Field trip | Levels 3-6: Discover the diverse wetlands of the Waikato by visiting Lake Kaituna, Ngaroto and Ruatuna. Look at what lives in these unique environments, both above and below the water surface.


Students can learn about its rare combination of features: a sand spit, an estuary, river mouth flats, adjacent low hills, a pa site, an urupa, pohutukawa forest, several rare birds, important shellfish beds, mangroves, culturally valuable plants and a fish breeding zone. 

There are numerous wetlands located throughout the Waikato region. Lakes Kaituna, Ngaroto and Ruatuna and Whangamarino wetland areas have been selected for ideal field trips because of good access, facilities and learning opportunities.

Students will look at what lives in these unique environments, both above and below the water surface.

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About the resource

This kit provides site location maps, pre- and post-visit activities for your outdoor education experience and includes safety considerations and background reading for teachers. Curriculum links are provided and a series of teacher’s study sheets covering a range of topics pertinent to the wetlands areas in Waikato: Lakes Kaituna, Ngaroto and Ruatuna and Whangamarino wetland.


  • Locations of teacher resource kits
  • Some of the major wetlands in the lower Waikato River Basin
  • Using this resource
  • Background information
  • Before visit activities
  • After visit activities
  • Organisation of outdoor safety
  • Location facilities
  • Statement about curriculum links
  • 10 teacher worksheets
  • Other references and resources

Learning areas

  • Science
  • Social sciences
  • Health and PE

Learning outcomes 


  • Students will research the wide range of birdlife in the Waikato wetlands.
  • Students will investigate the wetlands with the aim of identifying the threats facing the wetland.
  • Students will investigate and gain knowledge about plankton.


  • Students will gain knowledge of wetland ecosystems and threats to it
  • Students will explore a wetland and the species that exist in it
  • Students will gather data on species in the area

Links to curriculum 


  • Science: Living world: Ecology
  • Social sciences: Place and environment 
  • Health & PE: Personal health and physical development


  • Science: Living world: Ecology
  • Planet earth and beyond: Earth systems
  • Social sciences: Place and environment
  • Health and PE: Personal health and physical development


  • Wetlands

Publication information

IBSN 0-478-22298-X


Kirikiriroa / Hamilton Office
Phone:   +64 7 858 1000
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   Level 4
73 Rostrevor Street
Hamilton 3204
Postal Address:   Private Bag 3072
Hamilton 3240
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