Eye on Nature

Thousands of school children and families were expected to attend this year's Eye on Nature environmental event this April at the Auckland Botanic Gardens, however unfortunately due to bad weather it was cancelled. 

Environmental organisations from around New Zealand have been partnering with us to host this event and will continue in 2019 with support from the six Auckland Southern Local Boards, Auckland Botanic Gardens and Second Nature Charitable Trust.

Learn all about Eye on Nature below!



Eye on Nature 2019 takes children and their families on an experiential journey through our native New Zealand forest, learning how the health of the forest and all its inhabitants impacts the health of us all.


Eye on Nature school days see close to 1500 school children immersed in Totara Forest at the Auckland Botanic Gardens. Children aged 9-10 from South and East Auckland, many of whom have little experience of being in nature, will become sleuth forest detectives! They will spend their time with passionate environmental educators who will guide them through a series of investigative activities within the forest. This age is the key time in childhood for the development of a child’s relationship with the natural world. Eye on Nature gives children experiential and action-based opportunities that will shape their attitudes and behaviours in adulthood. We are helping children to become environmental stakeholders or kaitiaki of the natural world.


Eye on Nature culminates in a Family Day and is absolutely F R E E!

Open to all Aucklander’s, the Family Day will present a myriad of events and activities to entertain and educate young minds including guest speaker, Riki Bennett. Navigate the bush with Maori storyteller and environmentalist, Park Ranger Riki Bennett and discover how to identify native trees and the special uses for them in navigation, construction, food and medicine.

Many wonderful activities await Auckland families at this environmental family day: immerse yourself in the bush with Riki Bennett; learn how to build your own pest tracking system to discover what pests animals are threatening the forest in your community; receive the tools to make a pledge to become sustainable in one area of your life; learn how be a part of Predator Free 2020; blend a smoothie with bicycle power; watch cooking demonstrations; support cultural performances; and learn all about how a healthy tree means a healthy you!



The highly contested ‘Wearable Art –Funky Garden Art’ competition tested students especially around how they design and innovate when choosing materials used for their costumes.All entries were judged the week of Eye on Nature, and modelled at a fashion show during the Eye on Nature Family Day. Competition results were announced at the culmination of the show by Deputy Mayor, Bill Cashmore accompanied by Manurewa Local Board Members Rangi Mclean and Stella Cattle. 

Secondary School Winners

1st Place: 'Grand Beetle Baron' by Pukekohe Christian School students Lianna Shaw and Johlida Van Schalkwyk.

2nd Place: 'Life's a Picnic' by Botany Downs Secondary College students Ashely Dolden, Jenessa Davis, Kate Brooks, Robert Raynes, Roshni Abhyanhar and Talia Hazelwood. 

3rd Place: 'A Honey of an Idea' by Avodnale College students Lucy Parkinson and Jayla Fletcher. 

Primary and Intermediate School Winners

1st Place: 'Delicious Nutritious' by Manukau Home School Group Primary students Isabel and Joel Te Hira. 

2nd Place: 'Pukekohe Potato' by Glenbrook Primary School students Charlize Aicken, Erica Webb, Jordyn Hobman and Millie Thompson.

3rd Place: 'Bottle Blossoms' by Wakaaranga Primary School students Tamzin Scullard, Sabina Teng, Kimberely He, Caleb Rungasamy, Amy Shen and Felice Wa.

Merit Winners

Merit 1: 'New Zealand Hangi' by Karaka Primary School students Maddi Yearbury, Mikayla Klatt, Leah Honan and Georgia Wilcox.

Merit 2: 'Christmas in the Garden' by Howick Intermediate School students Aimee Fahey and Zoe Arthur.

Merit 3: 'Mother Earth' by Botany Downs Secondary College students Avalon Hutching and Ashlee Cuff. 

Merit 4: 'Tropical Garden Ballerina' by Redoubt North Primary School students Hayley, Mele, Ashanti, Yammy, and Yasmin. 


Cooking Competition

1st Place: Keeha Riley, Farzana Rahimi and Raisa Moinuddin from Botany Downs Secondary College.

2nd Place: Benji and Lewis from Saint Kentigern College.

3rd Place: Yamni Rag, Fariya Khan and Carolyn Phillips from Otahuhu College.

Merit: Akshay Anantha, Brian Thong and Puku Hewett from Alfriston College.

Creative Arts Competition

Primary School Winners

1st Place: 'Butterfly Brunch Batch' by Wakaaranga Primary School students.

2nd Place: 'Dawson's Nursery' by Dawson Primary School students. 

3rd Place: 'Lady Bug' by Cosgrove Primary School students.

Merit: 'Future All Blacks' by Papatoetoe West Primary School students.

Kindergarten Winners

1st Place: 'Kiwi Backyard' by Aorere Kindergarten.

2nd Place: 'Kotiri Lost Property' by Kotiri Kindergarten. 

3rd Place: 'Te Waka O Aorere' by Aorere Kindergarten. 


We were extremely lucky to have many partners supporting our Eye on Nature Free 2017 Event!

Each giving phenomenal support to help us achieve another successful event.


Click the images below to see booklets showcasing each of our previous Eye on Nature events 
 Eye On Nature 2016 Booklet  

* Eye On Nature wins national Event Award

Eye On Nature surpassed big name events like Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines and Wellington Jazz Festival to win the prestigious ‘highly commended’ award at the 2014 New Zealand Association of Event Professionals Event Awards.



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Auckland, New Zealand