Kiwi Ranger – at a place near you!

Sarah Mankelow —  14/12/2011

Kiwi Ranger is a fun, interactive programme for kids of all ages – from 3 to 103! It’s a great way for families to explore new places together and learn something as well as having heaps of fun. Each Kiwi Ranger place has its own booklet full of fun activities and walks to do, developed by Mick Abbott and Carli Richter of Shades of Green. Complete the activities to earn a badge – unique to each location – and the title of Kiwi Ranger.

Blank Kiwi Ranger badge.

Blank Kiwi Ranger badge

It’s only in the South Island so far, but with more sites coming on board, it will soon be at a place near you!

In fact, where would you like to see Kiwi Ranger go next?

Design a badge for your favourite place and be in to win a fabulous books and brochures prize pack!

Entries close 1 February 2012-the winner will be announced on the DOC website.

Worksheets available online at

Check out the badges for the current sites below for some ideas-and to plan your next family holiday!

Aoraki/Mt Cook Kiwi Ranger badge

Aoraki/Mt Cook Kiwi Ranger badge

Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

Come and marvel at high snow covered peaks–including Aoraki/Mount Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand. Experience stunning glaciers and lakes filled with huge icebergs. Take the Scavenger hunt challenge to explore the park and track down its special features in all its nooks and crannies. Spot amazing plants, birds and animals in the stained glass windows in the Visitor Centre.

Come and be an Aoraki/Mt Cook Kiwi Ranger! Pick up your booklet at the national park visitor centre.

Kids say…
“I am going to reuse, recycle, reduce and limit the amount of water I use” 
“I pledge to promote our beautiful surroundings and protect our country”

Arthur's Pass Kiwi Ranger badge.

Arthur's Pass Kiwi Ranger badge

Arthur’s Pass

Kea, kiwi and kakariki are some of the incredible New Zealand birds you may hear or spot on your Arthur’s Pass Kiwi Ranger adventure – in our old alpine village high in the Southern Alps.

Close your eyes and fill up your senses by finding a spot where you can smell the spray from the Devils Punchbowl waterfall; or take your shoes off and, very gently, let the moss between your toes. Interview a ranger to find out how you can help the clever kea keep out of trouble, or come and join in the Kea Krypton Challenge as part of our summer programme  in January 2012.

Come and be an Arthur’s Pass Kiwi Ranger! Pick up your booklet at the national park visitor centre on SH 73, Arthur’s Pass village.

 Kids say….
“I will plant trees and flowers for the bees”
“I won’t have long showers, and I will tell my mum to use organic cleaners” 

Franz Josef Kiwi Ranger badge.

Franz Josef Kiwi Ranger badge

Franz Josef

Franz Josef is a really special place with a huge icy glacier right next to lush green rainforest… and then the beach is really close to that! Great walks will take you to all these places – even to Okarito – ‘O’ for awesome!

It’s a great place to Rock on! Take two river rocks to make your own rockflour fingerprints! It’s raining its pouring? Make your own rain gauge to discover why they call it rainforest!

Come and be a Franz Josef Kiwi Ranger! Pick up your booklet at the national park visitor centre 13 State Highway 6.

 Kids say …
“I liked finding out which trees grow on the West Coast compared to where I live on the other side of the mountains”

Orokonui Ecosanctuary.

Orokonui Ecosanctuary

 Orokonui Ecosanctuary

Journey into our forest of knowledge. Experience lush cloud forest and behold a myriad of rare birds and plants – including kaka, robin, saddleback, kiwi and rifleman. Walk through our pest-resistant fence and go back in time to a world without mammalian predators. Stretch your ears and do a sound map of bird song or find water creatures in the streams and ponds.

Come and be an Orokonui Ecosanctuary Kiwi Ranger! Pick up your booklet at the Ecosanctuary visitor centre.

 Kids say…
“I will make bird feeders”
“I will not let our native animals go extinct.  I will kill pests.” 

Nelson Lakes Kiwi Ranger badge.

Nelson Lakes Kiwi Ranger badge

Nelson Lakes

 It’s amazing to stop and listen to tui and korimako/bellbird singing in the forests of Nelson Lakes – how they combine with the whoosh of wings, whispering winds or the lapping of waves on nearby Lake Rotoiti to create a symphony of sound.

A sound map is just one of the fun things to do here as part of Kiwi Ranger – or you can get up close and personal with eels/tuna, taste the sweet honeydew and more.

Come and be a Nelson Lakes Kiwi Ranger! Pick up your booklet at the Nelson Lakes Visitor Centre.  

Kids say…
“I will cut pine trees down and shoot pests”  

Mt Aspiring Kiwi Ranger badge.

Mt Aspiring Kiwi Ranger badge

Mt Aspiring

Mt Aspiring National Park is part of the Te Wähipounamu South West New Zealand World Heritage Area which means it’s so special that protecting it concerns all people. Explore what lives in its high mountains, remote wilderness and river valleys by becoming a forest detective, doing a scavenger hunt or pinpointing pesky pests. Be creative and sketch your favourite rock – how did it become that shape? Check out other kids having heaps of Kiwi Ranger fun in our new video!

Come and be a Mt Aspiring Kiwi Ranger! Pick up your booklet at Mt Aspiring National Park (Wanaka) and Makarora visitor centres.

Kids say…
“I will never feed kea”
“I will make sure my cat never hurts birds”

Sarah Mankelow


A North Island defector, I came south to go to Lincoln Uni and never looked back. My first ‘serious’ job with DOC was in Arthur’s Pass. I've been based in Christchurch since the turn of the century!