School excursion

A dynamic ecosystem: Minnamurra Rainforest

Stage 6 (Years 11-12), Biology, Budderoo National Park

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Senior biology students will hone their skills on this Stage 6 (Years 11-12) fieldwork study at Minnamurra Rainforest in Budderoo National Park. They'll conduct fieldwork, gather data and identify distinguishing features of the rainforest.

Read more about A dynamic ecosystem: Minnamurra Rainforest

This school excursion provides a unique opportunity for students to use a variety of fieldwork sampling techniques. Students will gather diverse data and obtain a solid understanding of this fragile and important ecosystem.

This biology excursion is designed to support Module 3 (Biological diversity) and Module 4 (Ecosystem dynamics) of the syllabus, and contributes 5 hours towards a depth study.

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

Stage Stage 6 (Years 11-12)
Learning area Biology
Student outcomes

BIO11/12-7. Communicates scientific understanding using suitable language and terminology for a specific audience or purpose

BIO11-10. Describes biological diversity by explaining the relationship between a range of organisms in terms of specialisation for selected habitats and evolution of species

BIO11-11. Analyses ecosystem dynamics and the interrelationships of organisms within the ecosystem


Students will:

  • Identify some of the distinguishing features of the rainforest as a local ecosystem
  • Use scientific instruments to measure some abiotic factors in the rainforest
  • Observe the plants and animals that live in the rainforest
  • Discuss how rainforest species have adapted to their environment
  • Measure and record abundance and distribution of species using a transect and quadrats
  • Identify some of the relationships between rainforest species, including predation, competition and symbiosis.
  • Use scientific equipment to measure a range of abiotic factors relevant to the ecosystem, such as temperature, humidity, salinity, soil pH, water pH, sunlight intensity, wind speed and direction.
  • Observe and summarise impacts of human activity on the ecosystem

Key inquiry questions:

  • How do adaptations increase the organism's ability to survive?
  • What effect can one species have on the other species in a community?
  • How can human activity impact on an ecosystem?

Excursion details

Guided. Available on request. Different length programs are available upon consultation.
2-5 hr
Easy. Fieldwork will take place along river beside the rainforest path.

Minimum $550 per group for up to 25 students, $22 per student (includes GST).

No wheelchair access
Meeting point
Minnamurra Rainforest Centre
Yes. Worksheet masters, pre and post-activity resources, and additional references will be provided on 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

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Park info

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Info for teachers

All the practical information you need to know about A dynamic ecosystem: Minnamurra Rainforest.

Program outline

  • Welcome, acknowledgement of Country and safety briefing
  • Morning tea and toilet break
  • Classroom presentation
  • Complete a vegetation transect
  • Vegetation study and abiotic measurements
  • Soil and leaf litter survey
  • Group discussion and question time
  • Guided interpretive walk through rainforest
  • Optional self-guided walk to waterfall (teacher to lead)
  • Lunch
  • Farewell and depart on bus

Getting there and parking

Minnamurra Rainforest Centre is located in the foothills of Jamberoo Valley, west of Kiama on the NSW South Coast. To get there from Jamberoo:

  • Drive west on Jamberoo Road and turn left onto Jamberoo Mountain Road
  • Take the first right onto Minnamurra Falls Road
  • You’ll find Minnamurra Rainforest Centre about 3km along to the end of the road

Road quality

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather


Car and bus parking is available in a bitumen carpark at Minnamurra Rainforest Centre, including 2 accessible parking spots.

Note that coach bookings are essential prior to arrival.

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). Please note: Students should have their own copy of the excursion worksheet, a clipboard and pencil.

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 - no wheelchair access

Not wheelchair-accessible.