Eye on Nature

Eye On Nature is an award-winning* environmental education event held annually at the Auckland Botanic Gardens.

Environmental organisations from around New Zealand partnered with the Trust to host the event which was supported by Auckland Council, the six Auckland Southern Local Boards and the Auckland Botanic Gardens.

Each year Eye On Nature kicks off with three school-only days - attended by 1500 primary-aged children from South Auckland schools who we transport to and from the event in buses.  Eye On Nature then culminates in a huge, free Family Day held on the Saturday following the school-only days.

Eye on Nature is back from 2018 with the school-only days on 10-12 April 2018 and Family Day on Satudary 14 April 2018.

As part of Eye On Nature, we run some very popular competitions for kindergartens and schools.  In 2018 we running a
Wearable Arts competition, a Cooking Competition and an Creative Art Competition.



Edibles - 'from the ground to the table' 

Many wonderful activities were on offer to Auckland families at this educational event: Visitors could hang out with your favourite Sticky TV presenters; navigate a bush walk to discover native bugs with Rudd Kleinpaste; plant seedlings in recycled materials; learn how to use left-over food; match packaged food to raw food; blend a smoothie with bicycle power; watch cooking demonstrations; support cultural performances; attend a recycled fashion show and learn all about what’s in their backyard at Eye on Nature.

With the vision 'to plant a seed and grow a young mind’ our annual event Eye on Nature welcomes thousands of school children and families to enjoy activities that promote eco practices. 

The key message for 2017's theme 'Edibles - From the Ground to the Table' was the environment provides food, so let's look after it!

During the Family Day, budding chefs demonstrated their skills in the 'From the ground to the table' cooking competition, with high school students competing 'Masterchef' style watched-on by the judges and public. Kindergarten and primary school children showed their creativity with a competition based on ‘edibles in unusual containers’. Once again, the search was back on for Auckland’s most promising, young ‘environmentally-conscious’ fashion designers and master up-cyclers. At the end of the day Eye on Nature concluded with a final competition of the day and most popular Wearable Art fashion show where entries from schools across Auckland modelled on a catwalk.


Throughout the week educator-led sessions, facilitated by the Trust’s 30 plus environmental partners, engages 1500 primary school students on their journey to learn more about how to care for their environment. 

Students took part in a wide range of hands-on activities which encouraged them to think about and understand our environment.


Each year we give students an opportunity to unleash their creativity at our Eye on Nature school competitions. 

See results and photos from our competitions below. 

These competitions will return to Eye On Nature in 2018, click here for more info. 


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