School excursion

Ecosystems at risk at Towra Point Nature Reserve

Stage 6 (Years 11-12), Geography, Towra Point Nature Reserve

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Senior students will hone their fieldwork skills in this Stage 6 (Years 11-12) geography excursion at Towra Point Nature Reserve. This Ramsar-listed wetland is the largest and most botanically diverse estuarine wetland remaining in the Sydney region.

Read more about Ecosystems at risk at Towra Point Nature Reserve

The wetland at Towra Point is an ideal location for students to study a vulnerable ecosystem at risk.

Students will learn about the historical uses of this site and the impacts nearby Botany Bay has had on the wetlands over time. We'll discuss why this site holds international significance and protection. 

We'll examine the mangrove environment up close, so please be prepared to get muddy and wet. 

Students will discuss the current management plans in place to protect this fragile ecosystem, and how these may be strengthened over time.

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

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

P2. Describes the interactions between the four components which define the biophysical environment.

P3. Explains how a specific environment functions in terms of biophysical factors.

P9. Uses maps, graphs and statistics, photographs and fieldwork to conduct geographical inquiries.


Students will:

  • Examine evidence of past land use at Towra Point and identify changes to the natural vegetation type
  • Construct a transect in the wetland
  • Identify significant plant communities and analyse the success or problems associated with management strategies
  • Observe plants such as the grey mangrove and identify adaptations
  • Observe human impacts on the ecosystem, such as salt water inundation into a fresh water lagoon
  • Observe the effects of erosion on the environment
  • Collect data in order to illustrate biophysical interactions 

Excursion details


Weekdays during school term.

Guided. Available on request.
4-5 hr
Medium. Guided activities along a track and some long grass, through water in a mangrove area and on a beach. No climbing is involved. Insect repellant advised.

$28 per student for groups of 25 or more. GST included. For smaller groups conditions apply.

No wheelchair access
Meeting point
Meet at Cronulla Wastewater Treatment Plant carpark, Captain Cook Drive, Cronulla
Yes. 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.

Local alerts

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Park info

  • in Towra Point Nature Reserve in the Sydney and surrounds region
  • Towra Point Nature Reserve is accessible by boat only. Access to the land is available on special consent for research and educational purposes only. Contact the local Area office on 9668 2000.

See more visitor info

Info for teachers

All the practical information you need to know about Ecosystems at risk at Towra Point Nature Reserve.

Program outline

  • Welcome, acknowledgement of Country and safety talk 
  • Examine the human impact caused by horse stables and identify weeds
  • Morning tea and toilet break 
  • Walk through the reserve, noting changes to the physical environment.
  • Conduct a transect in a saltmarsh area
  • Identify grey mangrove adaptations
  • Measure abiotic factors in the saltmarsh area
  • Stop at Weedy Pond to identify significant plants and their adaptations 
  • Lunch at Silver Beach
  • Discuss current issues and ecosystem management at Towra Point Nature Reserve
  • Recap and farewell 

Getting there and parking

Towra Point Nature Reserve is located on Captain Cook Drive at Kurnell. Students will be met at the Cronulla Wastewater Treatment Plant carpark on Captain Cook Drive, Cronulla.

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: Insect repelland is strongly advised. Wear a pair of shoes that can get wet and bring a change of shoes/socks and a small towel. Students should bring a clipboard, worksheets, pens and pencils.

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

There is no wheelchair access; if you have someone with special needs, please let us know in advance so that we can plan accordingly.