Christchurch city parks are a great learning destination and offer a wide-range of activities to log in your Passport to Learning including discovery trails, days out with rangers, scavenger hunts and planting days.

About Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi Children's University

Welcome to the exciting world of Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi-Children's University.

This international organisation offers educational experiences and activities for children aged 7 to 14 years old.

These activities take place at Learning Destinations - local educational organisations specialising in out of classroom education. Each child involved is issued a Passport to Learning to record each activity and how many hours learning took place. Children are rewarded with formal certificates and graduations.

Find out more about Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi Children's University(external link)

Family planting days

You can get a sticker from the event organisers on the day. These events are worth between two to three hours.

Parks restoration days

There are many community restoration project sites, in parks all over the city and Banks Peninsula. Some of these are family-friendly.

  • Planting mostly happens over Winter 
  • Maintenance (weeding, watering, mulching) happens in Spring and Summer. 

Go to our parks volunteer events page to find an event in a park near you.

Find out more.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens events

You can get a sticker for your passport from the staff in the Botanic Gardens' Visitor Centre. Activities are worth one hour each. Stay up to date with events at the gardens.

Discovery trails

Every autumn and spring school holidays, there is a self-guided discovery trail jointly run by the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Tūranga Central Library, the Art Gallery and Canterbury Museum. Collect your free activity booklet from any of these venues. Both Tūranga and the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre or Kiosk can issue stickers for your passport on completion of the activities.

Check out the autumn discovery trail for 2022.
(external link)


During the July school holidays, Christchurch parks offer multiple events and activities through Kidsfest that can contribute to your hours. 


Envirohub also runs Envirokids club from the kiosk in the Botanic Gardens. EnviroKids is also an accredited Children's University(external link) learning destination.

Find out more about what Envirokids has to offer.(external link)

Seasonal scavenger hunts

Print a seasonal scavenger hunt from the website or collect one from the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre.

Find out more(external link)

Agents of Discovery

Check out our Agents Of Discovery games app and solve fun challenges while exploring Christchurch City Parks.

The Agents of Discovery app uses augmented reality (like Pokemon Go!) to interact with the world around you and is free to download from Google Play and the App Store.

You can find our missions in the app itself. If you download the app and challenge before you visit the park, you won't need WiFi or data on-site.  

You will get 1 hour in your passport for completing all the missions at the location. You can get multiple stamps for completing the missions at other locations when made available. 

Take proof you have completed all the missions at a location to your Children's University Coordinator. You can take a screenshot, print it out or show the phone them as proof.

Our current mission is at Cass Bay. 


Te Hononga Journey

Once your journey is complete, get your stamp  from the 'donut' reception desk on the ground floor, Council Civic Offices, 53 Hereford Street.

Take a journey through Te Hononga!

Collect a scavenger hunt worksheet from reception, and make your way through the Christchurch City Council offices by figuring out all the clues; you’ll find out some cool things about your awesome local Council along the way. Good Luck!

Ride the Peace Train

Ride the Peace Train and learn how you can contribute to a peaceful city.

The Peace Train was donated to the people of Ōtautahi Christchurch by Yusaf Islam (Cat Stevens) in recognition of the outpouring of compassion and humanity that followed the terror attacks on March 15 2019.

The Peace Train runs in the Botanic Gardens from near the playground on the first and third Sundays of the month until the end of April 2023. 

Get a Peace Train stamp from the station master in your Children’s University passport or on this worksheet. 

Show your goal to your school coordinator. 

Peace Train worksheet [PDF, 718 KB]

Learn more about Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi Children's University.(external link)