School excursion

Giidany Miirlarl: A special site

Stage 2 (Years 3-4), Geography, Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve

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An NPWS Aboriginal guide will lead students on a cultural journey on Muttonbird Island in this Stage 2 Geography excursion. Students will learn about Giidany Miirlarl, meaning ‘moon sacred place’ in local Gumbaynggirr language.

Read more about Giidany Miirlarl: A special site

Students will journey through time with their own Gumbaynggirr guide. Through Dreamtime stories, the guide will explain the traditional use of the island’s muttonbird rookery as an important food source.

Together we’ll explore the deep Gumbaynggirr connection to Country and to the plants, wildlife and birds that call this island home.

Students will examine geographical concepts of place, environment and interconnection, along with sustainable land management.

This excursion is designed to support the Geography syllabus’ Earth’s Environment topic. 

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:

  • Recognise that Aboriginal people are the first Australians
  • Investigate the connections that the Gumbaynggirr People have to the land, sea and animals of this place.
  • Hear stories to understand why this place is important to Gumbaynggirr People and how it can be cared for
  • Find out how Gumbaynggirr People describe the weather and the seasons
  • Locate the places they know to create a sense of place within Gumbaynggirr Country
  • Engage with local Aboriginal culture through fun learning activities
  • Have the opportunity to ask questions of a local Gumbaynggirr Person.

Excursion details


By arrangement.

Guided. Available on request.

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

Meeting point
The outdoor learning centre, located at the base of Muttonbird Island.
No. Equipment not required.
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 Giidany Miirlarl: A special site.

Program outline

  • Welcome, acknowledgement of Country and safety briefing
  • Cultural talk at learning centre
  • 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 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 - medium

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