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Planning a field trip

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There are a few things you should know if you’re planning a group visit to a park or reserve. Use the following information for planning your next field trip.

For your enjoyment and safety, and to ensure your chosen park has the appropriate facilities such as bus parking and toilets, please notify us of your visit, make sure you check park conditions and undertake a site risk assessment.

Keep informed about park conditions

As the organiser of a school excursion it is your responsibility to keep up-to-date with the current conditions in the park and be aware of any closures or hazards that may be in the park. Please refer to the following immediately prior to your visit.

Let us know you’re coming

As part of the Department of Education and Training’s School Policy for Excursions and Activities schools must notify the park prior to any visit.

Please submit a group activity statement to groupactivities@parks.vic.gov.au at least one month prior to your visit.

Group Activity Statement form (Microsoft Word)
Group Activity Statement form (PDF - editable)

The park office will be able to discuss suitable areas in the park for your intended activity as well as provide information about safe group sizes in the park.

This form does not apply to groups of over 100 participants or organised sporting events. In these instances, an Event Permit may be required.

Permit requirements 

In most circumstances, schools visiting a park for educational purposes will not need a permit.

However, activities involving data collection for scientific research may require a research permit, particularly where they involve taking or collecting samples or occur in a national or marine park. Please visit Research Permits for more information on how to apply.

Minimal impact guidelines

These guidelines are designed to help schools access the amazing diversity of Victoria’s natural areas while minimising the impacts to the environment and other park users. All schools are required to follow these guidelines at all times while visiting a park.

Minimal impact guidelines for schools (PDF)

Minimal impact guidelines for marine protected areas (PDF)

Safety guidelines

The Department of Education and Training has developed comprehensive guidelines for planning outdoor activities for use by all Victorian schools. This includes a step-by-step process to risk management including a range of proformas to be used in your school’s excursion approval process, and requirements for adventure activities.

Supporting these guidelines, Parks Victoria provides additional resources below:

  • Traveller Safety - a pre-visit checklist as well as information about what to do in case conditions change during your visit.
  • Tree risk - information about the risk of falling trees and limbs.