Go Whitebait - a native fish card game


Amber McEwan has taken her passion for New Zealand's native freshwater fauna in a new direction, creating an fun and educational card game. Making up a standard pack, her Go Whitebait cards are not only beautifully illustrated, but can be used just like a normal pack of cards.

How to play...

How to play Go Whitebait

Each player is dealt 7 cards, which they hold in a closed hand.  The rest of the cards are placed in a stack in the middle facing down.

The youngest player starts, then turns proceed in a clockwise direction.

Each turn starts with a question to a player of their choice: e.g. “do you have a forest pool?”

  • If the player does have that card, they must give hand it over, at which point the person whose turn it is can lay down any pairs they choose. The turn then moves on.
  • If the player does not have that card, they say “go whitebait!”, and the person whose turn it is picks up a card from the pile. The turn then moves on.

The only time a player can lay down pairs is during their turn, after they have asked their question.  Jokers can take the place of any card.  The game is won when a player has all 5 pairs laid down in front of them.

Other ways to play: the cards can also be used as a memory match game, and because they have the standard suits of a normal pack of cards you can play any other card game with these, if you ever get tired of Go Whitebait!

    About Amber...

    Amber McEwan is a freshwater biologist who is passionate about conservation, particularly of New Zealand's freshwater ecosystems. After her first child was born she realised that, while there were a number of children's books about kiwi and tuatara and other New Zealand native animals, there was nothing about our beautiful native fish. So, Amber set about writing a series of books - this one on freshwater fishes is the third - which share the really exciting story of New Zealand freshwater life with those who will be looking after them in the future - kids.