Geological Society of New Zealand

Become a member

Home » Auckland Branch

Auckland Branch

Who Are We?

  • The Geoscience Society of New Zealand is an incorporated society which encourages the advancement of the earth sciences in New Zealand. Membership is open to all people interested in the pursuits of the Society.
  • The Auckland Branch is one of seven local branches who organise illustrated lectures, discussion meetings, field trips and social events.
  • The Branch has two different membership types - membership of the national body (GSNZ) and membership of the Auckland branch section - GeoClub. Some belong to one or the other and some belong to both.
  • Society membership entitles you to receive the GSNZ Newsletter, Branch newsletters and benefit from discounts.
  • GeoClub membership entitles you to a monthly GeoClub Newsletter by snail or email with information of upcoming talks and field trips (membership form and cost on page 3).

Branch Rep: Jennifer Eccles -
GeoClub: Bruce Hayward - or Hugh Grenfell -


What is "GeoClub'?

  • Established in 1992 at Auckland Museum the GeoClub is now part of the Auckland Branch of the Geoscience Society of New Zealand at Auckland University. The Club is a mix of enthusiastic amateurs and professionals who share a common interest in the study and understanding of Auckland's geology and fossils and has a membership of approximately 100.
  • No previous knowledge or understanding of geology is required to become a member, although most of our members started by taking an adult education course or a geology paper at University. The main requirement is an enthusiasm to understand something about the long history of the earth and our region.
  • Recent Club field trips have included visits to Hokianga, East Cape, Rotorua, Port Waikato, Waihi Gold Mine, Puketotara Peninsula, Kawau Island, the Miranda coast, Piha, Browns Island, Pollen Island, Whangaparoa, the Hillsborough coast, Queens Street building stones, Takapuna fossil forest to mention a few.

  • Geology is a hobby that families and people of all ages can enjoy. It gets you out into the open air and is a great way to exercise. It takes you to fascinating places you have never visited before and above all you will start seeing the landscape with new eyes. No longer will you just see sheep grazing on hills. You will start to see the lava flows, the fault lines, the folded strata that control the shape of the hills, ancient river terraces and coastal plains.

What do we do?

  • Monthly meetings at the Epsom Community Centre, 200 Gillies Ave with lectures and slide shows. Parking is available (see below ) with easy access from the motorway. Books and pamphlets on New Zealand geology available at wholesale prices. Expert assistance available to help identify your problem rocks, minerals or fossils.
  • Frequent field trips of half or full day duration in the weekends throughout the year. Car-pooling is encouraged. Periodic long weekend field trips to interesting geology further from Auckland, with costs kept low with budget accommodation.


What's On?


The June club meeting brought out larger than usual numbers and everyone sat behind three rows of tables that became debris flows of moving rock specimens. Hugh told us how to distinguish and name the common igneous rocks; Bruce sieved and spilled a bag full of gravel and sand into all the different size classes that we should use in describing a clastic sedimentary rock; Wendy had the difficult job of explaining the chemical and biological sedimentary rocks and how to know them; with Garry finishing the evening in glorious metamorphic style with lots of gneiss schist, slate and marble. Many thanks to all four for their preparations and presentations. On Sun 28th Jun a large crowd of 40 members meandered their way around a narrow "track/boardwalk/stepping stones" at the foot of the Parnell cliffs to see weathering in action as a 9 year old raised walkway lined with local Waitemata Sandstone cobbles is literally frittering away at mean rates of 5 mm/yr but up to three times that fast. We also refreshed our understanding of the Bouma sequence using the remaining exposures of Waitemata Sandstone on the same route. Most of us then moved to Orakei Basin where we viewed the two freshest of the remaining tuff exposures (under the newly widened railway bridge and on the point beyond the ski club). For many this was the first time they had circumnavigated the inside of the basin since the 2.88 km circuit walkway had been completed.

Geocene 12 is now available. Download from

GEOCENE 13 submissions invited: Please send geology-related contributions to Jill Kenny.

NEXT MEETING: Epsom Community Centre, 200 Gillies Ave, Epsom. Opens at 7.15 PM for 7.30 PM start.
  • TUES 21st July, 7.30 PM. Tongariro 2012 eruptions - field studies to experiments on volcanic eruptions by Prof Shane Cronin.
  • TUES 11th Aug, 3 PM. Hochstetter Supporting Lecture at the University of Auckland, Clocktower Building, Rm 105-018.  Litho2014: a New Zealand stratigraphy for everyone by Dr Nick Mortimer, GNS Dunedin.
  • TUES 11th Aug, 7.30 PM. Hochstetter Lecture at University of Auckland, School of Engineering, 20 Symonds St, Rm 401-439: Zealandia: Earth's 8th Continent by Dr Nick Mortimer, GNS Dunedin.
  • TUES 18th Aug, 7.30 PM. Seismic Imaging of New Zealand's Offshore Geology on a Shoestring Budget by Dr Andrew Gorman, Otago University, GSNZ President's Lecture at Epsom Community Centre.
  • SAT 4th JULY, GeoClub POT-LUCK DINNER, 7 PM, 19 Debron Ave, Remuera. All members and their partners are invited. Bring a main or dessert. RSVP your attendance to Bruce Hayward 5231667 by Tues 30 Jun.
  • SUN 2nd AUG, LONG BAY-OKURA ESTUARY TRAVERSE. Explore the Waitemata Sandstone section around the cliffs and beaches north of Long Bay with Bruce Hayward. Spring low tide 2.30 PM. Meet at Long Bay northern carpark at 12.30 PM. If weather dubious, ring Bruce at 11 AM (523 1667) for possible postponement. Grade: moderately easy, 4 km of walking on beaches and around Waitemata rocky shoreline.
  • SUN 30th AUG, SMALES QUARRY AND TAKAPUNA FOSSIL FOREST. Join Peter Scott to examine interesting tuff exposures in the old Smales Quarry and road cuts; then drive across to Takapuna Beach lava flows.
    Meet 10.30 AM at Lake Pupuke carpark at end of Northcote Rd. If weather dodgy, ring Bruce at 9 AM (523 1667) for possible postponement. Bring lunch. Grade: relatively easy.
  • SUN-SUN 8th - 15th Nov NORFOLK ISLAND. Still a few places available. Leader Bruce Hayward. A mix of geology, history and natural history. Estimated cost p.p. Return airfare $600 (purchase your own tickets), shared motel apartment $450 (7 nights), shared car hire and petrol ($100), round island boat trip ($100), unlimited museum entrance fees ($25). Arrange own food on island (staying close to supermarket and numerous cafes, takeaways and restaurants). Attractions include studying transition from marine to terrestrial eruption sequences in Pliocene basalt volcano; spectacular columnar jointed flows; karst basalt boulders; cemented sand dune and hummocky cross-bedded calcrete used as building stone; snorkelling with subtropical fish and reef corals; white sand beaches; relics and history of two periods of colonial prison settlements; nature walks through National Park forest; seabird viewing and more. Don't delay to secure your place please BOOK NOW by emailing/or phoning Helen Holzer (6367719, and confirm with your $450 to cover motel accommodation (cheques to Auckland Geoclub) sent to 4a Kawau Rd, Greenlane or pay into Geoclub account (Kiwibank Account No: 38-9010-0285768-00, Acc. reference: AUCK GEOCLUB) on-line with your name & Norfolk trip. Once you receive confirmation of your booking, we suggest you book your air ticket EARLY to get the best price (above) and to make sure you get on the one flight per week to and from Auckland (Sundays on Air NZ).

    When & Where?

    CLUB NIGHTS are on the THIRD TUESDAY OF EACH MONTH, except January, doors open 7.15 PM, talks begin 7.30PM, at the Epsom Community Centre, 200 Gillies Ave, Epsom, Auckland.


    ANY ENQUIRIES: Ring Bruce Hayward, during day, ph: 578 1491,

    GeoClub meeting location


    Geocene Magazine

    Geocene is a periodic publication of GeoClub, a section of the Auckland branch of the Geoscience Society of New Zealand.

    Contributions about the geology of New Zealand (particularly northern New Zealand) from members are welcome. Please note articles are lightly edited but not refereed.

    Please email the Editor, Jill Kenny - (substitute @ for _at_).