A game of rock painting and hide and seek has taken off in parts of Northland including Kerikeri. Reporter Jenny Ling heads to Roland's Wood with the famous JB Rocks to find some treasure.
It started as an innocent hobby following a rock hunting expedition four years ago.
Jayne Barnett, with her daughter and granddaughter who were visiting from Christchurch, ventured to the grounds of Cherry Park House in Kerikeri in search of treasure.
There they discovered more than a dozen small colourful stones, little gems hand painted and hidden by a stealthy stranger.
Some were sitting at the base of trees and others were found nestled among their branches.
The family returned home with their stash, delighted.
This game of rock painting and hide and seek is part of a global phenomenon which Barnett's daughter had already cottoned onto.
It requires the gathering of rocks, small stones that fit easily in the hand, then painting and hiding them, and posting the general location on a Facebook page.
Parents and children head out to find the treasure, post pictures of themselves with their finds online, then re-hide the stones for someone else's pleasure.
During her family's stay Barnett and her daughter looked up the Kerikeri page, and she was hooked.
"She was talking about it and we'd gone online and found KK Rocks' Facebook page which said some rocks had been dropped at the Cherry Park House so we said let's go there together.
"We found 17 rocks. That blew our minds a bit and we went home and started painting rocks.
"When they left, I kept on doing it."
Barnett has become a bit famous around Kerikeri for her rock hiding expeditions.
From her Moerewa home she paints them in bright colours, pictures of butterflies, flowers, and inspiring words and messages.
After they've dried, she places a little sticker on the back of each one, instructing the finder to "post photo and re-hide" alongside her initials JB Rocks.
Then she hides them around Kerikeri to brighten people's day, tucking them out of sight around tree roots and park benches in various parks and woods and sometimes around the Mission Station by the Stone Store.
Her designs have become so well-known that local kids call them JB rocks, without knowing the true identity of JB.
JB's cover was well and truly blown on June 20 when she featured on 1 News Good Sorts segment which highlights people who go out of their way for their community.
Though it was nice to be acknowledged, she felt a bit uncomfortable with the attention.
"I felt like a bit of a fraud, but my husband said 'no you've done so many rocks and you've been doing it for ages'."
Barnett has always delved in the world of arts and crafts, making model houses, scrap booking, and creating birthday and Christmas cards.
Sometimes her rock creations come with a theme; New Year's, Christmas, Matariki or World Kindness Day.
Two Christmases ago she painted 400 rocks, dropping them throughout the town along with the local retirement villages.
Anzac Day rocks are her favourite to create, due to the reactions of people who find them.
"One man three Anzac days ago, he was in the Navy once, and he found one and his great-granddaughter said he wouldn't part with it, he carried it around in his pocket.
"Another time, a woman said she was having a really bad day and came for a walk and found a couple of rocks which put a smile on her face.
"When you hear comments like that it makes it worthwhile.
"It's brilliant. It's not just kids it's for adults too."
I met Barnett at Roland's Wood where she hid a stash of stones a while back.
As we walked and talked and rustled through fallen leaves hoping to find one, she tells me she always has rocks in the car, and drops them off when she and her husband come to Kerikeri to do their grocery shopping.
It always makes her smile when she hears someone find one of her stones.
"When we're here and we hear someone yelling out 'I found a JB rock!' that's quite exciting. Usually, we keep quiet and go on our way."
We kept up our slow search, eyes down peering around the base of trees, Barnett trying to recall where she hid them.
Then it happened.
I finally found one.
Actually, I nearly walked into it, dangling as it was on a piece of string tied to the branch of a yellowing ginkgo tree.
A smooth little stone painted with three pink tulips on a deep cerise background with tiny green leaves.
It was so exciting - I might have whooped for joy a little bit.
Though tempted to take it home, I left it there for a child to find.
As Barnett points out, it's all about sharing the love.
"Parents will come out with their kids and find half a dozen rocks, they might take one home but will hide the others for the next lot of people to find them.
"It's a way of sharing, and getting the kids out of the house and away from their phones and computers.
"And the act of painting is really therapeutic. It's very relaxing."
The rock hunting craze began in the United States.
Port Angeles Rocks was founded six years ago by a group of women who thought that a community art project would be a fun way for home-schooled kids to interact with one another.
In Kerikeri, Jessie Mortensen started the Facebook page KK Rocks in July 2018.
She and her husband Steve and their daughters Rubee, 11, and Pippa, 9, were on a trip to the Gold Coast when they found some beautifully painted treasures while exploring the local park.
They had so much fun on that adventure they decided, upon their return, to share it with others.
Mortensen invited friends to join the page, "and it snowballed and it was just awesome".
"When you go to the park you don't expect to find treasure.
"Wherever we go we're always exploring for rocks, even for adults it fun.
"Knowing it's made someone's day, that's really cool."
Try it out
* Buy rocks at garden or hardware shops.
* Choose waterproof, acrylic paint or permanent marker pens and make sure rocks are dry before hiding.
* Don't stick sequins or anything on them because they could come loose - not good for little people.
* Hide them around trees or park benches.
* Don't hide them in the grass because they can damage lawn mowers.
* Label the rocks with your local Facebook group so people can find and join it.