School excursion

Grand Canyon: Environmental change and management

Stage 5 (Years 9-10), Geography, Blackheath area in Blue Mountains National Park

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Overview

The spectacular Grand Canyon forms the backdrop for this Stage 5 (Years 9-10) geography excursion in Blue Mountains National Park. This in-depth fieldwork excursion is designed to support the Environmental Change and Management K-10 syllabus

Read more about Grand Canyon: Environmental change and management

Students will gain first-hand experience of the iconic Grand Canyon track on location in Blackheath. It's a renowned walk, and a key highlight of the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park. 

From Neates Glen we'll journey through lush rainforest ecosystems, open forest and along the canyon floor towards Evans lookout. Here, students will be rewarded with sweeping views of the impressive Grose Valley. 

We'll learn about track heritage, local ecology and park management issues. Students will analyse influences, connections and management approaches to sustaining this important environment. 

This 4.5 hour excursion will explore how environments function and the causes and consequences of environmental change. Students will come away with first-hand insight into sustainable management of our precious environment here in New South Wales.

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

Stage Stage 5 (Years 9-10)
Learning area Geography
Student outcomes

GE5-2. Explains processes and influences that form and transform places and environments

GE5-4. Accounts for perspectives of people and organisations on a range of geographical issues

GE5-5. Assesses management strategies for places and environments for their sustainability

GE5-7. Acquires and processes geographical information by selecting and using appropriate and relevant geographical tools for inquiry

Objectives

Students will:

  • Explore the diverse features and characteristics of the Blue Mountains environment as we travel through several distinct ecosystems
  • Observe processes and local influences that help to shape and transform the landscape
  • Explore different perspectives on managing and using this protected environment 
  • Learn how this area is managed by NPWS, including the effects and impacts of bushfire, tourism and pest species.

Excursion details

When

Monday to Friday during school term.

Availability
Guided. Available on request.
Where
Grand Canyon track, Blackheath area
Duration
4hrs 30min
Grading
Hard. 5km walk through uneven terrain. There is a steep descent and ascent via steps. The track may be wet in places and you may be required to cross a creek at the base of the canyon. There are many stairs, so a reasonable level of fitness is required.
Price

$680 incl GST per group (up to 20 students).

Accessibility
Hard
Meeting point
Neates Glen carpark, 3km down Evans Lookout Road, Blackheath.
Equipment
provided
Yes. We can provide a selection of worksheet questions for teachers to compile prior to the excursion for students.
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-5-geography-grand-canyon-environmental-change-management/local-alerts

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Operated by

Park info

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Info for teachers

All the practical information you need to know about Grand Canyon: Environmental change and management.

Program outline

  • Welcome, acknowledgement of Country and safety briefing 
  • Walk the iconic Grand Canyon track  
  • Collect and record geographical data from the ecosystem using a variety of techniques
  • Identify a range of geographical issues relating to the environment, including land and water management, biodiversity and tourism.
  • Explain the interaction of the physical and human elements of the environment
  • Break for self-packed lunch along the way 
  • Understand why and how environmental park issues are managed 
  • Recognise the government's responsibility to manage the national park

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    This excursion begins at Neates Glen carpark, 3km down Evans Lookout Road, Blackheath. It finishes at Evans lookout, a 1.3km drive from Neates Glen.

    Coaches are required to park in the Grand Canyon loop carpark. Students will need to walk a further 20 minutes to the loop carpark from Evans lookout to return to their bus after the excursion concludes.

    Parking

    Parking is available along Evans Lookout Road, at Evans lookout picnic area, and at Evans lookout.

    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

    There is a wheelchair accessible carpark, picnic area, interpretive signage and public toilets at Evans lookout. Please let us know in advance if you are bringing someone with special needs so that we can plan accordingly.