Here is our itinerary that we received about 2 weeks ago.
(Click below to read)
28 December 05 (27 December 05 – US Time)
Field trip starts in Nelson approx. 2 pm. Travel to Takaka in Golden Bay.
Accommodation: Geology House field station. Briefing and orientation.
Field station is about 10 minutes drive from Takaka township which has internet cafes, shopping, pharmacy etc. No money machine but retailers will give cash-out with purchases.
29 Dec. to 1st Jan.
At Geology House. Leave each morning after breakfast, preparing packed lunch and being briefed, for field work at locations in surround areas. Return about 5 pm. Prepare dinner, eat, then do compilation under guidance. Several maps to be handed in during this period. Topic: Introduction to Geological Mapping and Structural Geology. Break for New Year’s Eve celebrations.
2nd -3rd Jan. Accommodation change to “River Inn” Backpackers www.riverinn.co.nz in old hotel a few minutes away from Geology House. Continue fieldwork.
4th-5th Jan. Move to St Arnaud village, Nelson Lakes National Park, in a spectacular lakeside setting. Topic: Glacial and Tectonic Geomorphology. Activities include a hike up Mt Roberts via the “Pinchgut Track”. Accommodation: Alpine Chalets http://www.alpinelodge.co.nz/
6th–12th Jan. To Westport with accommodation at University of Canterbury Field Station. Dr John Bradshaw takes over instruction. Westport is a major town on the West Coast of South Island and has everything that a modern city has but geared to a lower population base. Internet access, money machine etc will be available. Prof. John Bradshaw takes over for this part of the camp. Topic: Structural Geology. Exercises will comprise mapping of a coastal section with access governed by tides.
13th-14th Jan. To Harihari, in the very south of this district and near the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. Activities will include a visit to an excellent exposure of the Alpine Fault contact between the Indo-Australian Plate and the Pacific Plate. Towns at each of the glaciers will have internet.
15th-16th Jan. To Christchurch the Garden City. Sunday 15th will be spent travelling north then east across the Southern Alps to the outwash plain on which Christchurch is situated. Accommodation is at Coachman http://www.coachmanbackpackers.co.nz/ . Monday is your free day to explore the city and visit points of interest. The New Zealand Antarctic Centre is located here as is the US base for flights to McMurdo Station. Towards the east on the coast, is the picturesque township of Akaroa where early French settlers made their home, and the port of Lyttelton on the shore of an eroded volcano and caldera.
17th Jan. Tuesday: I will pick you up from the Coachman at 7.15 am for the 5 hour drive to Picton for a 1230 check in on the Wellington ferry.
18th-23 Jan. In Wellington. Introduction to Quaternary tectonics and sea level changes of this region. Visits to sites of geological interest. Accommodation at Cambridge Hotel Backpackers www.cambridgehotel.co.nz within walking distance of restaurants, supermarket, Te Papa (national Museum) and right next to the Embassy Theatre where the Lord of the Rings world premiere was held. (The extended stay is on the recommendation of past students).
24th-27th Jan. To Tora-White Rock area, SE North Island. The plate boundary here is a few kilometres offshore where the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Indo-Australian Plate has produced the Hikurangi trench. The accommodation will be rustic and we will be staying either at Busby’s farm or White Rock Station (still to be finalized). The coast is spectacular and is a favourite with surfers. No Internet access and the nearest town is about 40 minutes drive away.
28th Jan. Travel North through the Wairarapa Valley to Napier, Hawkes Bay. The Wairarapa has become a very fashionable area producing Pinot Noir and olive oil as well as the fruit and vegetables: also a sheep farming area. Hawkes Bay is a long established wine and fruit producing area. Geology work through these parts will comprise a continuation of the study we started on the Tora Coast.
29th-30th Jan. In Napier. Discover the features of the area. Napier was hit by a large earthquake in 1931 that devastated the town. Which present day features can we attribute directly to the earthquake? Free day. Accommodation at Archies Bunker’in the heart of Napier close to Museum, restaurants, coffee bars, Marineland. www.archiesbunker.co.nz Internet access in-house from this point on.
31st Jan. Travel to Taupo situated on shore of Lake Taupo, Central North Island. Taupo gives its name to the Taupo Volcanic Zone characterised by active volcanoes from Ruapehu in the southwest to White Is and a chain of undersea volcanoes to the northeast. In between, activity is evidenced by steaming ground, geysers, boiling mud pools and other types of geothermal activity. The geothermal power station of Wairakei is just north of Taupo. Visit locality for sampling obsidian. Visit Craters of the Moon geothermal park. (Accommodation to be decided).
1st-4th Feb. At National Park Village situated in the shadow of the great, active andesite cones of Mt Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe with the Tongariro Massif further to the north. Accommodation at National Park Backpackershttp://www.npbp.co.nz/ . Walk the world-famous Tongariro Crossing: takes you past Ngauruhoe (“Mt Doom” of Lord of the Rings) and a side trip to the summit and crater can be done within the time-frame for the day’s activity. Option to end day with swim at Tokaanu hot pools.
Dr Bob Stewart joins us for next 4 days. Study of tephras: tephra stratigraphy – types, description, chronology and importance in geology.
5th-6th Feb. To Rotorua, “known to Kiwis as “Rotovegas” ! Active geothermal activity right in the city. Continue volcanism study. Free day on 6th – try the Luge, etc. Option one evening of Maori cultural evening concert and hangi (food cooked in the ground; cost approx $70NZ / $50US.
7th Feb. Travel to Auckland with drop-off at Auckland International Airport. Goodbyes : end of field trip