Explore some of the highlights of interesting local geology stories in Wellington and surrounds, as recalled through the eyes of someone who has spent the past 45 years ‘on task’, New Zealand’s best-known geologist Hamish Campbell.
We will learn how Wellington Harbour takes its shape (it’s not a crater!), what substrate and greywhacke is, what ours has been doing over the last 8 million years, and how it has shaped the North Island topography, including Orongorongo, Rimutaka and Aorangi ranges, and the Wairarapa. We will hear about the Pacific Plate and how this influences our environment, the top of which is just 20 kilometres beneath Wellington. Yikes! And closer to home, learn why the beige-coloured rock that Te Papa is clad with is known as the ‘cheese’ of the rock world, and other fascinating and peculiar facts about this New Zealand stone.
Hamish is a Wellington-based geologist, paleontologist and science communicator, and is an Emeritus Scientist with GNS Science. He was a geologist at Te Papa for 20 years (1998-2019) and will be known to many Friends of Te Papa for his role leading annual excursions to the Chatham Islands, occasional local trips around Wellington, and more recently Kaikoura, Golden Bay and New Caledonia. He is still actively involved in research and is especially interested in the origin of the older rocks of NZ, such as greywacke.
Picture credits: Hamish Campbell/GNS.