Take a journey back through time to see how the quarry was formed over millions of years. Explore the local wetland environment, learn how local iwi traditionally used resources, and discover how we can all protect and enjoy our regional parks today.

Park Ranger teaching students in the quarry

Year level 3 to 10
Curriculum level 2 to 6
Availability Year-round
Times 9.30am to 12noon or 12.15pm to 2.30pm
Site Halswell Quarry Park
Cost Free
Number of students Maximum of 35

If the focus of your visit is geology and rock types, we recommend you combine a visit to Halswell Quarry with a visit to Canterbury Museum(external link) for their Rock On(external link) programme. For more information contact 03 366 9429 ext 804.  Alternatively, contact Heritage New Zealand for an educational heritage pack information@heritage.org.nz.

  • Geological change
  • Volcanism
  • Heritage
  • Māori world view
  • Traditional resources of a wetland

Students will enjoy a trip back through time as they learn about the geological history and formation of the rock at Halswell Quarry.

They will be challenged to identify and classify different rock types and their uses throughout Canterbury.

Students will explore the social history of the quarry and discover what daily life was like for the quarrymen in the longest-running commercial quarry in Australasia with a hands-on building challenge.

Over in the wetland, students will discover how the local iwi have traditionally used the indigenous resources found in this area and explore how we can all protect and enjoy our green spaces today.

We are learning to:

  • Understand the geological and social history of Halswell Quarry Park from Pākehā and Māori perspectives
  • Identify different rock types and their uses
  • Describe how local iwi used resources from the wetlands
  • Identify at least one way we can act as kaitiaki of our regional parks

Using language, symbols and texts

Students will use oral, written, and visual texts to interpret key terms and concepts and to identify timelines, interpret maps and legends.


Students will use creative, critical and meta-cognitive processes to problem solve and expand knowledge of the local area, heritage sites and native species and their uses.

Managing self

Students will manage their learning and think and act independently.

Participating and contributing

Students will contribute to group tasks (timeline, rock wall building, tree search, moa hunt).

Relating to others

Students will work collaboratively and supportively to complete tasks.

Curriculum area

Strand and level




Nature of Science

Levels 2 -6

Understanding about science

Investigating in science


Social Sciences

Tikanga ā-Iwi

Planet Earth and Beyond

Levels 2-6

Earth Systems

Interacting Systems

Levels 2 - 6


Social Studies