Extreme Natural Events - Rivers

Floods are the most frequent and costly natural disasters in New Zealand. Between 1920 and 1983, the country experienced 935 damaging floods. The Insurance Council of New Zealand calculated that industry payments for flood damage between 1976 and 2004 averaged $17 million per year in 2004 dollars. But this covers just part of the actual cost – for example, government expenditure on civil defence responses during flood emergencies alone averages about $15 million per year over the same period.


Data collection on streams in the Waikato catchment; presentation or discussion of flood related hazards and their management from Council planner, examine hard and soft engineering strategies; boat trip on Waikato river.

Curriculum and assessment:

AS91007, 91011, Biology AS 91155

Extreme Natural Events - Rivers


Regional councils have the primary responsibility for managing flood hazards. They monitor rainfall, river flows and lake levels, and maintain flood protection works.

The earliest indications of potential flooding are the heavy rain warnings issued by weather forecasters. In addition, the councils independently operate networks of automated instruments which measure rainfall and river levels. Data from these instruments, and high rainfall rates or rising river levels, may trigger automatic warnings to staff.

Council staff also determine likely rises in river and lake levels downstream, and supply warning information to communities. Among other operations, they organise evacuations, build sandbag barriers, and close roads. Many councils maintain websites and telephone services that inform the public about rainfall and river levels.

Choice of activities

  • Data collection on streams in the Waikato catchment: upper, mid and lower catchment channel characteristics, sediment load, flow rates, (macro-fauna).
  • Presentation or discussion of flood related hazards and their management from Council planner
  • Examine hard and soft engineering strategies.
  • Riparian planting (adds $5 pp)
  • Boat trip on Waikato River (extra cost)

Curriculum and assessment:

Learning area strand: Geography, Biology
Key competencies: Relating to others, thinking


AS91012 Demonstrate geographic understanding of environments that have been shaped by extreme natural events.
AS91011 Conduct geographic research, with direction
AS91155 Demonstrate understanding of adaptation of plants or animals to their way of life.

Extreme Natural Events - Rivers

2020 Prices from

Number of Students
Cost per head

This includes

  • Research, planning, bookings and organisation
  • Facilitation
  • Activities as specified in ininerary
  • Letter to parents
  • RAMS form
  • Gear list
  • A master copy of worksheets
  • Use of specialized equipment
  • GST
  • Saving you a great deal of time and hassle

Not included:

  • Transport (bus, to and from school). Ask us to quote if you don’t have access to your own.
  • Class set of worksheets – it’s more cost effective for you to copy these at school.


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.
Make a booking Contact us
Tour Length
1 day
Years 11
Trip dates
By arrangement
Free teacher
For every 10 paying students
Minimum group size
10 Students
Price for 35+ students
From $35 incl. GST
Valid until December 2020
Make a booking Contact us