Grab your exclusive opportunity to access an incredible range of PLD expert facilitators in one place at our upcoming event: 

What We Do After Dark Wairarapa Conference

The conference starts 

Friday, November 10, 2023 @4:00 pm

and finishes on 

Sunday, November 12, 2023 @11:00 am

Teachers PLD Conference. Join Field Based STEM and Pūkaha staff for a series of field trips and workshops - many after dark!
A unique PLD experience made possible because of a collaboration between: Ruahamanga Trust, TKKM o Wairarapa, Field-Based STEM and Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre

event Profile

2 nights
10 hours
Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre


your facilitators for this conference

We have the entire centre to ourselves with workshops and field trips run by Pūkaha staff and the following Field Based STEM staff.
Mike King
Ruud Kleinpaste – The Bugman
Sam Leske – Milky-Way.Kiwi
Hari Mogoșanu – Milky-Way.Kiwi
Taylor Thomson


What's Included

This is a weekend event held at the brand new accommodation centre at Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre. The conference is packed with workshops and field trips and space to create your own down time in beautiful Wairarapa Included in the payment of 10 hours is an opportunity to return to Pūkaha with your ākonga either for a daytime session* or overnight* or a mix of the two. No charge. * For the overnight option – approx 10 students per registration (ie 10 hours payment) – with a cost of $45 per additional student OR a larger number of students (maximum of 45 per visit) for the day-time option (we will do a deal! – based on your ideal plan)

Pōwhiri, tikanga and pūrākau, 4:00pm – 6:00pm (Everlyne, Tiraumaera)
• Dinner, 6:00pm – 7:00pm

Pūkaha has amazing facilities for large groups and the self catering facilities are no exception. Use this opportunity to discover what is possible when you return with your ākonga (included in the cost).

– After dinner kōrero, Te Whare Taiao o Manukura, education and mahi at Pūkaha
– Night session (Kelly, Taylor and Ruud)
– Using the moth and bat detector equipment, making sugar syrup for the following night

ON SITE: 9 to 1pm
The following is a taste of what the centre offers
– Standard guided tour, sharing knowledge about the ngahere and local history, insight into what we do for school groups.
– Tracking and trapping – chew cards, ink cards and trapline
– A session on manu – Kelly
– A session on invertebrates – Ruud
– A foraging session – Mike

All conferences should build in space for some self selected chill time! The wairarapa is a great place to unwind – and since you have been doing nightime PLD, you have several guilt free options eg Wineries, CBD, Martinborough etc

Space Girl and Man from Mars! duo will create a space experience

This half day workshop can be a ‘stand alone’ or seaminglessly follow on from Mike’s session in the morning.

From botanical ice cream to hydrosol sorbet, Mike will show you how to really make the most of your foraging …

In the workshop Mike will show you how after foraging for native spices, you can make a “magic potion” using for example, Douglas fir tips, rimu tips, lemon balm, and sour apples.

Similarly Mike will share his techniques to make an ice cream that is unique to the surroundings around your school!

Hari and Sam – Space 2

Guided night walk, explaining and looking for critters in the ngahere (Kelly, Taylor, Ruud,

Dawn session – 6:30am – 8:00am
– a dawn walk up the loop track
– a session at the whare.

We aim to provide the opportunity for an early departure, but will also have lots going on for those wanting to squeese even more out of this amazing space… including collecting and analysing our chew and ink cards!

The whole weekend has an after-dark focus with some daytime options on Saturday and early morning/dawn chorus options

Essential Information