Our Big Blue Backyard

Explore the wonderland of New Zealand's marine reserves, in an epic journey from the far north to the deep south. A Platinum Fund documentary series with fascinating things to say about our country.

Our Big Blue Backyard is a six-part documentary series, showcasing the fascinating underwater world right off our coastline.

New Zealand's oldest marine reserves are home to many creatures and indigenous species. This Platinum Fund programme tells the stories of these ocean wildlife, through an intimate portrayal of their daily lives.

In 2015 a second series of Our Big Blue Backyard was funded by NZ On Air and will air during Spring 2016. Throughout each one-hour episode, the second series will further explore the ocean sanctuaries surrounding New Zealand. With locations as breath taking as White Island and Banks Peninsula, all six episodes provide a unique view of New Zealand. Natural History New Zealand has captured hours of impressive footage such as a humpback whale and her calf off the Kermadec Islands. Footage captured on Enderby Island in the Sub Antartics shares a treasure trove of shots of yellow eyed penguin, sea lion and albatross in their natural environment.

The first series, narrated by Michael Hurst, included the stories of a massive group of hunting orca in Northland harbour, the fur seal nursery waterfall pool at Kaikoura and Stewart Island's pack of idiosyncratic white sharks. These episodes are available for viewing at TVNZ On Demand.

NZ On Air's Platinum Fund supports content that informs, educates and entertains a wide local audience. Through Our Big Blue Backyard Natural History New Zealand aims to celebrate New Zealand's diverse and unique coastlines by using footage that will connect the audience to these aspects, like never before.


Our Big Blue Backyard 2 is a Platinum Fund Documentary series

Natural History New Zealand for TVNZ1

6 x 60mins

NZ On Air funding for series 2: $2,066,927

I want our audience to look at the ocean and all the marine characters we introduce them to with new eyes. The series will highlight the intricacy and interconnectedness of the ocean ecosystem. Mess around with one aspect of it and there’s a ripple effect that impacts everything else.

— Judith Curran - Executive Producer of Our Big Blue Backyard

Audience Reach


People aged 5+ on average watched the series, sourced from Nielsen Television Audience Measurement

Watch this show

The second series has now finished screening.
Missed it? This programme is available OnDemand.

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