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Illawarra Environmental Education Centre

Illawarra Environmental Education Centre

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Stage 4

Mt Keira - Landscapes and Landforms

Stage 4 Geography

Landscapes and landforms 


Mount Keira rainforest 

Unit of work

Follow link for Google Site unit of work 

Program overview

This fieldwork-based program immerses students in the fascinating rainforest environment of Mount Keira. Commencing at the summit, students consider how the landforms have shaped the Illawarra landscape at various points in history. A study of rock formations helps students understand how the Illawarra escarpment formed and the rainforest walks are a great opportunity to investigate the physical factors and the aesthetic value of this spectacular environment.  

Inquiry and focus questions

  • Why is there a diversity of landscapes and landforms on Earth?
  • What environmental and human processes form and transform landscapes and landforms?
  • Why do people value landscapes and landforms?
  • To what extent are landscapes and landforms sustainably managed and protected?

Learning experiences  

How have humans transformed the landscape?

Students observe how human processes have transformed Wollongong’s landscape in the past 50 years by completing a field sketch from the summit viewing platform of Mount Keira. Their observations are compared and contrasted against historical photographs of the same perspective from the 1950s.

How was the Illawarra escarpment formed?

Students are shown first hand how the natural processes of erosion and weathering shaped the landforms of the Illawarra as they examine various rock formations on the western side of Mount Keira. Photo elicitation is also used to identify and prompt students to examine the specific processes which shape the formation of the Illawarra escarpment.

Examination of ONE landscape and it’s distinctive landforms

Students conduct a transect examining the living and physical features of the Mount Keira rainforest across a region of changing succession. They utilise collected information to develop a profile drawing of the rainforest ecosystem. Such information is used to explain the formation of rainforest on the Illawarra escarpment.

Explanation of the aesthetic value of rainforest landscapes.

The rainforest walk is an opportunity to consider what makes the Mt Keira rainforest an aesthetically and culturally valued landscape for a variety of user groups.

Key syllabus outcomes

Geography K-10

S4 - Landscapes and Landforms

  • GE4-1 locates and describes the diverse features and characteristics of a range of places and environments
  • GE4-2 describes processes and influences that form and transform places and environments
  • GE4-4 examines perspectives of people and organisations on a range of geographical issues
  • GE4-5 discusses management of places and environments for their sustainability
  • GE4-7 acquires and processes geographical information by selecting and using geographical tools for inquiry