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School excursion

Special Offer

Giidany Miirlarl: A special site

Stage 2 (Years 3-4), Science and Technology, Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve


School excursions in NSW national parks

We are currently taking bookings for school excursions. Not all excursions are being delivered as per the usual program due to rules outlined by NSW Health. Alternative learning options with NPWS include online digital resources or incursions delivered at your school. Please contact your National Parks education contact or the relevant local park office for more information.

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Join us for a fascinating journey on Muttonbird Island, known as Giidany Miirlarl to the local Gumbaynggirr People. This Stage 2 (Years 3-4) science and technology excursion is led by an NPWS Aboriginal guide.

Read more about Giidany Miirlarl: A special site

Muttonbird Island, or ‘moon special place’ as the Gumbaynggirr term translates, is home to a nesting rookery for muttonbirds. These birds are renowned for their annual migration; travelling halfway around the world to breed. Together we’ll discuss this incredible feat and the unique adaptations that support their journey across the open sea. 

Our Aboriginal ranger will share Dreamtime stories revealing the muttonbirds’ lifecycle as a key support for the Gumbaynggirr People. Science and culture will merge to reveal a living world working in symphony and evolving sustainably. 

Students will cultivate scientific skills of enquiry, investigation and communication. They’ll experience fascinating, real-world science with a traditional custodian as their guide. 

This excursion is designed to support the K-6 science and technology syllabus’ Living World topic. 

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

Stage Stage 2 (Years 3-4)
Learning area Science and Technology
Student outcomes

ST2-1WS-S. Questions, plans and conducts scientific investigations, collects and summarises data and communicates using scientific representations

ST2-2DP-T. Selects and uses materials, tools and equipment to develop solutions for a need or opportunity

ST2-4LW-S. Compares features and characteristics of living and non-living things

ST2-5LW-T. Describes how agricultural processes are used to grow plants and raise animals for food, clothing and shelter


Students will:

  • Visit an active nesting rookery for wedge-tailed shearwaters (muttonbirds)
  • Learn from a local Aboriginal guide
  • Use scientific methods of enquiry to learn more about the unique adaptations of these birds. Discuss the demands their breeding cycle places on them.
  • Listen to Gumbaynggirr Dreamtime stories that provide deeper context to the role of this important nesting colony  
  • Examine the local environment at Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve and learn what’s involved in its preservation and sustainable management 
  • Recognise that Aboriginal people are the first Australians 
  • Investigate the deep connections that the Gumbaynggirr People have to the land, sea and animals of this place.

Excursion details

Guided. Available on request.
Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve

$235 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.
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.
Enquire now
Enquire now

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  • North Coast

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