The Big Egg Hunt NZ is fun event is being held down under for the first time, here in New Zealand. 100 eggs have been hidden in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and on Saturday the boys and I set out to find a fair few of them, and consume some chocolatey goodness at the same time.
The Big Egg Hunt was first held in London in 2010 and combined fun and fundraising for charity. Next year hunts will take place in London, Dublin, New York and New Zealand. The Big Egg Hunt NZ is to raise funds for Starship Foundation (a charity which supports our national children’s hospital here in NZ). Each egg has been designed by top NZ artists and at the end of the hunt they will be auctioned off on Trade Me (our version of E-Bay), with 20 of them being auctioned at a gala evening.
With a host of sponsors, the principal one being Whittaker’s Chocolate, the aim is to find as many eggs as you can and enter the competition. Prizes range from peanut slabs through to a gold slab (rumoured to be worth in the region of $300K). You can do this by either texting in the unique code found on the plinth of each egg, downloading an app (this is what we did) or follow the directions on specially marked blocks of Whittaker’s chocolate.
The boys and I decided this was the perfect activity for a gloriously sunny autumn afternoon and set off on our bikes from the Botanical Gardens, in the centre of town. To make it even more fun, we took along a specially marked block of Whittaker’s chocolate, and for every egg we found, we ate a square.
The first eggs we found were handily in the Botanical Gardens and I think Egg #82, Insecta Egg, with the butterflies and insects has to be my favourite. I would happily have that sitting on a plinth in my garden. Each egg is mounted on a plinth which has a biography of the artist and some talk about the inspiration for their egg design.
The app turned out to be a little temperamental, so at our next stop at the Museum, the helpful guide offered us a good old-fashioned paper map for the egg hunt which turned out to be much more reliable, but she wouldn’t give any clues as to the locations of the two eggs hidden in the museum! We hunted, and found them. Despite being large, they were surprisingly easy to miss amongst all the other exhibits.
The next eggs were at Cathedral Square which was the heart of our city, but is now dominated by the ruins of our now fought over Cathedral. My eldest son struggles to see the remains of the earthquake destruction and didn’t enjoy the cycle through the empty streets, but the youngest one didn’t mind a bit, and in fact enjoyed the traffic-free streets. Cathedral Square turned out to be quite lucrative as there were four eggs there, therefore four pieces of chocolate! We followed the map and found the eggs and stopped and played and looked inside buildings. The new Transitional Cathedral, commonly known as the Cardboard Cathedral provided a warm welcome and another egg.
Our last stop found that two of the eggs had been thoughtlessly damaged and were being removed as we tried to check in with our app. Despicable damage to such a fun event for a worthy cause.
All chocolate consumed and happily tired boys we cycled back to the car. They boys reckon it was loads of fun and are keen to do it again next year.
The Big Egg Hunt will run 21 March until 22 April in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Until the app is reliable, I recommend using the paper map (available online) and texting in your entry.