When Australian high school students were asked what they thought about learning Australian history, a majority said they were bored by textbooks, notes, dates, teacher-talk and repetition of content. What they did enjoy was 'doing history', in particular, going on excursions. Teachers also said they were keen to take students to museums and historic sites. In this paper I present a number of reasons why students should be given learning opportunities out of the classroom that allow them to see, touch and experience Australia's historical and archaeological heritage. With the Rudd government committed to producing a national history curriculum by 2011, an opportunity now exists to include a mandatory site study. After the implementation of its national curriculum in 1989 the United Kingdom government introduced initiatives that successfully established partnerships between schools and museums. This model is offered as an example of how Australian students could be given opportunities to visit significant museums and heritage sites and actively experience the 'practical stuff' of Australian history, thus forging stronger links with schools and promoting historical literacy in positive and creative learning environments.