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Aquarium author on beach fun

Published: 9 January 2024

Last Updated: 10 January 2024

Rachel Haydon with beach book

Family fun and scientific enquiry are the two main ingredients of a new beach-based activity book by National Aquarium of New Zealand head.

General Manager Rachel Haydon’s new book - The Beach Activity Book: 99 Ideas for Activities by the Water Around Aotearoa New Zealand - launches this week.

Rachel says the motivation to write the activity book was to share the adventures her own family has at the beach, or next to rivers and estuaries.

“I want to encourage an appreciation of the life in and around these environments, in addition to considering water as a precious and important resource,” Rachel explains. “The aim is to give kids some fun ideas of activities to do by themselves or with their friends and family, and be able to use the book as a record of what they got up to.”

“Helping people see the wonder of the incredible nature that surrounds us was key to planning the activities, but scientific enquiry is also at the book’s core, and the unique perspective of te ao Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand.”

The book has space for drawings, photos, writing or anything the reader would like to add. It’s designed to be picked up and started anywhere with any activity that sparks interest and imagination. This is Rachel’s third book, and the second published with Te Papa Press. The first, The Nature Activity Book, was published in 2020.

“I loved writing the first book and I had some extra ideas leftover that formed the beginning of The Beach Activity Book. It grew from there and, before I knew it, I had another 99 activities written! I really hope readers find the same joy being outside exploring that my family has together.”

Artist Pippa Keel illustrated The Beach Activity Book, which will be officially launched on the beach outside the National Aquarium of New Zealand this Thursday (11 Jan), 3.30pm-5.00pm.

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