Mangrove forest kayaking experience. Marine studies trip with Learning Journeys.
A perfect day trip, Poor Knights. Marine Studies field study for New Zealand students.
Diving at Poor Knights Marine Reserve. Marine Studies with Learning Journeys.
Poor Knights Marine Reserve experience for students in NZ.
Enjoying a hot chocolate on the boat trip to the Poor Knights Marine Reserve. Student tour for Marine Studies biology students.

Marine Studies

New Zealand's seascape is particularly rich and complex because it extends over 30° of latitude (from sub-tropical to sub-Antarctic), is on an active plate boundary and influenced by a number of major water masses and current systems. This means New Zealand has a rich diversity of marine habitats, with over 15,000 and perhaps as many as 65000 species. Our isolation means that many of these species are not found anywhere else in the world.

The marine environment is impacted by humans through harvesting, including direct removal of species, reduced population sizes, altered community structures and physical damage  from certain fishing methods, such as bottom trawling and dredging. Land-based sources of pollution, sedimentation and the introduction of marine pests are also implicated.

Though legislation sets quotas for fishing and protects some marine species and ecosystems, huge challenges, not least due to lack of knowledge, remain for sustainable management of New Zealand's marine environment.

Choice of Activities

  • Visit Kelly Tarlton’s for a presentation from a curator, a tour behind the scenes and to explore "Antarctic World" and "Underwater World"
  • Tour NIWA's research facility at Ruakaka.
  • Enjoy presentations and discussions on aquaculture, fish farming and water quality management.
  • Take a boat trip to the Poor Knights Marine Reserve with possible dolphin watching en route and a guided tour of the reserve, including world’s largest sea cave.
  • Watch live footage from beneath the boat and an underwater tour with commentary.
  • Take part in a discussion of marine reserves and their value
  • Snorkel and/or kayak in the reserve (snorkel gear and kayaks provided)
  • Kayak mangrove forest.

New Zealand Certificate of Educational Achievement

  • AS 90949 1.10 Investigate life processes and environmental factors that affect them.
  • AS 91154 2.2 Analyse the biological validity of information presented to the public
  • AS 91155 2.3 Demonstrate understanding of adaptation of plants or animals to their way of life.
  • AS 91602 3.2 Integrate biological knowledge to develop an informed response to a socio-scientific.


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
2 day
Years 12 - 13
Whangarei Area
Trip dates
By arrangement
Free teacher
For every 10 paying students
Minimum group size
10 Students
Price for 35+ students
From $395 incl. GST
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