Frequently Asked Questions
Important information for planning your visit
What happens if it is bad weather?
Our Gardens love the rain, so we believe there’s no such thing as ‘bad weather’.
Our programs go ahead in all-weather, so we recommend that both students and teachers come prepared for the weather forecast. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information around weather and cancellations or date rescheduling.
RBGDT will cancel a program if – storms, lightning, high winds and poor air quality would endanger participants or if any warnings or orders to stay indoors are issued by Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), NSW Health or another public authority AND an excursion cannot be modified to run completely indoors.
RBGDT will modify a program if – this can be done without the program itinerary being significantly affected, and the visiting group agrees. Decisions are based on BOM advice or health warnings to ‘at risk’ people e.g. those with Asthma.
Please see our Extreme Weather Guidelines for more information.
How can I book an excursion?
To book an excursion with us, please complete our booking request form via our website.
In this form you can provide up to three preferred dates and your preferred start time as well as all the other necessary information we need to put together a booking for you.
What time do your programs start?
Our programs have flexible start times to suit your transport needs. Your preferred start times can be selected in the booking request form.
If you are booking two sessions in a day please keep in mind we require a minimum 45-minute break between sessions.
How many students can I bring?
We can take a maximum of 90 students per 2-hour session or 180 students per day split into morning and afternoon sessions. If you have more than 180 students, you will need to book in for multiple dates.
How will the program run with my class groups?
We have a Botanic Gardens Educator to student ratio of 1 : 30. If your booking is for a group larger than 30, your students will be split into smaller groups of 30 or less with a Botanic Gardens Educator each. Your students will complete the same program in the same timeframe, in a rotation of activities.
How many teachers/parent helpers can I bring?
We require a minimum of 1 teacher or parent helper per 30 students. Please keep in mind that behaviour management and duty of care is the responsibility of the school at all times.
Additional teachers or parent helpers are welcome to attend free of charge.
When should we arrive?
Please arrive at least 30 minutes before your program to allow time for recess/lunch and bathroom breaks. This will ensure your program can start on time and that your students have the best experience on the day.
Where is the best place to drop off and pick up students from the bus?
If your excursion starts at Bowden Centre, then your bus drop off spot is the Visitors Centre which can be accessd either via Narellan Rd or Mount Annan Drive. If your excursion starts st PlantBank then your bus drop off spot is outside PlantBank which is only accessed via Narellan Drive. A map will be provided for your booking, showing the location of the bus stop.
Where are the closest bathrooms?
Bathrooms, including an accessible bathroom, are available at both PlantBank and the Bowden Centre.
Where can we have recess or lunch?
There is a large lawn space available at the Bowden Centre that booked groups are welcome to use for their recess or lunch. At PlantBank, students have access to an outdoor garden and seating area. Please encourage students to bring lunches with limited packaging and make sure that all rubbish is disposed of thoughtfully.
Where can we leave our bags?
We recommend that students bring a small tote bag with only their hat, water bottle, recess and lunch as the Garden does not take responsibility for the loss or damage of any valuables during your excursion. Teachers must carry their first aid kits with them at all times.
Bags can be left at Plantbank and/or the Bowden Centre. Please speak to your educator at the start of your program and they will direct you.
What should we bring?
We recommend that both students and teachers come prepared with the following:
- Comfortable and enclosed walking shoes
- Water bottle
- Packed recess and/or lunch. Please think about limiting plastic packaging
- Raincoat, gum boots and appropriate clothing for forecast weather
- First aid kits and medications such as Epipens must be carried by teachers at all times
Are excursions accessible?
Yes, we will always do our best to ensure that our excursions are accessible to meet your students’ needs. Please contact us via email to discuss accessibility options for excursions.
More information on accessibility in the Garden can also be found on our website here: https://www.australianbotanicgarden.com.au/visit/plan-your-visit/general-info