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Fieldwork plays a big part in geological studies. Our department values field experiences right from the start with a number of day trips and outings in our 100-level papers. At 200 and 300-level, our multi-day field schools provide a chance for our students to build on the knowledge and skills learned in lectures, labs and other study. These skills are enhanced further by our Nauman Fund sponsored field expeditions at 300 and 400-level.

Field school dates

New international students taking GEOL344 or GEOL252 will need to make sure they arrive in New Zealand prior to pre-semester field trip departure and attend an international orientation seminar the previous week in order to complete the declaration. For more information, please contact:


  • GEOL 344 Advanced Field Studies – Pounawea (14–16 February 2024)
    Note: We will be in Dunedin overnight on 12 and 13 February
  • GEOL 344 Advanced Field Studies – Maerewhenua (3–12 February 2024)
    Note: Compulsory meeting and compass refresher session on 1 February will be followed by a compulsory first-aid course organised by Geology and delivered on 2 February
  • GEOL 252 Introduction to field mapping Maerewhenua (20–25 February 2024)
    Note: The pre-field school meeting is at 2pm, 19 February 2024

First Semester begins just after the February field schools.

Mid-semester break starts just after the Borland field school.

General information

The field schools dates shown on this page are run as part of our core papers (courses). You can find more details on the web page for each paper.

Many of the optional papers in Geology at 200- and 300-level involve field work at weekends. Details will be sent to students as early as possible. If you have a clash between field requirements for different papers, please discuss matters with us as soon as possible.

Field trips are usually compulsory. Normally, students may be exempted from field trips only on the grounds of illness (as documented by a medical certificate), or a death in the immediate family, or representing New Zealand in a cultural, sporting, educational or scientific event.

Nauman Field Trips

Through the generosity of Clynt and Jan Nauman, the Nauman Fund supports extended field trips at 300-level and at the postgraduate level. These trips provide our students with an opportunity to build and develop field mapping skills. For those in GEOL353 and GEOL401/403, components of assessment will be undertaken during the trips. All costs are covered for these trips.

More information on fieldwork opportunities.


  • GEOL353 West Coast Field Trip
    The expedition departs Dunedin by coach at 9:00am Friday 31 March 2023 and returns 20:30 Tuesday 4 April. This trip provides opportunities to see the geology of the Southern Alps and the Alpine Fault.
  • 400-level North Island Field Trip
    We will fly to Gisborne on the morning of Wednesday 24 May 2023, travel by coach from east to west across the North Island, then return from New Plymouth to Dunedin on the evening of 29 May.

Fieldwork: What can you expect?

You must attend a Health and Safety briefing before you go on any departmental field trip. For fieldwork in general, you must be fit and physically agile/able enough to walk unaided for some kilometres on rough ground which may include narrow tracks, gravel banks, river beds and rocky shores – all typical of the New Zealand outdoors. You must have appropriate personal field equipment, including warm waterproof clothing and boots suitable for repeated wetting including stream crossings up to knee deep. If you seek more details in advance of the start of classes, please contact the teaching staff. More information is generally available on Blackboard.

GEOL 252 Summer Field School gear list (PDF)

GEOL 344 Summer Field School gear list (PDF)

Field school costs

The costs of field work, other than food, are covered by course fees; thus there is no charge for transport or accommodation. Students pay for or bring their own food for one day trips. Trips longer than a day (with the exception of Nauman Field Trips) have a compulsory charge for food and drink. The approximate food and drink cost for most field trips is NZD$25/full day. Some trips have a pre-determined fixed cost, these are listed below:

  • GEOL 252 Field Studies and New Zealand Geology two 5–6 day field trips, total cost – NZD$250.
  • GEOL 344 Advanced Field Studies: Two February camps, total cost – NZD$300.
  • Nauman Field Trips: All costs are covered.

Registration and payment

Payment via credit card

Cancellation policy

We require at least two weeks' notice, prior to the start of the field trip, of any cancellation. Students who cancel within two weeks will be required to pay for the trip and no refund will be given (except in exceptional circumstances).

Further information

For further information please contact the Geology administrator.
Tel +64 3 749 7519

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