School excursion

People and place

Stage 3 (Years 5-6), Geography, Sherwood Nature Reserve

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People and place is a Stage 3 (Years 5-6) geography excursion at Sherwood Nature Reserve. Come and explore what makes this remnant lowland rainforest ecosystem unique, and how people have interacted with and valued this place over time.

Read more about People and place

On this school excursion, students will compare and contrast ways that community attitudes and values have changed through time to shape our natural landscapes. They’ll explore how the natural environment influences people.

Students will observe environmental changes at a local scale from forest management practices and compare changes in a rainforest versus a disturbed forest environment.

As they learn about this unique place, students will develop an appreciation for cultural and resource values versus aesthetic and ecosystem values. They’ll subsequently recognise how people contribute to the sustainability of an area.

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

Stage Stage 3 (Years 5-6)
Learning area Geography
Student outcomes

GE3-2. Explains interactions and connections between people, places and environments

GE3-3. Compares and contrasts influences on the management of places and environments


Students will:

  • Explain the significance of Sherwood Nature Reserve as a protected area and acknowledge the local Traditional Owners of Country
  • Compare ways community attitudes and values have changed through time to shape our natural landscapes
  • Develop an appreciation of the unchanging intrinsic value of a sub-tropical rainforest versus the changing extrinsic values such as resource and aesthetic values
  • Specify ways people contribute to the sustainability of an area
  • Recognise environmental changes resulting from forest management practices, such as floristic and microclimate characteristics in the rainforest versus a disturbed forest environment.
  • Empathise with the perspectives of different people associated with the rainforest over time and develop an understanding of how the natural environment influences people

Excursion details


Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 4.30pm during school terms.

Guided. Available on request. Please provide us with at least 2 week's notice if you would like to book this school excursion.
Woolgoolga Creek picnic area, Sherwood Nature Reserve
2hrs 30min
Easy. Ranger-guided walk and activities mostly along a flat, gravel fire trail. One shallow (or dry) creek bed crossing, sections of leaf litter on the forest floor and unsealed walking path.
Meeting point
Woolgoolga Creek picnic area
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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Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see

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Operated by

  • School excursion inquiries - North Coast
  • (02) 6657 2309
  • (02) 6657 2145

Park info

  • in Sherwood Nature Reserve in the North Coast region
  • Sherwood Nature Reserve is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather, fire danger or damage to trail network.

See more visitor info

Info for teachers

All the practical information you need to know about People and place.

Program outline

  • Welcome, safety briefing and introduction
  • Ranger-guided walk along Woolgoolga Creek
  • Overview of past to present land use
  • Ecosystem values enquiry – pair and share
  • Case studies discussion
  • What makes a weed? Discuss.
  • Role play debate
  • Conclusion and farewell

Getting there and parking

Woolgoolga Creek picnic area is in the Woolgoolga Creek precinct of Sherwood Nature Reserve. To get there from Woolgoolga:

  • Turn west at the Pullen Street roundabout in Woolgoolga, which later becomes Woolgoolga Creek Road.
  • Follow for approximately 3km until the end of the bitumen road
  • Turn left at the junction with Gentle Annie Road to reach Woolgoolga Creek picnic area

Road quality

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather


Parking is available at Woolgoolga Creek picnic area.

What to bring

Please wear closed comfortable shoes and bring a hat and sunscreen. Be ready for all weather conditions with a jumper and raincoat. And remember to bring food, drinking water and any necessary medications. We recommend using insect repellent in the warmer months.

It’s a good idea to pack your belongings in a backpack so they’re easy to carry as you walk.

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

Activities take place along a formed gravel track with some obstacles in the form of a small creek crossing. The creek crossing is normally very shallow and easy to cross, but can be deeper after storms or heavy rain.