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This engaging full day program has been developed by the Australian Museum, the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust and Taronga Zoo as a specially designed replacement for the popular Evolution of Australian Biota study days.

Students will examine fossils, specimens, live animals and plants to understand biological diversity by explaining the relationships between a range of organisms in terms of specialisation for selected habitats and evolution of species.

Educator-led program

Students spend half a day (two one-hour sessions) at the Australian Museum and another two one-hour sessions at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. You will be advised on booking which venue to start the day. It is a short walk between the two venues and there is time for a lunch break in the middle of the day.

At the Museum:

  • Theory of Evolution: a museum educator-led session. Students perform first-hand investigations of fossils, skeletons and genetic data from Australian animals to learn how comparative anatomy and genetics support the Theory of Evolution.
  • Evolution on our Wild Planet: a museum self-guided session. Students gather and analyse information from displays in the Wild Planet exhibition to learn how the Theory of Evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of life on Earth.

At the Garden:

  • Botanic Garden educator-led session. Students will engage in primary and secondary investigations using the Garden’s native Australian flora to discover cutting edge botanic science developments. Collaborative inquiry based projects using critical and creative thinking will develop students understanding of biological diversity and the theory of evolution.
  • Zoo educator-led session. Taronga Zoomobile provides students the opportunity to engage with live animals while learning about the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. They will explore the impacts that selection pressures have on population dynamics. Students will discover how adaptations increase an organism’s chance of survival while interacting with a selection of Australian animals.

Botanic Gardens Trust risk assessment

School girl looking at megafauna display
Promo education shoot 2014 Banner created for school visits web page Image: James Horan
© Australian Museum

Educator led program details

Curriculum links

NSW (incorporating Australian Curriculum)


Stage 6

Module 3: Biological Diversity

Location and dates

Location: Australian Museum and Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney

Dates: 11-14 June 2019 (12 and 14 June BOOKED OUT)
24-28 June 2019 (25 and 26 June BOOKED OUT)
1-5 July 2019 (1, 3, 4 and 5 July BOOKED OUT)

24-26 July 2019 (BOOKED OUT)
29 July - 2 August 2019 (BOOKED OUT)
26-30 August 2019 (26-30 August BOOKED OUT)
2-6 September 2019 (3 September BOOKED OUT)

Please note

  • Biological Diversity Study Days are also available on selected dates at: Coffs Harbour, Mount Annan, Dubbo and Mount Tomah.
  • The Australian Museum has two sessions Theory of Evolution (educator-led) and Evolution on our Wild Planet (self-guided) that provide similar content to the Biological Diversity Study Days.These are run at the Australian Museum in Sydney and can be booked independently throughout the year by phone 02 9320 6222 or email Group.Bookings@austmus.gov.au
  • The Australian Museum also runs Virtual Excursions for this topic.

Costs, duration and group size

Cost: $31.90 (GST included) per student.

Duration: Four 60 minute sessions (9.15am - 2.30pm with a 1 hour break and transition between venues)

Group size: Up to 25 students per session (4 sessions per day) - smaller groups may be combined

Supervision ratios

Students need to be supervised at all times while at the Australian Museum. There is no set supervision ratio, however we allow free entry for teachers and accompanying adults at the following ratios:

  • 1:4 for pre- and primary school groups
  • 1:10 for secondary school groups
  • 1:15 for tertiary or English language student groups.
  • 1:1 for students with additional needs

Additional teachers or accompanying adults above these ratios will incur a cost.

Booking information

Make a booking

Bookings open 7 November 2018

  1. Provide your booking request (please include 3 possible dates, preferred venue, student numbers, school and contact details) via phone 02 9320 6222 or email Group.Bookings@austmus.gov.au. Dates will be allocated on a first-in-best-dressed system taking into account availability of dates.
  2. A Booking Acknowledgement and allocated date will be returned to you via email.
  3. To accept the booking, sign and return your Booking Acknowledgement within 10 days of receipt. Failure to do so will result in your allocated date being released.
  4. Following this you will be sent a Booking Confirmation. Please ensure all other teachers involved in the excursion have a copy of this.

Please confirm your final numbers by 3 May 2019.

Payment and cancellation

  • Payment can be made on the day by cash, cheque (made out to the Australian Museum), EFTPOS or credit card, or alternatively an invoice can be provided after the visit. We are unable to process individual payments for students/adults in the group.
  • Cancellations within 4 weeks of your booking date or "no shows" will be charged the full cost of the booked visit. Significant decreases in numbers (more than 5 students) within 2 weeks of your booking date will also be charged the full cost of the booked visit. (Your Booking Confirmation will show the number of students booked.)
  • Cancellations must be made in writing by email to Group.Bookings@austmus.gov.au
  • Sessions require a minimum of 20 students to go ahead. While we make all attempts to combine schools to reach the minimum, we reserve the right to cancel sessions if this minimum number cannot be reached.
  • Increases in numbers may not always be possible to accommodate.

Planning your visit

Getting here

There is more information on getting to the Australian Museum including details of parking and public transport available here. There is limited street parking for buses on College St, near St Mary’s Cathedral.

Information about getting to the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is available here.

When you arrive

  • Whether your Museum session is in the morning or the afternoon, please plan to arrive at your starting venue at least 15 minutes prior to your booked session, to allow time to get through admissions, cloak bags (if required), use the toilets etc.
  • When you arrive at the Museum you will need to provide admissions staff with your booking confirmation number, school name and student numbers for the day. If you have booked through an external provider, you will need to provide the name of this organisation.
  • A Museum staff member will be on hand to greet your group. They will brief the students about how to move around the Museum and direct you to areas of the Museum you intend to visit.
  • In the event of a late arrival to the Museum or a booked session, some parts of the session may need to be cut from the program to keep to the scheduled finish time.
  • Students are encouraged to take photos, video and/or audio to record their excursion. Some temporary exhibitions do not allow photography but you will be advised of this on arrival.
  • Teachers and supervising adults are required to stay with their groups at all times.
  • Disciplining of students remains the responsibility of teachers and supervising adults accompanying the group.

Cloaking, food and drink

  • There is limited bag storage available on site. It is recommended that students just bring a small carry bag with the essentials for the day, however if required, storage can be provided depending on availability.
  • There is no space for large groups to have recess or lunch inside the Museum. There is undercover outdoor space – The Garden – which is accessible from William Street. Alternatively, Hyde Park is just opposite the Museum across College St and Cook & Philip Park is across William Street. In the event of wet weather, we can provide a space for students to eat within the Museum.
  • Create Consultants operate food and dining options on site at the Australian Museum. For groups, lunchboxes can be ordered up to 5 working days before your visit. For details, and to order, please contact amevents@createconsultants.com.au or 9320 6182.


  • Please let us know when booking if your students have any additional needs or learning difficulties so we can plan to accommodate where possible during the visit.
  • The Australian Museum provides access to all areas for those in wheelchairs and mobility vehicles. Further information on accessibility is available here.