The below fieldtrips have been arranged for WCH9 delegates. Please see below the three fieldtrips that we are offering. If you have already registered for the Congress an email will have been sent to you for your to book.

It is important to note that all of New Zealand's native herpetofauna is protected by the Wildlife Act 1953 and the Trade in Endangered Species Act 1989. Please click here for more information on the laws regarding wildlife during your visit to New Zealand.

Taieri Ridge/ Macraes            

Date: Sunday 5 January 2020
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Cost: $80.00
Inclusions: Boxed lunch
Departing: ISB Link Building, Otago University   

Macraes Flat is the site of an intensive, long-term and successful conservation project for two of New Zealand's largest and most threatened skinks. Management includes mammal-proof fencing and landscape scale invasive predator control. Participants will get a tour of operations, possibly a chance to see some of the seven species of lizards that occur at the site (Wx dependent), will hear about other herpetological projects running at the site from university researchers and will also be able to see some historic sites including a pre-European silcrete workshop and a historic farming hut.

Orokonui Ecosanctuary

Date: Saturday 11 January 2020
Time: 9.45am - 2.45pm
Cost: $60.00       
Inclusions: Boxed lunch, Orokonui entry fee   
Departing: ISB Link Building, Otago University       

Visit Orokonui Ecosanctuary and learn about how the sanctuary provides secure habitats for local native flora and fauna where they are protected from introduced mammals.
View and photograph native reptiles and learn about some of the local species translocated to the sanctuary including Otago skink, tuatara, green skink, and jewelled gecko.

Otago Peninsula coastal walk - long walk

Date: Saturday 11 January 2020
Time: 8.00am - 7.00pm
Cost: $60.00          
Inclusions: Boxed lunch
Departing: ISB Link Building, Otago University           

You will meet your trip leader at 63 Sandymount Rd, some 16 km from town by bus. We will start by looking at some typical gecko and skink habitat and a local revegetation project, near lime kilns dating from the 1860s.

The walk will start from the Sandymount carpark, through some impressive Cupressus macrocarpa, to Lovers Leap and the Chasm. We will climb Sandymount before descending the dunes to Sandfly Bay, were we should see seals and sea lions (and yellow-eyed penguins if very lucky). We will leave the beach up more steep dunes at the northwest end, then head up Seal Point Rd and left into Braidwood Rd (stone track). We then head west, past Boulder Beach, up a steep path to Highcliff, meeting the bus at Karetai Rd.

Parts of the walk are very steep and exposed, near cliff edges. Although it will be mid-summer, southerly fronts can cause the temperature to fall 15C in minutes; windproof and waterproof gear is strongly recommended. We will be walking at least 12 km, some of it very steep, so reasonable fitness and footwear are required. A packed lunch will be provided before leaving Dunedin.

For more information click here.

New Zealand Herpetology in the form of art works, ephemera, stamps at Hocken Library

Date: 3 - 11 January 2020
Time: 10:00 - 17:00 Monday to Saturday
Where: Hocken Library, University of Otago, corner of Anzac Ave and Parry Street

Tuatara, Taniwha and so much more
The Hocken Collections welcome delegates to Dunedin with a foyer display at the Hocken Library celebrating the richness and variety of collection items relating to New Zealand Herpetology in the form of art works, ephemera, books, stamps, calendars and other interesting items. Please take the time to wonder down to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Information on the exhibit items will be available at the Congress venue.

Tuia - Southern Encounters
When Cook sailed down the Otago coast in 1770 he observed what he thought to be a barren uninhabited land. Tuia – Southern Encounters weaves together taonga, images, maps, and knowledge handed down from ancestors to tell the story of how fifty generations had been living in southern New
Zealand when the first explorers from another world visited these shores. The names of lakes and rivers, mountains, settlements and foodgathering sites remind us that long before Cook claimed Te Waipounamu for Great Britain, this land was the dearest possession of another people.


We have partnered with a local tour guides Book a Tour to ensure our WCH9 delegates get the best experience while visiting Dunedin. Below are tours they are offering WCH9 delegates. Please book for these tours directly with Bex via email or phone. 

Contact Bex

P: +64 27 685 4935



Where The Wild Things Are

Date: Saturday 11 January 2020
Time: 8.30am - 12.30/1.00pm
Cost: $160           
Inclusions: Bottled water
Departing: ISB Link Building, Otago University

On this 4.5 hour tour travel over the" high road" of the Otago Peninsula stopping for stunning views and photo stops before visiting Tairoa Head home of the Royal Albatross. See them up close and personal on your private guided tour through the sanctuary.  This year we have 28 fledglings – the most in the 100 years of breeding here. Travel back to town alongside the waterline to the Otago University learning about local points of interest along the way. 

Please wear suitable footwear and clothing for windy conditions. We will stop at the farmers market for lunch so you can purchase some local produce for lunch.


Hoiho  - The Yellow Eyed Penguin 

Date: Saturday 11 January 2020
Time: 5.00pm - 9.00pm 
Cost: $150      
Inclusions: Bottled water
Departing: ISB Link Building, Otago University

Join your tour guide for the last and best viewing of the Hoiho.  Travel the Otago Peninsula to Penguin Place for an adventure of a life time up close with the endangered Yellow Eyed Penguin.  

Reasonable fitness is recommended. You need to be able to walk up 200 steps and there is uneven ground at times. 

All monies from your visit are used towards saving the endangered Hoiho in NZ. 

Return around 9.00pm via the waterline and lights of Dunedin.

Please wear suitable footwear and bring a jacket. 

Honey and Hive Tour 

Date: Saturday 11 January 2020
Time: 10.00am - 1.00pm 
Cost: $140    
Inclusions: Bottled water
Departing: ISB Link Building, Otago University

Join us and our bee keeper for a fun 3 hours.  Learn all about these amazing insects before suiting up and venturing to the hives for hands on time. Can you spot the Queen?

Please wear long sleeves and trousers. Closed in shoes are preferred. 

Full Day Dunedin and Otago Peninsula Tour 

Date: Saturday 11 January 2020
Time: 9.30am – 4.00pm (approximately) 
Cost: $120     
Inclusions: Bottled water and treats. 
Departing: ISB Link Building, Otago University

Join your super fun guide for a day out in Dunedin covering everything from the Worlds Steepest Street to the Otago Peninsula.

Take this relaxed day out which has a nice pace to wander and travel with your guide throughout Dunedin's best places to visit. 

Stopping for plenty of photos, lunch (farmers market, local cafe or local pub) and strolls through the highlights before heading to the Otago Peninsula. A visit to Allens beach to view wild life may be possible depending on numbers and weather.

Please dress for the weather (layers recommended) and wear comfortable walking shoes. 


Pre and post Congress touring 

If you would prefer to make your own pre or post travel and touring arrangements the organising committee has put together the below list of local sights you may be interested in.  

  • Dunedin Railway
  • Dunedin Segway Tours
  • Emersons Brewery
  • Hop on Hop off Dunedin City Bus Tour
  • Larnach Castle
  • Olveston Historic Home
  • Orokonui Eco sanctuary
  • Penguin Place
  • Royal Albatross Centre
  • Speights Brewery Tour
  • Taieri Gorge Railway
  • The Dunedin Chinese Garden
  • V8 Trike Tour  

Free Dunedin activities:

  • Baldwin Street
  • Dunedin Botanic Gardens
  • Dunedin Public Art Gallery
  • Dunedin Railway Station
  • Dunedin Street Art
  • Otago Museum
  • Signal Hill
  • Toitu – Otago Settlers Museum
  • Tunnel Beach
  • University of Otago
  • Watch the Southern Lights

Tours in Dunedin and throughout New Zealand can be booked via the Dunedin i-Site. They will have a convenient stand within the WCH9 exhibition for you to book directly. 

i-Site Dunedin

Louise van der Vlierd
T: +64 3 474 3300

Emerson's brewery tour

Get a behind the scenes look at the state of the art 5000 litre brewery and 1200 litre workshop brewery. We take you through every step of the brew process, from the malt room, to the fermentation, bottling, and most importantly tasting. Tours take approximately 40-50 minutes.
Summer Tours Daily – 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm (no need to book)
Price $28.00 pp

Aaranya Wildlife Odysseys 

On your way to and from Dunedin, have a memorable herping stop-over in some of world's hottest herping hotspots. Aaranya Wildlife Odysseys will be organising specialised herping and photography tours in India (Thar Desert and Western Ghats), Malaysian Borneo, Singapore, Indonesia (Bali and Komodo), and the tropical Australian outback, at special discounted rates for WCH2020 participants and accompanying individuals, before and after the Congress. These tours are guided the leading professional herpetologists each region offer, adding years of local knowledge and experience. They will also take you to exclusive locations off the beaten track maximising the number of species you will encounter. The tours are custom-designed specifically to your requirements, with you picking the travel dates, group members and wish-lists. Think herps of all sizes and shapes, including pitvipers, Komodo dragons, spitting cobras, frilled-neck lizards, flying frogs, crocodiles, mangrove snakes, flying lizards, sea kraits, and caecilians.

Visit Aaranya today to plan and book.



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