Naturally! Engaging and entertaining

ENGAGING: Sticky TV presenters at last year’s Eye on Nature event. Photo supplied.

How would you like to hang out with your favourite Sticky TV presenters Walter Neilands, Leanna Cooper and Jahmaine Paki?

Or navigate a bush walk to discover native bugs with Rudd Kleinpaste; plant seedlings in recycled materials; learn how to use left-over food; blend a smoothie with bicycle power; watch cooking demonstrations and cultural performances; attend a recycled fashion show and learn all about what’s in your backyard at Eye on Nature.

The Auckland Botanic Gardens is set to welcome thousands of school children and families to this year’s Eye on Nature environmental expo on April 1.

With a vision ‘to plant a seed and grow a young’, the theme for 2017 is ‘Edibles: From the Ground to the Table’, encouraging children to find more sustainable solutions at home and in schools.

VIBRANT: This year’s Eye on Nature features a Wearable Arts Show as part of the event programme. Photo supplied.

The week-long event will be attended by 1500 primary-aged children from east and south Auckland schools. The idea behind it is to engage and inspire students to get real about where their food is coming from and to get active in their backyard.

Around 30 environmental organisations from around New Zealand are partnering with the Manukau Beautification Charitable Trust (MBCT) to host the event, with support from six Auckland Southern Local Boards, Auckland Botanic Gardens and Second Nature Charitable Trust.

Eye on Nature culminates in a free Family Day on Saturday, April 1. During the Family Day, budding chefs will demonstrate their skills in the ‘From the ground to the table’ cooking competition, with high school students competing ‘Masterchef’ style.

Kindergarten and primary school children will show their creativity with a competition based on ‘edibles in unusual containers’.

Once again, the search is back on for Auckland’s most promising, young ‘environmentally-conscious’ fashion designers.  Eye on Nature concludes with the popular Wearable Art fashion show. Local schools participating in the Wearable Art show are: Wakaaranga Primary School, Botany Downs Secondary College, Elim Senior School, Mission Heights, Our Lady Star of the Sea and Howick Intermediate.


  • Where: Auckland Botanic Gardens, Manurewa (entry via Everglade Drive).
  • When: Saturday, April 1
  • Timings: 11am – 8pm; Wearable Arts Fashion Parade: 6– 8pm