School excursion

Mountain landscapes: Blue Mountains

Stage 4 (Years 7-8), Geography, Katoomba area in Blue Mountains National Park

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Overview

This adventurous Stage 4 (Years 7-8) Geography excursion explores diverse landscapes and landforms of the Blue Mountains. On a bushwalk, students will gather data using geographical equipment, and complete a field sketch of an iconic Blue Mountains landscape.

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On a ranger-led walk, students will examine different landscape features such as aspect and landform, and investigate how these features create different conditions.

We discuss the phenomenon of fire and how awareness of fire risk impacts the operation of the park.

Finally, students will gain a greater understanding of the interplay between human and the land, the value of landscape to different groups, and the levels of management in operation to protect this special place.

An optional session on Indigenous perspectives on land management, and the cultural value of landscapes is available.

This excursion is also available at Wentworth Falls or Blackheath.

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

Stage Stage 4 (Years 7-8)
Learning area Geography
Student outcomes

GE4-1. Locates and describes the diverse features and characteristics of a range of places and environments

GE4-2. Describes processes and influences that form and transform places and environments

GE4-5. Discusses management of places and environments for their sustainability

GE4-7. Acquires and processes geographical information by selecting and using geographical tools for inquiry

Objectives

Students will:

  • Explore the diverse features and characteristics of the Blue Mountains
  • Learn about and discuss the geomorphic processes that created this impressive landscape 
  • Use geographical tools to observe and identify features of the natural environment
  • Examine the ways NPWS sustainably manages and protects the landscape, and learn the layers of legal protections
  • Discuss the extreme risk of bushfire throughout this region. Examine the suite of strategies in place to prevent and respond to bushfire events. 

Excursion details

When

Monday to Friday during school term.

Where
Katoomba area in Blue Mountains National Park in Sydney and surrounds, Country NSW
Duration
Minimum 2 hr
Grading
Medium. Guided bushwalk and activities on an uneven surface, including steep stairs and a boardwalk.
Price

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

Accessibility
Hard
Meeting point
  • Wentworth Falls: Wentworth Falls picnic area at the end of Falls Road, Wentworth Falls
  • Three Sisters: Lilianfels Park, outside the coach drop-off zone, Echo Point Road, Katoomba
  • Blackheath: Blue Mountains Heritage Centre, Govetts Leap Road, Blackheath
  • Other locations by request
Equipment
provided
Yes. Pre and post learning resources are also available.
Booking
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 https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/education/stage-4-geography-mountain-landscapes-blue-mountains/local-alerts

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Park info

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Info for teachers

All the practical information you need to know about Mountain landscapes: Blue Mountains.

Program outline

  • Welcome, acknowledgement of Country and safety briefing
  • Guided bushwalk to explore local environment
  • Discussion of geological formation of Blue Mountains landscape
  • Aspect – illustration and discussion of landscape features using compass
  • Landform – illustration and discussion of landscape features using kestrels
  • Students draw a field sketch of selected landscape vista
  • Discussion of park management and hazards, including fire
  • Farewell and depart

Getting there and parking

The following information lists directions to the 3 Blue Mountains locations from Sydney:

Wentworth Falls 

Wentworth Falls track starts from Wentworth Falls picnic area in Blue Mountains National Park. 

  • Take Great Western Highway to Wentworth Falls
  • Turn on to Falls Road at the traffic lights and follow the sign towards the national park
  • Continue to the end of Falls Road, where you'll reach Wentworth Falls picnic area.

Katoomba Falls

Round walking track is in the Katoomba area of Blue Mountains National Park. 

  • Turn off Great Western Highway at Katoomba
  • Follow the signs to Scenic World, and park at Katoomba Falls Kiosk near Katoomba Caravan Park.

Blackheath 

Blue Mountains Heritage Centre is in the Blackheath area of Blue Mountains National Park.

  • Take Great Western Highway to Blackheath. Turn right at the Blackheath traffic lights onto Govetts Leap Road.
  • Drive for 2.5km. After passing through the park entrance, take the second exit from the roundabout.

Parking

Wentworth Falls

  • Parking is available at Wentworth Falls picnic area, including designated disabled spots. 
  • Overflow parking is available on Falls Road. Some designated coach parking is available. 

Katoomba

  • Parking is available on Main Road or at Scenic World.
  • Bus parking is available.

Blackheath

  • Parking is available at Blue Mountains Heritage Centre, including several designated disabled spots. 
  • Bus parking is available. Coach parking is available for groups.

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.

Accessibility

Disability access level - hard

Scenic World has wheelchair-accessible carparks, picnic areas, displays and toilets. The Wentworth Falls excursion is not wheelchair-accessible. The Blackheath excursion is wheelchair-accessible:

  • The sealed track is flat with some gentle slopes, and is suitable for wheelchairs, prams and visitors with limited mobility.
  • Seats are provided at intervals along the track to provide rest stops.
  • There's a ramp from the carpark to the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre, where the walk starts.
  • Wheelchair-accessible toilets are available at the heritage centre.

Please let us know if you are bringing someone with special needs so that we can plan accordingly.