Field trip to Tongariro National park with Learning Journeys.
Geothermal activity at Te Puia. The perfect location to discuss extreme natural events.
Discovering Mt Tarawera, infamous for its eruption on June 10th, 1886.
Learning about extreme natural events.
Waiotapu geothermal park.
Enjoy luging on the slopes of Mt. Ngongotaha

Extreme Natural Events - Volcanoes

The 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.

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

Similar programmes are available in Auckland and the Taupo-Tongariro area.

  • Tour Waimangu Volcanic Valley with a guided walk followed by boat trip on Lake Rotomahana
  • Tour Te Puia or Waiotapu geothermal park
  • Discuss the impacts and the human response to the eruption of Mt. Tarawera in 1886 and how different these would be today.
  • Try chemical testing of hot spring water (qualitative and quantitative if desired)
  • Take a cable car trip up Mt. Ngongotaha for an overview of Rotorua Caldera and other volcanic landforms
  • Enjoy luging on the slopes of Mt. Ngongotaha
  • Visit the Buried Village and the nearby Mt. Tarawera lookout.
  • Relax with a hot swim.

New Zealand Certificate of Educational Achievement

Earth and Space Science
  • AS90952 1.13 Demonstrate understanding of the formation of surface features in New Zealand
  • 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
  • AS91007 1.1 Demonstrate geographic understanding of environments that have been shaped by extreme natural event(s).


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.
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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 $68 incl. GST
Valid until 
Request a Quote Contact us

We use Learning Journeys to plan our out of class Science field trips, including their Rotorua based "Volcanoes" programme. They are always really well run, the educational material is of a very high standard and most importantly, the students always enjoy themselves and learn a lot. What more could a busy teacher ask for?

Trident High School, Whakatane.

Thank you very much for the trip. I thought it went extremely well.

Ficino School, Auckland.

As you know, I think you give excellent value for money in so many ways, and I am always very outspoken when it comes to making what I consider to be false economies with penny pinching inferior alternatives.

Kingsway School, Auckland