School excursion

Muttonbirds by moonlight

Stage 6 (Years 11-12), Geography, Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve

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Muttonbirds by moonlight is a Stage 6 (Years 11-12) school excursion at Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve, which covers geography as a KLA. Experience a guided walk across the island as evening falls, to observe the daily return of thousands of wedge-tail shearwaters (muttonbirds) to their nesting burrows, where hungry partners or chicks await.

Read more about Muttonbirds by moonlight

Students learn about the ecology of this far-travelling sea bird and identify issues that place this ecosystem at risk. This is a very significant cultural site for the Gumbaynggirr People and students will gain unique insights into the cultural connections between the island, its nesting birds and Aboriginal culture.

Geography: Ecosystems at Risk.

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

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

Excursion details


By arrangement. Only available between August and April when the shearwaters are present on the island.

Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve
1hr 30min

$265 per group (includes GST). Maximum 20 students per group. For groups over 20 conditions apply.

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

  • North Coast

Park info

See more visitor info

Info for teachers

All the practical information you need to know about Muttonbirds by moonlight.

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).

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

Paved pathway with some steep sections not suitable for wheelchairs. Please let us know in advance if you are bringing someone with special needs so that we can plan accordingly.