School Visits

Growing the next generation.

School group tours are an excellent way to learn about the history, tree collections and birdlife of the arboretum, and our education coordinator will take your kids on a walk to suit their age, ability and interests.


The staff at Eastwoodhill Arboretum can tailor workshops and activities to meet your educational requirements. A well resourced library herbarium and microscopes are available at the Douglas Cook Centre for school and university groups to use. And, if you're pressed for time, our Guided Jeep Tours are an excellent way to see more of the Arboretum.

Intended Outcomes

The intended outcomes of the education programmes for students are:

  1. Being detectives: Exploring, questioning, investigating
  2. Discovering the importance of the environment in our world
  3. Learning about the uses of various plants and trees

Guided walks must be pre-booked, are subject to the Education coordinator’s availability and are weather dependent. Students should wear comfortable walking shoes and dress appropriately for the weather conditions.

Other educational activities include orienteering, arts and craft, and seed planting (by prior arrangement. Costs may apply).

Discovery Centre

The latest addition to the Eastwoodhill Arboretum Education Programme is our Discovery Centre.

The Discovery Centre features information boards about the history of the arboretum and the people who are credited with developing and securing its future.

A children’s corner includes a library of books, as well as bean bags to relax in. An interactive microscope, projected through a television sheet is also children friendly and is a fantastic way to discover the natural world up close.

Seasonal exhibitions covering a wide variety of subjects also feature in the centre which is open every day with free entry.

Library hire is $100/half day or $175/full day. Maximum capacity 60 people.


A courtyard area beside our Discovery Centre has tables and chairs and seats up to 70 people. This area also includes bathroom facilities and a bbq (bbq must be pre-booked, charges apply). Schoolbags can be left in this courtyard during your visit.

Our Pavilion is a short walk from the Visitor Centre and is suited to smaller groups (<25 people). Overlooking the Homestead Garden, this pavilion provides shelter should the weather deteriorate. It also has toilet facilities on-site. Bookings are required for this area.

For more information about Eastwoodhill Arboretum facilities download the Facilities and Information Guide 2011.


Eastwoodhill offers orienteering challenges for all ages, from preschoolers upwards.

Ask us about Tahi’s Treasure Hunt. Preschool children can use the check sheet to run around the park and spot specific treasures. You can get your free sheet from the visitor centre.

We also have the Eastwoodhill Explorer’s Pack that contains a variety of fun activities young children and their families can do in the park. It is $2 per pack.

The Blue Orienteering Course is suitable for year one to year six students with a good mixture of exercise, strategy and teamwork. This is $2 per pack.

The Stars in the Park Challenge is for year seven and up. The course is a real test of strategy, planning, team building and some hard work! It’s $2 per sheet, one sheet per group (groups should be about two to four people).

Booking Information

Bookings are essential. Please email for booking information. All bookings are subject to the Education coordinator’s availability.

Prices per person

  • Preschool/kindergartens/playcentres $2
  • Primary schools $2
  • Intermediate schools $2
  • High schools $2
  • Supervising adults/teachers $2

Activities other than guided walks may incur additional costs.

Ratio requirements

We require a minimum ratio of one adult supervisor per six students (1:6) under 18. The Eastwoodhill Education coordinator is not to be included in this ratio.


Weather at Eastwoodhill can differ considerably from that in central Gisborne, including being fine when it is raining in the city. Please contact the office on 06 863 9003 the morning of your planned visit to confirm weather conditions.