School excursion

The earth's environment

Stage 2 (Years 3-4), Geography, Copeland Tops State Conservation Area

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Did you know that over 10 per cent of NSW is a national park? That’s over 7 million hectares. This Stage 2 (Years 3-4) earth’s environment Geography excursion is delivered at Copeland Tops State Conservation Area.

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Students will learn about the critical role national parks play in preserving our unique native plants, animals and rich cultural heritage.

They’ll explore the significance of the environment at Copeland Tops State Conservation Area and the important interrelationships between humans and the environment. Walking along Copeland Creek, we’ll soak up the breathtaking scenery under a canopy of red cedar, grey myrtles, shatterwood and many more majestic rainforest species.

Uncover the mysterious wildlife that call this special place home, including microbats, brush-tailed possums and wompoo pigeons. You’ll discover what they eat, where they sleep and how they live in this incredibly diverse environment.

Learn about the long history of mining in the area and see where gold-hungry souls toiled in Mountain Maid gold mine – one of New South Wales’ longest-running operational gold mines.

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

Stage Stage 2 (Years 3-4)
Learning area Geography
Student outcomes

GE2-1. Examines features and characteristics of places and environments

GE2-2. Describes the ways people, places and environments interact

GE2-3. Examines differing perceptions about the management of places and environments

GE2-4. Acquires and communicates geographical information using geographical tools for inquiry


Students will:

  • Identify the native animals and plants that live in Copeland Tops State Conservation Area
  • Explore and discuss the threats to plants and animals including urbanisation and introduced species that impact their survival
  • Investigate sustainable practices that protect and support the natural environment.

Excursion details


Weekdays during school terms.

Guided. Available on request. Shorter length excursions are available on request.
Medium. Guided tour and activities on an undulating, unsealed fire trail, along a creek bed, amongst leaf litter on the forest floor and along an unsealed walking path.

$380 per group (includes GST). Maximum 30 students per group. For groups over 30 conditions apply.

Meeting point
Copeland Tops State Conservation Area 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 The earth's environment.

Program outline

  • Welcome, acknowledgement of Country and safety talk.
  • Introduction to the site and overview of what the excursion will entail
  • Walk to Mountain Maid gold mine, morning tea, toilet break.
  • Identify the living environments of various animals and plants, and examine the specific adaptations that support their survival.
  • Investigate the features of unique native plants including strangler figs
  • Conduct a field sketch of the park
  • Lunch
  • Return to bus along Copeland Creek
  • Return to carpark via toilets. Farewell and depart on bus.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    To get to Copeland Tops State Conservation Area from Gloucester:

    • Follow Thunderbolts Way northwest out through the village of Barrington and over the single-lane bridge
    • Continue west on Barrington Tops Forest Road until you come to Copeland village
    • Turn left onto Copeland Road and follow this road to the carpark at the end

    What to bring

    Please wear closed comfortable shoes and bring a hat and sunscreen. Be ready for all weather conditions with a jumper and raincoat. And remember to bring food and any necessary medications.

    It’s a good idea to pack your belongings in a backpack rather than a plastic bag because we have some curious birds who may try to break in and share your lunch with you.

    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

    Pathways are wide and relatively flat, with some uneven rocky surfaces. The boardwalk has stairs and is not accessible to wheelchairs.