The Bay of Islands has been invaded by giant fruit and vegetables, with reports of half a dozen giant carrots, three child-size pineapples, bunches of grapes, innumerable berries and even a giant parsnip roaming the streets of Opua.<inline type="photogallery" id="15828" align="outside" embed="no" />
The invasion was not part of a bizarre sci-fi movie but a fruit 'n' vege themed show day at Opua School promoting the 5+ a day message, which aims to encourage Kiwis to eat more of what's good for them.
Thirteen-year-old Maddi Smart said the school held a show and dress-up day every year, but yesterday's was special. As well as pushing the message that fruit and vegetables are healthy and make you strong, her schoolmates were hoping to win a national 5+ a day competition and a set of iPads for the school.
Class teacher and show day organiser Karen Young said the event combined a chance to dress up with country-show-style competitions such as cake decorating, mini scenes, aqua jars and vegetable animals. The afternoon was dedicated to physical activities such as egg-and-spoon races and a skip-a-thon.
The kids were no strangers to fruit and vege, having won last year's national Tui Gardening Challenge for their gardens, an ingenious hot house and a chook run which turns lunch scraps into fertiliser.
''So they're really aware of fruit and vegetables and how they grow ... they know the whole process, from garden to mouth.''
Mrs Young said the response had been excellent, with 110 of the school's 115 children dressing up in theme and a large number of parents and grandparents joining in.