Planning an excursion or field trip

There are a few things to be mindful of when planning a student excursion or field trip to a park or reserve. The following information will assist you to manage risk, plan a safe trip and reduce your group’s impact on the environment. 

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. You can subscribe to be notified when planned burns are going to take place, but these notifications can come at very short notice that reflect ideal burn conditions.  

Let us know you’re coming

ParkConnect is Parks Victoria’s online database for visitor communication and emergency management. Registering your upcoming trips and excursions through ParkConnect allows us to organise a coordinated emergency management response with local ranger teams and government departments.  

Please submit an online Education Group Activity form one month prior to your visit to let us know you’re coming. 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


Permit requirements 

In most circumstances, schools visiting a park for educational purposes will not need a permit.

However, activities involving data collection for scientific research may require a research permit, particularly where they involve taking or collecting samples or occur in a national or marine park. Please visit Research Permits for more information on how to apply.


Minimal impact guidelines

These guidelines are designed to help schools access the amazing diversity of Victoria’s natural areas while minimising the impacts to the environment and other park users. All schools are required to follow these guidelines at all times while visiting a park.


Safety guidelines

The Department of Education and Training has developed comprehensive guidelines for planning outdoor activities for use by all Victorian schools. This includes a step-by-step process to risk management including a range of proformas to be used in your school’s excursion approval process, and requirements for adventure activities.

Supporting these guidelines, Parks Victoria provides additional resources below:

  • Traveller Safety - a pre-visit checklist as well as information about what to do in case conditions change during your visit.
  • Tree risk - information about the risk of falling trees and limbs.

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