Explore the contrasting landscapes of the Port Hills at Victoria Park.

Students learning in the forestDiscover how the unique Port Hills environment has changed over time and take a multi-sensory walk through majestic Podocarp forest.

Students get up close and personal with pests to consider their impact on our native and endemic species, and have the opportunity to learn about tracking and trapping methods used by Park Rangers.

Year level 3 to 10
Curriculum level 1 to 6
Availability Year-round
Times 9.30am to 12noon, or
12.15pm to 2.30pm
Site Victoria Park (Port Hills)
Cost Free
Number of students Maximum of 35

Key concepts

Banks Peninsula history, native flora (bush and grasslands) and fauna, biodiversity, pests, sustainability.

Lesson description/intentions

At Victoria Park, students investigate how changing values have reflected different landscapes on the Port Hills.

Students will:

  1. Discover the native flora and fauna that make up this special environment.
  2. Use their tracking skills (scat/footprints/markings) to gather information to see which pests are in the area before learning how rangers deploy pest management techniques.
  3. Lastly, students consider the impact on pests and how it’s affecting the sustainability of our local landscapes.

Possible success criteria

Students may be able to:

  • explore the different habitats that exist in Banks Peninsula and identify why they are valuable.
  • explain how plants and animals in native forest and tussock lands are interdependent.
  • explain how pests impact our native forests and some solutions to these problems
  • identify actions that they can do to encourage sustained growth of native animal and tree species.

Key competencies

  • Participating and contributing – students are invited to become actively involved in supporting park rangers' efforts to eradicate pests from our native habitats.
  • Relating to others – students are required to consider and suggest reasons for different groups of people recognising and placing a variety of values on different habitats.
Learning areas Strands Curriculum level Achievement objectives
Science Nature of science 3 and 4
  • Communicating in science
  • Investigating on science
  • Participating and contributing
Science Living world 3 and 4
  • Life processes
  • Ecology
Science Planet Earth and beyond 3 and 4
  • Earth systems
Social sciences   3
  • Understand how people view and use places differently
  • Understand how early Polynesian and British migrants to New Zealand have continuing significance for tangata whenua and communities
Social sciences   4
  • Understand how exploration and innovation create opportunities and challenges for people places and environments
  • Understand that events have causes and effects
  • Understand how people participate individually and collectively in response to community challenges
Social sciences   5
  • Understand how the ideas and actions of people in the past have a significant impact on people’s lives
  • Understand how people’s management of resources impacts on environmental and social sustainability
Health and physical education Personal health and physical development 2 to 5
  • Safety management
Health and physical education Personal health and physical development 3
  • Regular physical activity
Health and physical education Healthy communities and environments 3 to 5
  • Societal attitudes and values
Health and physical education Healthy communities and environments 4 and 5
  • Community resources

"Held children’s interest, knowledgeable presenters and the educators had a friendly and positive manner." Teacher, Years 7/8

"I think that it is important to have a place like Victoria Park, not only for people’s enjoyment but for little animals to live and eat." Student, Year 5

"We learnt a lot about all the pests in the park and how special the environment is. I loved the game we played – it was cool." Student, Year 5