School Programs

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s free preschool and school programs empower our children and youth with localised knowledge and skills that support them in becoming responsible and sustainably-minded active citizens in our local community.

We offer a range of talks, incursions, excursions across waste management, water conservation, and natural environment topics. We’re also always happy to have a chat about any needs or ideas you have and will do our best to tailor-make a facility tour or school visit to suit!

Early Childhood Education Program

Suitable for ages 4+ (max 30 children / session)

We’re on a mission to send less waste to landfill and we’re calling on our young children to help! In this interactive workshop, we’ll explain why too much waste is a problem, learn a fun song to help us reduce, reuse and recycle, and take a look at how we can use our household yellow bins to ‘recycle right’.

Workshop suitable for ages 4+ (max 30 children / session)
Whizzy can also visit other rooms with a song & dance!

Combining storytelling, movement, and practical tips, a visit from Whizzy and our Education Officers is a fun way to engage children in water conservation education. Together, we’ll explore why every drop counts and how we can all do our bit at home and in our community to reduce our water use.

Suitable for ages 3+ (max 30 children / session)

Each year we partner with the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation to promote the “Holiday Time” campaign. This campaign promotes child pedestrian safety, with a focus on the school holiday period. The program reminds children and their carers to hold hands near roads and around our busy areas and prompts drivers to take care and be alert for kids – when driving during busy holiday periods.

This year we are also offering all Early Childhood and Primary Education providers a free talk and activity session, along with a free “Tom’s Holiday” picture book to add to their library to teach children how to be safe near roads, especially during holiday periods.

To book a session with one of our educators, please complete the enquiry form. You will receive a copy of your free book during the session.

Just after a free copy of the book? You can order a copy via booking form found in our Little Blue Dinasour BlogEd post.

Primary Education Program

Please feel free to complete our booking enquiry form (button below) and place comments in the notes as to the sort of program you’re interested in – we’re always happy & keen to develop a program around your learning needs!

Our interactive workshops are designed for a class of up to 30 students, or small groups such as SCR or Green Teams. We also offer short talks across various topics, suitable for year group or assembly settings.


Suitable for ES1 + (max 30 students/ session, or ask us about our assembly talk options)

With over 60% of ocean litter coming from the land, we all need to chip in and help keep our spaces and places clean and litter free. In this workshop we chat about the litter problem, then hit the school grounds (or local park if you’re keen for an excursion!) to conduct a litter collection audit. The session wraps up, taking a look at what we’ve collected, how it can be avoided, and even better – some simple changes we can make to reduce our waste, so that there’s less to become litter in the first place! A class set of gloves and small buckets are provided on loan for this session.

Suitable for all ages (max 30 students / session)

We’re calling on our local students to ‘rethink waste’ to help us send less to landfill! In this interactive workshop, students will learn about where our waste goes and why too much waste is a problem, before jumping into some fun and interactive activities that begin to unpack the waste hierarchy. Then, it’s time to get creative with some ‘upcycling’ ideas to turn waste into resources, giving them a second life.

Suitable for Stage 3+ (max 30 students / session)

Keen to head out and about with your students to help them learn about the impact of waste and importance of learning to Recycle Right? Book in a tour to our Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) where we’ll take a short bus trip around the facility and drop into the Education Room to chat about the “how’s” and “why’s” of recycling in our local area.


Suitable for Stage Early Stage 1 + (max 30 students / session)

Even in our wettest seasons, it’s really important we maintain good water saving habits. In this session, students explore the phrase, “every drop counts”, taking a look at why water is precious and how we can all play a role in reducing our use so that we have plenty of fresh, drinking water now and for generations to come.

Suitable for Early Stage 1+ (max 30 students / session)

Ever wondered where our water comes from and how it reaches our taps? This workshop goes beyond the natural water cycle to introduce students to our local urban water cycle – the infrastructure we manage to take water from our rivers and deliver it to our homes, schools, businesses and other community facilities. The session includes the use of our virtual water facility tours, bringing Cowarra Dam, our pump stations and our other facilities into your classroom!

Suitable for Early Stage 1+
Ideal group size no more than 50 students. Please contact us for special arrangements for larger groups.

We know so many students have missed out on the opportunity for excursions over the past couple of years so we’re thrilled to be re-launching this old favourite! Take a trip out to Cowarra Dam where we’ll take students on a VIP walk along the dam and out to the tower, explore the cultural history and significance of the site, learn about and create our own totem art, and chat about ways we can all ensure that every drop counts.

Download our Cowarra Dam Excursion brochure here to learn more.

Our Natural Environment

Suitable for Stage Early Stage 1 + (max 30 students / session)

With over 170 threatened species in our local area, this presentation brings our students on a journey across our local ecological communities to learn about what we can all do to help protect and conserve our local flora and fauna.

Recycled Water Plant

Secondary Education Program

Council Facility tours

We offer free tours of many of our Council facilities, which can be booked individually or combined for a full day excursion. Complete a booking enquiry form and one of our education officers will be in touch to discuss suitable options. Please note, you will need to coordinate your on transport for these tours.

While already open to the public with a well-equipped picnic and barbecue area and beautiful artworks on display, our Cowarra Dam tour allows you the opportunity for “beyond the gates” access along the dam wall and out to the tower, with a guided walk and talk about the dam construction, function and purpose.

The tour of the Water Treatment Plant at Wauchope takes you through the facility to learn how we pump water from the Hastings river out across the region. Tour the water treatment systems up close, view the 3D model of our water storage and supply system, and explore our interactive map to see areas not accessible to the public.

What happens after water flows down our drains or is flushed down our toilets?  Take a tour of the Port Macquarie Wastewater Plant, led by one of our Wastewater Operators, to learn how we manage our wastewater and return it back to the environment. This guided tour introduces students to the biological process of wastewater treatment along with Council’s role and responsibilities around the environmental impact of wastewater management.

Recycled water, while not for drinking, is a great way for us all to save our precious drinking water supplies and reduce the amount of waste entering our environment. On this tour, guided by one of our water experts, students will learn how we take wastewater and run it through a multi-step process to treat and remove the impurities, so that it can be safely reused. 

Take a bus tour around the facility and drop into the Education Room to chat about the “how’s” and “why’s” of waste management in our local area. Students will hear about landfill management, organic and material recovery (including recycling), and have a chance to pose questions to our waste management expert.

Talks and Workshops

Whether it’s to join you on a field trip or visit your school, we offer free talks from our Council educators and subject matter experts across a wide range of topics related to Council’s services and community planning. Popular topics include:

Our online learning hub, ConnectEd Kids, brings learning to your classroom in a fun and interactive virtual environment! Our first module of our Waste Warriors program is now live and our Water Wise modules are due for release soon.

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Booking Enquiry Form

Please complete the form below and our education team will touch base soon to discuss your enquiry.