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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 (Geoscience Society of New Zealand) and membership of the Auckland branch section - GeoClub. Some belong to one or the other and some belong to both.
  • Geoscience Society membership entitles you to receive the GSNZ Newsletter, Branch newsletters and benefit from discounts. For more information go here.
  • GeoClub membership entitles you to a monthly GeoClub Newsletter by snail or email with information of upcoming talks and field trips. For more information about GeoClub go here and for the GeoClub membership form go here .

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 large crowd that turned out for the April meeting was rewarded with a brilliant talk from Ian Smith about the chemistry of Auckland's basalt volcanoes and its meaning in understanding how and where they erupt and how much warning we may have of the next eruption. He also commented on the geochemistry of lava samples in the recent Rangitoto drillhole that does not support a recently publicized hypothesis of eruptions prior to 600 yrs ago. Hugh Grenfell gave an interesting account of the manufacture of tourist souvenirs in Italy in the 19th century by the placing of coins in blobs of hot magma, then letting them cool and solidify. Thank you Ian and Hugh.
27 members participated in the 4 day weekend trip from Taumaranui to Whanganui led by Julie Palmer of Massey University. The weather co-operated, enabling everybody to enjoy the geology, the beaches and even the odd coffee. We had a long day driving down the Forgotten Highway via the Tangarakau Gorge to Hawera on the first day; a more gentle transect from west to east along the Pliocene-Pleistocene coastal sequence to Whanganui on day 2; and several sites nearer Whanganui on Mon AM, before everyone headed off on their merry way. Highlights included an 1800 year old charred tree stump buried by Taupo Ignimbrite, early Miocene coal seams at Tangarakau, large fossil crabs, digging out spherical concretions, abandoned kittens, a moa butchery site, Mt Taranaki mass flow deposits, fossil channels, trace fossils, fossil shell beds, the climate-controlled sea-level cycles recorded by the sedimentary sequence, and climbing Durie Hill tower made of Pleistocene limestone.

Geocene 14 submissions invited: Please send contributions to Jill Kenny.

NEXT MEETING: Epsom Community Centre, 200 Gillies Ave, Epsom. Opens at 7.15 PM for 7.30 PM start.

  • TUES 17th May, 7.30 PM. GSNZ PRESIDENT'S LECTURE: Ignimbrite: 'rock' of the central North Island and the global volcanic phenomenon of pyroclastic flows", by Dr Adrian Pittari, Univ of Waikato. Also given at 1 PM at Auck Uni.
  • TUES 21st June, 7.30 PM. "Coastal cliff erosion under rising sea level," by Dr Mark Dickson, Univ of Auck.
  • SUN 22nd MAY. FOSSIL BAY (CHURCH BAY), WAIHEKE. Leader Bruce Hayward. Richest marine fossil locality and Early Miocene shallow water sequence near Auckland. Catch Fullers ferry leaving city at 9AM, Devonport 9.10 AM. Meet at Matiatia Wharf when fcrry arrives. Return on 2 or 3 PM ferry. Bring lunch, drink, optional hammer to collect/see fossils. Low tide 1.30 PM. Moderate difficulty, due to leisurely 1 hr walk along walking tracks and road, up and over 60 m high ridge. Some beach and easy intertidal rock walking. Optional short wade at one place. If weather is threatening, ring Bruce (5231667) at 7.30 AM to check whether the trip is on or not. Geoclub last visited here in March 1995.
  • SAT 11th JUN. EXPERIENCE IHUMATAO, Mangere. Organised by SOUL in conjuction with Geoclub. Leaders Bruce Hayward (geology), Dave Veart (archaeology), and Ilmars. Come to any or all parts. 8.30-10 Ihumatao fossil forest, meet at end of Renton Rd. 10.15-11 AM Mangere Lagoon and Mt Mangere lava flow, meet at Wallace Rd-Pikitea Rd junction. 11 AM-1PM Mangere Mt and Education Centre (meet at Mangere Mt Education Centre, 100 Coronation Rd. 1.15-3 PM Otuataua Stonefields Reserve archaeology and geology, meet at end of Old Ihumatao Quarry Rd.
    If weather is threatening, ring Bruce (5231667) at 7.30 AM to check whether the trip is on or not.

    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_).