WILD: Students learning as part of Macadamia Castle home schooled program.
WILD: Students learning as part of Macadamia Castle home schooled program.

Macadamia Castle program that’s a win-win for parents, kids

BELOVED Northern Rivers icon Macadamia Castle is taking a walk on the wild side with a new wildlife program aimed at school-aged children.

Designed for homeschooled students, the term-long program proved wildly popular with the public and was booked out within hours.

Macadamia Castle owner Tony Gilding said he was hoping to inspire the next generation of animal conservationists.

"Our mission is education, conservation and entertainment," Mr Gilding said.

"Every conservationist I've ever met has been inspired by early encounters at animal parks and zoos, and so I hope we inspire kids to play a role in animal conservation."

The hands-on nature of the course which involves interacting with animals has proved a real hit with students.

"Kids can interact with some of the animals, and we have access to great resources like plaster cast animal skulls and teeth," Mr Gilding said.

"We always have a captive audience when we talk about animal poo, we have scat in containers that we pass around, the kids love it."

When the Northern Star spoke to the Home Education Association earlier this year, they explained this creative approach to learning was key to homeschooling.


Trained educators lead the program and deliver a curriculum in line with each age groups while parents receive a list of the topics covered for learning.

Students learn about the threats faced by animals and their habitats and how their actions can help protect wildlife

Mr Gilding said the program was win-win for parents and students alike.

"We make it simple for parents, I think that's why it's been so popular," Mr Gilding said.

The program is taking expressions of interest for term four, see www.macadamiacastle.com.au/home-school-program/