Top Outdoor Spot competition back for 2017

Top Outdoor Spot web image

05/12/2016 4:17pm

A national competition in which New Zealand school children photograph, draw and describe their favourite outdoor places is back for the fifth consecutive year, with lots of quality outdoor products on offer for the winners in each category.

The competition will run on the New Zealand Walking Access Commission’s Both Sides of the Fence education website from 30 January to 7 May 2017. The website provides animated videos, an e-book and curriculum-aligned outdoor education materials to help primary and intermediate school teachers introduce their students to responsible behaviour in the outdoors and the value of access to the outdoors as part of the New Zealand way of life.

New Zealand Walking Access Commission chief executive Eric Pyle said the Top Outdoor Spot competition encouraged Kiwi children to celebrate their favourite outdoor places and to think about the value of access to the outdoors as part of the unique New Zealand way of life.

“Enjoyment of our outdoors is a big part of being a New Zealand, and it’s important that the next generation understands the value of access, and how best to preserve it. This competition plays an important role in teaching young people to value and treasure the tradition of access to the outdoors that so many Kiwis enjoy.”

Sponsors this year include organisations that have supported the Top Outdoor Spot competition in previous years, including Skellerup, Macpac, the Mountain Safety Council and the Cancer Society NZ. Publishers Potton & Burton and sporting goods company Packaworld are also sponsoring competition prizes this year.

“We’re really privileged to have such great outdoor companies and organisations helping us promote the competition, with great prizes that kids will love,” Mr Pyle said.

First, second and third place will be chosen by the Commission’s board in each of the following categories: “Best Photo”, “Best Drawing” and “Best Description.” Prizes include insulated mattresses, gumboots, day packs, books and tramping guides, seating, sunscreen and other useful outdoor equipment and accessories.

The past three years have seen a steady increase in participants. The Top Outdoor Spot competition attracted 60 entries in 2013, 160 in 2014, 183 in 2015 and 234 in 2016.

While the competition is designed primarily for children at years 4-8, any student enrolled in a New Zealand school is eligible to enter and win.

More information about the 2017 Top Outdoor Spot competition can be found on the New Zealand Walking Access Commission's Both Sides of the Fence education website, online at

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