School excursion

Rainforests and waterfalls

Stage 3 (Years 5-6), Geography, Katoomba area in Blue Mountains National Park

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This Stage 3 (Years 5-6) Geography excursion explores the diverse features and characteristics of key landscape types within the park. We examine interactions between people and the environment, and which factors influence the management of this iconic place.

Read more about Rainforests and waterfalls

In this immersive experience, students will visit a clifftop ecology and a rainforest system and use geographical tools to measure the features of both. We will also explore using our senses to absorb data about different environments.

Students will walk through a cold climate rainforest, visit beautiful waterfalls and dry sclerophyll forest  all within a short distance of each other.

We also spend time considering how humans impact this landscape  whether Indigenous caretakers, tourists or local community. How do different agencies work together to provide necessary services, while protecting this special place? What role is played by visitors, and those who call the Blue Mountains home? What is an interface between urban and wild nature and how do we manage this?

These questions and many more will be explored in this excursion.

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

GE3-1. Describes the diverse features and characteristics of places and environments

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

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

GE3-4. Acquires, processes and communicates geographical information using geographical tools for inquiry


Students will:

  • Explore the natural features and characteristics of a cool climate rainforest
  • Use geographical tools to observe and collect information about this area
  • Consider human impacts on natural places, and how they can be managed to protect special landscapes
  • Walk through beautiful contrasting environment types, and notice the differences between them
  • Learn about how NPWS and other agencies, manage the Blue Mountains area.

Excursion details


Monday to Friday during school term

Guided. Available on request.
2.5-3 hr
Medium. Round walking track is a 680m walk with steep stairs and a short descent and ascent. Furber Steps are an impressive extension and require additional physical effort. A return ascent on the Scenic Cableway takes the effort out of the spectacular return trip. Groups should come prepared for a guided bushwalk and activities on an uneven surface. We'll pause at lookouts to take in the geography of the area.

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

Meeting point
Katoomba Falls Kiosk
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 Rainforests and waterfalls.

Program outline

2 hour tour: 

  • Welcome, acknowledgement of Country and safety briefing
  • Guided interpretive bushwalk along Round walking track in Katoomba Falls (start and finish at Katoomba Falls Kiosk)
  • Tour concludes 
  • Farewell and depart on bus  

2.5 hour tour:

  • Welcome, acknowledgement of Country and safety briefing
  • Guided interpretive bushwalk to Katoomba Falls, descending via Furber Steps and rainforest boardwalk
  • Ascend via the Scenic Cableway (additional fees apply at Scenic World)
  • Tour concludes
  • Farewell and depart on bus 

Please note: Visitors can enrich their rainforest visit by requesting an additional 30 minute Aboriginal cultural presentation. This includes insight into the Aboriginal peoples' deep connection to Country, and an examination of cultural artefacts. Additional fees apply for this option. Please use the 'Enquire Now' link for more information. 

Getting there and parking

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Get directions

    This excursion begins at Katoomba Falls Kiosk, 102B Cliff Drive, Katoomba (opposite the caravan park). Katoomba Falls Kiosk is located about 2km from Katoomba town centre, down Katoomba Street and right onto Cliff Drive. Round walking track is a loop that starts and finishes at Katoomba Falls Kiosk. Please note: The descent via Furber Steps and return journey on either the Scenic Railway or Cableway is at additional cost. If you take up this option, you'll finish the excursion at Scenic World, 500m further along Cliff Drive (corner of Violet Street).

    Road quality

    • Sealed roads

    Vehicle access

    • 2WD vehicles

    Weather restrictions

    • All weather


    Parking is available opposite Katoomba Falls Kiosk near Katoomba Caravan Park. It can be a busy place on the weekend, so parking might be limited.

    What to bring

    Please wear long pants, closed comfortable shoes and bring a hat and sunscreen. Be ready for all weather conditions with a jumper and raincoat. Remember to bring extra food and water and any necessary medications. Please bring your belongings in a backpack rather than a plastic bag.


    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 - hard

    Wheelchair accessible car park, picnic area, public toilets, kiosk and interpretive signage at both Katoomba Falls Kiosk and Scenic World. Please let us know in advance if you are bringing someone with special needs so that we can plan accordingly.