Tuesday, 21 July, 2020 - 14:45
Students on a school excursion in the NT

What can an NT Learning Adventure offer your students?

The vast Northern Territory offers amazing school excursion opportunities; different to any other you’ve experienced. What other single destination can you learn about environmental science, geology, Australian aboriginal history, pioneer, pastoral and military history, indigenous language and culture, innovative technology, remote health and education services, renewable energy and sustainability?  The Northern Territory has all this and more!

The Red Centre has long been an iconic pilgrimage destination for Australian students. Thousands of students have life-long memories of sunrise and sunsets at Uluru, sleeping under vivid dazzling desert stars, group photos at the NT border and adventurous road trips. Whilst an introductory tour of the Northern Territory will provide an amazing life experience, enrich personal development and develop essential life skills, there are boundless opportunities to add learning experiences to your tour to increase educational outcomes.

The Northern Territory’s story is as unique as the experiences on offer. Guided camel rides at Uluru, sustainability and space science in the heart of the desert, hands-on opportunities with native and endemic wildlife and dedicated history based experiences each with an extraordinary tale to tell are just a few.

Interactive and immersive indigenous cultural activities are available right across the Territory. Students can paint their own artwork masterpiece, learn how to find and prepare bush tucker, listen to ancient creation stories and try their hand at the didgeridoo, spear-throwing or basket-weaving. Indigenous immersion programs within community schools are available in the Red Centre, Katherine, Kakadu and Arnhem Land.

If your school is looking for a change of pace, look to the Top End where nature, history and multi-culturalism collide and all cross-curriculum priorities are addressed. A 7–10 day tour through Darwin, Katherine and Kakadu will present opportunities to discover ancient and modern culture, environmental sciences and biology, explore diverse habitats, landforms and waterways, and learn about the unique people and places that are the pulse of the Top End. Your students can cruise pristine wetlands or rich harbour waters, learn pastoral and agricultural history on working stations, see crocodiles up close, visit a temple and explore amazing geological formations and picturesque waterfalls in expansive national parks infused with ancient culture.

On an excursion to the NT, students will disconnect from screens and re-connect with nature, form life long friendships and life time memories. Students genuinely appreciate the real experiences the NT offers. Sharing remote travel with classmates and teachers cements friendships and  creates more aware, resilient, capable and connected leaders.

Tourism NT has created NT Learning Adventures, a collaboration of NT tour, transport, accommodation and attraction operators which, together with suggested itineraries, will assist you plan your excursion to the NT.

There are numerous local tour operators, as well as interstate-based partners with extensive experience in developing and delivering customised itineraries to suit requirements of individual schools, taking into consideration your timeframe, price-point, activity and accommodation preferences and curriculum outcome requirements.

Over the last 6 years, Tourism NT has hosted annual familiarisation trips to the Northern Territory to showcase some of the educational opportunities on offer, and demonstrate how curriculum and cross-curriculum priorities are addressed. These tours alternate annually between the Red Centre and the Top End.

Following the 2019 Top End teacher famil, Geography teacher Dave Olrich of NSW commented “Thanks so so so much for putting this thing all together. The opportunity to see NT was amazing”. Dave is planning a collaborative senior geography excursion in 2020 with another teacher from the tour. Fellow participant, Aboriginal Education Coordinator Cameron Thomson said “Thanks for everything! Loved it up here and our students will too!”

The Central Australia 2018 familiarisation was a resounding success. South Australian teacher Monica Megann commented “This journey into understanding and appreciation of the NT, in particular Indigenous culture, has been most rewarding and valuable. Highlights included engaging with local Aboriginal people, painting, cycling, camel riding, and the Desert and of course Uluru. I've come back a changed person.”

The trips are planned with Curriculum outcomes a primary focus.  Catherine Jeffrey of NSW recognised this in her feedback “All of the indicated experiences were of high quality and had something to offer in the way of real life and authentic experiences. It is superb, very well planned and a diversity of experiences are offered.”

Natalie Wood, a high school teacher from Victoria said schools should place more emphasis on Australian explorations rather than international trips, as she came to the realisation that our own backyard is rich with history and culture. “What NT Learning Adventures has achieved is having the tourism operators directly inform the schools of the educational purposes behind a trip to the NT,” she said. Natalie was successful in producing a proposal to offer a school trip to the Top End in place of a Gold Coast or international trip.

To receive more information on NT excursion options, or receive our quarterly education newsletter, contact: [email protected]