Tertiary Heathland

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Second Nature Education offers an amazing variety of educational and experiential programs to a variety of heathland environments in: Queensland and New South Wales; throughout Australia; and overseas.

All our programs are tailored to support a chosen unit of study or as specifically requested by our clients.

What we provide

  • Award-winning educators/ facilitators
  • Itineraries and Flyers
  • Curriculum-based work-booklets
  • All relevant equipment (supplying up to 150x students per session)
  • Example assessment tasks
  • Transportation options (we provide quotes to utilise our own buses for every excursion and can purchase all relevant flights relating to your program where applicable)
  • Pre/Post Excursion Activities (usually a PPP)
  • Risk Assessment (location specific)
  • Variety of field-work locations (where available)
  • Accommodation options (we provide quotes to utilise the most affordable and most appropriate accommodation to suit your needs)
  • Catering options (we provide quotes to utilise our own in-house catering service for every excursion (where available) and/or catering through a third-party provider

Tertiary (TAFE/University) Programs

Our Tertiary Education programs have been developed for specific units of study within a variety of courses (e.g. Botany, Ecology, Vertebrate Biology, Environmental Science, Environmental Education etc.). We can also tailor programs upon request. By participating in a “Heathland” program, students gain a comprehensive understanding and awareness of the importance of heathland and coastal/desert ecosystems through direct interaction with the natural environment (excursions) or through a virtual heathland investigation (incursions).

Trip Overview

All Tertiary in-class presentations and field trips to heathland environments come with complimentary assessable work-booklets, which are tailored to the requirements of an institution. Our field trips allow for an in-depth, methodical and structured investigation of heathland and coastal/desert environments. Alternatively, virtual heathland investigations allow students who are unable to participate in a field trip to gain a basic understanding of heathland and coastal/desert ecosystems through a well-designed in-class presentation.


  • Exploring an exciting new ecosystem!
  • Sketching
  • Map-reading/comprehension
  • Biodiversity surveys
  • Identifying adaptations of xerophytic plants (heat/light/water/reproduction etc.)
  • Identification of plants and animals suited to the desert using age-appropriate keys
  • Scientific equipment use (anemometers/barometers/thermometers etc.)
  • Looking for additional evidence of wildlife (bird nests etc.)
  • Use of binoculars (e.g. bird watching)
  • Quadrat and line transect activities

More Information



  • Exploration of 1-2 heathland or coastal/desert environments
  • Xerophytic plant identification activity
  • Bird identification activity
  • Field sketch of environment/s
  • Presentation on human impacts and management (observable in the natural environment)
  • Field work (quadrat or transect studies)


  • An age-appropriate interactive PowerPoint presentation
  • Investigation of xerophytic plant adaptations using samples taken from a living ecosystem
  • Bird and plant identification activities
  • Passing around of items found in heathland
  • Active “Food Chains and Food Webs” game
  • Quiz (with prizes!) to assess comprehension
Educational Outcomes
  • Awareness and knowledge of heathland and coastal/desert environments
  • Appreciation for the diversity of heathland organisms
  • A basic understanding of how heathland systems work including knowledge of food chains/webs, habitats and propagules.
  • Awareness of the impacts of human activities on heathland and coastal/desert environments both locally and globally
  • Knowledge of local and largescale environmental issues affecting heathland and coastal/desert environments including invasive species and pollution, as well as habitat destruction and fragmentation
  • Learning of sustainable behaviours that minimise these issues
  • A sense of connection to and feeling of stewardship towards Australia’s heathland and coastal/desert environments
  • An understanding of the complex processes involved in managing our heathland and coastal/desert environments in a sustainable manner.

Below is an example itinerary for a 1-day heathland excursion. All excursion packages include the necessary work booklets and equipment.

09:00 Tour group pick- Second Nature have a fleet of vehicles available to cater for any number of passengers (within reason). We can provide transport to and from institutions and airports
09:45 Arrive at destination for Activity session 1 Australia’s heathlands are home to a unique community of plants and animals that have pioneered some bizarre and impressive adaptations to cope with a dynamic semi-arid environment. During this activity, you will identify plants and animals of the heathland and nearby beach (or desert). You will take note of the adaptations they use to survive in their environment and draw a lateral view of the visible plant communities as an initial field sketch.
10:45 Morning tea
11:15 Field Work Session 1 Line transects and quadrat surveys are frequently utilised by field scientists to monitor how an area changes over time. During this activity, students will be divided into groups to assess an undisturbed area of heathland using techniques explained by our guides. The activity will involve taking measurements of physical factors using supplied equipment and recording results in a data collection table. This is excellent hands on experience in the field!
12:15 Lunch at destination Great areas to take a break and enjoy the scenery
13:15 Field Work Session 2 Students will conduct a contrasting line transect and or quadrat survey at a second study site. This site will have been disturbed by natural processes (e.g. wind erosion) or human activity (e.g. invasive species). The comparison of undisturbed and disturbed sites will later form the basis of the students’ summative field reports.
14:15 Depart destination, back to institution or airport
15:00 Arrive back at institution or airport when required