About the conference

The Natural Phenomena 13th - 15th November, 2020 ~ a nature education conference in the outdoors ~

Empowering you to bring the wonder and joy of nature to young children.

Imagine spending an entire weekend listening to world leaders and inspirational speakers. All the while connecting yourself to the beauty that surrounds you.

Join a growing worldwide movement of educators, parents, playscape designers, academics and policy makers who believe nature is a powerful teacher and experiencing risk is its ally

Keynotes and workshops for 2020 will be released shortly.  We are currently working on a new website and plan of how to operate with Covid-19 requirements.

If you would like to submit an application to be a presenter at The Natural Phenomena 2020 please fill out this form and send it in to us a.s.a.p.

Registrations will be open as soon as we are able, we are currently putting the program together. If you would like to see what we have offered on previous years please go to previous conferences page.

"This is the conference I had always dreamed about, only I didn't know I was dreaming it" - Rusty Keeler, keynote speaker 2010

You'll experience 2 ½ days of:

- World class speakers & presentations
- Engaging practical and nurturing workshops
- Thought/practice/life-changing conversations
- Delicious lunches and dinners served al fresco
- A majestic venue and the earth beneath your feet
- Hands-on workshops
- Play and creativity
- And plenty of heart and magic!

"A must do! Next time I'll bring my team. Food for my soul that I can pass onto our mokopuna/tamariki." Delegate 2013

What you'll take home

- Techniques to help you implement nature-based play/projects in your centre, school, home and environment
- The latest research of why getting children into nature is so important
- Replenishment on a professional and personal level
- Memories of a unique conference experience, the only of its kind in NZ
- Connection with a community of educators and parents you can relate to
- A relationship to nature you may not have felt before

Registration fees (all incl GST)

Early Bird Registration   $490 - Early Bird closes 31st July 2020
Standard Registration $580
Student Discount $100 discount off any of the above options for a Student enrolled in a Full Time course - Proof of student ID required
Group discount Four or more from the same centre – 7% further discount to above prices!!
Scholarships Scholarships open now

Your registration fee includes Friday night dinner, Saturday night dinner & entertainment and all other meals except breakfasts.

The Where, What and Times

13th - 15th November, 2020 at Kiripaka, Whangarei, New Zealand.

Kiripaka is a rural area about 6.5 kms from the outskirts of Whangarei. The address is 592 Ngunguru Road.

The conference is conducted outdoors in an ancient stand of trees known as the Wild Woods, down the drive past Open Spaces Preschool.

Most of our delegates prefer to camp at the venue adding experience to theory. Don't worry the showers are hot!
See here for more camping details

The event runs from Friday 2.45pm (Powhiri) to Sunday 1pm. Registrations open from 1pm Friday. Please allow yourself time to register and set up.

We hope you can join us for The Natural Phenomena 2020!


Is the conference only for early childhood educators?

The conference is of interest to anyone who is involved with children of any age and those involved in land- and play-scape design. The subject matter has a broad base and would appeal to those interested in the positive role nature has in our lives.

If I fly to Whangarei is there transport to and from the conference venue?

Yes. Just let us know when you are arriving. We run a pick up and drop off service from the airport or bus station in Whangarei.

I really want to come. When do I have to pay by?

Upon registration you will be automatically invoiced, this is due by the 20th of the following month.
You can make a cheque out to:
The Natural Phenomena, P.O.Box 7029, Tikipunga, Whangarei or Direct Deposit into our bank acc 12 3093 0271064 00 with your Name or Organisation Name and Invoice Number as a reference.

What if something comes up and I can't make it or it is cancelled?

Natural Phenomena Inc - Cancellation Policy
Should you need to cancel your registration, you are welcome to reassign it to another person.
If you are unable to arrange a replacement, a refund less a $150 cancellation fee will be made, provided notification is made prior to 8th of October 2020.

Is the campsite far from the venue?

The camping area is adjacent to the venue and a short walk through the trees. Parking is nearby.
Click here for more details on camping.

What about other accommodation?

The venue is about halfway between the city of Whangarei and the beautiful Tutukaka Coast. Please see our accommodation link for further options.

Is there cell phone reception and wi-fi at the venue?

Cell phone reception is patchy. There are areas on the perimeter of the venue where you can get reception. There is no wi-fi. Part of the charm of camping and being in nature is having a tech holiday. Enjoy the peace!

Can I bring my campervan?

Yes. The camping charges are the same for tents and campervans/caravans.

What if it rains?

Of course we have booked in marvellous weather for the weekend, but since there is “no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing” please come prepared. Days can be hot (or cold) and nights can be cold too.

I have special dietary needs.

Upon registration, let us know your requirements and we will make sure you are catered for.

I have a question that's not here

Please email us and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.