The NZ Festival of Nature, known as Wild Dunedin, was created in 2016 by a small team of enthusiastic Dunedin locals with a passion for wildlife and wild places. Since then, the Festival has grown to 70 events for all ages, from Sinclair Wetlands to the Otago Peninsula, Orokonui Ecosanctuary and Otago Harbour. The festival has a loyal following of locals, and a growing number of out of towners taking part.
The Toyota Kiwi Guardians programme is a joint initiative between the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Toyota New Zealand. The national programme highlights family-friendly activities that support kids to engage their senses and get out into nature.
“Toyota Kiwi Guardians is one of the pivotal programmes the Department offers to reach our goal of one million conservation kids by 2030. It highlights the importance of Kiwi kids getting out and experiencing New Zealand’s amazing natural places”, Department of Conservation Community Ranger Emma Salmon says.
The design for the exclusive Wild Dunedin medal, which is only available during the festival, was inspired by the wildlife that features in the Wild Dunedin Logo and is in addition to the 11 site-based medals already available in Dunedin.
“The Wild Dunedin NZ Festival of Nature has always appreciated the role that Toyota Kiwi Guardians plays in getting kids excited by and out into nature”, says Wild Dunedin committee member Taylor Davies-Colley. “We hope the medal brings new whānau along to Wild Dunedin events and introduces Toyota Kiwi Guardians to new families”.
Endorsed events include sessions at ReWild at the Botanic where tamariki can make tracking tunnels, a getting to know pakake (sea lions) event at the Toitū Otago Settlers Museum, and a young nature detective’s scavenger hunt hosted by the Otago University’s Animals, Aquatic, Plants, Ecological, Society (AAPES) at the Botanic Gardens.
There are also a variety of community-led endorsed events and a variety of discounted endorsed Wildlife tours around the city.
For a full list of Toyota Kiwi Guardians endorsed Wild Dunedin events and details on how to redeem the medal, families should visit the Wild Dunedin website.