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Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

Royal National Park Environmental Education Centre

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Factors that shape places

Geography - Factors that Shape Places

Supports the Geography teaching framework - contemporary land use issue

Wattamolla is a perfect case study for factors that shape places due to its increasing popularity. Students use the geographical inquiry process and tools to investigate Wattamolla and formulate a plan for its future management.

Book during whale season (peak June-July) for an opportunity to whale watch.

Program feedback

"I think we hit the jackpot today. [Our teachers] were so knowledgable, always willing to answer questions, able to ask the students effective questions to get them thinking and they totally engaged the students all day. We will be rebooking this excursion in the future. Thank you."

Key syllabus outcomes

  • Students describe the diverse features and characteristics of places and environments (GE3-1)
  • Students explain interactions and connections between people, places and environments (GE3-2)
  • Students compare and contrast influences on the management of places and environments (GE3-3)
  • Students acquire, process and communicate geographical information using geographical tools for inquiry (GE3-4)

Key inquiry questions

  • How do people and environments influence one another?
  • How do people influence places and the management of spaces within them?

Inquiry question

  • What is the impact of increased visitation at Wattamolla?


Geography – Factors that Shape Places


  • investigate the ways people change the natural environment in Australia and another country, for example: (ACHGK026, ACHGK027)
    • examination of how people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, have influenced each country’s environmental characteristics eg land clearing
  • investigate how the natural environment influences people and places, for example: (ACHGK028)
    • discussion of how climate influences the distribution of where people live
    • comparison of how landforms influence where and how people live in Australia and another country
  • investigate how people influence places, for example: (ACHGK029)
    • description of who organises and manages places eg local and state governments
    • examination of a local planning issue; the different views about it and a possible action in response to it

Learning Experiences


  • complete a loop bushwalk south on the Coast Track and out to the lookout at Providential Point
  • identify natural features and draw a labelled field sketch
  • use fieldwork tools to measure weather conditions
  • observe and identify clouds using a cloud chart
  • safely collect and sort litter and consider the amount of time different types of litter last in the environment
  • observe preserved animals to link littering to an impact on animals and the environment
  • use GPS devices (Garmin etrex 20x) in small groups to complete a geocache (geography scavenger hunt) around the Wattamolla picnic area.

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