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Observatory Hill Environmental Education Centre

Observatory Hill Environmental Education Centre

Leading environmental education to empower learners for a sustainable future.

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Tourism - an economic activity

Tourism – an economic activity supports the Stage 6 Geography topic People and economic activity. It focuses on a case study of Taronga Zoo as a tourism enterprise operating at a local level. The program is a partnership between Observatory Hill EEC and Taronga Zoo Sydney Education Centre

Program dates

2021 Excursion Dates:

  • Term 1 Thursday 18th March
  • Term 2 Friday 14th May
  • Term 2 Wednesday 16th June
  • Term 3 Tuesday 20th July
  • Term 3 Wednesday 1st September
  • Term 4 Tuesday 23rd November

Program location

Taronga Zoo Sydney Mosman

Download the tourism excursion map (PDF 478.1KB) with meeting point or view the interactive google map. Please note, if arriving by ferry, buses meet ferries for transfer to the Zoo entrance. 

Key inquiry question

A geographic study of an economic enterprise operating at a local scale.

Key syllabus outcomes

Students will:

  • analyse the changing spatial and ecological dimensions of an economic activity
  • evaluate environmental management strategies in terms of ecological sustainability
  • plan geographical enquiries to analyse and synthesise information from a variety of sources
  • apply maps, graphs and statistics and fieldwork to analyse and integrate data in geographical contexts.

Integrating the ‘Sustainability’ Cross Curriculum Priority is a feature of the program.

Skills outcomes

Learning activities include:

  • observing and recording aspects of the nature of the economic enterprise, its locational factors, and ecological dimensions and linkages and flows of people, goods, services or ideas within the economic enterprise
  • developing Geographic Inquiry Skills including: Acquiring (what is where), Processing (why is it there), and Communicating (why care)
  • answering a fieldwork question; “Describe the nature and location of your economic enterprise, any environmental constraints on it, and any impacts it may have on the environment. List any effects of global changes in the tourism industry on the operation of your economic enterprise. Describe in detail one linkage or flow of people, goods, services or ideas within the economic enterprise”.

Student pre-visit and follow up activities

Successful fieldwork visits have direct links to current classroom learning. Pre-visit activities carried out prior to the excursion will help students better understand their excursion content and provide connectedness and relevance to classroom learning.

The following tasks, together with fieldwork, will help students answer the fieldwork question:

Download the student previsit and follow up activity worksheet (DOCX 50.6KB)

Visit the virtual tour support website: https://sites.google.com/education.nsw.gov.au/obhill-pea-tourism/home

On the day activities

During the full day fieldwork excursion, students will:

  • listen to an introductory presentation on the global tourism industry and Taronga Zoo Sydney as an example of a local economic enterprise within the tourism industry.
  • undertake a guided tour through Taronga Zoo to investigate its operations, including back of house areas not usually accessible to the public
  • observe and record linkages and flows of people, goods, services and ideas 
  • have opportunities to use their own cameras to document their fieldwork activities


  • DoE - $15.50 per student (GST free). 
  • Non Government School $25.50 per student (GST free). 

Excursion program downloads

Download these documents to help with your excursion planning: