Field Trips
Drinking from the Hobbit’s Well

Hutt Valley Catchment / Kaitoke Field Trip

Kaitoke FT photo.jpg

Trip Leader: Rebecca Morris, GWRC

Date: Friday 3 December

Departure time: 8.30 am from Te Papa

Return: approx. 3.00 pm to Te Papa, then on to Wellington Airport by 3.30 pm



NZD +15% GST

*Purchase with your conference registration

The Hutt Valley Catchment is the main source of potable water supply to Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Porirua and Wellington.  The Waiwhetu gravel aquifer, located in Lower Hutt, supplies up to 70% of Wellington’s potable supply water in the summer.  The high transmissive nature of the aquifer requires a delicate balance for management with minimum flow from Hutt River and saline intrusion from the Wellington Harbour.  The first stop will be McEwan Park, to discuss the hydrology/hydrogeology of Lower Hutt and the saline intrusions monitoring network that is managed by Greater Wellington Regional Council and Wellington Water Ltd.  We will then stop at the artesian water fountain.  Hydrate yourself with fresh water straight from the Waiwhetu aquifer (UV treated, no chlorination).  From there we will drive along the Hutt River explaining the hydrological complexities and the recharge mechanisms to the aquifer before stopping at Te Marua Water Treatment Plant.  Here we will tour the water treatment plant and storage lakes before heading to Kaitoke Regional Park to view the Kaitoke weir - where it all begins.   Plenty of free time has been allocated for lunch where you can don your elf ears or hobbit feet for lunch at Rivendell, Lord of the Rings Movie Site and take a short walk with Ranger Steve to hear memorable stories of our native forest.


Please wear good walking shoes and bring a rain jacket, just in case it’s needed.

Matiu / Somes Island - Days Bay Field Trip
Matiu Somes Island  from Mokopuna Island_DOC.jpeg

Trip leader: Mike Stewart, GNS

Date: Friday 3 December

Departure time: 9.00am from Te Papa

Return: approx. 4.00pm to Te Papa



NZD +15% GST

*Purchase with your conference registration

The trip will start with a short walk around the wharves to the East By West ferry terminal at Queen’s Wharf. From there, the new electric ferry will take us to Matiu /Somes Island.

Matiu/Somes Island is a predator-free scientific reserve. It is also a historic reserve with a rich multicultural history. A guided walk will cover the fascinating multi-layered history of the island as well as the historic and biodiversity conservation which is taking place now. The walk will also increase our chance of finding some of the rare and shy wildlife.


From Matiu/Somes Island, the ferry will take us to Days Bay where we will have lunch at the Days Bay Pavilion.

After lunch we will visit Northern Forest, East Harbour Regional Park, where a park ranger will point out features of interest in the forest. Northern Forest lies between Eastbourne and Wainuiomata, and is held as a scenic reserve. It consists of steep hill country with beech/rata forest, and podocarp/broadleaf forest on the valley floors. Lower Hutt Forest & Bird and the general Wellington community are very active in preserving the ecology of the Northern Forest and controlling pests.

We will then catch the 3.15pm ferry back to Queens Wharf.


Sturdy shoes and a rain jacket are advised but the walking will be easy grade.


Please note: This trip does NOT include an airport transfer, however, it is easy to catch a taxi from Te Papa to the airport.