Today was a day trip to the island of Tiritiri Matangi, an island sanctuary developed to ensure the survival of many rare and endangered plant and animal species. We hikes along beautiful trails with Diana our guide learning about and spotting many birds whose names I will never remember and plants I will not recognize either the next time I see them.
It was a 11/2 ferry ride on a hot, sunny day. My first sun burn of the year, pretty much finishing off the one that got started yesterday ( even with sunscreen!). The bird in the photo is named Greg, a Takahe, one of the island celebrities who will eat your lunch if you're careless enough to leave it unprotected for a second! He has an antennae stuck in him because the wardens want to be able to find him
should he wander off and die somewhere. Apparently he is 18 years old, well past his prime, since most birds of his species live an average of 14 years. Anyway I think that's what our guide said.
The best part of the day was Hobb's Beach where I swam in the warm Pacific waters at the end of our hike and before boarding the ferry back to Auckland. So refreshing! This is our last day in the Auckland area as tomorrow we board the bus for the trek to Gisborne where our cycling journey really begins.