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Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

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Features of places 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

Covid COVID-19 safety plan

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.


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

Students wear reusable name tag and sports uniform.


Preparing for an excursion

Supporting resources

Student activities

Social story – Features of places

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 with less than four school week's 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

Time Classes A, B, C, D, E, F
9.45 - 10.20

Introduction at Buffalo Creek Reserve, toilets and recess

10.20 - 12.15

Bushwalk and activities

12.15 - 12.45

Lunch at Sugarloaf Point on the bank of the Lane Cove River

12.45 - 1.30

Bushwalk and activities

1.30 - 1.40

Crunch and sip and toilets at Buffalo Creek Reserve

1.40 - 2.00

Nature map concluding activity 
2.00 - 2.15 Pack up and depart

Learning activities

Students investigate the natural and human features of the bushland, riverbank and mangrove areas and how they are used and cared for.

Inquiry questions

  • What are the features of and activities in the bushland of Sugarloaf Hill and Sugarloaf Point? 
  • How are Sugarloaf Hill and Sugarloaf Point used by people?
  • How can we care for these places?


The focus of the bushwalk is for students to investigate the features of the dry eucalypt forest and wet mangrove environments and to consider how they can care for these places. The bushwalk will traverse the mangrove forest of Buffalo Creek Reserve, the eucalypt forest of Sugarloaf Hill and the riverbanks at Sugarloaf Point. Along the way students will stop for various sensory activities to discover the features of our unique Australian bushland environments. 

Each of the activities will incorporate people's interactions with, and responsibilities towards, these environments. Students will practise caring for the bushland throughout the walk and bushland activities.

Lunch will be taken along the river bank at beautiful Sugarloaf Point which is an ideal location for semi-structured nature immersion activities such as exploring the tidal mudflat environment, tide permitting.

At the end of the day students will work in small groups to use natural materials to construct a memory map of the bushland features. Students will explain the features and suggest actions for caring for the place.


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 features of places and how they can be cared for, for example: 
    • description of the natural and human features of places
    • discussion of the natural features of places identified in Aboriginal Dreaming stories and/or Legends of the Torres Strait
    • consideration of how a place can be cared for

Other syllabus links

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

Science and Technology K-6 Syllabus (2017) 


A student:

  • describes observable features of living things and their environments ST1-4LW-S 

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

Science and Technology K-6 Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017