Biodiversity rocky shore study with Learning Journeys.
Biodiversity school trip for secondary and tertiary students. Goat Island Marine Reserve_New Zealand
Biodiversity field study at Tiritiri Matangi
Biodiversity field trip. Shore games with Auckland DIO secondary school, New Zealand
Snorkeling at Goat Island during a biodiversity themed school trip.
Biodiversity marine study. Snorkeling with Learning Journeys during school trip.
Leigh Marine Discovery Centre. Biodiversity field study presentation.

Biodiversity field trip - 1 to 3 days

This very popular programme includes one to three days focused on two of New Zealand's most inspirational conservation projects. (For other biodiversity options see the following: Coasts, Rivers, Forests, Marine Studies, Mudflats, Rangitoto, Tongariro)

Goat Island Marine Reserve, established in 1977, is New Zealand’s oldest. Left undisturbed (more or less) for 35 years, it has provided huge insights into our marine ecosystems as coastline inside the reserve recovers towards its natural state. Once vigorously opposed by locals, especially fishermen, it now attracts more than quarter of a million visitors a year for educational and recreational purposes.

Tiritiri Matangi Island is a wildlife sanctuary and one of New Zealand's most exciting conservation projects. 120 years of farming saw this small island stripped of 94% of its native bush but between 1984 and 1994, volunteers planted between over 250,000 trees. The island is now 60% forested with 40% left as grassland for species preferring open habitat. All mammalian predators have been eradicated and a number of threatened and endangered bird and reptile species have been introduced, including the flightless takahe and the tuatara.

Choice of activities

  • Visit Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World for an introduction to rocky shore ecology and take a tour “behind the scenes”
  • Explore the intertidal zone and get to know its community and environment.
  • Meet the marine scientists at Goat Island Discovery Centre, run by Auckland University.
  • Enjoy presentations on marine reserves and the management of marine biodiversity.
  • Snorkel or take a glass bottom boat ride to get to know New Zealand's marine life.
  • Carry out laboratory investigation of aspects of the rocky shore ecosystem.
  • Collect data on the profile and community of the rocky shore.
  • Discuss how human activities have impacted our marine environment and how these impacts might be mitigated in the future.
  • Take a guided walk (on Tiritiri Matangi Island) to see many of New Zealand’s endemic and endangered bird species, including saddleback, kokako, takahe, kakariki, hihi and more.
  • Discuss threats to New Zealand’s genetic diversity and their management.
  • Monitor bird behaviour
  • Explore the interactive exhibition at the visitor centre
  • Swim off Hobb’s Beach
  • Carry out a rocky shore study at Tiritiri Matangi, tide permitting.

New Zealand Certificate of Educational Achievement

Learning area strands:Living World
  • AS90925 1.1 Carry out a practical investigation in a biological context, with direction.
  • AS90951 1.12 Investigate the biological impact of an event on a New Zealand ecosystem.
  • AS91153 2.1 Carry out a practical investigation in a biology context with supervision.
  • AS91154 2.2 Analyse the biological validity of information presented to the public.
  • AS91155 2.3 Demonstrate understanding of adaptation of plants and animals to their way of life.
  • AS91157 2.5 Demonstrate understanding of genetic variation and change.
  • AS91158 2.6 Investigate a pattern in an ecological community with supervision.
  • AS91601 3.1 Carry out a practical investigation in a biological context with guidance.
  • AS91602 3.2 Integrate biological knowledge to develop an informed response to a socio-scientific issue.


Q1. Why do teachers choose to tour with Learning Journeys?

Using an outside provider like Learning Journeys allows you to avoid stress and save time to focus on the core demands of teaching and have more time with your family and friends.
  • Trips are well tried and tested and our local knowledge, New Zealand-wide, is extensive. • We’ll facilitate your trip as well as planning, recce-ing AND booking it (including transport, food and accommodation). Have as much or as little input as you want.
  • Our facilitators are secondary geography or science teachers with years of classroom as well as EOTC experience.
  • Trips are curriculum linked and can include NCEA assessment tasks.
  • RAMS forms, parents letters, gear lists and worksheets developed and provided for you.
  • We’re Qualmarked (Tourism New Zealand has checked us out as a safe, professional, company) and Dept. of Conservation approved.

Q2. Does it cost more for Learning Journeys to organise and run my school's science and geography trips?

Yes it does cost a little more per student. However, you need to factor in the time you'll save by using Learning Journeys. You will also save the cost of relief for staff who would otherwise have come from your school, since Learning Journeys will provide one or more facilitators who will contribute to staff-student ratios.

Q3. What about risk management?

Safety is always paramount in our trip planning and delivery. We are acutely aware of the responsibility of being entrusted with other people’s children. We will provide you with RAMS forms for all activities included in your programme.

Our Health and Safety Plan deals with every aspect of our operations and training. Hazard identification is carried out for every new activity and a RAMS (Risk Analysis and Management System) form is prepared. This process has been audited both by a Department of Conservation approved Safety Auditor and as part of our Qualmark® accreditation

Our teacher-facilitators are trained in safe practice and all have First Aid qualifications. The suppliers we use are fully qualified and experienced in their specialist areas and where available we choose to work with Qualmarked® operators. Their sound safety records are further guaranteed by the Qualmark®, accreditation process.
Qualmark® is New Zealand tourism's official mark of quality. All accommodation and tourism businesses carrying the Qualmark® have been independently assessed as professional and trustworthy, so you can book and buy with confidence.

Q4. Who are your facilitators?

Our trips are managed and facilitated by qualified science or social science secondary teachers with classroom experience as well as many years’ experience in the field.

Q5. How long have you been running field trips for New Zealand secondary students?

Since 2001. Our oldest client did 12 consecutive yearly 3 day trips to Goat Island and Tiritiri Matangi Island. Most other schools repeat trips year after year.
Request a quote Contact us
Tour Length
1 to 3 days
Years 7 to 13
Trip dates
By arrangement
Free teacher
For every 10 paying students
Minimum group size
10 Students
Price for 35+ students
1 day from $47
2 from $210
3 from $333
Valid until 
Request a quote Contact us

Thank you again for another fantastic learning experience for the level 2 biology students! All had a great time and really enjoyed all the opportunities that you were able to give them on the trip.

Western Springs College, New Zealand

Our students LOVED the Goat Island field trip. Many that did the trip last year want to do it again. It opened their eyes to some important conservation issues.

Trident High School, Whakatane

There were a lot of good things that happened on this trip: I have made new friends. Snorkelling was fun. It was my first time and it was amazing. The purpose was to learn and that was what I did. It was a great experience. I will never forget it and will try to con my parents into coming here again. The reserve is a beautiful place. I had a great time.

Year 12 student
Rotorua Girls’ High School