School excursion

The earth's environment at Arabanoo lookout

Stage 2 (Years 3-4), Geography, Sydney Harbour National Park

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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 Arabanoo lookout, Dobroyd Head.

Read more about The earth's environment at Arabanoo lookout

Arabanoo lookout is named in honour of Arabanoo, a Cadigal man from the Eora nation. He was the first Aboriginal man to live among European settlers following his capture at Manly Cove in 1788. 

Students will explore the significance of the environment at Arabanoo lookout and the important interrelationships between humans and the environment.   

They'll learn about the role national parks play in preserving our unique native plants, animals and rich cultural heritage.

We'll look at some of the key human-led threats to native species and places, including urbanisation and domestic pests. This will invoke a strong sense of the role students – our future environmental leaders – can play in preserving these important places for the future.

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 and around Arabanoo lookout  
  • Explore and discuss the threats to plants and animals, including urbanisation and introduced species  
  • Investigate sustainable practices that protect and support the natural environment.

Excursion details


Weekdays (all year).

Guided. Available on request. Subject to staff availability.
Medium. Includes a boardwalk, grassed area and some uneven tracks.

Minimum $425 for up to 25 students, $17 per student (includes GST). 

No wheelchair access
Meeting point
Arabanoo lookout, Dobroyd Scenic Drive, Balgowlah Heights
Yes. All field equipment is provided.
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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Park info

  • in Sydney Harbour National Park in the Sydney and surrounds region
  • Sydney Harbour National Park is open sunrise to sunset but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

  • Park entry fees:

    Bradleys Head: $8 per vehicle per day. North Head: $5 per vehicle per day. Tap and pay card or phone payments accepted at pay machines. Coin payment available at Fairfax carpark machines only. Chowder Bay: Monday-Friday: $3 per hour, to a maximum of $16 per day. Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: $4 per hour, to a maximum of $20 per day. If you hold an NPWS All Parks or Multi Parks Pass, you can park free for up to four hours per day - additional time can be purchased. Car parks operated by Sydney Harbour Federation Trust or Mosman Council are not covered by your pass. Please check signs carefully. Park’nPay: You can also pay for your visit to any area via the Park’nPay app.

    Other fees:

    Landing fees or tour fees apply to visit Sydney Harbour islands. All public visitors to Shark, Clark or Rodd Island, need to pay a $7 per person landing fee. To arrange, please contact 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS). Annual NSW Parks Passes do not cover landing fees.

    Buy annual pass (//
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Info for teachers

All the practical information you need to know about The earth's environment at Arabanoo lookout.

Program outline

  • Welcome, acknowledgement of Country and safety talk
  • Introduction to the site and overview of what the excursion will entail
  • Arabanoo lookout, morning tea, toilet break 
  • Walk the Dobroyd Head track. Identify the living environments of various animals and plants and examine the specific adaptations that support their survival. 
  • Investigate the structural features of some Australian native plants 
  • Discuss the Aboriginal history of the area and how the Cadigal people interacted with the land 
  • Conduct a field sketch of the park  
  • Lunch and toilet break at Reef Beach 
  • Take the return walk to Arabanoo lookout 
  • Depart on bus 

Getting there and parking

Arabanoo lookout at Dobroyd Head is at Balgowlah Heights in Sydney Harbour National Park. From the Spit Bridge turn right onto Sydney Road. Turn right into Woodland Street North, then left into Bareena Drive, which becomes Dobroyd Head Scenic Drive.

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather


Parking is available along Dobroyd Head Scenic Drive that surrounds Tania Park. Please check local signage for parking restrictions.

What to bring

Remember to bring a hat, sun protection, wet weather gear, and lunch which should be low waste with a refillable water bottle. Drinking water is available. It's a good idea for students to bring their 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

No wheelchair access. Please let us know in advance if you are bringing someone with special needs so that we can plan accordingly.