Extreme Natural Events - Volcanoes

FThe world’s most dramatic volcanic eruption in 5,000 years occurred in New Zealand about 200 AD. The Taupō eruption devastated much of the central North Island, emptying Lake Taupō in the process. Since people have settled in the volatile land, they have seen its active volcanoes – Tarawera, Rangitoto, Taranaki (Egmont), Tongariro, Ngāuruhoe, Ruapehu and White Island – intermittently and unpredictably spew fountains of hot ash and lava.


Volcanic theme: Rotorua museum; guided walk through Waimangu Valley or Waiotapu and boat trip on Lake Rotomahana; discussions or presentations on volcanic hazards and their management, past and present, from experts; visit gondola and luge for views, discussion of volcanic landforms and fun

Curriculum and assessment:

AS91007, 91011, 91240, 91189, 91191 91412, 90952

Extreme Natural Events - Volcanoes


Lying 24 kilometres south-east of Rotorua, Tarawera is a curious-looking mountain, with several large domes and a broad, flat top. Its distinctive profile formed during eruptions around 1314 AD. Early Māori and the Europeans who arrived in the 1800s did not realise that Tarawera was an active volcano. In June 1886, however, it came to life in a violent one-day eruption – the deadliest in the history of New Zealand settlement.

Choice of activities

  • Rotorua Museum: Introduction to volcanism in New Zealand: tour museum including Tarawera Exhibition. Watch audiovisual (including earthquake simulation) of Mt. Tarawera eruption.
  • Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Park Tour volcanic landforms. Discuss the effects of Mt. Tarawera’s eruption and options for mitigating/managing effects of eruptions.
  • OR Waimangu Volcanic Valley experience: Guided walk followed by boat trip on Lake Rotomahana (Adds $10 a head)
  • Chemical testing of hot spring water (qualitative and quantitative if desired)
  • Gondola and Luge + field sketching of Rotorua Caldera and other volcanic landforms and (optional) practise geographic skills: map reading, use of clinometers...
  • Hot swim.

Curriculum and assessment:

Learning area strand: Geography, Planet Earth and Beyond
Key competencies: Relating to others, thinking


AS91007 Demonstrate geographic understanding of environments that have been shaped by extreme natural events.
AS91240 Conduct geographic research, with direction

Earth and Space
AS91189 2.3 Investigate geological processes in a New Zealand locality
AS91191 2.5 Demonstrate understanding of the causes of extreme Earth events in New Zealand
AS91412 3.3 Investigate the evidence related to dating geological event(s)
AS90952 1.13 Demonstrate understanding of the formation of surface features in New Zealand

Extreme Natural Events - Volcanoes

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 - 2 days
Years 7 - 13
Trip dates
By arrangement
Free teacher
For every 10 paying students
Minimum group size
10 Students
Price for 35+ students
From $58 incl. GST
Valid until December 2020
Make a booking Contact us