There are numbers of adventure and activity operators who have Parks Victoria licenses to operate a range of adventures and activities at Mount Buffalo some of who can facilitate activities suitable for school groups. These include
PARKS VICTORIA MINIMAL IMPACT GUIDELINES FOR SCHOOLS
Natural environments provide an excellent way for students to learn about themselves, the world they live in,
and how humans and nature interact with each other. To help protect these natural areas it is important to make
sure our activities have minimal impact on the environment.
The larger size of many school groups can have a significant impact on the environment. These guidelines are
designed to allow schools access to the amazing diversity of Victoria’s natural areas while minimizing the impacts
to the environment and other park users.
Finding the right location
School groups can choose from a diverse range of
outdoor experiences in Victoria. Information about
the facilities and the types of experiences available in
each park can be found on the Parks Victoria Website.
Contact the land owner or manager
Land managers know the site best. They can provide
advice on the most suitable place for your school visit
that takes into consideration:
Type of activity or experience sought
Sites to avoid – the includes location of fragile or
highly sensitive areas or locations at particular
times such as habitat used for bird breeding
Location of cultural or heritage sites
Schools must contact the local park office prior to
arriving for both day and overnight visits to a national
park. This is for both safety and protection of natural
values of the park and is a requirement of the
Department of Education's Safety Guidelines for
To find local contact details of Parks Victoria offices
call 13 1963.
Familiarize yourself with any specific regulations
for the area you will visit
Prepare for extreme weather, hazards and
Avoid times of peak use if possible
Avoid activities with large groups
Large groups have a greater impact and affects the natural
experience for both the groups and other park
Ensure all students and staff are aware of the
minimal impact guidelines
Outline equipment that students will need such as
plastic bags for carrying out waste
Ensure students pack to minimize rubbish
Visit www.parks.vic.gov.au or call 13 1963.
Students should be briefed on ways they can
minimize their impact. By contacting the park office
beforehand, you may be able to arrange for a park
ranger to deliver minimal impact and safety
messages as well as tell your students about the
great natural features of the park.
During your visit, remember to reinforce good
practices throughout your visit by providing positive
feedback to students. Positive phrasing makes
messages more effective. For example, “Leave things
where they are” instead of “don’t take.”
Tracks are carefully designed to allow people to visit
natural environments while minimizing the impact
on the environment. Staying on track minimizes
erosion, limits spreading of diseases and weeds, and
helps you from getting lost.
All native plants, animals, geological features,
historical and cultural remains are protected by law
in national parks. Ensure that they remain
Human wastes can contaminate waterways and
cause disease. Make use of toilet facilities where
they exist, even if you don’t really need to go. In areas without toilets:
Take a hand trowel
Choose a spot at least 100m away from campsites and watercourses
,Use a different area each time. This spreads the impact over a wider area
Dig a hole 15cm deep. Bury all faecal waste and paper, mixing it with soil to help decomposition and to discourage animals
Carry out all personal items like sanitary pads and tampons
Parks Victoria manages a range of campsites which
provide a diverse range of experiences for school
groups. These range from large campgrounds with
toilet and shower facilities suitable for larger groups
through to remote locations which may only be
suitable for groups up to six people.
Each campground has a cap on the number of people
who can camp there. These limits vary for each site
so you will need to discuss this with the local park
office. The limits are set to ensure the natural values
of the campground are maintained and to minimise
impacts on the environment and other campers.
Planning is the most important step in minimising
your group’s impact on the environment. Local park
rangers have the best information and advice about
selecting the right campground to suit your needs.
Call Parks Victoria on 13 1963 to discuss which
parks provide suitable camping experiences for
Discuss issues such as maximum group size
allowed for the campground and if bookings are
required, access to toilets and other information
specific to the chosen site.
Take only what is essential
Leave radios and other loud devices at home
Ensure you have sufficient containers to carry out all of your group’s rubbish
Setting up camp
It is important that your camp site is well set up for a
Camp in designated spaces only. If there are no
more spaces left then the campground is full
Keep your group together. This ensures that
there is enough space for others to also use the
Place tents on sandy or hard surfaces rather than
boggy or vegetated areas
Digging trenches around tents is unnecessary –
erect tents on a well-drained site
Keep noise levels down at night. Noise can scare
away native animals and disturb other campers
Ensure you follow the minimal impact guidelines
for rubbish, waste and fires
Food and wastes
Native animals have adapted over time to the food
found in nature. Human food can make animals sick.
Feeding can also make animals reliant on humans for
food, which may lead to aggressive behaviour.
Keep your food and wastes in a secure container.
Plastic bags are not secure – animals can easily
rip these open
Be careful with food in tents. Wombats can eat
through tent walls and some possums can open
Detergents, toothpaste and all types of soap harm
fish and wildlife.
Don’t wash in streams and lakes - Wash at least
Scatter the washwater so that it filters through
Use gritty sand and a scourer instead of soap to