Self-guided education visits
Supporting teachers to lead their own park visits and activities
Many of Victoria's parks, reserves, and waterways provide great sites for bush kinder, excursions, fieldwork, sporting events, camps, hikes and adventure activities. The following information will assist you to manage risk, plan a safe trip and reduce your group’s impact on the environment. Download the relevant handbook at the bottom of the page for year-level specific preparation advice.
Let us know you’re coming
Once you’ve decided on a location, organised your excursion according to your school’s procedures and policies, and completed the Department of Education and Training’s Student Activity Locator (if required), there are some steps you can follow to let Parks Victoria know about your visit. Following Parks Victoria’s registration and permit processes helps everyone to tread lightly, while ensuring that your group can be contacted and kept safe during an emergency.
Registering your visit on ParkConnect
ParkConnect is Parks Victoria’s online database for managing school visitor emergencies. Submitting an online Education Group Activity form at least one month in advance helps us to better understand your planned visit(s) and keep you safe by organising a coordinated emergency management response with local ranger teams and government departments if required.
User guides are available on ParkConnect to assist you with creating an account and submitting your forms.
Planning a trip for over 100 participants or organising a sporting event such as cross country? The Education Group Activity form does not apply to groups of 100 or more, and you may need to apply for an Event Permit.
Travelling in smaller groups helps us all to tread lightly on the environment; that’s why Parks Victoria recommends an upper limit of 100 students moving in a group at any one time. Our parks and waterways are governed by sets of specific rules, which at times require permits to undertake activities. These permit processes are in place to ensure school groups know how to limit their impact and protect Victoria’s special places too.
For schools, permits are usually required when you are planning to run an excursion or event with more than 100 students in one location. For more information about permitting, please visit our Event Permit webpage. If you are still unsure if your group will require permit, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 13 19 63.
Minimal Impact Guidelines for Schools
Spending time in national parks, reserves and other protected areas is an excellent way for students to develop positive environmental values and to learn more about the world they live in, and how humans and nature interact with each other. By following our Minimal Impact Guidelines for Schools, you and your students can learn in and about these amazing natural places while helping us to protect them.
The Minimal Impact Guidelines for Schools should inform how you manage your outdoor activities, and should be followed at all times while enjoying our parks, reserves and waterways.
- Minimal impact guidelines for schools (PDF)
- Minimal impact guidelines for marine protected areas (PDF)
Keep informed about park conditions
When learning outdoors, conditions can change at short notice. The following links provide information to keep you up-to-date with changing park conditions. These will assist you to identify risks for your risk management plan and allow you to develop alternative arrangements for keeping students safe in a changing environment.
- Change in park conditions - any change of conditions will be listed on the individual park's page.
- Code red park closures - information about park closures due to Total Fire Ban.
- Planned Burn Notification System - planned burns are coordinated and managed by Forest Fire Management Victoria and can be implemented at short notice as the weather allows. You can subscribe to be notified when planned burns are going to take place but be aware this information can be sent at very short notice.
Excursion and field trip handbooks for teachers
This handbook has been designed to help early childhood educators locate an appropriate park or reserve, tread lightly during time outdoors and know who to contact for more information.
This handbook has been designed to help primary school educators organise an excursion at a Parks Victoria site, tread lightly during outdoor activities and know who to contact for more information.
This handbook has been designed to help secondary school educators organise a field trip to a Parks Victoria site, tread lightly during outdoor activities and know who to contact for more information.