Educational Programs

Information to know before your visit

open access

We encourage school groups to spend some time before or after the tour exploring the Wharf Precinct, including the historical exhibit in the Visitor Centre and playing on Quarantine beach; or on the former recreation reserve behind the laundry. If you would like to do so, please let us know so that we can help facilitate your visit.


To insure safety, management and an overall quality educational experience, we ask that school groups maintain a minimum ratio of one supervising adult per 24 students. Whilst we prefer to keep class groups together, 24 students is the preferred maximum number for any one guide, unless arranged beforehand. The minimum number for education programs is generally 15 students. If you have fewer students, please contact us to make arrangements.

site safety

The Quarantine Station is a National Park. While all attempts have been made to secure the safety of visitors to the site, it remains a natural and wild environment. All educational programs and activities take place outdoors and require walking up and down some reasonably steep hills (200 metres) on sealed and unsealed surfaces. All visitors should come prepared with sufficient water and wearing appropriate clothing including sunscreen, hats and close-toed shoes.

disabled access

Some of the site is accessible by wheelchair but not all of it. Disabled toilets are available but not all toilets onsite are wheelchair accessible. Please indicate on your booking form if you have any students with special needs.


We may provide transportation via our shuttle bus in and out of the site before and/or after the tour to facilitate effective movement of visitors but this is not a guarantee and you should expect to walk in and out of the site with your students unless you have made prior arrangements.

coach parking

There is NO provision for coaches to drive in, park, or turn around within Quarantine Station grounds. Coaches must drop students off at the round-about at the entrance. There is ample parking further out on North Head. Note that the gates to the North Head close at 10PM and there is a fine to have them opened after hours. Please inform your coach driver of these conditions before arriving at the site to facilitate a safe drop-off of the students.

Q Station guides will meet you at the entrance to the site and accompany your group after the tour to facilitate safe offloading and onloading of passengers.

food & beverage

Our Visitor Centre kiosk offers a limited selection of hot and cold drinks; savoury and sweet snacks 7 days a week. Order in advance click here for the menu/order form to have us cater a sandwich or pizza for lunch/dinner before or after your tour. Please email the completed form to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it a minimum of 10 working days before your visit.

terms & conditions

While we make every effort to insure consistency and accuracy across all of our educational programs, we reserve the right to substitute, alter or vary the content and the buildings visited.

Quarantine Station Site Study

By observing the built and natural environments, and examining historical photographs, maps, primary and secondary source documents, students are challenged to put their skills of observation and analyses to work to explore the way the Quarantine Station has changed from days of Aboriginal occupation to the present. The program gives students the opportunity to develop an understanding of the history of the site in context of the history of Sydney and the political, scientific and social developments of Australia.

Stage 4 highlights Colonisation and Immigration in the 19th Century. Stage 5 highlights Federation, the World Wars and the Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918.

This program can be run as a full-day experience. Please contact our education coordinator if you are interested in learning more about this option!

Download the Stage 5 Teachers kit [pdf]


  • Suitable for Stages 4 & 5
  • Subject area HSIE
  • Duration 2.5 hours
  • Minimum students 24
  • Maximum students 80
  • Price per student $15

The Search for Better Health


The Search for Better Health is designed to complement the HSC Biology Unit of the same name. Using the Quarantine Station as a case study, students are given an historical context to further their understanding of the causes of disease and investigate the evolution in medical thinking and practice from the 19th century to the present as reflected in the station's facilities. Students engage in activities designed to challenge their critical thinking skills and have fun whilst learning biology.

Download the Stage 6 Teachers kit [pdf]


  • Suitable for Stage 6
  • Subject area Biology
  • Duration 2.5 hours
  • Minimum students 20
  • Maximum students 75
  • Price per student $15

Ghost Boy

ghost_boyInspired by the book of the same name written by Felicity Pulman, the Ghost Boy tour brings the book to life.

Ghost Boy takes students on a journey through the Quarantine Station during which they learn first-hand about the differences between Tad's world of the 1880s smallpox epidemic, and their own world, through the character of Froggy, as he comes in contact with the ghost of his ancestor at the Quarantine Station.

ghost_boy_coverStudents visit the key locations discussed in the book and participate in a number of activities through which they are challenged to think about how things have changed from Tad's time to their own, reflecting on issues of multiculturalism, class definition and medical approaches.

Download the Stage 2 Teachers kit [pdf]

Download the Stage 3 Teachers kit [pdf]

Click on the book to go to Felicity Pulman's website


  • Suitable for Stages 2 & 3
  • Subject area HSIE, English & PDHPE
  • Duration 2 hours
  • Minimum students 20
  • Maximum students 100
  • Price per student $15

Kids in Quarantine

kids in qurantineKids in quarantine takes students on a walking adventure through the Quarantine Station. Students compare the past with the present as they adopt a persona of a first, second or third class passenger. Using these personas students begin at the wharf where they visit the steam ship cabins in our Visitor Centre, they then follow the route taken by passengers when quarantined. At each location students are involved in an activity that allows them to compare what life was like 100 years ago to today and are challenged to think about what they would like the world to be like tomorrow.

Buildings visited include the Shower Block, Autoclaves, Hospital, Morgue, Steerage Precinct and Third Class Dining Room.

Download the Teachers kit [pdf]


  • Suitable for Stages 1 & 2
  • Subject area HSIE & Science
  • Duration 2 hours
  • Minimum students 25
  • Maximum students 80
  • Price per student $15
You are here Tours Educational Programs Educational Programs
JA Travel

Stay in touch with all the latest news from Q Station. Subscribe to our newsletter and receive the best hotel package deals, and onsite events directly to your inbox. You can unsubscribe at any time.