Tuesday, 7 January 2014


we get an early start and pack the tents before more rain occurs…..they are not too wet….today begins the Kiwi vacation presence on the roadways - Christmas is over, let’s go camping……the traffic is heavier but not impossible….we make our way south and stop at the Pukaha Mount Bruce Reserve….this is one of the NZ facilities that is working at re-introducing or increasing populations of endangered species to the wild….the development of NZ has included mass destruction of forests and the species that inhabited those forests….the destruction is beyond what we know in the way of clear cutting and similar industrial endeavours where reforestation practices were poor or non-existent, Kiwi’s simply burned down millions of hectares of rich forest vegetation and dependent wildlife in order to have clear areas for livestock grazing…….I know!!….the attempts to repair some of this extensive damage are challenging to say the least…at Pukaha, we were lucky enough to see some rare birds including the Kiwi bird…my camera craps out part way in so I’ll have to just describe the beautiful 11 day old Kiwi chick…..amazing little creatures, they don’t fly, have fur, nostrils, come out only in the dark - - google one if you have a moment, they are really cool….we also see the worlds oldest species of lizard, the Tuatuara…..again, very cool, drink through their skin and have 3 eyes when they are born….NZ is full of these kinds of unique lifeforms…..after a little bush walk and some viewing we head on down into Wellington….foggy and rainy….cold even….the Downtown Backpackers hotel is old and could use about 3 million gallons of paint…..but the bunk beds are pretty comfortable and the communal kitchen has a big fridge and lots of stoves….we head into town to look around and find a New Orleans restaurant…..we decide to give it a try….the gumbo, jambalaya and ribs are to die for…..we are warmed up now and should sleep well in this odd hotel….I do!

the birds here are native to both the north and south islands and are endangered....the reserve prepares them for release into the wild and away from predators when possible.....this one is the karikieri

sorry - I forgot the funky name of this one....

this is a kaka....hey, I didn't name it so don't look at me......

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