Tertiary Rainforest Investigation

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Second Nature Education offers an amazing variety of educational and experiential programs to a variety of warm and cool sub-tropical as well as tropical rainforest locations in: Queensland and New South Wales; throughout Australia; and overseas.

All our programs are either tailored to support relevant units within the new curriculum, 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 “Rainforest Investigation” program, students gain a comprehensive understanding and awareness of the importance of rainforest ecosystems through direct interaction with the natural environment (excursions) or through a virtual rainforest investigation (incursions).

Trip Overview

All Tertiary in-class presentations and field trips to rainforest 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 rainforest environments. Alternatively, virtual rainforest investigations allow students who are unable to participate in a field trip to gain a basic understanding of rainforest ecosystems through a well-designed in-class presentation.


  • Getting deep into the rainforest
  • Amazing views of hundred- (sometimes thousand-) year-old rainforest trees!
  • Tasting bush tucker (e.g. native raspberries)
  • Biodiversity surveys
  • Map-reading/comprehension
  • Identification using age-appropriate keys
  • Scientific equipment use (anemometers/barometers/thermometers etc.)
  • Looking for additional evidence of wildlife e.g. scratches from the claws of a monitor!
  • Identifying adaptations of rainforest trees (roots/ wind/ light/ reproduction etc.)
  • Gaining experience in planning and conducting scientific field studies!
  • Talk from a National Park Ranger!

More Information



  • Guided walk through the rainforest
  • Discussion of zoning at a rainforest lookout
  • Rainforest plant identification activity
  • “Magic spot” quiet reflection and field sketch
  • Passing around of propagules and discussion of how they work
  • Presentation on human impacts (observable in the natural environment)
  • Field work (quadrat or transect studies)


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

Below is an example itinerary for a 1-day “Rainforest Investigation” 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 Rainforests rely on an intricate community of plants and animals to sustain ecosystem services (such as water/air purification, carbon sequestration, etc.) that are imperative to human survival and economy. During this activity, you will identify plants and animals of the rainforest. You will then learn about how they interact with each other and their environment (for example, through food webs or nutrient cycling).
10:15 Morning tea
10:45 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 section of rainforest 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!
11:45 Lunch at destination Great areas to take a break and enjoy the scenery
12:45 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. storm damage) or human activity (e.g. regrowth from clear cutting) depending on the objective of your study. The comparison of undisturbed and disturbed sites will later form the basis of the students’ summative field reports.
13:45 Activity Session 4 Australia’s rainforests are popular destinations for ecotourism. In this optional activity, students learn about the concept of ecotourism. They observe the infrastructure in place to support increased traffic through the rainforest and discuss how human impacts are managed sustainably.
14:15 Depart destination, back to institution or airport
15:00 Arrive back at institution or airport when required