March is Whio Awareness Month, a time to promote awareness for this unique and iconic duck. Despite the whio being on our $10 note, very few people know about it, or how important they are to our high country river systems. The plan for March 2017 is to have whio ‘go viral’. Check out all the activities you can get involved in this month and find out how you can help boost awareness for the whio.
The Great Whio Adventure Competition
The winners of the Great Whio Adventure competition will go on an epic family trip (two adults/two kids) to go and see the whio in the wild with the Department of Conservation. To enter, you’ll just need to pull your best duckface, snap a selfie and upload it right here. Then let us know why you want to save the whio. Feel free to share your whio duckface entry on your own social media networks and encourage your friends to enter too.
Whio Awareness Month Colouring Competition
Calling all budding young artists. During Whio Awareness Month we are running a junior (2-6 years) and senior (7-13 years) colouring competition. The winners in each category will be sent out an awesome Whio Forever prize pack – so get colouring. Entries are open now and close on April 13th. More info is on the entry forms – linked below.
Turangi Whio Family Fun Day
Whio Awareness Month is coming to Turangi with a Whio Family Fun Day being held on Sunday 19 March at the Tongariro National Trout Centre on State Highway 1.
The centre is just 5min south of Turangi and the day runs from 10am to 3pm. There will be awesome activities for the kids with real whio on site in the whio crèche and meetings with Neo & Beau the whio dogs a whio ranger obstacle course, nature scavenger hunt, stories, singing, and spot prizes.
Entry to the grounds is free and there are native fish aquarium tours, with scheduled feeding times at 11am and 1pm. Entry to the freshwater aquarium / Taupō Fishery museum / trout hatchery are discounted for adults for the event at $12 (usually $15), free entry for supervised children. Turangi locals have free entry with proof of residence.
There will also a whio duck face “photo booth” with prints to take home and users can then enter our Great Whio Adventure Competition.
Powhiri is at 10am by the children’s pond. Bring a picnic, or food and drinks are available on site. Find out more about the Tongariro National Trout Centre.
Te Anau Whio Family Fun Day
As part of Whio Awareness Month activities, Upukerora Park in Te Anau will be hosting a Whio Family Fun Day. It kicks off at 10:30am on Sat 25th March and, like previous years, will include the Great Fiordland Whio Race. The rubber ducks will float a course from the gravel pits through to a finshing line net at Upukerora Bridge. Entry is a bargain at two bucks a duck.
Other activities on the day include a BBQ, face painting, craft activities, a scavenger hunt, spot prizes and a raffle. If you’re a local, or holidaying in the area, be sure to check it out.
Whio Awareness Month Event Palmerston North
There will be a special Whio-themed day at the Victoria Esplanade Bird Aviaries in Palmerston North on Sunday 19th March.
From 10am to 2pm, visitors can learn about the whio, join in fun activities and meet a real conservation dog. It’s a great way to learn about our blue duck and what is being done to protect it.
Find out more about the Victoria Esplanade.
Auckland Zoo Whio Family Fun Days
The Whio Family Fun days ran once again at Auckland Zoo on the 4th and 5th of March. Besides face painting and fun whio activities there was the daily running of the ‘Blue Duck Race’ in which 500 blue rubber ducks raced down the Zoo stream.
Over the weekend, 6,444 visitors came through the gates of the Auckland Zoo and we had loads of colouring competition entries. Many visitors also stopped and pulled a duck face in front of the photo booth so they could enter The Great Whio Adventure Competition.