School excursion

Going up the mountain

Stage 6 (Years 11-12), Geography, Thredbo-Perisher area in Kosciuszko National Park

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Going up the mountain is a school excursion in Kosciuszko National Park for Stage 6 (Years 11-12) students focusing on Geography. Students will use field work to record and compare the geology, weather, native plants, animals, human use and sustainability of the montane, sub-alpine and alpine ecosystems.

Read more about Going up the mountain

Geography: biophysical interactions; ecosystems at risk

Historical summer grazing is used to illustrate the vulnerability of the alpine ecosystem to disturbance. Students use photographs and diagrams to examine the degradation and rehabilitation of the alpine and sub-alpine areas.

Students evaluate the impacts of ski resorts on water catchment values, and review park management actions to protect ecosystems and support sustainable use of the environment.

Combine this with other Kosciuszko Education Centre excursions: Kosciuszko – a special place and Above the treeline.

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:

  • Identify the key features of the montane, sub alpine and alpine ecosystems through direct observation and recording phenomena
  • Understand the spatial and ecological dimensions of the alpine area of NSW
  • Explore the geographical processes that form and transform environments
  • Acknowledge the vulnerability of ecosystems to natural and human induced stress
  • Accept the importance of ecosystem management and protection
  • Describe how the alpine environment is changing in response to climatic variations
  • Describe the geographical processes that form and transform the alpine environment
  • Explain how current management strategies are contributing to the sustainable use of the sub alpine and alpine area
  • Label a line sketch.

Excursion details


Weekdays November to May.

Guided. Available on request. Subject to staff availability.
Kosciuszko Education Centre, Thredbo-Perisher area
6hrs 30min
Easy. Short walk in terrain with uneven surfaces.

$350 per group for up to 25 students (includes GST). For groups over 25 conditions apply.

Meeting point
Kosciuszko Education Centre, located on Kosciuszko Road at Sawpit Creek, 14kms from Jindabyne towards Perisher.
Yes. All environmental games 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

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see

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Operated by

Park info

  • in the Thredbo-Perisher area of Kosciuszko National Park in the Snowy Mountains region
  • The Thredbo-Perisher area is open all year, but some roads and trails may close due to weather conditions or park management issues. Kosciuszko Road is closed between Perisher and Charlotte Pass in winter (June to October long weekends).
  • Park entry fees apply on Alpine Way and Kosciuszko Road

    Winter (June to October long weekends): $29 per vehicle per day (24hrs from purchase); motorcycles $12; bus passengers $11.45 per adult, $3.60 per child per day. Find out more about the winter entry surcharge.

    Rest of Year: $17 per vehicle per day (24hrs); motorcycles $7; bus passengers $6.60 per adult, $2.20 per child per day.

    Passes: Day passes, multi-day passes and annual All Parks Pass available from NPWS visitor centres, local agents and operating vehicle entry stations. Read our Annual Pass FAQs for information. Short Breaks Pass: $68 for 5 days park entry at price of 4 days (not valid winter). Eligible pensioners can apply for a complementary NPWS concession pass, to get free park entry. Download the exemption form (154KB doc).

    Buy annual pass (//
See more visitor info

Info for teachers

All the practical information you need to know about Going up the mountain.

Program outline

  • Welcome, introduction to staff, safety briefing - 15 min
  • Sawpit Creek - montane ecosystem - 60 min
  • Morning Tea / Toilet - 15 min
  • Drive to Dainers Gap - a legacy of grazing - 45 min
  • Drive to Smiggin Holes - snow gum dieback - 45 min
  • Drive to Perisher - Lunch (shelter & toilets available) - 45 min
  • Perisher - a ski resort - 30 min
  • Drive to Spencers Ck - a sub-alpine community - 45 min
  • Drive to Charlottes Pass - an alpine community - 60 min
  • Return to Kosciuszko Education Centre - 30 min

Getting there and parking

Kosciuszko Education Centre is in the alpine area of Kosciuszko National Park, close to Perisher. To get there from Jindabyne:

  • Drive along Kosciuszko Road from Jindabyne towards Perisher Valley
  • The education centre is around 12km from Jindabyne

Road quality

All 2WD vehicles need to carry snow chains in winter, between June and October long weekends, on:

  • Kosciuszko Road (to Perisher)
  • Guthega Road
  • Alpine Way between Thredbo and Tom Groggin

Snow chains are recommended for all vehicles driving in the park, including 4WD and AWD, in the event of extreme weather. Read our snow driving in Kosciuszko tips.

  • Sealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • Snow chains required after snow


Car, bus and off-street parking is available.

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. And remember to bring food and any necessary medications.

It’s a good idea to pack your belongings in a backpack rather than a plastic bag because we have some curious birds who may try to break in and share your lunch with you.

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 - medium

Please let us know in advance if you are bringing someone with special needs so that we can plan accordingly