Taking students into the setting they’re studying is arguably the best educational tool; the following has been designed to make planning a field trip to the Australian Alps as simple as possible.
- Try to arrange your visit between November and April when the weather is most favourable and most of the snow has melted.
- Seek information from the relevant ACT, NSW or Victorian park management agency before your field trip. Ask about any local experts who might be able to help you with your study and try to find out how long it will take to get to a particular site or sites.
- Please be considerate of the sensitive environments within the Australian Alps national parks. This is especially important for large school groups and this link will help you and your group minimise your impact on the environment – leave no trace.
Care and safety
Ensure you plan for comfort, safety and any special needs in order to undertake your study effectively. Weather in the Alps is changeable. Not only does it change with altitude, but conditions change rapidly and with little warning. Snow can fall at any time of the year and strong winds are common.
Your group needs to be fully prepared for extremes in weather, regardless of the time of the year. Make the assumption that your group participants have not experienced adverse conditions in the Alps before, and emphasise the need to bring all the items from the following checklist.
Each person should bring:
- day pack for spare clothes
- jumper, gloves and hat all made of fabric which stays warm when wet (e.g. wool is ideal, cotton is not)
- waterproof jacket with hood
- drinking water and food
- sunhat and sunscreen
- sturdy shoes or boots
- plastic bag to carry out rubbish
- whistle, in case you are separated from your group
The group must have:
- first aid kit
- rescue blanket or bivvy bag
- a procedure in the event that someone is injured
- map and compass
- emergency food including high energy food
- a plan for the day that everyone knows, including someone at your school and your accommodation centre
- a mobile phone – note that you might not always have service
- if venturing into more remote areas where mobile phone coverage is likely to be limited, consider carrying a personal locator beacon (PLB) in case of emergency. Contact your relevant Alps national park agency – some national park offices hire beacons at very reasonable rates.