Kiola Field Trip

Some fine detail changes anticipated for future years. This information is correct for 2023, but please check back closer to the time.
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This 3 day (2 night) field trip helps students gain knowledge of the environmental and social drivers of Kioloa region south east NSW. Held at the ANU Kioloa coastal campus near Batemans Bay, we will make excursions into nearby forest, agricultural lands and onto rock platforms. Working in groups, students will explore the history and issues from informed local knowledge. This trip gives students a unique opportunity to access knowledge at locations they would not otherwise have access to and obtain guidance and assistance from their peers and teachers.

Interested in participating? Read on.

Participating in trips can be a highlight of your university experience; however, it is also important to think carefully about whether it is the right decision for you at this point in time. This page is to help you understand what the trip involves, so that you can make an informed decision. The information is accurate to the best of our ability; however, please be aware that trip plans can change at the last minute. If this may cause issues for you or you need additional information, please talk to the course convenor.

How we can help you participate

For most of our trips, there are lots of options for flexibility that may make it easier for you to take part. This page will tell you about some of them.  Keep in mind, it is not possible for us to anticipate every individual circumstance, so please contact the course convenor if you have other ideas for how we could help you participate. If you would like support discussing your needs with the course convenor or if your discussion didn't go as you expected, please contact the school accessibility contact.

How to participate?

All students enrolled in ENVS1001 and ENVS6101 are eligible to attend.

If you can't participate

Participation is highly recommended as it provides an opportunity to critically consolidate in-class knowledge through the expert local knowledge. There are two departure dates to choose from; both in the same week, first leaving on the Sunday (returning Tuesday), second leaving Tuesday (returning Thursday)

Anyone who will have difficulties attending the Kioloa field trip needs to discuss this with the course convenor.


Activity sites: Forests, farms and rock platforms

The learning activities will involve outdoor walking, talking, listening and observing throughout different habitats surrounding Kioloa. Students may be working in sunny, windy or wet conditions and must bring appropriate protective clothing and sunscreen (details covered in class). Most activities will be carried out at less than 30 minutes walk from field station facilities (toilets, showers etc).

To participate, students should be able to safely traverse the distance from the nearest vehicle access to the location of the field activities. Based on the current plans for the trips, this includes:

  • walking <1km over rough paths at a moderate pace.
  • walking <1km over sand and beach rock at a moderate pace.
  • walking <1km through forest and pasture sites at a moderate pace.

Students who have difficulty with mobility in the field should discuss this with the course convener prior to the trip, even if they can cover the distances described above. The convener will take the students' needs into account if the trip plans change (e.g. due to weather) and in emergency situations. Students with sensory impairments that impact their ability to identify hazards or follow emergency instructions must discuss this with the course convenor at the beginning of semester so we can investigate if there are ways for you to safely participate.

Accommodation: dormitory rooms

Accommodation will be in dormitory rooms of 2 – 4 at the ANU Kioloa campus. Rooms will be allocated to same-gender groups unless mixed-gender rooms are discussed with the convenor prior to the trip. There are shared toilets and showers associated with the buildings. The accommodation does not have air conditioning and only basic heating.

The accommodation at Kioloa has some accessibility features, such as ramps to the accommodation, but lacks others, such as paved paths between buildings. If you need accessible accommodation, please discuss your specific needs with the course convenor at the beginning of semester. We will investigate whether they can be accommodated at the Kioloa campus

Travel: coach 

Travel will be by coach, chartered by the university. Students will leave from the ANU 9am. The trip takes approximately 3 hours, with a break at Braidwood (halfway point) to allow students to stretch, use public toilets, and purchase refreshments. We will return back at campus between 5 and 6pm.


Students should carry their own lunch, nibbles and water for day one.

All catering is provided from the evening meal from day one. Food is supplied / prepared by professional catering staff at the accommodation.  

Students (and staff) are responsible for kitchen clean up after every meal.

A wide range of dietary requirements (Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and allergies) are catered for.

All attending students are required to submit dietary issues one week prior to the field trip.  

If you have a very restrictive diet or allergies to the food other people eat, please discuss this with the convenor at the beginning of semester, so we can investigate the food options available. Students are welcome to bring their own snacks, however cooking facilities will not be available to students

Cost: $200 

Cost is $200 all-inclusive of food, accommodation and travel.

Revised costings each year are undertaken prior to semester commencement and advertised in class and via wattle page. Payment is via the ANU "Science Shop" accessible from the course wattle page OR available to all ANU students.

Health & wellbeing

Look after yourself: 2 nights away from home

For some students, two nights is a long time to be away from support networks and students are strongly encouraged to think about how they will manage their physical and mental health while on the trip. Kioloa is in a remote location, which places a number of constraints on how we can support you to manage your health. Students will be asked to fill out a pre-excursion form and it is very important that you report any existing or potential health issues. This information will assist our first aid officers to support you if you require it. If you need assistance storing equipment or medication, you will need to discuss this before the trip. We can also arrange emergency transport if you need to access medical facilities, however this cannot easily be arranged for routine issues. Also please be aware that the university's insurance policy does not cover pre-existing conditions.

Students will be given a schedule of activities before the trip and need to talk to the convenor before the trip if any may cause a risk to their physical or mental health. We will look for ways for you to safely participate, and if this isn't possible, can develop alternatives. Students should therefore only need to withdraw from an activity in emergency, or genuinely unforeseeable, situations.

You will be living and working in close quarters with other students throughout the trip. For safety reasons, there are limited opportunities for you to spend time on your own and you must let the convenor know where you are at all times. Kioloa has limited mobile reception; there is good coverage on the Telstra network, but other providers won’t work. If you need a bit of time alone, access to a phone or to make calls in private, please talk to the course convener.

Look out for each other: Respecting other students' needs

Students must act in a professional, respectful and responsible way at all times during the activity. The owners of the field sites we visit have often generously made time to show us around and it is crucial that all students behave in a manner that reflects this. Students who do not meet these expectations will be asked to leave. If you are unsure about the expectations or think your behaviour might be misinterpreted, please talk to the course convenor. We can clarify the expectations and work with you to ensure the any stakeholders we encounter aren't inadvertently left with the wrong impression.

Workload: Long days in the field followed by evening activities

To fully participate, students must have the mental and physical endurance to manage long days working including outdoors in changing conditions (e.g. hot, cold, windy, rainy conditions). As an indication, on a typical day, we have breakfast at 7am and begin activities at 8:30am.  Formal activities finish around 5pm, leaving you with some free time before dinner at 6.  There are some formal activities in the evening. Day activities range from guided interpretative walks from key local stakeholders, through to facilitated break out groups exploring strategies surrounding resilience of proposed community change.

Clothes: Options for all weather

Outdoor field work is subject to weather variability. Students are advised to bring layers of clothes in which to regulate throughout a day.  e.g. cold wet weather, cold dry weather, hot wet weather, windy etc. Sites visited are known to experience widely contrasting weather within one day.

Students should bring sun protection in form of hats, long sleeves and sun screen.

Students should bring water bottles. Fresh drinking water will be available. FSES students are always encouraged to carry a travelling tea/coffee cup to help minimise excessive waste.

Sturdy walking shoes are required.

Warm bedding is required for overnight field trip.  this might include a very warm sleeping bag or even a doona. 

High vis vests and hard hats will be provided by course staff when required.

Tasks & activities

Interpreting the visual features of the environment

During the field trip, students will apply the knowledge learnt in class to observe and interpret visual features in the environment. Students can use magnifying equipment to enhance their ability to make visual observations. If students require visual features to be described to them by someone else, they must discuss this with the course convener at the beginning of the semester.

Field presentations and discussions

Students will be listening to content delivered by staff whilst in the field (outside). While collecting field data, students will have to listen, discuss and coordinate with each other as small group.

If you think that you may have difficulty doing this, please discuss this with the course convener at the beginning of semester.

Flexible field notes

To maximise learning some students may like to take notes in the field, however these do not form part of the assessment. Students can choose how to take notes, including using electronic devices or recording verbal observations

Working within a set schedule

There are pre-scheduled time commitments that the field trip organizers need to maintain. This means staff will continually evaluate activities with respect to the program and provide information to students about what time is available for each activity.

The student responsibility is to acknowledge and respect this need to manage the time. When in small groups, it will be up to the students to perform the required tasks within the time available.