Three secondary students using a moisture prob to study the grasslands of Werribee Open Range Zoo.

Grassland Ecosystem

Year levels

Year 9, Year 10


$19 per student


Monday to Friday (during the school term)

Student Ratio

1 adult for every 10 students


Adaptations, Australian Animals, Biodiversity, Ecosystems / Habitats, Endangered Species, 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 it’s kind in the word. Using the grasslands as a case study, students are immersed in this endangered biome and explore the biotic and abiotic factors that make it unique.

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:

  • How ecosystems consist of interdependent organisms and abiotic components through food webs
  • The distinctive characteristics of the grassland biome
  • The human alteration of the grassland biome to produce food, industrial materials and fibres, and the environmental effects of these alterations
  • How Zoos Victoria is helping to Fight Extinction
Activity Duration
Welcome and introduction to your day 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 9 – 10

Science Understanding

Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (VCSSU121)

  • Identification of biotic and abiotic components and demonstration of their interactions through a food web activity
Geographical Knowledge


Distribution and characteristics of biomes as regions with distinctive climates, soils, vegetation and productivity (VCGGK133)

  • Immersion within the grassland ecosystem of the Victorian Volcanic Plain

Human alteration of biomes to produce food, industrial materials and fibres, and the environmental effects of these alterations (VCGGK136)

  • Discussion of the impact of human settlement on the in the western region since the late 1800s.


Plan your excursion 

Grassland Ecosystem is an outdoor all-weather program; the students will need appropriate clothing for weather conditions. The optional worksheet may be used to support the Grassland Ecosystem program. 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