Take a journey through time to see how the quarry was formed over millions of years. Discover how basalt has been a key component in building early Christchurch. Students then role play to experience how the quarry was transformed into a regional park.

Four people stand in Halswell Quarry Park

Year level 7 to 10
Year 5 and 6 by request
Curriculum level 1 to 4
Availability All year round
Times 9.30am to 12noon or
12.15pm to 2.30pm
Site Halswell Quarry Park
Cost Free
Number of classes One at a time is preferred
(one class = 35 students)

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 ‘rocks down under’ programme.

For more information contact 03 366 9429 ext 817.  Alternatively contact Heritage New Zealand for an educational heritage pack information@heritage.org.nz.


Risk analysis and management (RAM)


Programme outline

Key concepts

Geological change, volcanism, Māori worldview, heritage, infrastructure, sustainability, governance, active citizenship.

Lesson description/intentions

At Halswell Quarry students explore the heritage of Christchurch buildings (Arts Centre, Canterbury Museum, Christ's College) and are then taken on a journey to understand how the quarry and the park was formed.

Students will visit the quarry rock face before taking part in an interactive activity to help them identify different rock types and their uses in the Canterbury region. Students will then engage in the process of democratic decision-making where they take on different stakeholders in the community (iwi, mountain bikers, property developers etc) to present a deputation at a Council meeting. 

Possible success criteria

Students may be able to:

  • Understand the heritage of the area and how it was formed
  • Identify different rock types and their different uses
  • Investigate the changes and decisions Halswell Quarry has gone through to make it how it is today
  • Engage with the process of democratic decision-making within the local Council body 

Key competencies 

  • Using language, symbols and texts: students use oral, written and visual texts to understand key terms
  • Thinking – students will use creative, critical and meta-cognitive processes
  • Managing self – encouraging students to manage their group projects and act independently
  • Relating to others - students are expected to work together in teams
  • Participating and contributing- students problem-solve to come up with solutions to task.

Feedback from schools

"Great enthusiasm from educators; informative, well planned and organised, and at children’s level." Teacher, Year 5