What is a School Camp?

The idea of going on a school camp can mean one of two things. The experience of ‘going on or to a camp’ could mean going to any suitable venue which offers group accommodation, or it could refer to the actual venue that hosts the physical activities as well as the accommodation. Neither should not be mistaken with actual camping, which would usually include the use of tents.
It is highly recommended that students participate in outdoor adventures and activities outside of the school gates to help strengthen their social, emotional, physical and mental development. School camps are a long-standing way by which students are able to do this.

Finding Accommodation

One of the first places to start looking for accommodation for a school camp would be Australian Camps Association (ACA). This not-for-profit organisation is the national body for residential camps and associated providers. All registered activity providers with suitable group accommodation, and activities are listed here along with information on how to contact them directly, and what services are offered.

What can Students learn in Port Stephens

  • Working together and team building Skills – Team building works best when you are hands on, so be ready to complete obstacle courses, scavenger hunts, and oversized puzzles to name a few activities. All the programs at The Retreat in Port Stephens are designed to be fun and help build and develop problem solving skills, which students can then take back to their
  • Geography – The landscape at Worimi Conservation Lands at Anna Bay is forever changing. Learn about the history of these spectacular coastal dunes that span over 4,200 hectares.
  • History – Port Stephens is rich in history, from the aboriginal tribes to early European settlement.
  • Environment and conservation – Port Stephens contains diverse habitats, native vegetation, beaches, rocky headlands, saltmarshes, mangroves, wetlands, and a unique reef. Learn about sustainable growth and how to conserve this natural environment.
  • Agriculture – Learn about the busy fish farms, bush honey and local avocado growers in the Port Stephens area.
  • Marine Studies – Excursions to Irukandji Shark and Ray Centre is a unique interactive experience for all school aged children and provides a fun and stimulating experience whilst also meeting the NSW syllabus.

School camps are an important part of a child’s school life experience. Camps are action packed and are aimed at teaching children lifelong skills, including, teamwork, resilience, fitness, leadership, problem solving, and sports to name a few. School camps create strong bonds with peers and memories that will last a lifetime.

Local Educational Tours and Attractions

Located within a short drive from The Retreat, Port Stephens are the following tours and activities which are designed especially for groups of school children:

  • Murrook Indigenous Education – Full day programs focused on cultural diversity and appreciation are available 10am- 2pm for both primary and high school students. They can include: dance, boomerang and spear throwing, didgeridoo workshops, food and medicine resources, tools and weapon resources, art, beading and weaving, and Worimi History. With such a wide choice of activities to choose from, children really get a feel for the Worimi people and their traditions.
  • Irukandji Shark & Ray Centre – Specialised programs to engage children of all ages with a focus on conservation, whilst helping children to bond with the marine animals through close encounters.
  • National Parks & Wildlife – Worimi National Park is a special place to visit, with aboriginal cultures, beach activities such as swimming, fishing, whale watching, and beach walking. This sandy beach is the home to the Southern Hemisphere’s largest mobile coastal sand mass. Behind the dunes you will find 1,800ha of forest. You may even be lucky enough to spot the White Bellied Sea Eagle cruising along the coastline.
  • 4WD Sand dune Tours – Educational tours are available from Stockton Beach and provide education on the ecosystem.
  • Oakvale Wildlife park – Hands-on experiences for children to interact with Australia’s native wildlife.
  • Cookabarra Fish Farm – Tours suitable for children from kindergarten to year 12, with information about sustainable fish and vegetable production, as well as food technology subjects. This education program is in line with the current HSC Syllabus requirements for Food and Technology, Industry Studies, Agriculture, Geography and K-6 PDHD as well as the new Science and Technology stage for K-6 Syllabus.
  • Port Stephens Learn to Surf – With programs ranging from total beginner to advanced surfer that run alongside Surfing Australia’s Safe Surfing Program and NSW Educational Department Risk Assessment Guidelines this is a great choice for all levels.
  • Marine Discovery Snorkelling cruise – Take a cruise through the Bay, before heading to either Cabbage Tree or Final Islands.
  • Putt Putt Golf – This a fun activity for all ages.

Accommodation Services and Facilities

Located in Anna Bay, Port Stephens NSW with the local shops just a 2-minute drive from our property. The Retreat is central to all the activities and attractions that Port Stephens has to offer. Our facilities include:

  • Covered BBQ areas
  • Saltwater pool
  • Children’s playground
  • Campfires (April – September and subject to weather conditions)
  • Bus parking
  • Indoor and outdoor games

Feeding 30 or more children after a fun filled day of activities is stress free with our school camp menu. Choose meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner from the many options available to suit all tastes. Catering is prepared fresh on-site and, providing we have prior notice, special dietary requirements can be accommodated, too.
Heading out for lunch? Not a problem with our self-packed full day lunch pack, providing a nutrient-rich and healthy lunch on the move. Pack includes a ready-made baguette, a piece of fruit, bottled water, muffin, packet of chips, and a muesli bar.
Ready-made baguettes are a selection of:

  • Ham, cheese, lettuce and mayo
  • Chicken, lettuce & mayo
  • Vegetarian and gluten free available with prior arrangement
  • A variety of spreads available with prior arrangement

Risk Assessments

The wellbeing of students and teachers in our facilities is of absolute paramount importance. We aim to provide all our guests with a challenging and rewarding camp experience in a safe natural bush setting. We have risk assessments already completed for your viewing, please contact us if you require more information.

The Retreat Packages

The Retreat Port Stephens is proud to be recognised as the number one school camp venue in Port Stephens, with facilities that are able to sleep up to 30 guests in a single building and up to 97 guests in individual beds across the facility, making it easy for staff to care for students while away from home.
Primary and High School Camp Packages are available for 1, 2, or 3 nights, and teachers can usually stay and eat for free.
Here is some useful information to help you start planning your next School Camp at The Retreat, Port Stephens: https://www.theretreatportstephens.com.au/school-camp-accommodation/teachers-resources/
We can tailor your next School Camp to meet your budget requirements, and educational requests. Contact us for more information.