Tuesday, 24 August, 2021 - 14:15
travelling locally on school trips

If your students are accustomed to annual international school excursions to volunteer in Africa or cultural immersion trips to Nepal then the thought of travelling to your local beach for a team building event might not be high on the excitement scale. 

While this may have been the feeling before the global pandemic, COVID fatigue and months of lock down has got schools rethinking excursion destinations. With international travel not looking likely before mid 2022 many educators are now researching local options, taking a fresh look at intrastate travel and noticing that local attractions can offer exceptional value and that there are many high-quality experiences that complement their educational outcomes.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a simple inner-city park orienteering activity, a guided alpine walk or a grander school excursion to the outback or great barrier reef, there is clearly a renewed sense of appreciation for the beauty, adventure and the exploration opportunities intrastate travel and local excursions can offer.

Local Destinations in the Spotlight

There is no doubt that there are plenty of advantages to traveling locally and the most significant at this time is

  • A reduced risk of border dashing due to snap lockdowns
  • Less time spent travelling to your destination means reduced transport cost
  • Limiting travel distances means more time for activities.
  • Shorter travelling distances also means you limit your carbon footprint
  • There are typically less risk assessments to complete when compared to international trips
  • Good value for money is especially significant since many families have been financially affected by COVID19, travelling locally means more affordable excursions making this experience accessible to more students. 

Coach trips are a great way for exploring every corner of your state and an opportunity to take in all the details that are not possible when you fly. Small-town attractions, local monuments, delicious eateries, remote national parks, and picturesque landscapes are all part of a great road trip.

Whether your next excursion is educational, fun filled, or sport centred there are many opportunities in every state to explore, learn and rediscover a whole new way to engage your students. 

Here are a just a few state highlights 

The Northern Territory with its vast horizons and contrasting landscapes the NT provides endless inspiration for students to explore and discover ancient geology, rich Aboriginal culture and important historic events. From the majesty of Uluru to the extraordinary rock art in Kakadu, students can experience an unrivalled and authentic cultural immersion.

Queensland offers an incredible array of Australian experiences from the stunning wild national parks to cultural and indigenous attractions. Outback Queensland represents everything that is considered a “real Australian experience” The Outback offers some unique experiences seen nowhere else in the world and epitomises what it is to have a pioneering spirit. The natural landscape showcases the nation's heritage, culture and provides students with a completely different perspective. Tropical North Queensland has some of the most diverse and species rich tropical rainforest with the Great Barrier Reef as the backdrop. An excursion to North Queensland combines adventure and relaxation within some of the greatest environmental wonders of the world. 

Victoria is home to world class arts and cultural heritage institutions. Melbourne hosts some of the world's most dynamic festivals and you will find everything in between from spectacular mountain hikes to national parks. Learn to surf, view the smallest penguin in the world on Phillip island, make cheese or practice your chocolate making skills, take a gold mine tour deep underground or experience colonial life at Sovereign hill.  If you are looking to cover arts, culture, history, geography, science or humanities this state will keep your students busy for weeks!  

The Australian Capital Territory hosts over 165,000 Australian students each year. Canberra’s vast collection of high-quality educational programmes cover topics such as civics, citizenship history, arts and technology. It seems the Capital expands their offering each year with many schools including Mt Stromlo, Amazing Race and adventure activities such as orienteering, making this an educationally compressive destination.

South Australia is bursting with spectacular scenery, pristine beaches, rich culture and wildlife. Where else can you swim with sea lions, dolphins and get up close with wild koalas and kangaroos. If you're after a digital detox and natural surroundings South Australia offers some of the best educational conservation and sustainability programs.

Tasmania has a fascinating history that invites discovery and exploration. With so many natural wonders, national parks, ancient forests and beautiful beaches Tasmania offers a diverse range of unique learning areas from learning about oyster farming, renewable energy, marine ecology and Antarctic exploration. Tasmania has so many local hidden secrets just waiting to be discovered.

We imagine we know everything about our region but it’s the hidden gems that often have the greatest impact and create lasting memories. Educational travel is a carefully planned combination of experiential learning opportunities, tours and site visits built around meaningful learning objectives and when this experience is crafted by local operators who know their state inside and out and they work with local partners it’s a winning combination that brings the learning outcomes of the Australian curriculum to life.

Remember that every dollar you spend in your state isn’t just helping students to connect with their community and learn more about their state’s rich history, your support stimulates local tourism and helps local tour operators, guides, restaurants, attractions and accommodation providers recover in a post pandemic economy.

To find fun and educational school excursions available near you and interstate search www.schoolactivities.com.au 

Author: ClaudineF

Claudine is a people connector with a passion for bringing together communities and organizations for good through travel. With a degree in global business, she left her home country to travel full time with her family while working remotely, designing educational programs and marketing content for international niche markets. “Seeing the positive change that travel inspires in young people is what I am passionate about sharing, adventure has a unique way of teaching you something new”