Tertiary Rocky Shores

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Second Nature Education offers an amazing variety of educational and experiential programs to a variety of rocky shore 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, Environmental Science, Environmental Education etc.). We can also tailor programs upon request. By participating in a “Rocky Shores” program, students gain a comprehensive understanding and awareness of the importance of rocky shore ecosystems through direct interaction with the natural environment (excursions) or through a virtual rockpool investigation (incursions).

Trip Overview

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


  • Climbing along the rocks at the beach
  • Peeking into rock pools
  • Sketching
  • Map-reading/comprehension
  • Biodiversity surveys
  • Identification using age-appropriate keys
  • Scientific equipment use (anemometers/barometers/thermometers etc.)
  • Use of magnifying glasses e.g. to observe patterns and ridges on shellfish
  • Identifying adaptations of rocky shores (salinity/exposure/predation etc.)
  • Talking to a National Park Ranger!

More Information



  • Guided walk along the rocky shore looking at zonation
  • Crab and shellfish identification activity
  • “Magic spot” quiet reflection and field sketch
  • Discussion of adaptations for living in such a harsh environment
  • Field work (quadrat or transect studies)


  • An age-appropriate interactive PowerPoint presentation
  • Investigation of rocky shore adaptations using samples taken from a living ecosystem
  • Virtual rockpool exploration and biodiversity quadrat (optional)
  • Crab and shellfish identification activity
  • Active “Food Chains and Food Webs” game
  • Quiz (with prizes!) to assess comprehension
Educational Outcomes
  • Awareness and knowledge of rocky shores
  • Appreciation for the diversity of rocky shore organisms
  • A basic understanding of how rocky shore systems work including knowledge of food chains/webs and habitats
  • Awareness of the impacts of human activities on rocky shores both locally and globally
  • Knowledge of local and largescale environmental issues affecting rocky shores including global warming, invasive species and pollution
  • Learning of sustainable behaviours that minimise these issues
  • A sense of connection to and feeling of stewardship towards Australia’s rocky shores
  • An understanding of the complex processes involved in managing our rocky shores in a sustainable manner.

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

08:30 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
09:30 Arrive at destination.  Walk to study site
09:45 Activity Session 1 Rocky shores have distinctive zonation patterns. That is to say, different colonies of shellfish and crustaceans can be found at varying distances from the shoreline depending on their tolerance for physical factors such as salinity, light intensity, temperature, etc. During this activity, your guides will walk you through the three distinct zones on the rocky shore and assist you to identify animals at each stop.
10:45 Activity Session 2 Rocky shores provide critical habitat for highly specialized animals. They are also an important food source for migrating shore birds. During this activity, you will learn about the importance of the rocky shore ecosystem and will take note of any human impacts directly visible (or not) in the immediate environment. During this time, you will also complete a field sketch of the rocky shore and beach beyond.
11:45 Lunch at destination Great areas to take a break and enjoy the view!
12:15 Activity Session 3 Students will conduct a line transect and quadrat investigation at the first zone identified in Activity Session 1 (Zone 1). They will later compare the data collected with similar measurements taken at Zones 2 and 3. The quadrat investigation will allow them to calculate species richness and Simpson’s Biodiversity Index in class at a later date.
13:00 Activity Session 4 Another line transect and quadrat investigation at Zone 2.
13:45 Activity Session 5 Another line transect and quadrat investigation at Zone 3.
14:30 Walk back to bus from study site
14:45 Depart destination, back to institution or airport
15:30 Arrive back at institution or airport when required