School excursion

Aboriginal culture: Expanding contacts Nielsen Park

Stage 4 (Years 7-8), History, Sydney Harbour National Park

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Aboriginal culture expanding contacts Nielsen Park is a Stage 4 (Years 7-8) school excursion in Sydney Harbour National Park which focuses on history as a KLA. Embark on a learning journey of Aboriginal culture from pre-colonisation to now.

Read more about Aboriginal culture: Expanding contacts Nielsen Park

Students will learn through a variety of fun, interactive activities and talks by an experienced Aboriginal Discovery ranger.

History: Expanding Contacts - Aboriginal and Indigenous Peoples, Colonisation and Contact History.

Sydney Harbour National Park protects a collection of islands and foreshore areas around one of the world's most famous harbours. Located at Vaucluse in Sydney's eastern suburbs, Nielsen Park is one of Sydney's favourite year-round recreation areas. Blessed with the glistening Shark Beach and glorious harbour views, there are large, sheltered picnic areas, the scenic Hermitage Foreshore walking track and you can visit the grounds of the Gothic style Greycliffe House which dates back to the 1850s.

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

Stage Stage 4 (Years 7-8)
Learning area History

Students will:

  • listen to an Aboriginal person describe the main features of Australia's Aboriginal culture prior to colonisation
  • recognise the results of colonisation on Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples to 1900
  • listen to the Discovery ranger and then be able to describe the key aspects of contact between the Aboriginal people and the colonisers
  • learn how Aboriginal children were educated in Aboriginal society through Aboriginal games
  • be taught about different food sources and how to make and use different weapons.

Excursion details


Weekdays during school term.

Nielsen Park, Sydney Harbour National Park
Medium. Guided activities in a suburban national park, along a beach, on formed and uneven bush walking tracks , up a flight of stairs and on a grassed picnic area.

Minimum $375 for up to 25 students, $15 per student (includes GST)

Meeting point
Nielsen Park. Meet at the corner of Coolong Road and Greycliffe Avenue, Vaucluse.
No. All equipment is provided.
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.

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Operated by

Park info

  • in Sydney Harbour National Park in the Sydney and surrounds region
  • Sydney Harbour National Park is open sunrise to sunset but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

  • Park entry fees:

    Bradleys Head carpark: $8 per vehicle per day. North Head carpark: $5 per vehicle per day. There are pay and display machines that accept cards and coins - no change given. Chowder Bay Road parking: Monday-Friday: $3 per hour, to a maximum of $16 per day. Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: $4 per hour, to a maximum of $20 per day. If you hold an NPWS All Parks or Multi Parks Pass, you can park free for up to four hours per day - additional time can be purchased. Car parks operated by Sydney Harbour Federation Trust or Mosman Council are not covered by your pass. Please check signs carefully.

    Other fees:

    Landing fees or tour fees apply to visit Sydney Harbour islands. All public visitors to Shark, Clark, Goat or Rodd Island, or Fort Denison, need to pay a $7 per person landing fee. To arrange, please contact 1300 072 757 (13000 PARKS). Annual NSW Parks Passes do not cover landing fees.

    Buy annual pass (//
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Info for teachers

All the practical information you need to know about Aboriginal culture: Expanding contacts Nielsen Park.

Program outline

  • Welcome, introductions, safety briefing and acknowledgement
  • Significance of painting up – Discovery ranger paints up self and students
  • Aboriginal artefacts
  • Plants and their uses
  • Post colonial impacts discussion
  • Lunch
  • Aboriginal games

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Nielsen Park is in the Nielsen Park precinct of Sydney Harbour National Park. Take New South Head Road away from the city. Turn left into Vaucluse Road and then left into Greycliffe Avenue.

    Park entry points

    Road quality

    • Sealed roads

    Vehicle access

    • 2WD vehicles

    Weather restrictions

    • All weather


    Parking is available in Greycliffe Avenue, including several designated disabled spots.

    What to bring

    Please wear fully enclosed shoes and bring a hat, sunscreen, wet weather gear, and lunch which should be low waste with a refillable water bottle. Students should bring gear in a backpack or similar (not plastic bags).

    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.