Me and sarah just got bk from our day at Tiritiri Matangi island, it was amazing! Great way to spend our last day in NZ, tonnes of wildlife and its a beautiful island- very different, loads of flax, different types of trees including some 1000yr old pohutukawa trees, used to cover NZ but are now rare.
The island is one of the most successful conservation projects in the world- its natural habitat was destroyed by grazing and then introduced pests, but they wiped them out and over a 20yr period locals from NZ travelled out to the island and helped to replant the 220 hectares of land there. And it looks incredible now, covered in forest and with loads of reintroduced birds native to NZ. Its an open sanctuary, with just the one ferry taking some people there once a day for the whole day.
We had a brilliant guided tour from a local NZ resident- me and sarah were the only non-NZ people there, made a change :-) I loved it, we went along the beaches, through the forests, back across the only road/dirt track on the island, to the only building on the island- the lighthouse and visitor centre, and then back through the bush to the ferry back.
We saw loads of birds: saddleback, NZ robin, Tui (in big groups!), Stichbird Hihi, wood pidgeon, Brown guail- parents and an extremely cute chick!, Bellbird, Fantail, swallow, gulls, shags, spur winged plover, gannet. When we stopped for lunch at the visitor centre, we saw Pukeko and our first, and last probably as theyre extremely endangered, Takahe. These were awesome birds, one of them was really tame and was called Gregg. He tried to nick your lunch and you could stroke him, looked like a kindof dinosaur bird. By the end of the day we had some amazing photos, the weather was nice and sunny, and despite the rough ferry trips there and back (no ferry sickness though), it was a fab day and I cant believe its our last in NZ. Technically its not though, Im coming back.
Tomorrow we have our flight to Bangkok, and then its only 3 days there then home! xx