Top Outdoor Spots activities

New Zealanders have access to beautiful parts of the country. Most live in near proximity to the sea, or waterways, or the bush, hills and/or mountains.

Past and present generations have taken advantage of this unique situation to explore the outdoors, often gaining access to favourite places via the goodwill of landholders, or through the use of 'unformed legal roads'.

The Top Outdoor Spots area invites students to research and select somewhere special to them in their region or school, and to submit a contribution to the gallery featuring a picture and short descriptive paragraph (60 words).

The accompanying text should explain why the place is special to them, and why access is important.


It may be written poetically, journalistically or in any style that supports your lesson plan, education outside the classroom (EOTC) activity or desired learning objective.

Many schools have used this resource to support creative writing.

Suggested activities

The following are suggested activity ideas. Teachers are encouraged to adapt these activities to their lesson plans, reflecting the local interests and needs of their students.

Before using 'Top Outdoor Spots'

Students could be asked to:

  •  work individually, or in groups, to discuss and create a list of the outdoor activities their families/whānau enjoy
  •  share their favourite places for these activities (for example, where they like to go swimming, fishing, tramping, camping etc)
  •  locate these places on the WAMS map and put them on the list
  •  consider who may be the landholder or manager of these places
  •  consider how access to these places has been enabled.

Sharing the stories

Students could be asked to:

  • prepare a contribution to the Top Outdoor Spots gallery 
  • as a class, or in groups, research and discuss a selection of favourite places to consider
  • decide on the location, and then take a picture, and write an accompanying 60 words 
  • upload the photograph and text, with the teacher's help, using the site's Share Your Story online form

After sending in stories

Students could be asked to:

  • view other contributions in the Top Outdoor Spots gallery
  • use WAMS to find the places referenced in these
  • discuss why these places might be important to the person who submitted the contribution, and what access issues might arise

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