If you are looking for a place for an excursion for Preliminary Geography for the topic Natural Resources, it may be worth checking out Newnes and Lidsdale. As you drive through Lithgow you can examine some former mining sites that have been rehabilitated (and those that have not). One site is the old Lithgow power station (known as the State Mine Gully Rehabilitation project). Lithgow's Pottery Estate is a former mine site with a new purpose. Initially it was a community of potters but the area is now subject to a housing development. Wallerawang coal fired power station is on the road from Lithgow to Newnes (images on the right).
Newnes is located on the edge of Wollemi National Park, about a forty minute drive north of Lithgow. You can drive there with a 2-wheel drive, but most of the people we saw had come in by 4X4. Some of the road from Lithgow is gravel, but it is in quite good condition. It is proably a little far for a one-day trip, so an overnight excursion might be best. From the campsite, you can do the ruins walk which leads you around the industrial ruins from shale oil productions in the early 19th century.
Lidsdale is a small town about 7km west of Lithgow. There are a number of mining operations in the area, including Centennial Coal. It would be a great place to do surveys on local residents about the impact of mining on their community. Obviously I think you can expect to get some fairly positive opinions regarding issues like employment opportunities. This should provide a good balance to some of the less favourable information you may cover in class.