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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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S1 Features of Places

On this exciting day of outdoor learning, through games and activities, students will enjoy investigating the importance of different places and features for people and the environment. Students will explore Circular Quay, Bennelong Point, Cadman’s Cottage and historic George St observing and recording human and natural features and how these sites are cared for. Through hands-on play, students will observe, collect data and build maps as a geographical tool for inquiry as they make connections and sense of the world around them. Every student participating in this excursion on the iconic Sydney Harbour will have an unforgettable, rich learning experience.

Program location

The Rocks and Circular Quay. View the interactive google map with approximate walking route, meeting location and pick up location. Please note the bus drop off and pick up point is the bus bay at Argyle Place, at the base of Observatory Hill. Public transport is also available at Circular Quay station 

Key inquiry question

  • What are the natural and human features of places?
  •  How can spaces within a place be used for different purposes?’
  • How can we care for places?

Key syllabus outcomes

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

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

Skills outcomes

  •  apply geographic tools for geographical enquiry 
  • develop skills to aquire, process and communicate geographical information.

Student pre-visit and follow up activities

Successful excursions 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.

View the excursion Support Website for information and activities to enhance student's understanding about the excursion content. 

On the day activities

During the full day fieldwork excursion, students will:

  • Visit the iconic Circular Quay and The Rocks to learn about a special 'human made' place. 
  • participate in a simple mapping (transect) activity along George St, The Rocks, to classify how people use urban spaces.
  • construct a simple map/model of Circular Quay showing the main features of this 'special place' including the Opera house and Harbour bridge. 
  • learn about natural and human features of places and how people use (and care for) different spaces in the city. They also sketch an iconic human feature, ie Opera House of Harbour Bridge). 


  • Government schools: $15 per student
  • Non-government schools: $25 per student (GST free). Minimum cost of $600.

Excursion program downloads

  • Features of Places Flyer  - Coming Soon. (500kb)