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School excursion

Special Offer

Tour de Forts Middle Head

Stage 5 (Years 9-10), History, Sydney Harbour National Park


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In the early days of colonial Sydney, the Middle Head area formed a key line of defence against attack via sea. This Tour de Forts history excursion for Stage 5 students (Years 9-10) explores these fortifications, including lookouts, gun placements and ammunition stores.

Read more about Tour de Forts Middle Head

Students will navigate tunnels and passages and learn what drove this new and distant colony to invest in these hastily built defensive structures.  

Through stories and anecdotes students will gain an in-depth understanding of the geographical remoteness and vulnerability the new colony felt at the time. They'll explore why the colony took the decisions and actions they did in response to their circumstances. 

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

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

HT5-1. Explains and assesses the historical forces and factors that shaped the modern world and Australia

HT5-2. Sequences and explains the significant patterns of continuity and change in the development of the modern world and Australia

HT5-4. Explains and analyses the causes and effects of events and developments in the modern world and Australia

HT5-7. Explains different contexts, perspectives and interpretations of the modern world and Australia

HT5-9. Applies a range of relevant historical terms and concepts when communicating an understanding of the past


Students will:

  • Explore the gun placements, ammunition stores and lookouts of the Middle Head area
  • Walk through tunnels and passages built in 1870 by settlers in the new colony 
  • Gain an understanding of why and how the fortifications were built, and how they were used and neglected over time 
  • Learn about what was happening in the world at the time from a political, geographical and philosophical perspective. They'll examine how global events affected the lives and work of people in Sydney.

Excursion details


By arrangement.

Guided. Available September to July during the school week. Not available June, July or August, because the endangered bent wing bat hibernates in the Middle Head tunnels throughout the winter months.
1hr 30min

$16 per student. Minimum 20 students. Price includes GST.

Meeting point
Boom gate entrance to Middle Head
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.
Enquire now
Enquire now

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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. You can also pay for your visit via the Park’nPay app.

    Other fees:

    Landing fees or tour fees apply to visit Sydney Harbour islands. All public visitors to Shark, Clark or Rodd Island, 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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