Look Closer: Celebrating Conservation Week through a 2020 lens

Department of Conservation —  10/08/2020

The way we experience nature has changed since last Conservation Week.

2020 has changed us and placed a greater emphasis on our connection to nature as a way to boost our wellbeing.

This year, the theme for Conservation Week is Nature Through New Eyes.

Immerse yourself in nature and look closer with a fresh perspective on Aotearoa’s natural spaces and unique wildlife. Papatūānuku’s wellbeing is our wellbeing.

Engage online, at events or with activities, or by exploring your own backyard and embracing what’s always been there; look, listen, breathe and feel. Here are a few ideas for how you can celebrate Conservation Week this year.

Capture a macro nature photo

A macro photo is a close-up that captures the detail of the subject – it’s all about capturing the little details and appreciating what we wouldn’t normally notice. Plus, you could win a Canon camera and accessories worth over $4.5k by entering our #NatureThroughNewEyes Instagram competition.

To be in it to win it, take and share a macro photo on Instagram showcasing New Zealand’s nature by the end of Conservation Week – Sunday, 23rd August 2020. You can take this with a camera or a smart phone.

Upload your image to Instagram using the hashtag #NatureThroughNewEyes and tag @docgovtnz. Learn more about the competition and how to enter.

Check out some of the amazing entries so far:


Get your conservation quiz on

Take the challenge during Conservation Week and quiz yourself (and everyone you know) on all things conservation. Each weekday of Conservation Week, starting on Monday, 17th August, we’ll release a new set of conservation-related quiz questions on both our website and Instagram Stories. Follow along and see if you can beat last year’s score.

Macro photography of a Kawakawa. Photo: Te Papa

Boost your wellbeing with a digital experience

Survey findings from the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand reveal that spending time in nature positively impacts the mental health of New Zealanders.

Improve your focus, mood, and immune system by either spending time in the great outdoors, or the next best thing: immersing yourself in a virtual experience.

These virtual experiences were created with support from Natural History New Zealand (NHNZ), best viewed with your headphones in.

Learn the history of Conservation Week

Conservation Week is a chance to do something – big or small – to create change and celebrate the unique wildlife of Aotearoa. But it’s not all about attending events or doing conservation activities, it’s about connecting with nature and helping to take care of it.

The first Conservation Week was launched in 1969 by the New Zealand Scout Association, with the goal to promote interest in the environment and encourage participating in protecting it. It wasn’t until 1987 – when the Department of Conservation was formed – that we started running Conservation Week as it is today. Learn more about the origins behind Conservation Week from last year’s 50th anniversary.

The iconic 1974 poster by Friedensreich Hundertwasser

Start conversations about conservation

Whether it’s with your whānau, your work mates, or your social media following, you can play a part in spreading the message of Conservation Week.

The theme for 2020 is Nature Through New Eyes. This means reflecting on the impact nature has on our wellbeing, embracing what’s already been there, and inspiring others to learn more about Aotearoa’s unique native species and environments.

You can support conservation on your own social media channels:

  • Use the hashtag #ConservationWeek
  • Tag us using @docgovtnz in your Instagram content
  • Encourage your followers to look at nature through new eyes
Macro image of a Whio. Photo: Kayla Wilde

For more on how you can get involved in Conservation Week from this Saturday, 15th August to Sunday, 23rd August, head over to our Activities page or search for a local event you can attend.

Make sure to be following us on social for all the updates during the week – including a daily weekday quiz on our Instagram Stories.

2 responses to Look Closer: Celebrating Conservation Week through a 2020 lens


    What I love about conservation week is it gives that joy knowing that our nature is being protected. Just look at that cute animals. Can’t afford to lose them!!


    What I love about conservation week is it gives that joy knowing that our nature is being protected. Just look at that cute animals. Can’t afford to lose them!