Secondary Cranbourne

The following programs are designed to incorporate the Victorian Curriculum. They provide an effective and integrated approach for teaching across the learning areas. Each program is led by a Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria facilitator and can be adapted to suit individual group needs. Teacher professional development workshops are also available on request.

Session times

All programs 1 hour and 30 minutes in duration.

10.15am to 11.45am

12.45pm to 2.15pm

Program prices (domestic)

$13 per student (includ. GST)
$234 per class, for small groups (Minimum Charge)
Teachers / Adults free

Bookings and information

T 03 9252 2358


Australian Deserts

Deserts are environments of extremes. They are challenging places for people, plants and animals to survive. In this program, students will explore how plants and animals survive in desert environments and the causes of desertification. They will examine features of Australian plants enable them to conserve water and they will discover what makes Australian deserts unique.

Experiences include: potting up a drought tolerant plant, observing plant adaptations under microscopes, and making predictions about and measuring burrow temperatures.

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Freshwater Ecosystems

The recirculating wetland in the Australian Garden acts as a natural bio-filtration system, keeping the water cool, clean and clear, as well as supporting a host of aquatic life. In this program, students will investigate the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem. They will test the physical and chemical properties of a freshwater ecosystem and use the presence or absence of biological indicator species to assess ecosystem health.

Experiences include: physical and chemical water testing, and ponding for aquatic invertebrates.

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Endangered Species: Southern Brown Bandicoot

The Southern Brown Bandicoot is a nationally threatened small mammal that is locally common and active during the day at Cranbourne Gardens due to a highly successful conservation program. In this fieldwork based program, explore what bandicoots need to thrive in a heathland environment. Discover what has been done to protect this remnant population and the landscapes they call home. 

Activities include: a discovery walk, simple fieldwork exercise and fire ecology task.

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Australian Environments

Experience the diversity of Australian landscapes, plants and animals. Learn about the connections and interactions between living things, their amazing adaptations for survival and human impacts on organisms and environmental systems. Students will explore both the award-winning Australian Garden and our bushland conservation zone.

Experiences include: a guided walk in the Australian Garden and bushland, interpretation of biofacts and ponding for macroinvertebrates.

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Shared Country

Shared Country is designed to give students a greater understanding and respect for Aboriginal culture. Discover the importance of the environment to the Boon Wurrung people and their connection to Country. Explore how plants were used for fibre, medicine, tools and food.

Experiences include; a discovery walk, exploring tools, making and using ochre paint and tasting Lemon Myrtle tea.

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Students go a learning journey in the Australian Garden to explore the variety of Indigenous bushfoods. They will learn Aboriginal knowledge of agricultural systems, food-related tools and become familiar with regional food plants. Discover how the land was managed for food production, harvesting and preparation.

Activities include; investigating tools and technology, participating in wattle seed production through grinding and tasting Lemon Myrtle Tea.

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Carbon Futures

Carbon Futures takes students on a journey, diving deep into human impacts on global systems. Students will explore human impacts on the carbon cycle and the resulting effects of climate change on atmospheric and oceanic systems. In this practical and hands-on program, students discover the processes of ocean acidification and the resulting impacts on marine life, measure the carbon stored in trees and consider practical ways they can reduce their carbon footprint and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Experiences include: exploring processes leading to ocean acidification and coral bleaching, and measuring carbon sequestered on trees in the Australian Garden and Bushland.

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Water in a Dry Country

Australia is the driest inhabited continent on Earth, experiencing extremes of both drought and flooding rains. Learn how the presence or absence of water shapes places and of the water conserving properties of Australian plants. In teams, students will apply their knowledge of how water moves through environments in a landscape design activity.

Experiences include: a discovery walk in the Australian Garden taking in the Red Sand Garden, Dry River Bed and Arid Garden, potting-up a drought tolerant plant and designing a landscape from natural materials.

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Health and Wellbeing in Nature

Health and wellbeing is interconnected with time spent in natural environments. Being in nature reduces anger, fear, anxiety and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.

Students are invited to explore the physical, mental and emotional benefits of spending time outside. Participants will brainstorm and discuss the role of healthy foods, physical exercise and spending time outside in cultivating health and wellbeing. Through practice of mindfulness exercises, participants will learn to nurture their own self-awareness and greater awareness of others and the natural world.

Experiences include; creating a journey stick, mindfulness practise, nature art and native tea tasting.

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VCE Programs

VCE programs offered at Cranbourne Gardens are tailored to specific curriculum needs. Subjects can include Biology, Geography and Environmental Studies and Science.

Programs include Freshwater and Terrestrial Ecosystems, Conservation of Endangered Species and Resource Use and Management.