A trip to Tiritiri Matangi gives childrens the chance to take a trip back in time when our forests were full to bursting with birds.

The ‘deafening birdsong’ that was experienced by Captain Cook’s crewmate and naturalist Joseph Banks in 1769 is a feature that strikes many visitors to Tiritiri Matangi. 

The abundance of creatures large and small allows children the chance to learn firsthand about the country early explorers first encountered. 

To return the island to this pest-free forested state after years of farming took vision, spadework and a large community effort that has been replicated throughout the country on island and mainland sanctuaries. 

Teachers Survival Guide

To get the most out of a self-guided visit, it is recommended that teachers show their students our A – Z (PPT) so they are well prepped before they step on the island. 

Our educators have created a number of activities for middle and primary school children, so fill your boots! Our comprehensive guide, which is aimed at children between 5-12, has a range of activities that can be undertaken pre-visit, on the bus/ferry and while on the island itself. 

Once your pupils arrive at the education/visitor centre, there are a number of hands-on games and models for classes to peruse. In this space, up to 20 children can be accommodated to undertake any desk-based activities.

Education Resources

Our island guides can further enrich any school visit by identifying wildlife, bird-song and giving school groups a behind-the-scenes look at the work done to protect this island. It is best to book a tour at least a week in advance to ensure your spot! 

Educational programmes

To enjoy a fuller experience, it is recommended that schools book one of the educational programmes. There are two streams for pupils: 

  • Primary, Intermediate and Middle School children (Link) 
  • Year 11-13 Secondary School children (Link). 

Our educators have an in-depth understanding of the science curriculum and are able to offer a range of educational experiences closely tied to the curriculum. 

Discounted school rates

We believe that every child in New Zealand should get the chance to experience our wonderful natural environment and to see how communities can help to conserve it, so all schools receive discounted rates. 

Thanks to support from the Tiritiri Matangi Supporters and Fullers360 the fare from either Auckland or Gulf Harbour is $25.00 per student, and one accompanying adult for every six students travels free. Those schools wanting to bring extra adults pay $37.50 per adult. 

The charge for the guided walk on the Island is just $2.00 per student (no charge for accompanying adults). The fee for the guided walk is payable on the island on the day of your visit.


Please note: these special rates apply only for visits on school days during the school term.

As many lower decile schools struggle to fund the costs of transport to the island, we have established our Growing Minds programme which provides grants to cover these costs.

Growing Minds Program