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Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Experience Engage Enable

Telephone02 9816 1298

Special places program

Teacher checklist


Field of Mars Reserve, Pittwater Road, East Ryde

Wallumedegal Country

Google maps - Apple maps

Bus access

Supply bus driver with Field of Mars Reserve bus information.

No bus entry into Field of Mars Reserve.


DoE $24 per student - GST free

Non-gov school cost $34 per student - GST free, minimum charge $700

Risk assessment Risk management plan 

COVID-19 safety plan

View the YouTube track overview videos.

Buffalo Creek Track

Doyle and Warada Loop Track


Participants will be bushwalking during the day in rugged terrain.

Limited wheelchair accessibility.

This excursion may not be suitable for people who have recently been unwell.


Backpack, medication, low-waste food, water bottle, sunblock, raincoat, hat, sturdy shoes.

Students wear reusable name tag and sports uniform.

View Preparing for an excursion
Supporting resources

Student activites

Special places map

Social story

Fact sheets

Bin access All student waste to be taken home by students.
Parent/carer helpers Optional one or two parents per class, no siblings. Closed shoes essential.
Medical or special needs

Notify Field of Mars staff prior to excursion. 

Students, staff and visitors must not attend if unwell, even with mild symptoms.

Extreme or wet weather

Days predicted to be above 35ºC, high winds, extreme bush fire danger and dust storms may result in the excursion being modified, postponed or cancelled. 


Cancellations with less than four school weeks' notice will incur a $500 administration fee. This does not apply to cancellations due to weather or fire danger.

Suggested timetable for up to six classes


Classes A, B, C

Classes D, E, F

9.45 - 10.30


Recess and toilets


Recess and toilets

10.30 - 12.00

Sensory exploration of places

People in places

Forest places

12.00 - 12.30


12.30 - 2.00

People in places

Forest places

Sensory exploration of places

2.00 - 2.15

Pack up, collect Garigan sticks, toilet, depart

Pack up, collect Garigan sticks, toilet, depart

Learning activities

Students investigate the features of the Field of Mars Reserve, the characteristics of places within the reserve and consider how they can care for them.

Inquiry questions

  • What is it like in the Field of Mars Reserve?
  • What makes places in the Field of Mars Reserve special?
  • How can we look after the places we visit?


Sensory exploration of places

Students use their senses to explore the banks of Buffalo Creek and the parkland, bushland and rocky outcrops nearby. Students use a pictorial map to plan their route, hear the Aboriginal Dreaming story of Garigan the blue-tongue lizard and bind raffia string on a stick to simulate the texture of a lizard’s back. 

People in places

This activity takes place in a peaceful area where grassy recreational spaces mix with the bushland. Areas such as this have distinct meanings for Aboriginal Peoples and other people. After hearing some stories of people and place students are given freedom to plan, create and construct their own shelters using the abundant natural materials.

Forest places

Located on a sandstone platform surrounded by eucalyptus trees and shrubs, students work together to reach this special place using their pictorial maps. Other immersive activities may include a nature spot, hand-lens micro-hiking, symphony of bush sounds and a treasure hunt of natural materials.

Syllabus outcomes and content

Geography K-10 Syllabus (2015) 


A student: 

  • identifies places and develops an understanding of the importance of places to people GEe-1 
  • communicates geographical information and uses geographical tools GEe-2 


Important places


  • investigate the importance of places they live in and belong to, for example: (ACHGK002, ACHGK004) 
    • identification of places they live in and belong to
    • discussion of why places are special and how people care for them
    • explanation of why people need to take care of places

Locating places 


  • investigate how the location of places can be represented, for example:
    • location of familiar and local places on maps
    • description of the location of places

Other syllabus links

Learning experiences will also support but not explicitly teach the following content.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander places


  • investigate the Countries/Places important to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Peoples
Geography K-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2015