School visit, cultural exchange and sightseeing in the North Island, New Zealand


Karangahake Gorge; Mt. Maunganui beach and mountain; plant trees or dune grasses; explore and study mudflats; animal park tour; rainforest walk; kiwi fruit orchard tour and tasting; Rotorua museum; Hot swim; geysers and mudpools; Maori culture and concert; kiwi bird; hot spring chemistry; Hobbiton movie set; School immersion; Auckland city tour; Mount Eden volcano


All accommodation is included. You’ll be warm and comfortable twin, triple or quad share rooms in our pick of New Zealand’s 2 - 3 star hotels. Wifi is available.


All dinners are included except one and are a choice of tasty, all you can eat buffets or two course meals served in our favourite restaurants. Breakfasts are buffet style selections of cereals, toast, fresh fruit, yoghurt, juice and hot drinks. Ask us about vegetarian, kosher or halal options. Lunches will be tasty picnics: fresh bread rolls with your choice of fillings, followed by fresh fruit and muesli bar.

School visit, cultural exchange and sightseeing in the North Island, New Zealand

Day 1 (BLD) Auckland to Tauranga - 200 km - about 2 hours 30 minutes

  • Arrive at Auckland airport and drive to Tauranga via Karangahake Gorge
  • Karangahake Gorge Windows walk – Gold-mining
  • This is a short, very scenic walk through rainforest among early gold-mining artefacts: tunnels, stamper batteries, tramlines, vats. Discuss mining and extraction of gold and compare early attitudes to health and safety and environmental damage with current mining practice
  • Visit Mount Maunganui beach for games, to paddle (conditions permitting) and for a sand - castle building competition.
Overnight Tauranga

Day 2 (BLD) Rotorua

Tauranga is New Zealand’s fastest growing city after Auckland and a favourite summer holiday destination for kiwis, with its large natural harbour and extensive white sandy beaches. Settled by Māori late in the 13th century and by Europeans early in the19th, it is now a centre for business and international trade, culture, fashion and horticultural science. A wide range of fresh produce, including kiwifruit and avocados is grown in the area due to the mild, sunny climate and volcanic soils. Tauranga is New Zealand's largest export port and a regular stop for both container ships and luxury cruise liners.
  • Coastlines: sand dunes and mudflats
  • Climb all or part of the way up Mauao the iconic mountain at the entrance to Tauranga natural harbour for an overview of coastal landforms, including beaches and dunes, a tombolo, barrier island, mudflats, saltmarshes. Examine and discuss human impacts and their mitigation. Plant dune grasses, time permitting.
  • Explore mudflats to meet crabs and other organisms inhabiting this highly challenging environment
  • Discuss adaptations in relation to environmental conditions and collect data on community patterns. Enjoy experiential activities (eg: predator-prey games).
  • Marshall’s Animal Park: Visit this park in the foothills of the Kaimai Ranges to meet and feed a wide range of New Zealand’s domesticated animals, as well as some of our native forest and aquatic species.
Overnight Tauranga

Day 2 (BLD) Rotorua to Auckland – 250  km - about 3 hours

Rotorua is our oldest tourist resort, because of the bizarre geothermal features spread through and around the city, including geysers, mud pools and hot springs. In the 1800s visitors travelled around the world to see the famous Pink and White Terraces, unfortunately destroyed by Mount Tarawera volcano in 1886. The city is still a thermal resort, but now also has a great range of adventure and cultural activities to keep the visitors there a bit longer
  • Kiwifruit orchard – Geography of food - Climb aboard a KiwiKart and experience a fascinating 40-minute tour through lush orchards. Along the way, gain a great insight into the complexities of the kiwifruit growing process, the dynamic Kiwifruit Industry, and just how it has become such a phenomenon in this area. Learn how this unique pocket of land is able to grow the world’s healthiest fruit better than anywhere else in the world, and then taste the proof for yourself!
  • Okere Falls - Forest ecology - Take a short guided walk through native rainforest to see picturesque waterfalls. This is an introduction to New Zealand’s unique bird dominated ecosystems, endangered species and their conservation. Discuss key plant and animal species of the forest ecosystem and their interdependence and taste species important as traditional foods or medicine.
  • Polynesian Spa: enjoy a hot swim and mineral-pool soak in the family spa
  • OR: Rotorua Museum – Volcanoes and Tectonic Processes. This provides an introduction to the Taupo Volcanic Zone and the 1886 eruption of Mt. Tarawera, as well as local Maori history and culture, strongly influenced by volcanic and hydrothermal activity in the area. Watch an audio-visual (including earthquake simulation) of Mt. Tarawera eruption. Discussion its effects  and options for mitigating/managing effects of eruptions in the future.
  • Overnight Rotorua

    Day 4 (BLD) Auckland

    • This morning tour Te Puia, site of New Zealand’s most impressive geyser. You’ll also see artists engaged in traditional Maori crafts (wood carving and flax weaving) and watch a Maori cultural performance. This venue also houses New Zealand’s national bird, the kiwi, in an aviary where night and day are reversed so this flightless, nocturnal bird is active during the day.
    • Enjoy an introduction to chemistry and carry out simple tests on hot-spring water samples. Discuss the results in relation to volcanic activity in the area, and their implications for residents of the city and hazard management.
    • Hobbiton Movie Set near Matamata. This is an opportunity to see a unique attraction, the set reconstructed specially for the filming of the Hobbit, a mecca for fans worldwide of author J. R. R. Tolkien and a work of art in its own right. It’s also an excuse to break your journey to Rotorua and visit the working sheep farm the set is built on.
    Overnight Auckland

    Day 5 (BLD) Auckland

    Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city with nearly a third of the country’s population. It’s a sprawling low-rise conurbation in a fantastic coastal location, the narrowest part of the upper North Island. No place is more than a few kilometres from the sea and the beach and it’s full of greenery because the small volcanoes scattered throughout the urban area are mostly recreational reserves.
    • This morning visit a local school (likely to be Orakei School – to be confirmed) for a taste of the learning experience of New Zealand primary students. Enjoy a traditional Maori welcome, tour the school, meet with New Zealand buddies and attend class with them as well as extra-curricular choir, dance classes and sports practices.
    • This school also has a special relationship with their local marae (Maori community), so time permitting, a visit could be arranged.
    • The teachers in the group will meanwhile have the opportunity to engage with their New Zealand counterparts to share and compare teaching philosophies as well as to observe or teach lessons themselves.
    • Field trip to Mt. Eden Walk to the top of Mt. Eden for an overview of the city and stories of the geography, geology and history of Auckland. Try some map work and learn to take compass bearings. Walk around the volcanoes crater, past the archaeological remains of a fortified Maori village which previously occupied the volcano’s summit.
    Overnight Auckland

    Day 6 (BLD) Auckland

    • Day two at school, as above.
    • This afternoon combine a walking tour of the central city and waterfront with the opportunity to shop for souvenirs.
    Overnight Auckland

    Day 7(BLD) Auckland

    • Transfer to Auckland Airport (free time to shop en route, depending on traffic)

School visit, cultural exchange and sightseeing in the North Island, New Zealand

Prices from 30 + $1326

This includes

  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodation in hotels
  • Twin, triple or quad share
  • All breakfasts 
  • All lunches (picnics or food court)
  • All dinners. All dinners in restaurants.
  • All activities described in itinerary unless marked optional.
  • Comfortable, air-conditioned coach. 
  • Friendly, professional guides. 
  • Access to our national parks
  • 1 free adult (tour leader or teacher)
  • 1 additional teacher per 10 students at the same price as the students.
  • Pre-trip information
  • Worksheets
  • Risk management paperwork

Not included

  • International and domestic airfares
  • Optional extra activities like bungy jumping.
  • Personal expenses (phone, wifi, laundry, lunches, etc.)

School visit, cultural exchange and sightseeing in the North Island, New Zealand

Organising a school trip overseas is a huge task, even if you do intend using the services of a local specialist once you get to your destination. The following suggestions will make your job easier and less stressful, especially if you've never run your own school trip before.

1: Begin your planning in plenty of time:

six months is the suggested minimum. Decide where you'd like to go and what you'd like your students to gain from the experience. Run the idea past your colleagues, principal and school board as necessary to see if the idea has their support. Discuss your approximate budget, target group, which subject areas to address, type of accommodation you'll use (We recommend hostels as being great value for money and more student friendly. Teachers are accommodated in separate twin rooms with en suite bathrooms where available.) Ask for an indicative quote from us and find out what airfares are likely to cost.

2: Talk to the student year levels you'd like to join the trip

Talk to the student year levels you'd like to join the trip, mentioning dates and approximate cost to gauge the level of interest. Remember that initial enthusiasm doesn't necessarily translate into signing up, but it at least signals that you should go further. Choosing dates that don't clash with exams or other big school events is self-evident, but it's also worth checking what other overseas trips your school might be planning during the same period. Groups of 25 to 35 gel well on tour and are easier to manage while also costing less per head than small groups. Price per head reduces up to a group size of 45 including teachers after which there's no budgetary advantage to making the group bigger. Let us know if you want us to build all accompanying teacher costs into the pricing. Typically schools send up to 1 adult per 10 students on tour.

3: Promotional evening for parents and students

Once you've got this far, set up a promotional evening for parents and students. We can provide a presentation with details of Learning Journeys as a company and New Zealand and lots of photos to whet their appetite. At the same time, hand out copies of the itinerary and a letter summarising key details with a request for expressions of interest and a deposit (say 10 to 20 % of the total cost) and a timeline for the payment of the balance of the trip cost. Your letter should also mention any need for clothing or equipment the students may not possess: good walking boots for example or a warm, seriously water proof jacket.

4: Confirm your booking

Once you have enough deposits to be sure the trip will go ahead, confirm your booking, which involves paying a deposit. We ask for 10% at this point or 25% if your departure date is less than 3 months ahead.

5: Expect to receive more planning paperwork

Having confirmed your booking, you can now expect to receive more planning paperwork: more detailed destination information, gear lists, RAMS forms, worksheet drafts... At this stage you can fine tune your itinerary: the first cut may have include optional or alternative activities and the educational programmes are also likely to include a choice of activities. If your school is a state school, your choice of adventure activities may depend on running these past government departments who will approve them or otherwise.

6: Building anticipation among the group

Now it's just a matter of building anticipation among the group, addressing relevant curriculum related topics in class, collecting further payments as deadlines draw near. We'll ask you for student details, including dates of birth, heights, shoe sizes if they'll be hiring, say, ski equipment. We'll provide finalised itineraries with times and details of activities. You'll receive a master copy of the worksheets (if you want them) with as much or as little input from you as you want.

7: Reminders

Students, as you're sure to know, will need frequent reminders about all aspects of their preparation for the trip. Suitable clothing is key. Teenagers who live in warm countries, or even colder ones, are likely to need convincing that they really do need that warm, waterproof jacket to ensure that they'll still enjoy what they're doing if the weather turns bad. Preparation for physically demanding aspects of the tour - hiking or even skiing/boarding also requires lots of reminders. Every communication with students needs to be copied to parents, especially meeting times and places for your final departure.

8: New Zealand

Once you're on the plane, your biggest challenges will be over. Once you reach New Zealand, we'll meet you as you come through the arrivals gate, then, apart from your supervisory role with the students, you can relax and enjoy yourself.

9: Anything we can do to make your job easier, just ask

Throughout this build up period, if there's anything we can do to make your job easier, just ask. Our role is not just to provide you and your students with a fabulously memorable and educational experience, but also to make your role as teacher in charge as painless as possible.
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Tour Length
7 Days / 6 Nights
Tour dates
By arrangement
Designed for
Primary students
1 Tour leader
Minimum group size
10 Students
From $1526pp incl. GST
Request a quote Contact us