Top Outdoor Spot 2016 winners announced
An astonishing sunset, a creative drawing of Cape Reinga and a poem capturing the essence of a wilderness swimming spot have taken top honours in this year’s Top Outdoor Spot competition.
The competition ran on the New Zealand Walking Access Commission's Both Sides of the Fence education website from 1 February to 8 May 2016.
Napier-based Benjamin Eastwood, 9, came first in the “Best description” category for his poetic description of a Hawke’s Bay river spot. First place in the “Best drawing” category was awarded to Ellie McDougal (Raumati South) for her artful illustration of Cape Reinga, while 12-year-old Sapphire Baker (Gisborne) stood out for her striking photo of Midway Beach.
Both Sides of the Fence is an educational resource designed to help teachers and students think about how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly and safely. It includes animated cartoon videos, educational resources and activities for primary and intermediate school children that help raise awareness of responsible behaviour in the outdoors in a fun and interactive way.
New Zealand Walking Access Commission chief executive Eric Pyle said the Top Outdoor Spot competition was a great way to teach young people to value and treasure the tradition of access to the outdoors Kiwis enjoy.
“What comes through in all the texts, drawings and photographs we received is that children love the outdoor experiences they get to have with their family and friends. The competition makes them more aware of how lucky they are to have access to so many beautiful spots in New Zealand, and helps them understand the importance of preserving this access as part of our country’s culture.”
The students who sent in the "Best Photo", “Best Drawing” and "Best Description" each won a prize pack including a Macpac Kahuna backpack, Hunting & Fishing NZ kids pack, Skellerup Red Band gumboots, Kiwi Sock Company gumboot socks, head torch sponsored by the Mountain Safety Council, and Fence Detective smartphone app and cap. Their schools will receive a $100 book voucher and Cancer Society 1L pump pack of sun lotion. Second and third place winners in each category also received prizes for themselves and their schools.
Mr Pyle said he was impressed by the quality of the 234 entries received this year across the competition’s three categories.
“It’s not easy judging this competition because there is so much talent. Many of the entries we received were fantastic.”
He thanked the organisations that sponsored the competition for their generosity.
Winning entries - Top Outdoor Spot 2016
1st: Ellie McDougal, 13, Te Ra Waldorf School (Kapiti Coast) – Cape Reinga
2nd: Amber Pettersson, 11, Havelock North Intermediate (Havelock North) – Waimarama Beach
3rd: Leah Hay, 9, Eskdale School (Napier) – Mahia Dairy
1st: Benjamin Eastwood, 9, Eskdale School (Napier) – River’s End
2nd: Tia Dougherty, 13, St Hilda’s Collegiate (Dunedin) – Favourite place in New Zealand
3rd: Antoni Dick, 6, Meadowbank School (Auckland) – The Gully