Planning a field trip
There are a few things you should know if you’re planning a group visit to a park or reserve. Use the following information for planning your next field trip.
For your enjoyment and safety, and to ensure your chosen park has the appropriate facilities such as bus parking and toilets, please notify us of your visit, make sure you check park conditions and undertake a site risk assessment.
Keep informed about park conditions
As the organiser of a school excursion it is your responsibility to keep up-to-date with the current conditions in the park and be aware of any closures or hazards that may be in the park. Please refer to the following immediately prior to your visit.
- Change in park conditions - any change of conditions will be listed on the individual park's page.
- Code red park closures - information about park closures due to Total Fire Ban.
- Planned Burn Notification System - subscribe to receive notification when a planned burn is close to being ignited.
Let us know you’re coming
ParkConnect is Parks Victoria’s online database for visitor communication and emergency management. Registering your upcoming trips and excursions through ParkConnect assists us to alert you to any park closures, storm damage or management activities such as planned burns that may affect your visit.
The ParkConnect online database has replaced the old Group Activity Statement process. Please submit an online Education Group Activity form one month prior to your visit to let us know you’re coming.
Planning a trip for over 100 participants or organising a sporting event such as cross country? The Education Group Activity form does not apply to groups of 100 or more, and you may need to apply for an Event Permit.
In most circumstances, schools visiting a park for educational purposes will not need a permit.
However, activities involving data collection for scientific research may require a research permit, particularly where they involve taking or collecting samples or occur in a national or marine park. Please visit Research Permits for more information on how to apply.
Minimal impact guidelines
These guidelines are designed to help schools access the amazing diversity of Victoria’s natural areas while minimising the impacts to the environment and other park users. All schools are required to follow these guidelines at all times while visiting a park.
- Minimal impact guidelines for schools (PDF)
- Minimal impact guidelines for marine protected areas (PDF)
The Department of Education and Training has developed comprehensive guidelines for planning outdoor activities for use by all Victorian schools. This includes a step-by-step process to risk management including a range of proformas to be used in your school’s excursion approval process, and requirements for adventure activities.
Supporting these guidelines, Parks Victoria provides additional resources below:
- Traveller Safety - a pre-visit checklist as well as information about what to do in case conditions change during your visit.
- Tree risk - information about the risk of falling trees and limbs.