School holidays and geohazards

Published: Tue Jul 9 2024 5:00 PM

It’s the school holidays and we know many grown-ups will be busy answering questions from their curious young ones. To help you out, we have some fun geohazard quizzes, facts, and videos, to keep the whole family amused.

Can you pick the volcanic rock from the Pokémon?

A fun way to test volcanic rock knowledge and learn new facts about our volcanoes.

Question one:

Question one

Question one

Question one

The answer is b) Andesite. Magma that contains andesite is generally around 800–1,000ºC and forms steep-sided cone volcanoes (stratovolcanoes). Mount Ngāuruhoe is an example of an andesite volcano. The Pokémon in the image is Larvitar.

Question two:

Question two

Question two

Question two

The answer is a) Basalt. Basalt magma is formed at high temperatures (around 1,200ºC). When it comes out of the volcano, it is hot and liquid. The Auckland Volcanic Field has erupted this type of hot, runny iron-rich lava, and the landscape is dotted with hills made from basalt. The Pokémon in the image is Gigalith.

Question three:

Question three

Question three

Question three

The answer is c) Rhyolite. Pumice, a rhyolite, is very common in the North Island. Pumice is a very light coloured, frothy volcanic rock, formed from magma that is full of gas. The lava is ejected and shot through the air during an eruption where it cools and the gases escape leaving the rock full of holes, and able to float on water. The Pokémon in the image is Rhydon.

Want to know how we keep an eye on volcanoes? Watch our video here.


Have you wondered how many earthquakes we have located this year?

a) 5,269

b) 8,651

c) 11,325

d) 15,321

Earthquakes located in and around Aotearoa New Zealand from Jan to June 2024.

Earthquakes located in and around Aotearoa New Zealand from Jan to June 2024.

Earthquakes located in and around Aotearoa New Zealand from Jan to June 2024.

From January through to June, we located c) 11,325 earthquakes in and around Aotearoa New Zealand. Is that a lot? It’s about typical for what we locate each year. On average, we locate over 20,000 earthquakes a year at GeoNet.

How many earthquakes did we locate in 2023?

a) 19,500

b) 20,200

c) 21,300

d) 22,659

The answer is c). Most of these earthquakes aren't large enough to be felt by people – we only know about them because they are recorded by our monitoring equipment, called seismographs. Why do we get so many earthquakes? Watch our video below and find out!

Looking for more entertainment?

Colouring in: NZ Natural Hazards info and activity book for kids – colour

Colouring in: NZ Natural Hazards info and activity book for kids – B/W-colouring in

Read: Our latest news stories

Learn: Natural hazards in Aotearoa New Zealand

Watch: The GNS YouTube Channel

Travelling for the school holidays? – How can you prepare for the next earthquake?

Earthquakes can occur anywhere in New Zealand at any time. Drop, Cover, and Hold during a large earthquake. If it is Long and Strong, Get Gone! If you are near the coast or a lake and if you feel a Long or Strong earthquake, or receive an emergency mobile alert for a tsunami, Get Gone to higher ground, or as far inland as possible immediately.

Going to the beach?

If you are heading to the coast, you can now easily see if your favourite holiday spot is in a tsunami evacuation zone thanks to our friends at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). It also links you to the local Civil Defence group for more tsunami information. Click here to check it out.

Staying at home?

If you have a list of jobs to get done around the house, now is a great time to check out the Natural Hazards Commission Toka Tū Ake website for information on how to get your home, apartment, or rental prepared for a natural disaster.

For information on preparing for geohazards in Aotearoa New Zealand, there are guidelines on the National Emergency Management Agency's Get Ready website.

Have our app?

No matter where the school holidays take you, the GeoNet App will keep you updated on earthquakes, volcanoes and geohazard news. Our app gives details of all earthquakes located in and around New Zealand within a few minutes of their occurrence. You can set up notifications of earthquakes close to your current location (using your phone’s GPS), or you can set up alerts for multiple locations and earthquake intensities around the country.

Download it now on your Android and iOS devices.

Media contact: 021 574 541 or