A visit to the Island Bay Marine Education Centre is an excellent way to launch students on their path of discovery.  Experienced educators will lead your class group through a series of activities that will open their eyes and minds.  Explore the rocky shore environment and the Bait House Aquarium exhibits.

Since 1996, we've been offering a variety of opportunities for tens of thousands of school children of all ages and abilities to see and learn about New Zealand’s unique marine life close up at our small Island Bay centre.

Over this time, we’ve found that almost all children (and adults) are fascinated by the sea and want to learn more about it if they're given the chance to see marine life close up, and as near as possible to the natural environment.

Our School Visit Programmes have been designed to meet the requirements of the New Zealand Science Curriculum.  Activities can be tailored to suit the needs of any age group and are linked to one or more of the six science learning strands. 

All our school visit programmes have local, regional and national relevance since New Zealanders are surrounded by ocean and are responsible for the health and care of the resources within the world’s fourth largest Exclusive Economic Zone.

This marine zone is fifteen times larger than New Zealand’s landmass and it's essential, both economically and environmentally, that young New Zealanders value, learn about and protect our marine environments.

Cook Strait is a particularly unique environment in New Zealand and the world because of its deep canyons, fast currents, rocky coastlines and the variety of marine life that inhabits its waters and are found nowhere else on the planet.

This uniqueness is one reason for selecting the Wellington South Coast as the location of the Taputeranga Marine Reserve. The Department of Conservation considers the IBMEC as the natural primary interpretation centre and focus for all the Reserve's activities.

We're currently expanding our programmes to more fully incorporate the TMR into our ongoing school and public education programmes.

For more information about our school visit programmes and enquiries about booking a visit, please email