycle. 

Read more about The rookery roundabout at Muttonbird Island

These birds are renowned for their annual migration, travelling halfway around the world to breed. We’ll discuss this incredible feat and the unique adaptations that support their journey across the open sea. 

Students will explore the geographical features and characteristics of Muttonbird Island. We’ll discuss how the nature reserve preserves this important breeding ground, and how this environment has been managed over generations. 

Students will learn about the traditional Gumbaynggirr People and their deep connection to this Country. We’ll learn the words Giidany Miirlarl, meaning ‘moon sacred place’.

Students will come away with a renewed connection to the fascinating living world that surrounds them. This excursion is designed to support the K-6 Science and Technology syllabus’ Living World topic.

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

Stage Stage 1 (Years 1-2)
Learning area Science and Technology
Student outcomes

ST1-1WS-S. Observes, questions and collects data to communicate and compare ideas and comparing what they and others know

ST1-4LW-S. Describes observable features of living things and their environments

ST1-5LW-T. Identifies how plants and animals are used for food and fibre products


Students will:

  • Visit an active nesting rookery for muttonbirds
  • Examine unique animal adaptations and discuss the demands their breeding cycle places on them
  • Examine the local environment at Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve and learn what’s involved in its preservation and management
  • Recognise that Aboriginal people are the first Australians
  • Investigate the deep connections that the Gumbaynggirr People have to the land, sea and animals of this place.

Excursion details


By arrangement.

Guided. Available on request.

$260 per group (includes GST). Maximum 30 students per group. For groups over 30 conditions apply.

No wheelchair access
Meeting point
The outdoor learning centre base of Muttonbird Island
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 The rookery roundabout at Muttonbird Island.

Program outline

  • Welcome, acknowledgement of Country and safety briefing 
  • Divide into groups (1–30)
  • Walk the path across the island, various interpretation stops 
  • Examine the nesting rookery of muttonbirds and discuss their adaptations and unique breeding cycle
  • Discuss the broader ecosystem and connection between all living things here 
  • Farewell
  • Walk back to bus

What to bring

Please wear fully enclosed shoes and bring a hat, sunscreen, wet weather gear, and lunch which should be low waste with a refillable water bottle. Students should bring gear in a backpack or similar (not plastic bags).

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 - no wheelchair access

The Muttonbird Island walking track includes sections of steps, a narrow path and steep gradients. It is not considered wheelchair accessible.