School excursion

Crossing the Blue Mountains

Stage 2 (Years 3-4), History, Blue Mountains National Park

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This Stage 2 (years 3-4) History excursion immerses students in the History of the Mount York area. We examine the remains of the early Cox’s Road, walk in the foot-steps of explorers and First Nations people and consider how significant individuals, groups and events contributed to changes over time.

Read more about Crossing the Blue Mountains

We describe and explain the effects of British colonisation in Australia and implications of Crossing the Mountains.

In this excursion students recall Australia’s colonial days of early European exploration and this momentous event which changed our history.

As well as exploring the physical sites, students will use their imaginations to consider the diverse experiences of explorers, convicts and Indigenous Australians. How did the mountain crossing impact these people and the broader development of Australia?

On a scenic walk through the pagodas of Mount York, we will see evidence of carriages and livestock passing over the mountain to establish farms in the west country below. Students will look at the lives of local Indigenous people both before, and after the mountain crossing, and consider the ethics of our country’s history.

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

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

HT2-2. Describes and explains how significant individuals, groups and events contributed to changes in the local community over time

HT2-4. Describes and explains effects of British colonisation in Australia

HT2-5. Applies skills of historical inquiry and communication

Students will:
  • Learn about the early exploration of the Blue Mountains - the myths, the risks and those who dared to enter the wilderness
  • Examine the culture and lifestyle of both Indigenous and colonial Australians prior to the crossing
  • Hear the story of the successful crossing itself, and consider it from different perspectives
  • Look at the impacts of the crossing on the colony, the development of Australia and the lives of local Indigenous people
  • Explore the historical evidence of the site of the early Cox’s road and Mount York area
  • Consider the role and experience of explorers in local and global history.

Excursion details


Monday to Friday during school term.

2-4 hr
Easy. Short 1km ranger-guided bush walk and activities, includes uneven surfaces in the bushland environment.

Prices start from $395 incl GST per group (up to 20 students).

Meeting point
Mount York Lookout.
No. We can provide teachers a selection of student worksheet questions prior to excursion.
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 Crossing the Blue Mountains.

Program outline

  • Welcome, introductions and safety breifing
  • Guided bushwalk including stops at The Obelisk with views to Mt Blaxland
  • Walk to Eddy Rock, and a descent on the original Cox's Road to view convict pick axe marks and other physical evidence of the early crossings
  • Closing discussion
  • Also available with a half-hour Aboriginal presentation and introduction (additional charges apply).

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Mt York Lookout is located 4.7km down the end of Mt York Rd, off the Great Western Highway in Mt Victoria.

    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). Students should bring a clipboard, worksheets and pens. Please note: Due to uneven walking surfaces, we advise students to wear sturdy walking shoes or boots with good ankle support and good grip, which may get muddy or wet.

    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

    Wheelchair accessible car park, picnic area, interpretive displays, historical monuments and toilets. Please let us know in advance if you are bringing someone with special needs so that we can plan accordingly.