Whangaparaoa police cat Snickers treasure hunt a big hit
Mugshots of Snickers the police cat have proven a hit with Coastie kids these school holidays.
Photos of the crime fighting feline have been placed on rocks and then hidden around Hibiscus Coast parks.
Snickers' commanding officer, and Whangaparaoa Police Station watchhouse officer Charlotte Jones, came up with the idea - a twist on the popular rock hunting craze.
She wanted to give children in the area something free and fun to do over the school holidays, which also fostered positive relationships with the police.
Jones created rocks with pictures of Snickers, then hid them around parks and playgrounds.
She then announced the treasure hunt on Facebook on October 8 and the results exceeded her expectations.
From 8.30am the next morning, the station had children streaming in to collect their prizes, and parents phoning in from the parks to ask for hints.
The packs included a few lollies, Snickers based crosswords, word finders and mazes, a cycle helmet activity to encourage kids to wear them, and police themed colouring in pages with colour pencils.
"We kept it simple, but the kids think they've won Lotto," Jones said.
Children were also treated to a tour of a police car and parents could take photos of them wearing police hats.
The treasure hunt proved so successful the rocks went out a second time in different parks.
James and Paige McGregor had hunted for Snicker on first day, but had been unsuccessful.
They were very happy they both found rocks at Little Manly the second time round.
They picked up their packs, checked out the police car and spent some time patting Constable Snickers.
Zach Bethune found a rock at Little Manly too. Mum Monique, and Zach's auntie Annelise Courtney, thought the treasure hunt was a fantastic idea.
With relatives up from Wellington, the whole family joined in to hunt.
"The adults enjoyed it just as much as the kids," Monique said.
The family met lots of other people out for the hunt as well, Annelise said.
Jones said the treasure hunts popularity will see it back during the Christmas holidays.