Rumbalara Environmental Education Centre

Telephone02 4324 7200


Geography Year 7 to 12

The diverse natural environments of the Central Coast provide wonderful opportunities to apply geographical knowledge and skills. Students participating in Rumbalara's programs apply a range of fieldwork techniques to collect data on current natural resource management issues.

All programs are supported with background materials, worksheets and teacher resources including maps, newspaper articles, scientific reports, and community consultation presentations. Locations and programs can be adapted to suit. 


Place & Liveability: Stage 4

Gosford Central Business District is an area undergoing significant change. During this excursion students will investigate proposed changes to the area and assess liveability at three sites; Gosford station, Kibble Park and the waterfront/leagues club park.

During the day students will walk from Gosford Waterfront Reserve to Gosford Station. Activities include:

  • constructing and using a liveability index to assess areas within the study site
  • visiting the Department of Planning Information Centre and discussing the role of local and state government in planning for Gosford
  • assessing proposed changes to Gosford CBD and viewing of an artists’ impression of changes
  • conducting a survey of types of businesses and services in Mann St
  • comparing abiotic features across 3 different sites
  • viewing historical photos and discussing change over time

Download the Stage 4 Place & Liveability brochure for more information.

Landscapes and Landforms: Stage 4

An Investigation focused on forest landscapes and its key characteristics.

Sites that the program may occur at consist of Wyrrabalong North National Park/ Bouddi National Park-Maitland Bay.

Activities include:

  • A bush walk to identify human impacts and management and protection issues;
  • investigating the Aboriginal use of the area;
  • using geographical tools such as maps, compasses and field sketches.

Download our Stage 4 Landscapes & Landforms brochure for more information.

Water In Our World: Stage 4

Program overview

Students will investigate a local creek or water way includingand conducting habitat assessments and water quality tests to assess humans impact and environmental healthuse of as water as of this a critical resource. A full day program can also include a school water audit.

Note: This field work can run in conjunction with a visit to Mardi Dam with Central Coast Council (bookings for Mardi Dam made through Council).

Download our Stage 4 Water in our World brochure here. 

Environmental Change and Management: Stage 5

Program overview

Investigation of the biophysical processors associated with coastal environments.

Sites that the program may occur at consist of Cabbage Tree Bay, Terrigal and Wamberal or Norah Head and Lakes Beach.

Students engage with the issues through authentic hands-on investigations:

  • measuring beach characteristics (beach profile, vegetation transect, sand sizing, longshore drift, wind, waves and much more)
  • investigating the management of coastal erosion and the perspectives of different stakeholders
  • using geographical tools such as maps, compasses, field sketches and surveys
  • water quality measures related to the Terrigal lagoon catchment.

The Terrigal field trip includes measuring water quality related to land use in the lagoon catchment.

The Cabbage Tree Bay field trip includes measuring abiotic factors in a littoral rainforest walk.

Download our Stage 5 Environmental Change & Management brochure here.

Sustainable Biomes: Stage 5

Program overview

Investigation of the human alteration of biomes to produce food and the environmental effects of these alterations. A case study of a beef cattle property will be demonstrated.

Sites that the program may occur at consist of Glenola Farm and Yarramalong.

Activities include:

  • mapping the sustainability features of the farm
  • water testing of Wyong River
  • soil health and compaction survey of three sites
  • measuring abiotic features to compare the effects of vegetated and cleared areas
  • a guest speaker visiting from Central Coast Council on the history and use of the farm (subject to availability).

Download our Stage 5 Sustainable Biomes brochure for more information.

Note: This program could also run at Avoca Lagoon

Earth's Natural Systems: Stage 6

Program Overview

Students will explore Rumbalara's diverse landscapes and distinctive physical features. they will investigatethe threats and effects of bushfires as a way to understand Earth's natural systems, including processes, cycles and circulations connecting natural systems.

The fieldwork will allow students to understand how natural areas on the Central Coast are managed within the Coastal Open Space System (COSS). the study can also include a focus on human-environment interactions, in particular bushfire and climate change.

Before their visit, students will have access to a Google site containing supporting informationsuch as spatial information and maps, historical weather data, historical bushfire data, Aboriginal use of Rumbalara and flora and fauna information.

Activities include:

  • comparing two different vegetation communities using a variety of instruments to measure abiotic factors including anemometers, light meters, clinometers and soil testing instruments
  • using water testing equipment to measure the quality of the water at Rumbalara Reserve and explain how the hydrosphere effects the rest of the biophysical environment.
  • assessing human impact at Rumbalara Reserve

Download our  Stage 6 Earth's Natural Systems brochure for more information.

Ecosystems at Risk: Stage 6

Program overview

At Avoca Lagoon students will investigate the endangered Green and Gold Bell Frog, urban impacts on water quality, and conduct a kayak based survey of impacts and endangered ecological communities.

Download our Stage 6 Ecosystems at Risk Avoca brochure for more information.

At Porters Creek Wetland students will study the management and impacts of stormwater runoff from a rapidly expanding urban area. Students investigate stormwater treatment devices, wetland ecosystems and measure water quality and the impact of changed hydrology on plants.  

Download our Stage 6 Ecosystems at Risk Porter's Creek brochure for more information.

Special Programs

Programs overview

School Environment Management

Sustainability in action.  Assesses the schools use of resources using geographical tools and inquiry skills. Investigates:

  • waste systems
  • energy use and efficiency
  • water use and efficiency
  • stormwater runoff including litter
  • biodiversity and landscapes.

Future Council

Stage 5 students experience the cut and thrust of local politics as they sit in the Council chambers to consider issues in a mock council meeting

Professional Learning (by request)

Trains students in fieldwork skills, GIS/GPS technologies, environmental sustainability, local area history, landforms and issues.