School excursion

Water in the world - protecting an alpine catchment

Stage 4 (Years 7-8), Geography, Thredbo-Perisher area in Kosciuszko National Park

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Water in the world - protecting an alpine catchment is a school excursion in Kosciuszko National Park for Stage 4 (Years 7-8) geography students. Learn about the management of water quality at a ski resort and the importance of protected catchments in this area.

Read more about Water in the world - protecting an alpine catchment

On this school excursion, students will examine the ecological and economic value of Kosciuszko National Park, where rivers, glacial lakes and rare plants and animals are protected. These catchments provide water for irrigation, hydroelectricity, and many communities downstream.

While in the park, students will uncover the features and vulnerabilities of the alpine catchment at Charlotte Pass. They’ll then travel to Perisher ski resort to see the impacts of human use on the environment, and the management strategies used to protect water quality in the area. Lastly, students will head to Rennex Gap to survey the landscape and explore its biodiversity.

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

GE4-5. 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: 
  • Examine the climatic processes that cause high precipitation for the mountains of south/east Australia
  • Explore the characteristics of the catchment that retains and regulates the flow of water through the environment
  • Investigate approaches needed to manage human disturbance within the catchment
  • Identify and map the animals and plants of some unique communities found in the alpine and sub-alpine environments, including endangered sphagnum bogs and fens.

Excursion details


Weekdays during school terms from November to May.

Kosciuszko Education Centre, Thredbo-Perisher area
4hrs 30min
Easy. Short walks into the field, occasionally on gravel tracks and uneven surfaces.
$300 per group for up to 25 students (includes GST). For groups over 25 conditions apply.
Meeting point
Kosciuszko Education Centre, Sawpit Creek
Yes. Worksheet masters, weather recording instruments, and flora and fauna identification material will be provided.
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Park info

  • in the Thredbo-Perisher area of Kosciuszko National Park in the Snowy Mountains region
  • The Thredbo-Perisher area is open all year, but some roads and trails may close due to weather conditions or park management issues. Kosciuszko Road is closed between Perisher and Charlotte Pass in winter (June to October long weekends).
  • Park entry fees apply on Alpine Way and Kosciuszko Road

    Winter (June to October long weekends): $29 per vehicle per day (24hrs from purchase); motorcycles $12; bus passengers $11.45 per adult, $3.60 per child per day. Find out more about the winter entry surcharge.

    Rest of Year: $17 per vehicle per day (24hrs); motorcycles $7; bus passengers $6.60 per adult, $2.20 per child per day.

    Passes: Day passes, multi-day passes and annual All Parks Pass available from NPWS visitor centres, local agents and operating vehicle entry stations. Read our Annual Pass FAQs for information. Short Breaks Pass: $68 for 5 days park entry at price of 4 days (not valid winter). Eligible pensioners can apply for a complementary NPWS concession pass, to get free park entry. Download the exemption form (154KB doc).

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Info for teachers

All the practical information you need to know about Water in the world - protecting an alpine catchment.

Program outline

  • Set the scene with a video that explores the ecological and economic values of the catchment
  • Travel to Charlotte Pass to explore the characteristics and vulnerability of the alpine catchment
  • Head to Perisher Valley ski resort to investigate human use and disturbance, and to learn how water quality is managed and monitored as part of the resort’s Environmental Management System (EMS)
  • Drive to Rennex Gap to survey the plants and animals of sub-alpine herbfields, and sphagnum bogs and fens.

Getting there and parking

Kosciuszko Education Centre is in the alpine area of Kosciuszko National Park, close to Perisher. To get there from Jindabyne:

  • Drive along Kosciuszko Road from Jindabyne towards Perisher Valley
  • The education centre is around 12km from Jindabyne

Road quality

All 2WD vehicles need to carry snow chains in winter, between June and October long weekends, on:

  • Kosciuszko Road (to Perisher)
  • Guthega Road
  • Alpine Way between Thredbo and Tom Groggin

Snow chains are recommended for all vehicles driving in the park, including 4WD and AWD, in the event of extreme weather. Read our snow driving in Kosciuszko tips.

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • Snow chains required after snow


Car, bus and off-street parking is available.

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. And remember to bring food, water and any necessary medications.

It’s a good idea to pack your belongings in a backpack rather than a plastic bag because we have some curious birds who may try to break in and share your lunch with you.

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

Wheelchairs can access this area with some difficulty. Please let us know in advance if you are bringing someone with special needs so that we can plan accordingly.