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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.

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 and compare them to long-term climate data
  • 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.

Recommended excursion sites

  • Wattamolla - loop track around Providential Headland
  • Reids Flat, Audley (if you are travelling from a distance this reduces bus time)