A female education officer at Werribee Zoo talking to four students while they chew native grass Lomandra.

Grassland Ecosystem

Year levels

Year 7, Year 8


$19 per student


Monday to Friday (during the school term)

Student Ratio

1 adult for every 10 students


Adaptations, Australian Animals, Biodiversity, Classification, Ecosystems / Habitats, Endangered Species, Food Chains / Webs, Human Impact, Resource Management

Expansive grassland once covered one third of Victoria. Now, less than 0.5% remains. Explore one of the last remaining vestiges of this critically endangered ecosystem and meet the unique creatures who call it home.

Program Description

Werribee Open Range Zoo sits within some of the last remaining native grassland of the Victorian Volcanic Plain. Formed over millions of years, the volcanic plain is the third largest of its kind and has been used by traditional owners for food, medicines and materials for thousands of years.

Students will take the Australian Trail to discover how this unique landform developed and learn about how the characteristics of the grasslands have changed over time. By understanding the interactions between organisms through food webs, students will discover how critically endangered species depend on other organisms to survive and can be affected by human impact.

By focusing on a real-world problem and learning about our local threatened species, students will gain an insight into the importance of conservation and the causes and consequences of environmental change.

Students will learn:

  • The natural processes that caused the formation of the Victorian Volcanic Plain and the traditional uses of the land
  • The interactions between organisms through food webs
  • The influence of human impact on the characteristics of the grasslands over time
  • How Zoos Victoria is helping to Fight Extinction
Activity Duration
Welcome and introduction to your day (arrivals between 9.50 - 10.05am) 10 minutes
Workshop with Werribee Open Range Zoo teacher
30 minutes
Safari bus tour 40 minutes
Self-guided walking trails and options to join educational keeper talks  1 – 4 hours

Program maps and itineraries

Your booking confirmation email will list your group's education workshop time/s. Each workshop time has its own map and daily itinerary. Paper maps will be provided to you on the day.

Learning outcomes

Victorian Curriculum 7 – 8

Science Understanding

Interactions between organisms can be described in terms of food chains and food webs and can be affected by human activity (VCSSU093)

  • Establish food webs to show the interaction between grassland species at both a local and international level
Geographical Knowledge

The importance of conserving the remains of the ancient past, including the heritage, culture and artefacts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (VCHHK108) 

  • Students will discover how some native grasses were used sustainably by indigenous people as a resource.

Human causes of landscape degradation, the effects on landscape quality and the implications for places (VCGGK119)

  • Explore the Australian Trail to learn about the natural and human induced changes that have shaped the grasslands of the Victorian Volcanic Plain as we see them today


Geographical Concepts and Skills

Explain processes that influence the characteristics of places (VCGGC099)

  • The landscape showcased in the Australian Trail tells the story of the natural and human factors that have influenced the landscape over time

Plan your excursion 

This is an outdoor all-weather program; the students will need appropriate clothing for weather conditions. The optional worksheet below may be used to support the Grassland Ecosystem program. Download and print for your students to bring on the day.

The organising teacher should make themselves known to Admission Staff prior to entering the Zoo so that payment can be made. More information 

Book your excursion

Call (03) 9340 2788

You will need the following to book your excursion:

  • Education program of your choice
  • Preferred excursion date
  • School name and address
  • Contact details of organising teacher
  • Number of students/classes and their year level