NZ Geology Sites

Places to visit geology in New Zealand

Where to explore the Wellington Fault

Wellington Fault at Thorndon

The Wellington Fault is one of several large active faults in the lower North Island of New Zealand. From the Tararua Mountains and Kaitoke it runs the length of the Hutt Valley, the edge of Wellington Harbour, through Tinakori in the City and across the hills to Cook Strait. Earthquakes occur on the Wellington Fault …

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Natural Hazards Science for East Coast Schools

GNS science recently ran four three-day natural hazards science camps for intermediate level students in New Zealand’s rural Tairawhiti (Gisborne – East Cape) region. A total of 109 year 7 and 8 students and 16 teachers, from 19 schools were represented. The science camps were based at four different locations (Gisborne, Te Karaka, Tolaga Bay …

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Volcano City

Mangere Mountain, L. Homer / GNS Science Volcanic cones, explosion craters and lava flows form much of Auckland’s natural topography. All of these, apart from one (Rangitoto Island) are from vents that erupted once only (monogenetic), with eruptions lasting a few weeks or months and then ceasing completely.  There are many accessible and beautiful locations …

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GeoTrips – visiting New Zealand’s geology and landforms

The Tasman Glacier Lake from the air

Tasman Glacier Lake,  J.Thomson / GNS Science New Zealand is an isolated country with a very active plate boundary running right through it. For a relatively small landmass it has an astonishing variety of landscapes and is being continuously subject to dramatic physical occurrences that include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, landslides, rapid erosion and sedimentation. …

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Photo: J.Thomson The windswept coastline between Wellington Harbour and Palliser Bay forms the southern tip of the Rimutaka Ranges. These hills themselves are an extension of the axial ranges that stretch the length of the North Island. This is the view east from Baring Head towards Turakirae Head. In good weather, this rugged environment isthe …

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Another great geological venue on the South Taranaki coast is at the Opunake boat ramp, where we took our Geocamp participants recently. On two sides of the car park there are cliffs showing a spectacular sequence of strata.information for you to visit this spot is on our GeoTrips website here: It’s a perfect spot …

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Waihi Beach Taranaki

The South Coast of Taranaki near Hawera has extensive rocky beaches lined by high crumbling cliffs. It is a great place for geology, but you should be wary of the potential for cliff falls, especially after rain. This is the view east from the Ohawe beach access point. A first look at the cliff from …

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Airedale Reef

Earlier this week I was up in Taranaki, exploring the geology of the area  with two GNS Science researchers Kyle Bland and Richard Levy. One of the sites we visited was Airedale Reef, a short walk east along the coast from the mouth of the Waitara River. There are spectacular remnants of an ancient forest …

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Tongariro North Crater

Earlier this week I decided to spend the night camping up on the North Crater of Tongariro. This is the large flat crater that is off to the north and west of the main track of the Tongariro Crossing. For access information have a look at the GeoTrip page here: is a view across …

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