School excursion

What is a national park?

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

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Did you know that over 9 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 Awabakal Nature Reserve.

Learn about the local Aboriginal culture and impact of European settlement on the area.

Read more about What is a national park?

Explore the changing ecosystems from the forest to the sea.

Understand the important role of workers in a national park, and how you can help to conserve and protect these special places. Explore the high diversity of flora, including the last pocket of coastal rainforest in the region, and animal species.

Students will learn about the critical role national parks play in preserving our 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. By examining these threats we’ll 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

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


Students will:

  • Visit, explore and identify some features of a national park
  • Visit sites and understand how National Parks protect different types of heritage
  • Identify the roles of workers in managing a park
  • Explore the environment
  • Understand why visitors enjoy the area
  • Search for evidence of animals that live there
  • Observe evidence of human activities and interactions
  • Identify ways to help conserve and protect our heritage.

Excursion details



Guided. Available on request.
2-4 hr
Medium. Guided activities in a suburban National park, on formed and uneven bush walking tracks, along sandy tracks and on a grassed picnic area.

$225 per group (includes GST) for 2 hours. Longer tours are available. Maximum 30 students per group. For groups over 30 conditions apply.

No wheelchair access
Meeting point
Look for the Discovery ranger outside Awabakal Environmental Education Centre, Boundary St, Dudley.
Yes. All 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

Info for teachers

All the practical information you need to know about What is a national park? .

Program outline

  • Welcome, introductions, safety briefing and acknowledgment
  • Bush walk investigating open forest environment
  • Bush walk investigating swampy environment
  • Morning tea
  • Bush walk investigating coastal heath environment
  • Return walk investigating habitats along the way
  • Lunch
  • Role play looking at different jobs in National Parks
  • Conclusion and farewell

Getting there and parking

This tour begins and ends at the Awabakal Environmental Education Centre, 51 Boundary Rd, Dudley.

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

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