ESSENCE MAGAZINE - Gilly Oppenheim
Sept 2019

Looking for free fun in Timaru? Find a Wuhoo!

Roselyn Fauth, her husband Chris and her father Geoff Cloake are the brains behind this initiative. This young mum is brimming with ideas to get people, both young and old, off the couch and into the local community to appreciate just what Timaru has to offer. “This creative outlet is bringing our community together, and helping others in ways they never imagined,” said Roselyn. “From getting families outside into the fresh air for a modern-day treasure hunt, to giving kids and adults of all ages and abilities a new creative hobby, a sense of belonging and pride in our community.” Roselyn stresses that Wuhoo is very much a collaborative venture. She has had wonderful support from the Timaru District Council, the Library, the South Canterbury Museum, the Aigantighe Art gallery and community groups.

The first initiative was TimaruRocks. This group was established in 2017 to help spread the craze which sees participants paint rocks and hide them in public places for others to find, re-hide or keep. They might be found under picnic tables, hiding at the foot of trees in reserves or alongside the sculptures in the garden around the Art Gallery. The community rock boxes, which contain paints and brushes have so far been used by over 2400 residents at South Canterbury primary and secondary schools, retirement homes, community groups, Children’s Day, the Rose Festival and the South Canterbury District Health Board.

Another initiative has been the popular Scavenger Hunts at the Timaru Botanic Gardens. Besides giving a brief history of the Botanic Gardens, there is an excellent annotated map and a myriad of fun and interesting activities to do. The informative activity sheets can be picked up from the Fernery in the gardens or at the TDC, Library, Museum, Information Centre or Aigantighe Art Gallery.

The newest initiative is celebrating art in our environment. The Aigantighe Art Gallery, the Friends of Aigantighe and Wuhoo Timaru have launched a new programme to get artworks out into the community and the environments that inspired them. In December 2018 the first five signs were installed at Caroline Bay and at Patiti Point. They feature artworks from the Aigantighe Art Gallery Permanent Collection that relate to the signs and their surroundings. The signs also include explanatory text and historical images from the South Canterbury Museum’s collection, giving the artworks greater context. Examples at Caroline Bay are William Green’s The Unemployed (a painting of the well-known donkeys that gave rides on Caroline Bay) and William Gibb’s painting of Timaru Harbour in 1888. Another Green painting entitled The Roadmakers (horses ploughing a road near the sea), can be found at Patiti Point, along with a painting by John L Higgs, which depicts the scene looking north towards central Timaru and the harbour in 1881 and William Ferrier’s Breakwater, Timaru, Running in a Southerly Gale in 1888.

The next round of signs are nearing completion and it is hoped to have the next three in the ground by October. The Friends of the Aigantighe Art Gallery have commissioned their first artwork to give a contemporary reflection on Timaru’s unique past for the Wuhoo signs. The painting has been created by local artist Mike Armstrong. This is a fantastic way to support our local artists.

Roselyn really enjoys the challenge of designing things and the discovery of our history thanks to the book Jubilee History of South Canterbury by Johannes C Anderson. “My goal is to celebrate what our district has to offer, encourage people to use it and to give some free family fun to our locals and visitors”. What a wonderful philosophy!

January 24, 2019

Coastal view . . . Roselyn Fauth and baby Annabelle (3 months) at the site of John Gibb's 1884 painting of the Timaru coastline. PHOTO: CHRIS TOBIN

Reproductions of artworks from the Aigantighe Art Gallery’s permanent collection are featuring along Timaru’s coastline. Five signs have been installed from Caroline Bay to Patiti Point. “These five will test it to get feedback,” said Roselyn Fauth, of WuHoo Timaru, who, along with husband Chris Fauth, initiated the idea and then worked in conjunction with the art gallery, the Friends of Aigantighe and local businesses to make it possible.

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Last updated 12:54, July 18 2018

Timaru's youngest citizens have a new adventure.

The initiative, begun by the WuHoo​ team Roselyn​ and Chris Fauth​, provides children with seven challenges they can complete throughout different areas of the town's Botanic Gardens.

"It can be purely a self guide, or [children] can complete one or all seven of the challenges," Roselyn​ Fauth​ said.

WuHoo​ Timaru is a voluntary organisation that aims to find and showcase fun things to do in the town. Previous events include Timaru Rocks, which Fauth described as "really, really popular", along with regular scavenger and sculpture hunts.

Doing something with the gardens was a natural choice, as it provided lots of ideas for activities, and was something that the Fauths' three year old daughter would also enjoy.

"[It's] something that's family friendly, gets people outside, doesn't cost anything, and can be done anytime."

WuHooTimaru 18 tim ferns 01 Web

ABOVE: MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/STUFF. WuHoo Timaru and the Botanic Gardens have teamed up to create an activity map for children and families to explore. Pictured are Medinella Fauth, 3, with her parents and WuHoo Timaru founders Roselyn and Chris Fauth.


The map has activities on both sides, with the first side including I Spy and a give a tree a hug challenge, which Fauth​ thought would be "quite good for the two year olds, pre-schooler age".

On the flip side, children could do a seed search, which involved understanding how plants reproduce, and bush bingo. There is also a code breaker, which reveals the name of the monkey that used to live at the gardens, Fauth​ said.

This challenge, Fauth​ said is "quite advanced, so an adult will need to help."

Much to Fauth's​ surprise, the map has already proved quite popular, with the first 60 at the gardens' fernery gone by Sunday. The Aigantighe​ Art Gallery, who were also provided some, had only three copies left on Tuesday.

Timaru District Council (TDC) parks and recreation manager Bill Steans​ said that the idea, and response, was great.

"Our botanic gardens were recently named as one of New Zealand's gardens of national significance, and ideas such as this that bring a new generation to learn about what we have on display has to be congratuated."

Maps are also available the Timaru Information Centre, Timaru District Library, and South Canterbury Museum.

- Stuff

A new free initiative to get kids away from their screens and out into nature has been launched in collaboration with Timaru District Council.

The WuHoo Timaru Botanic Gardens activity map is now available at venues throughout Timaru and offers a wealth of activities for kids and adults to do while exploring the gardens.

The map is the first initiative from the under the brand WuHoo Timaru, which is aiming to offer free family friendly activities at Timaru’s iconic venues. The Botanic Garden maps have been printed with the support of the Timaru District Council.

Roselyn Fauth, who has developed the concept with her husband Chris, said that the idea came as a follow on from the success of Timaru Rocks and the Timaru Sculpture Trail.

“We spend a lot of time at the Gardens now that we have a young family, and were looking for new things to do while we were there,” she said.

“We saw there were guides at other gardens around the country, or outdoor challenges and thought we could come up with one for Timaru.

“There is a map which includes seven activities such as an eye spy challenge, scavenger hunt, botanic bucket List, code breaker and Bush Bingo.

WuHooTimaru Process 180717

“We were concerned at reports of how kiwi kids spend little time playing in nature, and felt that a project like this might help encourage people to get out and about a little bit more. Especially when it's free and so accessible.”

Timaru District Council Parks and Recreation Manager Bill Steans said that it was great for the Council to be able to support this kind of initiative.

“Our botanic gardens were recently named as one of New Zealand’s Gardens of National Significance, and ideas such as this that bring a new generation to learn about what we have on display has to be congratulated,” said Bill.

“Many people aren’t aware of all the interesting aspects of the garden, and this new map helps people learn about it in an interactive and fun way.”

Timaru Botanic Gardens can be found at the corner of King and Queen Streets, Timaru. It is open to vehicles between 8am and dusk each day.

The maps can be picked up at The Gardens Fernery, the Timaru Information Centre, Timaru Library, South Canterbury Museum and Aigantighe Art Gallery.

Publish Date: 17 Jul 2018
Timaru District Council