“Find a Whio” and win an adventure

Department of Conservation —  03/11/2015

By Jose Watson, Communications Advisor in Hokitika

As part of Conservation Week this year DOC and Genesis Energy have launched a new version of the “Find a Whio” competition, an online game where participants search a map of New Zealand to find a virtual whio/blue duck.

Whio on a wild river. Photo: Herb Christophers.

Whio/blue duck

The competition was launched on the DOC website over the weekend and runs until the end of November.

There are less than 3,000 whio left in New Zealand, and because they are only found in very specific places, most New Zealanders never have the opportunity to discover them for themselves. The game gives New Zealanders the chance to search for and learn more about our native duck.

Find a Whio banner. Image: Whio Forever.

Find a Whio

How to play

Over 180,000 kilometres of rivers have been mapped and participants in the game have to search in places where they think whio might be living, which involves clicking through the map layers. Along the way you’ll come across other New Zealand species and find out about threats to whio.

You can enter the game as many times as you like. Every whio found is an entry in to the draw to win the grand prize. The more whio found the more entries you will have in the draw.

This year we’ve also removed the age restriction – which means keen adults can have a go too.

Play the “Find a Whio” game now on the DOC website.

Find a Whio screenshot. Image: DOC.

Found a whio!

The grand prize

The grand prize includes a whio adventure on one of New Zealand’s wild rivers, flights for one adult and a companion, airport transfers and accommodation for three nights with meals. The adventure will take place at either Taupo, Nelson or Queenstown.

Last year’s Conservation Week winner Sarah Ridsdale went on a whio adventure on Mangatepopo Stream with DOC rangers. She shared a video from her adventure on YouTube.


“Find a Whio” is a joint project between DOC and Genesis Energy developed as part of the Whio Forever programme which aims to secure whio in the wild.