Black body, dark red legs, as long as a roll-on deodorant

A large spider living in the dunes near New Brighton, Christchurch.
ANARU MIKAERE

A large spider living in the dunes near New Brighton, Christchurch.

Walking through dunes near her home in the Christchurch seaside suburb of New Brighton, Baylee Bensley-Howell was surprised to come across a large spider with an air of menace about it.

The arachnid had a black body with white stripes on its back, dark red legs, and was about the size of a roll-on deodorant.

"It's the biggest spider I've ever seen," Bensley-Howell said. "It was really cool looking."

As she kept a safe distance, boyfriend Anaru Mikaere - who saw the spider first - moved closer to film the critter.

READ MORE:
Giant webs as spiders ride silk parachutes, lay down safety lines to escape floods
Solitary hitchhiking huntsman spider finds way into Christchurch store Lululemon
Spiders eat as much meat as humans and apparently that's a good thing and not at all terrifying

 

"He was having a real close look," Bensley-Howell said.

For her part, she was keeping a comfortable distance away. "I was staying away from it. My boyfriend was quite nervous that it was suddenly going to jump up at him," she said.

"We pretty much walk down there every day for my dog. That's the first time I've seen a spider in that area that hasn't been tiny."

Mikaere had a look around the same spot a day later and found a few more similar, though slightly smaller, spiders.

Ad Feedback

The imposing arachnid was a native nursery-web spider, Canterbury University adjunct professor of science communication Dr Simon Pollard said.

It was sitting on top of a nursery which should be full of babies. "Big NZ spider, but harmless."

 

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Murder in a tight-knit town video

Quinn Patterson is said to have liked guns, which he fired off "on a daily basis".

Wendy and Natanya Campbell were kind and respected. But their killer had a violent history and was "done" with life.

Rental homes risky for kids

Research from Growing Up in New Zealand's Now We Are Four report showed private rentals had significantly fewer home ...

Children living in rentals are more exposed to safety risks than those whose families own a home, study shows.

Heavy snow warning in place

Tekapo was temporarily cut off by snow on Thursday.

Five vehicles hit ice and skid off the road in Southland as the cold snap grips the country.

Meet artist Laura Williams

Left: Unrequited. Right: Artist Laura Williams at home with her budgies.

Full-bodied and free-spirited, the world depicted by this Auckland artist is one of brimming with humour, flowers and colour.

Wellington

Work to clear two slips

A slip on Evans Bay Parade, Wellington, came down on to the road.

Major Wellington slips trigger road closures and one home is evacuated in the Aro Valley.

Winter's bite is back video

Cold Antarctic air is behind the front bringing snow to Tekapo and other parts of the South Island.

Wellington in the firing line with gale-force southerlies on the way.

The disappearing price of premium

2032016 News Photo: Marion van Dijk/Fairfax NZ

Petrol price sign at BP2go Haven Road.

Petrol stations don't show premium fuel prices anymore and it allows gouging, AA says.

Wind hits Wellington flights

Wellington's wind is notorious for giving passengers landing in the city a bumpy landing. (File photo)

Flights have been disrupted in the capital, and some have been diverted.

Canterbury

Newly-built home to be removed

This post-quake rebuild is in one of Christchurch's lowest-lying areas. Now it will have to go to make way for a flood ...

It's one of 13 Christchurch properties to make way for a council flood protection scheme.

The 'not guilty' verdict

David Bain's long-standing and staunch supporter, Joe Karam.

One juror hugged David Bain and another shook his hand. Later, they went to his party.

Heavy snow warning in place

Tekapo was temporarily cut off by snow on Thursday.

Roads down south affected by snow, but rain to ease in Canterbury from mid-morning.

Project wants power to take land

The Hurunui River in North Canterbury.

"It gives them a big baseball bat and what have I got?" asks one farmer worried irrigation project will take his land by force.

Waikato

Chris Bush cold case lead

Chris Bush was shot dead in 1987 at the Red Fox Tavern.

New information reopens case of Waikato barman shot in 1987 Red Fox Tavern hold-up.

Home burns to ground

Neighbours were the first to spot the flames surging from the 30m by 15m building around 11.30am on Thursday.

Residents were in a nearby town when they heard the fire siren.

Migrant renters' cannabis rort

Professionally installed heat lamps and hydroponic equipment were set up in various rooms, including bedrooms, of the ...

Illegal immigrant ring allegedly caught growing commercial amounts of cannabis in rentals.

Slain Kiwi's friends in shock

The New Zealander was reported to have been living in Maripipi when he was gunned down on Biliran Island (shown) on ...

Hamilton man Simon Rawlinson was gunned down on the street at his second home.

Taranaki

Fail and move on

New Plymouth man Paul Feltoe swam more than 32 kilometres across the Catalina Channel in July.

 A couple of weeks ago New Plymouth man Paul Feltoe got a boat from Los Angeles to Catalina Island - then swam the 32.3kms back.

Firewood running out

A roaring fire maybe a thing of the past unless you've stocked up as supplies of firewood  run out in Taranaki with ...

Stock up in summer to avoid being left out in the cold.

'Disgusting and repugnant' actions

Levi Walter Love, 20, was sentenced in the New Plymouth District Court.

Levi Walter Love, 20, spat blood and spit onto the chin of the officer who was trying to get him into a patrol car.

New owners for burger joint

New Prohibition owners Andy Le and Gabby Tran will be keeping the burger restaurant much the same.

A popular New Plymouth burger joint is under new ownership but the burgers won't change.

Manawatu

Wowed over WOW

Jennie Munro in her workshop with costumes that have been finalists in Wellington's international World Of Wearable Arts ...

A Palmerston North designer has made the finals of September's wearable arts show.

No intercepting emails

Horizons Regional Council chief executive Michael McCartney sees no reason to intercept emails, unlike Horowhenua ...

Council chief executives see no reason for intercepting emails - unlike Horowhenua council's boss.

Collar-dragging teacher cleared

Clive Stevens with his grandmother Maureen Stevens.

Teacher who dragged special needs student along floor did nothing wrong, investigation finds.

Back to school

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei stopped to talk with Tanika Jeffery, 14, who was learning speech writing in te reo, at ...

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei talks education at her old high school.

Nelson

Log truck overturns

A logging truck overturned at Appleby near Nelson.

Logging truck crash closes road near Nelson.

Man critically injured

A man has critical injuries after a car hit a tree on the Coastal Highway.

A man is trapped in a car with serious injuries after a car hit a tree near Nelson.

Grandstand gets short reprieve

The grandstand may be a drawcard for spectators again.

Golden Bay Grand Stand supporters have three months to come up with a preservation and funding plan.

Battle in the skies

Passengers disembark the first Jetstar flight from Wellington to Nelson. (File photo)

Regional airline boss says "it's a race to the bottom, and we're caught up in it".

Marlborough

'Our niche is Marlborough'

Dog Point Vineyard co-owners and event sponsors Ivan Sutherland, left, and James Healy read up for the Marlborough Book ...

With intimate venues and stunning surrounds, the Marlborough Book Festival is a little different.

Bigger planes?

Sounds Air chief executive Andrew Crawford inside the cockpit of one of the company's 9-seat Pilatus PC-12s.

Demand for flights prompts Marlborough airline to investigate "quantum leap" to larger planes.

Blenheim bemoans unfair fares

Air New Zealand said it would not be reinstating direct flights to Christchurch from Marlborough Airport.

"It's almost like we've offended Air New Zealand somehow and they're making us pay." 

Nurses to move to hub

The district nurses will have a similar amount of storage space at the health hub, the review panel says.

Where they need more staff, new technology and better communication, review finds.

South Canterbury

Region poised for milk boost

While the forecast price rise from Fonterra is good new for South Canterbury dairy farmers, regional Federated Farmers ...

Another $25m added to South Canterbury farmers' milk payout.

Rugby player jailed

Kolinio Yabia Tamanitoakula was jailed for three years, four months and two weeks.

His distressed victim was covered in mud when she ran in front of a car to get help.

Change possible - Falloon

National Party candidate Andrew Falloon met ECan representatives on Thursday, following heated public debate about the ...

Retrofitting plan still on the table, National Party candidate suggests.

Roads reopen, rain continues video

Contractors clear snow from the road at Tekapo on Thursday morning.

Roads to Tekapo reopen as schools send  students home early to avoid flooding.

Southland

Hall off to world champs

New Zealand discus thrower Marshall Hall practices ahead of the 2017 IAAF World Championships.

Invercargill discus thrower 'committed and focused' ahead of IAAF Athletics World Championships.

Ice causing crashes

Ice in Southland is responsible for a five-car crash.

Police are warning drivers to take it slow and beware of ice on the roads.

Data won't be public

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said the ministry had no intention to make information about individual fishing locations public.

Patients wait for MRI scans

Southland Hospital, Invercargill.

Recruitment issues are contributing to hundreds of southern patients not receiving MRI scans within the target time.

Ad Feedback