Our first two weeks in New Zealand have flown by with a variety of shark conservation events in Christchurch and surrounds. We have had a busy and fun time sharing our work with adults and children including at Templeton, Opawa, Clarkville and Papanui Primary schools. The reception we received at each school was very positive including being given shark sweets at Opawa School and shark art at Papanui! The students really enjoyed our lessons and we received lots of fun questions from classes afterwards. Let’s hope there are some budding marine biologists that will go away feeling inspired to protect the oceans as they grow up.


Templeton Primary School Templeton Primary SchoolShark swwets! Papanui Primary School


We also spent time with our fantastic sponsor YHA New Zealand, have given a lecture at Canterbury University for their BioSoc and had a great day out with Canterbury Univeristy at Bexley Wetland. The beaches around Christchurch are already very clean and so we decided to spend a Sunday morning cleaning up the local wetland instead. We collected bags of rubbish and recycling and it was fascinating to walk the derelict housing area surrounding Bexley. This area was heavily affected by the earthquake of 2010 and the cracks in the ground were visible in a number of locations. It was eerily quiet as we walked the residential streets that are considered unsafe to live in due to the unstable earth below. The power lines were all askew, most of the houses have been removed and those remaining are slowly being reclaimed by nature. The residents are now housed elsewhere. The earthquake is still very much on peoples’ minds in Christchurch and we have heard many stories of the continuing rebuild operation. The city itself bears the scars of the earthquake and insurance claims are still being settled whilst new houses are being constructed on land at the outskirts of Christchurch.


Bexley Wetland Clean with Canterbury Uni Puffballs at Bexley Wetland Clean with Canterbury Uni Bexley Wetland Clean with Canterbury Uni The Shark Mobile and a rainbowBexley Wetland Clean with Canterbury Uni


We have been VERY lucky to stay with friends during our time in Christchurch and would like to take a moment to thank our hosts Penny and Craig McCauley (and their cats Zion and Cleo) for their generous and supportive hospitality. We have really appreciated the chance to find our feet in New Zealand, make new friends and also hike the hills surrounding Christchurch. The climate is similar to the Mediterranean; with warm days and plenty of eucalyptus and pine trees lining the hill paths.



We are now off to explore the rest of the country in our awesome Wendekreisen Travel Ltd campervan. ‘The Shark Mobile’ has been fantastic fun to drive and we have already discovered the benefits of lunch breaks at the road side during our work days, especially when the sun is shining. Onwards we go to Akaroa and Mount Cook next for a mini-adventure before heading south for more Friends for Sharks events.