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School excursion

A local ecosystem at Bonnie Vale

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

Affected by closures, check current alerts 

Info for teachers

Everything you need to know about A local ecosystem at Bonnie Vale.

Program outline

  • Welcome, acknowledgement of Country and safety talk 
  • Morning tea and toilet break 
  • Observations at a fresh water pond. Walk the bush track in the direction of the mangroves. 
  • Study the adaptations of a mangrove plant and a wetland animal 
  • Measure abundance and distribution using a transect and quadrats
  • Measure and compare abiotic factors along the transect
  • Dip-net to sample estuary species
  • Identify examples of predation, competition, parasitism, allelopathy, mutualism or commensalism
  • Lunch and toilet break 
  • Recap and farewell

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: Drinking water is not available. 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.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Bonnie Vale picnic area is in the Bundeena area of Royal National Park.

    To drive there from Audley:

    • Drive across Audley Weir and continue along Sir Bertram Stevens Drive for approximately 10km
    • Turn left onto Bundeena Drive and continue to Bundeena township
    • As you enter the town, turn left onto Sea Breeze Lane and follow the signs.

    Road quality

    • Sealed roads

    Vehicle access

    • 2WD vehicles

    Weather restrictions

    • All weather


    Parking is available at Bonnie Vale picnic area. Think about car pooling as visitor numbers in these areas often exceed available parking.


    • Take a train to Cronulla, then walk for 5 minutes to Cronulla ferry wharf.
    • Take the ferry from Cronulla wharf to Bundeena wharf.
    • When you arrive at Bundeena wharf you'll see a map showing you the route to walk to Bonnie Vale picnic area, which takes about 15 minutes.

    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

    Wheelchair accessible car park, picnic area and toilets; if you have someone with special needs, please let us know in advance so that we can plan accordingly.

    A local ecosystem at Bonnie Vale Enquire now

    Park info

    • in Royal National Park in the Sydney and surrounds and South Coast regions
    • Royal National Park is open 7am to 8.30pm but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

    • Park entry fees:

      $12 per vehicle per day. Payment options include Audley Visitor Centre, vehicle entry stations, pay machines and the Park’nPay app.

      Vehicles over 8 seats: $4.40 per adult, $2.20 per child (per day). Students on educational programs: $1.10 per student. Teachers/educational supervisors: free (1 adult per 10 students).

      Buy annual pass