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Colour and culture combine for school holiday fun

Monday, June 26: Sport Bay of Plenty’s Virtually on Track initiative is inviting families to colour their world these school holidays in an educational and interactive explorer challenge that highlights nature’s colours.

Colour Quest is an interactive photo challenge designed to showcase all the gorgeous winter colours of our region’s outdoor recreational sites, as well as provide extra motivation to get out and about in the cooler months.

It’s simple: Visit, download and print or view the Colour Quest Koru online, and take snaps of flora, fauna, structures and objects – man-made or natural – at Virtually on Track Gem Sites around the Bay of Plenty.

Once you have taken photos of all eight colours, upload these images to Instagram using a collage app and adding the hashtag #VOTBOP.

The Gem Sites are Papamoa Hills Regional Park, Whakatane and Ohiwa Harbour, McLaren Falls Park, Rotorua Eastern Lakes (including Whakarewarewa forest), Otanewainuku, TECT All-Terrain Park, Opotiki, Waihi Beach, and Kawerau and Tarawera.

As well as providing a chance to explore our region, Colour Quest is also an education in basic te reo – while following the Colour Quest Koru, you can sing along to the iconic Kiwi kids’ ‘Ngā Tae’ song (mā is white, whero is red etc).

Recreation Team Leader Sonia Lynds says Virtually on Track is all about connecting activity with important environmental messages.

“Nature and a connectedness to the land is also an integral part of Maori culture, with the colours representing everything from human physicality to events and figures in Maori legends.

“Virtually on Track’s focus is not only about encouraging locals to get active in our outdoor spaces, but also learn more about how to preserve these spaces and know their history as they explore, ultimately developing a greater appreciation for them.

“The aim of this activity is, first and foremost, to have fun and, in the process, we hope adults and children alike will explore aspects of their own backyard that they have yet to discover.

“It’s sure to be an adventure for all ages and we can’t wait to see your photos all over social media when you are done – don’t forget to hashtag #VOTBOP!”

Virtually on Track is a collaborative initiative between Sport Bay of Plenty, Department of Conservation, and local councils designed to connect locals and visitors with the Bay of Plenty’s beautiful parks, spaces and reserves through digital technology and recreational activities.

To download or view your Colour Quest Koru, and for instructions on how to participate, visit


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