A photo of a spider has won Paraparaumu College student Cru Stevens $200 in the Expressions Whirinaki My Bubble Photography Competition.

He won the high school learners category for his close-up the creature.

Cru, 13, has been fascinated with spiders since he was young, and had been spending quite a lot of time in his Paraparaumu Beach garden during lockdown looking for spiders. His media studies teacher emailed him about the competition.


"There's a bunch of rocks outside my bedroom window and some of them have got tunnelweb spiders in them.

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"I sometimes get a slater or something to put in there to entice the spider out because it senses vibrations."

Cru used a Panasonic Lumix TX80 to photograph the spider - but had to get close.

Cru Stevens award winning photo of a tunnelweb spider.
Cru Stevens award winning photo of a tunnelweb spider.

"I was one or two centimetres away from the spider."

Cru said the tunnelweb was New Zealand's heaviest spider.

"It has been known to catch and eat mice.

"They are quite common in the garden."

Cru, who starts a photographic course this week, had been photographing other creatures around his property including a vagrant spider and praying mantis.

A vagrant spider. Photo / Cru Stevens
A vagrant spider. Photo / Cru Stevens

Cru won $200 for his close-up.

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"I was surprised because they were supposed to announce the winner on May 1 but I was emailed a few days later."

Proud mother Melissa said, "It was really cool.

"He's been doing a lot of study on camera skills.

"I think it's something well deserved."

Cru was thinking of spending his money on a kayak or an underwater action camera.