Lake Wakatipu
Image: Karin Noresten


The Wakatipu Basin has a diverse landscape and some of New Zealand’s most spectacular scenery. The activities in this resource can be used at number of different locations around the Wakatipu.

Published: December 2015

At the centre of the Wakatipu Basin's diverse landscape lies Lake Wakatipu, New Zealand's longest lake. The diversity in this area is reflected in the different habitats which are addressed in this resource.

The activities in this package can be used at number of different locations around the Wakatipu; they can be used in isolation or together for a longer trip. Suggestions have been made on the pull-out map, but if you know a local gem please use it or get in touch with the local DOC office for some more ideas.

Many of the activities are relevant to other Otago settings and can be used outside the district.

Learning outcomes

Students can explore the Wakatipu Basin environment, learn about the different habitats (alpine, beech forest, dryland woodland and braided river systems) and find out more about the plant and animal life of the area.

Wakatipu Basin super site resource

Download the Wakatipu Basin super site resource (PDF, 10,272K)

This resource includes the following chapters:

Section 1 – Introduction

  • Introduction, including how to use this resource
  • Education for the environment
  • Contact and feedback
  • Curriculum breakdown

Section 2 – Teacher notes and activities

  • Introduction
  • Pre and on-site activities for the following themes:
    • Pre-site preparation
    • Above the bushline – the alpine environment
    • The Beech Forest
    • Kōwhai shrub-lands
    • Water – braided river systems
    • Wakatipu Birds
    • Predators and competitors

Section 3 – Resources and additional information

  • Resources
  • Evaluation form
  • Glossary

Curriculum links


Level 1 and 2

Planet Earth and beyond

Earth systems: Explore and describe natural features and resources

Living world

Life processes: Recognise that all living things have certain requirements so they can stay alive

Ecology: Recognise that living things are
suited to their particular habitat


  1. Recognise that there are lots of different living things in the world and that they can be grouped in different ways.
  2. Explain how we know that some living things from the past are now extinct.

Level 3 and 4

Planet Earth and beyond

Earth systems: Appreciate that water, air, rocks and soil, and life forms make up our planet and recognise that these are also earth's resources

Ecology: Explain how living things are suited to their particular habitat and how they respond to environmental changes, both natural and humaninduced.

Living world

Life processes: Recognise that there are life processes common to all living things and that these occur in different ways.


  1. Begin to group plants, animals, and other living things into sciencebased classifications.
  2. Explore how the groups of living things we have in the world have changed over long periods of time and appreciate that some living things in New Zealand are quite different from living things in other areas of the world.

Social science

Level 2

People and place influence

Understand how places influence people and people influence places.

Cultural practices

Understand how cultural practices reflect and express people's customs, traditions and values.

Level 3

People using places

Understand how people view and use places differently.

Resource decisions

Understand how people make decisions about access to and use of resources.

Recording the past

Understand how people remember and record the past in different ways.

Level 4

Cultural heritage

Understand how people pass on and sustain culture and heritage.

Community challenges

Understand how people participate individually and collectively in response to community challenges.


If you have any questions about this resource, contact:

Whakatipu-wai-Māori / Queenstown Office
Phone:   +64 3 442 7933
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   Cavells Building
1 Arthurs Point Road
Postal Address:   PO Box 811
Queenstown 9348
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