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Pakake New Zealand sea lions

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Sea lion nursing her pup.

The return of a taoka species.

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Background reading, images, narrations, quizzes and glossary.

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Insights into people and their careers, and replay the Q&A podcasts.

Field trip videos about pakake

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Videos and more showcasing places, people, ideas and initiatives on this field trip.

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A virtual tour of the field trip with GIS mapping, 3D locations, images, daily diaries and video.

About this trip

Kia ora! Join us on an immersive journey to locations around Ōtepoti Dunedin to find out about the population recovery of pakake New Zealand sea lion. Did you know, until 1993, no pups had been born on the mainland for 150 years? Find out about "Mum", the legendary mother sea lion who travelled 600km from the Auckland Islands to found a small but growing population on the mainland.

Meet iwi who have stories about pakake that go back generations. Find out how local rūnaka are rediscovering lost mātauraka and contributing to the protection of this endemic species. Meet scientists and other conservationists and find out why they are excited about the latest developments around this special mammal. This interactive field trip provides educators and ākonga with a wealth of engaging resources, including videos, images and GIS maps, to enhance your learning adventure.


Our goal is to inspire and educate ākonga across Aotearoa about the importance of saving our native marine species and the heritage stories that surround them. Through this virtual field trip, we aim to foster a deeper connection to te taiao, including marine environments. We hope young people will learn to value and respect our sea lions as they grow to understand their importance to the health of our oceans and to the unique culture of Aotearoa.

Key learning

  • Gain insights into mātauraka Kai Tahu, highlighting a historical connection to pakake.
  • Understand the complexity of marine ecosystems and their vulnerability.
  • Explore the interconnectedness of pakake New Zealand sea lions in the marine food web.
  • Understand the different points of view people have about marine life.
  • Foster understanding and raise awareness of our precious taoka species.

Student-led inquiry

Empower your ākonga to take charge of their learning journey. Encourage them to ask meaningful questions, explore resources, and embark on their own conservation projects.

Curriculum alignment

This virtual field trip aligns with the refreshed New Zealand Curriculum. It covers a range of learning areas, predominantly social sciences and science. Access guidance to support teaching and learning with a suggested framework, reflective questions, and activity ideas to complement the virtual field trip and align with curriculum goals.

Educator guide

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

UN SDG Goal 14

This field trip aligns with Goal 14: Life below water. It emphasises the significance of marine biodiversity, promoting awareness of conservation efforts to grow the mainland population of pakake New Zealand sea lions. By fostering understanding of the interconnectedness between land and marine ecosystems, it contributes to the broader global goals of preserving life below water and protecting life on land for sustainable development.

Stay updated

Join us in this educational adventure. Stay updated on our progress, news, and events related to the virtual field trip by following us on social media and signing up to this trip.

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Ministry of Education


NZ Sea Lion Trust