Tale of Two Forests

Excursion Program Overview

More than one third of the State of Victoria is public land. State forests, managed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and (DELWP), make up 3.4 million hectares of the State. 

Located 1.5 hours’ drive from the centre of Melbourne is Toolangi State Forest, in the Central Highlands Forest. Central Highlands Forests are important for a range of uses and values. They contain many types of ecosystems, from drier lowland forest, cool temperate rainforest and mountainous Snow Gum woodlands. 

The program gives students the opportunity to explore:

  • The difference between State Forests and National Parks
  • The way different user groups view the forest
  • The living and non-living features of the Mountain Ash and a Cool Temperate Rainforest and what similarities and differences can be observed
  • The timber harvesting process
  • Impacts human use has on our forests

Inclusions and Notes


Equipment supplied by Gould League: Safety helmets worn by all participants; workbook and all tools required for fieldwork data collection.

Equipment needed: A chartered bus (which is required to remain with the group at all times). First aid kit and PPE including hand sanitiser to ensure a Covid safe excursion.

Student needs to bring: Their own water and lunch, sunscreen, a clipboard, pencil, and a copy of the Gould League workbook (usually sent 14 days prior to excursion so copies can be made for students) to guide the forest investigation; bag to take away your rubbish.

Restrictions: This Gould League program is delivered in the Toolangi State Forest, in the North Central Fire District and does not operate on days with a Fire danger rating of Severe, Extreme and Code Red. On rare occasions, programs may be postponed due to extreme weather predictions involving wind/storms. In both cases, these programs will be rescheduled at the earliest convenience of both parties. Programs however DO operate during wet/snowy weather. Plan for wet weather from April-October, and expect temperatures at least 5 degrees colder than suburban Melbourne.

Curriculum Links

GEOGRAPHY: Geographical Concepts and Skills/Data and Information
– Collect and record relevant geographical data and information from useful primary and secondary sources, using ethical protocols (VCGGC102)

Geographical Knowledge: Landforms and Landscapes
– Different types of landscapes and their distinctive landform features (VCGGK116) Elaborations: identifying different types of landscapes, such as coastal, riverine, arid, mountain and karst, and describing examples from around the world, including Antarctica.
– Spiritual, cultural and aesthetic value of landscapes and landforms for people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, that influence the significance of places, and ways of protecting significant landscapes (VCGGK120). Elaboration: identifying different views about the recreational, psychological, aesthetic and spiritual value of particular environments and about the nature and extent of their protection, and discussing how this links to ideas about environmental sustainability
– Human causes of landscape degradation, the effects on landscape quality and the implications for places (VCGGK119). Elaborations:
analysing the effects of erosion and sedimentation produced by human activities on landscape quality, including farming and recreation; examining the effects of mining and quarrying, and urban development, on landscape quality and how this affects places; describing the effects of river regulation, including dams, locks, channel straightening and drains, on riverine and wetland landscape quality; investigating the ways introduced plants or animals or activities such as mining affect landscape quality and examining the effects on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The Victorian Curriculum F-10 content elements are © VCAA, reproduced by permission. Victorian Curriculum F-10 elements accurate at time of publication. The VCAA does not endorse or make any warranties regarding this resource. The Victorian Curriculum F-10 and related content can be accessed directly at the VCAA website.

Program Details

Program LocationToolangi State Forest
Max # of Groups (group max 30)3
Possible Start Times10.00am (9.45am arrival)
Grade LevelYears 7 - 8
Program Duration4 hours
Program TypeExcursion
Program ThemeForests, Human Impacts, State Forests, National Parks, Mountain Ash, Rainforest
Cost per group $540