Delivered by the Department of Parks and Wildlife at Wharncliffe Mill.


The Margaret River EcoEducation programs are delivered by specialists from the Department of Parks and Wildlife.  Many of the programs are linked to the Australian Curriculum, in particular Geography, Science, English and the cross-curriculum priorities of Sustainability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.

Programs also help to fulfil outcomes of the WA Curriculum Framework across all learning areas, in particular Society and Environment, Science, English, and Technology and Enterprise and the core values of Environmental Responsibility and Social and Civic Responsibility.

Standard day excursions run from 10am to 2pm though programs can be delivered at other times and in as little as three hours where required for overnight guests staying at Wharncliffe Mill.  The year groups in the table below are indicative, and many activities and programs can be tailored to suit younger or older children, so please just ask.

All programs cost just $12.50 per person and are subject to availability.  Book directly with Wharncliffe Mill by emailing


Year Suited Description Curriculum
Sense-ational night life– two hours

School Years 3 to 12

(Approximate Ages 8 – 18). Can be tailored to suit other age groups.
  • While exploring with spotlights, you will recognise the interdependence of life as the forest comes alive after dark.
  • Explore the forest, blindfolded along our rope-walk trail using the senses of smell, touch and hearing.
  • This experience can be a highlight of your school or group camp.
Marvellous macro-invertebrates – two hours
School Years 3 to 12 (Approximate Ages 8 – 18). Can be tailored to suit other age groups.
  • Take a close look at the aquatic invertebrates of the spring-fed stream.
  • Investigate the relationship between water quality and invertebrate species, and gain an understanding of the roles of invertebrates in the stream ecosystem.
Busy in the forest - Discover the treasures of the forest

School Years PP to 3
(Approximate Ages 5 – 9)

  • Children embark on a voyage of discovery and sensory awareness in the forest with a little help from some animal and plant friends and a treasure chest.
  • A blindfold rope trail guides them through a fun and interactive sensory encounter with nature.
  • A new teacher’s book Busy in the bushland is available free for teachers booking this excursion or PL (valued at $30).

Australian Curriculum
S (F – 3), E (F – 3), H, Priorities – Sust, A&TSI

WA Curriculum
S, S&E, E, A

Investigating the forest - Uncover the amazing mysteries of the forest

School Years 2 to 5
(Approximate Ages 7 – 11)

  • Once your students have been Busy in the forest graduate them to this investigative program.
  • Collect clues to your mystery plant including surprising information about how they are used by humans present and past and other inhabitants of the forest.
  • On the way, explore shape and texture, sights, sounds and smells before passing the facts you have gathered on to the rest of the group.

Australian Curriculum
S (2–5), E (2–5), H, Priorities – Sust, A&TSI
WA Curriculum
S, S&E, E, A

Biodiversity’s base: incredible Invertebrates

School Years 4 and 5

(Approximate Ages 9 – 11) – can be tailored to
  • Students will be amazed at the life going on beneath their feet as they discover the gardeners and voracious predators of the forest.

Australian Curriculum

S (4–5), Priorities
Uncover the wonders of the underworld
suit older students
  • Learn why invertebrates form the base of a healthy ecosystem, their roles in the forest and their importance in maintaining biodiversity.
  • Study a ‘mystery beast’ and a search for other wonderful macroinvertebrates, looking at their importance in food chains, recycling of nutrients and examining adaptations such as camouflage.

– Sust
WA Curriculum

S, S&E, E
Discovering the forest - Investigate the values of the forest

School Years 4 to 7
(Approximate Ages 9 – 13)

  • There is more to a forest than trees.
  • Take part in activities to identify all the values and uses of our jarrah forests.
  • Look at the biodiversity of the ecosystem and realise why it is important and what you can do to protect it.
  • Also learn to identify key plant species and gain an understanding of the interdependence of forests and people.
  • * An online resource is available for teachers.

Australian Curriculum
S (4–7), H (4–7), Priorities – Sust, A&TSI
WA Curriculum
S, S&E, E

Ecosystem explorers - Explore the processes that change our natural world

School Years 5 to 8
(Approximate Ages 10 – 14)

  • The forest is changing all the time.
  • Some of these changes happen quickly, others may take thousands or even millions of years.
  • Some of these changes are natural and some are caused by human activity.
  • Explore the forest, looking for evidence of changes new and old, natural or human made.
  • The excursion includes a mural and local historical study, an investigation of erosion and the chance to build soils as a way of seeing some of these changes in a time capsule.

Australian Curriculum
S (5–8), E (5–8), H (5–8),
Priorities – Sust,
WA Curriculum

S, S&E, E
Threatened species program: back from the brink - Find out how Western Shield is saving our native fauna

School Years 5 to 10
(Approximate Ages 10 – 16)

  • Department of Parks and Wildlife’s Western Shield wildlife recovery program has made significant advances in native fauna recovery in WA and school communities can contribute to the conservation of threatened fauna.
  • This program raises awareness and encourages action to conserve WA’s threatened fauna.
  • Learn about methods for control of introduced fauna and efforts to re-establish native species including captive breeding and the protection and enhancement of habitat.
  • You have the opportunity to practice scientific methods used to monitor wildlife including trapping and data collection.

Australian Curriculum
S (5–10), Priorities – Sust
WA Curriculum

BIO, OED and S, S&E, E
Caring for places - Biodiversity and management of national parks

School Years 6 to 10
(Approximate Ages 11 – 16)

  • Appreciate the challenges and rewards of national park management in WA.
  • Explore the values, threats and impacts of people on our national parks, looking at issues such as bushfires, vandalism, introduced animals, weeds, erosion and dieback disease.
  • Evaluate your own impact on the natural environment, ways you can reduce this impact and the cost of managing national parks and reserves.
  • Learn about the park’s history and the day-to-day work of park management and, as active citizens, lend a hand to rehabilitate a degraded part of the park.
  • The Caring for places book is available free for teachers undertaking this excursion.

Australian Curriculum
S (6–10), Priorities – Sust, A&TSI
WA Curriculum

BIO, GEO, OED, EES and S, S&E, E
Climate change: measuring baseline Biodiversity - Contribute to a database for measuring the impacts of climate change

School Years 6 to 12 (Approximate Ages 11 – 18)

  • The impacts of climate change on our ecosystems can only be understood by comparing observations of our flora and fauna over time.
  • Learn how to measure biodiversity and be part of a baseline study in WA.
  • Learn about organisms’ and ecosystems’ resilience or response to climate change and the tools and knowledge to monitor changes in your local area.

Australian Curriculum
S (6–10), E (6–10), Priorities – Sust
WA Curriculum

GEO, BIO and S, S&E, E

Leave No Trace -  Exploring minimal human impact actions in the jarrah forest

School Years 8 to 12

(Approximate Ages 13 – 18)
  • Minimising human impact on the natural environment helps to maintain biodiversity.
  • Take part in activities, make decisions and engage in role-play situations in the natural environment to enable you to use Leave No Trace principles to minimise the impacts of activities in the outdoors and help in the development of management strategies for all environments in WA.

Australian Curriculum
S (8–10), Priorities – Sust
WA Curriculum


Biology Stage 2 - Undertaking biodiversity and population studies, understanding conservation in our forests

School Years 10 to 12

(Approximate Ages 15 – 18)
  • WA has unique flora and fauna that must be conserved for its intrinsic values and for the benefit of present and future generations.
  • Explore the adaptations of flora and fauna in dry sclerophyllous forest and the scientific methods used to measure and monitor the recovery of threatened animal species through the Western Shield program.
  • Conservation biology will be highlighted with management processes and strategies practised.

Australian Curriculum
S (10), Priorities – Sust, A&TSI
WA Curriculum

2A BIO, 2B BIO, S, S&E

Geography/Society and Environment - Learn about the forces which shaped our extraordinary environment

School Years 10 to 12

(Approximate Ages 15 – 18)
  • WA is a place of ancient landscapes hosting some of the highest biodiversity in the world.
  • Investigate the unique adaptations of the flora and fauna of the sclerophyllous forest to landforms, soils, climate and fire and examine human impacts and the management issues which arise in conserving this exceptional ecosystem.
  • A guided walk and hands-on fieldwork activities, using geographical thinking and skills to explore issues surrounding forest uses and values past, present and into the future.

Australian Curriculum
S (10), H (8–10), Priorities – Sust, A&TSI
WA Curriculum


Fire:  a force of life and a natural hazard - Understanding the importance of fire management in WA

School Years 10 to 12

(Approximate Ages 15 – 18)
  • Take a guided walk and engage in geographic or biological fieldwork to examine the impacts of fire on the ecosystem.
  • Gain an understanding of the role fire has played in the evolution of our forests and of Aboriginal burning practices to manage the environment.
  • Learn about the difference in behaviour between bushfires and prescribed burning.
  • Find out the importance of applying scientific and geographic learning to our understanding of fire in the environment and how fire management is not only used to protect life and property but also to protect and enhance biodiversity.
  • When booking please indicate whether you want a Geography or Biology focus.

Australian Curriculum
S (10), H (8–10), Priorities – Sust, A&TSI
WA Curriculum

GEO, BIO, OED and S, S&E

Our South West - A range of management issues impact upon the
biodiversity of the South West

School Years 10 to 11

(Approximate Ages 15 – 17)
  • WA’s geological formations and climate conditions have generated a unique sclerophyllous forest now under threat from a multitude of human activities.
  • Carry out mapping exercises and fieldwork to investigate the biodiversity of our South West jarrah forests.
  • Understand the management issues arising from the impacts of introduced flora and fauna, land clearing, erosion, salinity, dieback, fertiliser and pesticides on this ecosystem.

Australian Curriculum
S 8-10 Priorities – Sust, A&TSI
WA Curriculum

BIO, GEO, OED and S, S&E, E

Sustainable forests - Gain an insight into the principles and practices
of sustainable forest management

School Years 10 to 11

(Approximate Ages 15 – 17)
  • Explore the management of forests in providing a sustainable source of timber while reducing the risk to the natural environment.
  • Find out about how we ensure that the forests can still be enjoyed for their many other values.
  • Engage in field techniques employed by forest managers to determine sustainable timber harvests and treatment of stands to maximise production while maintaining or enhancing biodiversity.

Australian Curriculum
S (10), E (10), M (10), H, Priorities – Sust,
WA Curriculum

GEO, BIO, ISC, EES and S, S&E, E


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Learning in the forest
(image courtesy of the Department of Parks and Wildlife)



A unique perspective
(image courtesy of the Department of Parks and Wildlife)


Collecting data
(image courtesy of the Department of Parks and Wildlife)


Ride In - Ride Out


to the exhilarating

mountain bike trails

Ride In - Ride Out


Reinvigorating walks

on our doorstop

Ride In - Ride Out


Popular walk & cycle trail

at the end of our driveway

Ride In - Ride Out


camp amidst the Jarrah, Marri and Karri trees

Ride In - Ride Out


Huge undercover area

for all seasons