All field trips are subject to limited numbers, bookings will be available when registration opens.


Bat Field Trip - Pureora Forest

Overnight trip to Pureora Forest
Pureora Forest is one of largest remnants of the podocarp forests that once blanketed most of the central North Island. This forest has retained much of its plant and animal diversity. This trip provides an opportunity to see short and long tailed bats, including the communal roost trees that can contain hundreds of individuals. There is also an opportunity to see Dactylanthus, which has an important connection with short-tailed bats.

Departs from and returns to: Claudelands Events Centre
Departure time: 1.00pm on Friday 18th Nov
Return time: 12.00pm on Saturday 19th Nov
Price: $120 per person

What to bring: Sleeping bag, pillow, toiletries, towel, water bottle. Suitable clothing and footwear for working in a remote area. Potential to be cold and wet, so bring a raincoat and warm jacket. Tramping boots preferable as there will be a requirement for walking off track in forest.
Other information: Accommodation – Pureora Fire Station. The Fire Station has bunkrooms, with mattresses supplied. There is a fully appointed kitchen, bathroom and shower facilities.
A highly eco-sensitive field trip so numbers are limited.


Bat Field Trip - Pukemokemoke


The Pukemokemoke Reserve covers 40 ha and enjoys a rich diversity of native plant species, bird life and our native long tailed bats. There are over 300 plant species, including matai, kauri, totara, tawa, rimu and native beech. A popular network of tracks allows an exploration of the area with locals spotting native bats during sunset on a regular basis. For the more energetic there is a reasonably good track to a lookout platform at the old trig station (20 mins to summit) with fantastic panoramic views of the Waikato basin.

Departs from and returns to: Claudelands Events Centre


Departure time: 5.30pm
Return time: 9.30pm
Price: $50 per person
What to bring: Water, jacket, torch & insect repellent

Photo by: Catherine Kirby



Hammond Park Field Trip  

Hammond Nzwj

Come and hang out with Hamilton’s bats and bat lovers! Join the Project Echo team for an evening excursion to explore one of the city’s most biodiverse gullies. Utilising some nifty bat detectors, your chances are high to hear long tailed bats hunt for their evening snack or even see them as they flit inconspicuously against dusky skies. Along the boardwalk, participants are reminded to keep their eyes open for other nocturnal animals such as glow-worms, eels and moreporks.
Long-tailed bats live in small cavities in old or large trees and destruction of habitat is one of the biggest threats to the species. Hammond Park has been fitted with a number of artificial roosts to help the long-tailed bat population re-establish. The area is home to residents who work tirelessly at restoring and caring for the gully which is used regularly for community environmental education initiatives.

Departs from and returns to: Claudelands Events Centre


Departure time: 7.00pm
Return time: 9.30pm
Price: $35 per person

What to bring: Water, jacket, torch & snacks
Other information: There is no public toilet

Photo by: Catherine Kirby



Maungatautari Field Trip, Kindly Sponsored by Waipa District Council  


Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is a unique mainland island in the central North Island. The 3,400 hectare forested ancient volcano stretches from the rolling Waikato lowlands into the clouds above. The mountain is protected by a 47km pest-proof fence which keeps the forest free from mammalian predators, allowing it to regenerate and providing a flourishing pre-human habitat for New Zealand wildlife including many endangered species.

The field trip will be led by experienced guides who can explain the ecology of Maungatautari and point out unique flora and fauna that flourish there in the absence of pests.

Depending on numbers and visitors’ interests, tours may include:
Maungatautari peak – see the succession of vegetation from lowland forest to high on the mountain. You may see early blooming Tawari (Ixerba brexioides), an angiosperm tree that until 2009 was the single member of New Zealand's only endemic vascular plant family of Ixerbaceae. It is only found in a limited area of the North Island.
Tuatara wetlands – Explore the wetland and learn how 80% of wetlands in the Waikato were drained for agricultural use. Go into the Tuatarium to learn about the history, life cycle and physical characteristics of the tuatara and their journey to Maungatautari. If they are not breeding, a pair of Takahe may be visible; once thought to be extinct, these rare birds were rediscovered in 1948.
Viewing tower – Climb up into the canopy and get a view of the forest from a unique perspective. The tower is located in the Southern Enclosure where most rare bird species have been released.
Botany – For those with a particular interest in plants, special botany tours can be arranged.

Departs from and returns to: Claudelands Events Centre
Departure time: 8.00am
Return time: 2.30pm
Price: $60.00 per person (Includes: transport and lunch at Out in the Styx Guesthouse)

Photo by: Catherine Kirby


Urban Restoration Field Trip  


This one day field trip will focus on recent efforts to bring nature back into Hamilton City. A sequence of sites will be visited encompassing indigenous forest remnants and a range of restoration plantings from 2-40+ years, mainly in gully settings. Gullies are a prominent and unique feature of the City and have been a focus of restoration projects since about 2000. Sites visited will include private gully restorations, school and community led restorations and city council restoration projects. Significant time will also be spend at the 60 ha Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park where a re-construction or restoration of the full range of local indigenous ecosystems; from lake edge wetlands to ridgetop forest is being undertaken.

The ecosystem types include:
• Kahikatea-pukatea (semi-swamp) forest
• Harakeke-sedge (lake margin/ swamp)
• Kauri/kanuka (ridge crest) forest
• Tawa/rimu (hillslope) forest
• Restiad bog and lake margin wetlands
• Lake/aquatic habitat

Sites to be visited:
1. Mangaiti Gully
2. Hukanui School Gully
3. Seeleys Gully
4. Private Gully TBC
5. St James subdivision constructed wetland
6. Hammond Bush restoration
7. Jubilee Bush (Claudelands)
8. Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park

Departs from and returns to: Claudelands Events Centre
Departure time: 8.30am
Return time: 5.30pm
Price: $55.00 per person  (Includes: transport and packed lunch

Photo by: Catherine Kirby


Pukorokoro Miranda  

MIranda Dick Bos

This one day field trip will visit one of New Zealand’s major shorebird sites. The Firth of Thames hosts internationally important numbers of trans- equatorial migratory shorebirds such as bar-tailed godwit and red knot. In 2007 a female godwit fitted with a satellite transmitter at Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre was tracked through her entire migration. This included an 11,680 non-stop flight between Alaska and the Firth of Thames. At this time of year almost all adult birds will have returned from their breeding grounds on the Arctic tundra. There will also be juvenile birds present. Come and see juvenile godwits that – while they are still only 4-5 months old – have already flown the length of the Pacific in one non- stop flight. There are also likely to be other Arctic-breeding species present including ruddy tunstone, Pacific golden plover, sharp-tailed sandpiper and red-necked stint.

The firth also supports 40 per cent of the endemic wrybill population: the laterally curved bill of this species is unique among birds. New Zealand dotterel also breed at Pukorokoro Miranda. As well there are usually large flocks of pied oystercatcher and pied stilt.

There will be interpretative talk at Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre before going to see the bird flocks on the high tide. The centre has a bookshop with possibly the widest selection of natural history titles anywhere in the country.

Departs from and returns to: Claudelands Events Centre
Departure time: 10.30am
Return time: 4.30pm
Price: $60.00 (Includes: transport and packed lunch)
What to bring: Binoculars

Photo by: Dick Bos


Waitomo Caves  

Waitomo 2il org

Waitomo is world‐renowned for its karst landscape and network of limestone caves studded with glow‐worms and stalactite formations. On this trip you will learn about the history of this unique environment, catchment management initiatives to maintain water quality, cave management and monitoring, and local flora and fauna. The morning will include a bush walk and trip to Aranui Cave, steeped in Maori history, and in the afternoon the group will have the option of visting the stunning Spellbound Caves or go on the legendary Black Labyrinth blackwater rafting trip (may involve non‐conference participants)

Departs from and returns to: Claudelands Events Centre
Departure time: 8.30am
Return time: 5.30pm
Price for Waitomo Cave trip and Spellbound Glowworm and Cave Tour: $121.00 per person 
Price for Waitomo Cave trip and Black Labyrinth Rafting Trip: $197.00
(Includes: transport, packed lunch, Aranui Cave)
What to bring: Sturdy shoes, sun hat and togs & towel if blackwater rafting

Photo by: Catherine Kirby 


Whatawhata Sustainable Hill land Management


Visit the site of a long-term catchment scale experiment in sustainable hill farm land management where a plan to improve the economic and environmental performance was planned by a collaborative group, implemented in 2001. Learn about the responses of the farm system economic performance, carbon sequestration, biodiversity and stream hydrology, water quality and ecology that have been monitored continuously since 1995. Enjoy a short hike into the podocarp-hardwood forest catchment in the adjacent reference catchment to contrast the near natural state of the land and streams with that of pastoral streams with and without native forest riparian restoration planting.

Departs from and returns to: Claudelands Events Centre
Departure time: 9.00am
Return time: 3.00pm
Price: $55 per person (Includes: transport, packed lunch)

What to bring: Sturdy walking boots and raincoats


Hobbiton Tour

Hobbiton Autumn 36

Discover the real Middle-earth with a fascinating two-hour guided tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set, as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Situated on picturesque private farmland, your tour guide will escort you around the 12 acre set sharing the story of Hobbiton; how it was built and a few tricks of the trade from the film industry. Throughout the set there are 44 complete Hobbit Holes, the mill, double arch stoned bridge and The Green Dragon Inn kept as they were during filming. The tour then cumulates at the Green Dragon Inn, our fully themed venue where you will be treated to an exclusive Southfarthing ale, cider or ginger beer.

Departs from and returns to: Claudelands Events Centre
Price: $95.00 per person (Includes Transport, Hobbiton Tour & Packed Lunch)

Photo Supplied by: Hobbiton


Ice Age Peat Lake, Kindly Sponsored by Waipa Disctrict Council

Visit one of the Waikato’s finest peat lakes, dating from the end of the last ice age, and an associated kahikatea forest. Site of the proposed National Wetland Centre and a major community-led ecological restoration project, including pest exclusion. Test a newly developed self-guided discovery trail, view a rare restiad (giant cane rush and wire rush) peatland community, find “Fred the Thread” (host-specific endemic moth), practice some ecosystem monitoring techniques, and learn of the National Wetland Trust’s plans for a wetland centre.

Departs from and returns to: Claudelands Events Centre
Departure time: 8.30am
Return time: 1.30pm
Price: $50.00 per person (Includes: transport, packed lunch)
What to bring: Sunhat, sunscreen, sturdy footwear, musical instruments, no mice…


Torehape restiad bog restoration

Torehape restiad bog restoration

Torehape restiad bog, on the Hauraki Plains, north Waikato, is currently being mined for horticultural peat. Once the permitted depth of peat has been removed, the mining company is required to restore the bare surface to original bog vegetation. Restoration research over more than a decade has resulted in best practice for restoring the plant and invertebrate communities. The field trip will cover the different ages and stages of bog recovery at Torehape. In the afternoon we will visit Kopuatai Bog, a Ramsar site and NZ’s best example of the target Sporadanthus ferrugineus restiad bog type.  

Departs from and returns to: Claudelands Events Centre
Departure time: 8.30am
Return time: 4.30pm
Price: $60.00 per person
What to bring: Raincoat, Gumboots or good walking boots, Sunhat


Waikato Expressway, Huntly Section

Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway earthworks on the Taupiri Pass

Visit the largest ecological component being undertaken by the NZ Transport Agency in the upper North Island as part of the 15.2km Huntly Section of the Waikato Expressway.  Learn about the habitat rehabilitation and restoration works, lizard, fish and bat management, freshwater and flood plain restoration works and wetland creation as part of the construction of the Expressway.

Departs from and returns to: Claudelands Events Centre
Departure time: 8.50am
Return time: Approx 11.30am Depart for Hamilton via the Graham’s Farm private access road
Price: $65.00 per person
What to bring: Water and packed lunch. Sturdy walking shoes/boots, long sleeve and long pants

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