Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


Twelve new Kiwi Guardian nature discovery sites have been created in family friendly places just in time for Christmas.

Date:  16 December 2016

Ten of the new sites are in and around Wellington, and the other sites are located at Aoraki Mt Cook and Port Jackson on the Coromandel Peninsula.

In addition to the new locations, two new activity medals, which can be done anywhere in New Zealand have been announced.

The Toyota Kiwi Guardian programme is aimed at getting kiwi kids and their families out in nature and has been developed between DOC and Toyota New Zealand. The sites encourage children to get outside, explore and learn about the natural world and earn unique medals at the same time. At each site children need to hunt for the Kiwi Guardians post and find the secret code word which they later enter online to earn a medal.

The new sites and activities add to an existing nationwide adventure network that inspires young New Zealanders to have fun outside and look after our wonderful places. The programme now has 53 sites across the country and seven 'take action' at home activities.

Alistair Davis CEO of Toyota New Zealand says limiting time in front of screens shouldn't make parents feel guilty. "Inspiring our children to experience the outdoors and being involved with nature can be equally, if not more exciting, especially when there are medals up for grabs."

Children can earn Kiwi Guardian medals by visiting one of the new sites, or working on one of the activities that can be done at home.

Wellington based DOC Education Manager Anita Anderson says that earning a medal is a great way to learn about the neat places, wonderful plants and crazy critters that live in New Zealand. "One of the activities that have been designed to be completed at home is the "Lizard Lounge". Earning this medal involves building a lizard habitat where our native lizards, can lounge about with plenty of food and shelter. As well as the fun of building the lounge, lizard spotting over the summer months can provide much entertainment".

Anita says that all of the new sites, and the new activities are designed so that families can have a great time out there in the big wide world and feel better for it. From feeding eels to finding Wellington's oldest tree to learning about plate tectonics in Aoraki Mt Cook there are plenty of family friendly outdoor activities to do in New Zealand this summer".

Families can get started on their adventures today by visiting

The new sites are located at:

  • Hooker Valley Aoraki/Mt Cook
  • Port Jackson
  • Zealandia Te Māra A Tāne
  • Wellington Zoo
  • Matiu/Somes Island
  • Otari-Wilton's Bush
  • Kaitoke Regional Park
  • Staglands Wildlife Reserve
  • Battle Hill Farm Forest Park
  • Pukaha Mount Bruce
  • Ngā Manu Nature Reserve
  • Wellington Botanic Gardens


Toyota New Zealand Public Relations
Phone: +64 6 351 3216
Mobile: +64 27 511 8622

Department of Conservation Education Manager
Anita Anderson
Mobile: +64 27 405 7728

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