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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?


Zoologist Daniel Thomas gave an amazing encyclopaedic account of NZ fossil penguin genealogy at the April meeting and Hugh Grenfell gave us another 10 mins on Great Mercury Island geology. Many thanks to both speakers. In early May, 21 members (8 cars) completed a six day tour of the geohighlights of Poverty Bay and East Cape. Hipoints were the double Mangatu and Tarndale slips that have obliterated the road Geoclubbers drove along in 1996; Sponge Bay fossil forest and seafloor that was diapirically thrust up 15 days after the Napier earthquake; amazing diatomite books at Ormond; Te Puia springs active and fossil sinter; East Cape cold seep concretionary doughnuts; climbing 775 steps up to East Cape lighthouse; Te Araroa manuka oil distillary (and café); rich fossil pickings at Te Araroa (late Miocene), Oweka Valley (Pliocene) and Te Piki (mid Pleistocene). Many thanks to our guest leaders Phil Moore and Mike Mardin, leader Bruce, and organisers Helen, and Christine.

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 19th May, 7.30 PM. New Zealand karst above and below ground: What it tells us about landscape evolution, history and past climates by Prof Paul Williams, Univ Auckland.
  • TUES 16th June, 7.30 PM. How to identify NZ rocks workshop. Leaders: Garry Carr, Wendy Goad, Hugh Grenfell & Bruce Hayward.
  • TUES 21st July, 7.30 PM. Tongariro 2012 eruptions - field studies to experiments on volcanic eruptions by Prof Shane Cronin

  • SUN 17th MAY, EOCENE FOSSIL LEAVES and SOUTH AUCKLAND VOLCANOES Leader: Bruce Hayward. All day trip to examine fossil leaves and freshwater mussel fossils in the Drury Coalfield; followed by a visit to some of the tuff rings around Pukekohe (new stops), including the newly recognised Helvetia Volcano. Trip starts with carpooling from Manukau City at 10 AM - meet at the Shell Station on the corner of Great South Rd and Lakewood Cres. Bring lunch, footwear that might get wet in small stream (fossil locality) and for short walks on paths and grass. If weather in doubt phone Bruce (523 1667) at 8 AM. Grade: Moderate - short descent into stream bed from road and short undulating walks on paths and grass.
    Leader: Bruce Hayward. Explore near basal Waitemata Sandstones (LT 12.15 PM) then inspect evidence of the AD 1420 tsunami in Tawharanui Regional Park. Carpooling leaves from outside entrance to Albany bus park, Cornerstone Drive at 9.30 AM (Oteha Valley Rd exit of Northern Mwy). Bring lunch, drink etc. If weather dodgy, ring Bruce at 8 AM (523 1667) for possible postponement. Grade: relatively easy, walking on beach and intertidal rocks.
  • SUN-SUN 8th - 15th Nov NORFOLK ISLAND. 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 and tours ($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. Numbers limited! 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 & Nflk 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 only plane that flies once a week to and from Auckland (on Sundays on Air NZ).You need a passport as Norfolk Is is politically part of Australia, geologically its Zealandia.

    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_).