Rangitoto Island

Rangitoto is the largest, youngest and one of the least modified of about 50 volcanic cones and craters in the Auckland volcanic field. It erupted from the sea in a series of dramatic explosions around 600 years ago, and is now extinct. It dominates the local seascape and a visit there is like stepping into another world. The island is a public reserve managed by the Department of Conservation and is famed world-wide as a botanical gem. The Rangitoto restoration project began in 2009 with the aim to remove the seven remaining animal pests from the islands. Rangitoto was officially declared pest free on 27 August 2011.


Discussion on the geology, ecology and history of Rangitoto; Guided walk to summit; Discussion of succession on lava flows, adaptations to this extreme environment and management of human impacts; Data collection: Transects and quadrats; Explore lava caves; Games/activities (juniors).

Curriculum and assessment:

Planet Earth and Beyond, Living World, Geography
AS 90949, AS 90952, AS 90955, AS 91007, AS 91010, AS 91011, AS 91240, AS 91244, AS 90925, AS 91158, AS 91155

Rangitoto Island

Choice of activities

  • Ferry trip to Rangitoto Island 
  • Presentation: Introduction to volcanism in New Zealand.
  • Discussion and activities teaching understanding of rock types and  Auckland volcanism 
  • Guided walk to Rangitoto summit and crater. 
  • Discussion of succession on the island
  • Data collection: transect through the forest.
  • Data collection: temperature, aspect, soil characteristics, gradient, wind strength…
  • Discussion of Rangitoto’s wildlife and control of pests threatening endemic species on the island. 
  • Explore lava caves.
  • Discussion of volcanic hazards and their management in an Auckland context. 
  • Return to Auckland and bus back to school.

Curriculum and assessment:

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


AS 90949 1.10 Investigate life processes and environmental factors that affect them.
AS 90952 1.13 Demonstrate understanding of the formation of surface features in New Zealand.
AS 90955 1.16 Investigate an astronomical or Earth science event.
AS 91189 2.3 Investigate geological processes in a New Zealand locality.
AS 91007 1.1 Demonstrate geographic understanding of environments that have been shaped by extreme natural event(s).
AS 91010 1.4 Apply concepts and basic geographic skills to demonstrate understanding of a given environment.
AS 91011 1.5 Conduct geographic research, with direction.
AS 91240 2.1 Demonstrate geographic understanding of a large natural environment.
AS 91244 2.5 Conduct geographic research with guidance.
AS 90925 1.1 Carry out a practical investigation in a biological context, with direction.
AS 91155 2.3 Demonstrate understanding of adaptation of plants and animals to their way of life.
AS 91158 2.6 Investigate a pattern in an ecological community with supervision.

Rangitoto Island

2020 Prices from

Number of Students
Cost per head

This includes

  • Research, planning, bookings and organisation
  • Facilitation
  • Return ferry tickets
  • Letter to parents
  • RAMS form
  • Gear list
  • Master copy of worksheets
  • Use of specialized equipment
  • GST
  • Saving you a great deal of time and hassle

Not included:

  • Food and drink.
  • Transport (bus, to and from school). Ask us to quote if you don’t have access to your own.
  • Copying class set of worksheets.


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 7 - 13
Trip dates
By arrangement
Free teacher
For every 10 paying students
Minimum group size
10 Students
Price for 35+ students
From $50 incl. GST
Valid until December 2020
Make a booking Contact us