Together at Home / March 25, 2020

Day 3, Alert Level 4

OK we're getting into the swing of things. Jacinda says "Stay at home", so here we are. I hope everyone is comfortable and happy and ready to ride this out because we're in this together—he waka eke noa.

A reminder... every day of this lock-down New Zealand Geographic will send a story or a video that can be shared among your family. The first video is below, and with it some talking points to fill our days at home together. If you’re a grandparent or a Kiwi overseas, you can participate too, and join your family discussion over phone or video conferencing.

If these emails are driving you crazy, unsubscribe (bottom of the email) and check this website each day as new content is put up: along with the talking points. 

Let's go to Stewart Island!

Little Blue Penguins run the gauntlet to escape great white sharks—but they’re not the only species flirting with death on New Zealand’s famous Stewart Island. Watch the video!


Talking points

Try discussing these ideas with your family at home or over video conferencing. Find ways to involve as many people as possible, especially those who you know are isolated by the lock-down.

How did various animals use colour to help escape predators?

Which animal did you think was the most beautiful? Which one made you feel the most sorry for it? Why?

What was one thing that surprised you? What was surprising about it?

Can you remember why the forest on the shoreline had an impact on the sea creatures?

Do any of these creatures live on the land or sea near your place? Which ones? What makes Rakiura/Stewart Island a great home for so many animals?

Task for the day

Make an eleven-armed starfish out of clay! Use air-dry clay or make salt-dough using this recipe with salt, flour and water to sculpt a starfish. (Eleven-armed starfish actually have between 7 and 14 arms, although 11 is the most common number, so you can choose how many arms yours has.) Starfish have no eyes or head and they move around by using little tubes underneath the body. The top of the body is covered with tiny spines which are used to catch food and defend from predators. Add some in if you can!

When you're done, send the picture to and we'll share it... you'll be world-famous in New Zealand!

In the kitchen

Homemade crackers are so easy to make! Try this recipe—it only takes five minutes to prepare.

2 cups wholemeal flour
1/2 cup cold water
2 tbs olive oil

Combine ingredients and roll out on a flat surface until the dough is thin. Cut into squares.

Bake in a medium hot oven for about 10 minutes. They will crisp up as they cool. Season with salt if you want to.


How do NZGeo digital subs work?

You can access three items per month totally free on, and thereafter it costs $1 per week for a digital subscription. (We bill $8.50 every two months to a credit card, or $50/year if you prefer.) A digital subscription gives you access to more than 10,000 stories and 400 hours of natural history documentaries on-demand, on any device.