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Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

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Aboriginal connections to Country program

Teacher checklist

Main location

Buffalo Creek Reserve, 117 Pittwater Road, Hunters Hill

Wallumedegal Country

Google maps - Apple maps

Supply bus driver with Buffalo Creek bus information.

No bus entry into Buffalo Creek Reserve carpark.

Buffalo Creek Reserve risk management plan

View the YouTube track overview videos.

Sugarloaf Point loop track

Alternate location

Field of Mars Reserve – Pittwater Road, East Ryde

Wallumedegal Country

Google maps - Apple maps

Supply bus driver with Field of Mars Reserve bus information
Field of Mars Reserve risk management plan

View the YouTube track overview videos.

Buffalo Creek track

Doyle and Warada loop track

Strangers Creek loop track


DoE $24 per student - GST free

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

Term 1 - Catholic school Weeks 3 to 7  cost = DoE cost - GST free, minimum charge $700


Participants will be bushwalking during the day in rugged terrain.

Not wheelchair accessible.

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

Bring 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

Digital book Traditional Wiradjuri Culture available free from Apple Books.

Fact sheets

Bin access All student waste to be taken home by students.
Parent/carer helpers Optional one parent 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 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 up to four classes


Classes A, B, C, D

9.45 - 10.15

Introduction - Buffalo Creek Reserve

Toilets, crunch and sip or recess

10.15 - 12:15
Bushwalk and activities

Eating break at Sugarloaf Point on the bank of the Lane Cove River

12.45 - 1:30

Bushwalk and activities

1:30-1:40 Toilet break and eating time
1:40-2:00 Concluding activity
2:00 Pack up and depart

Learning activities


Students go on a journey to investigate Aboriginal culture and connections to Country. On a bushwalk through Lane Cove National Park, students will explore the connections Darug people have to Country through various activities and storytelling. Students will learn about how Country provides various resources including tools, weapons, food, medicines as well as learning the many ways we can care for Country.

Inquiry questions

  • What are the features of this place?
  • How are Aboriginal people connected to this place?
  • How can we care for this place?


Students will walk through the bush to learn to tune in and connect with their surroundings. They will use Aboriginal Dreaming stories to identify the natural features of their environment.

Through teacher-led and student-directed activities, students will learn about the features of the bushland, how it is cared for, and how it was utilised by Aboriginal Peoples. 

Activities include creating sand stories using animal tracks, a sensory guided bush resource walk, creating a natural frog orchestra and nature based memory games.

To conclude the day students will reflect on and recount what they have learnt whilst creating an ochre based artwork. 

Syllabus outcomes and content

Geography K–10 Syllabus (2015) 


A student:

  • describes features of places and the connections people have with places GE1-1
  • identifies ways in which people interact with and care for places GE1-2
  • communicates geographical information and uses geographical tools for inquiry GE1-3


Features of places  


  • investigate the features of places and how they can be cared for, for example:
    • discussion of the natural features of places identifies in Aboriginal Dreaming stories and/or creation accounts of the Torres Strait
    • consideration of how a place can be cared for eg a park, farm, beach, bushland

People and places


  • Investigate people's connections and access to places, for example:
    • discussion of why people visit other places
  • investiage connections that people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, have to local and global places, for example:
    • discussion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples' connections with land, sea and animals of their place
    • descriptions of reasons people are connected to places in Australia and/or countries across the world eg birthplace

Other syllabus links

Learning experiences will also support but not explicitly teach the following outcome:

English K-10 Syllabus (2022) 


  • understands and effectively uses Tier 1, taught Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary to extend and elaborate ideas EN1-VOCAB-01

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

English K-10 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2022

Note – this excursion supports the study of the text Welcome to Country by Aunty Joy Murphy and Lisa Kennedy. Walker Books (2016).