Thursday, 20 October 2011

NZ: It's for the birds!

In our quest for a glimpse of the Rowi, the rarest of the world's five species of kiwi, we took a detour on the road to Wellington and stopped by the Mt. Bruce Wildlife Centre.  Just my luck, the bird had been moved to allow construction of a new home!  This was all we were able to see - a poster;  and not a very realistic one at that, as the rowis are really nocturnal animals.  

The Kakas though, put on a great show for us.  It was feeding time - they dive-bombed and swooped around at breakneck speeds.  The only way I could get them on camera was using multiple shots and hoping for the best.  

Caught one in a quiet moment, enjoying its food.  

And here's another rare one, the Takahe, a big flightless bird that was almost extinct at one time but now restored to a population of about 225.

The road through the mountains into Wellington was an exciting, windy drive with steep drops on the side.  Good thing we were on the inside most of the time!  Here is a view from the cable car stop at the top of the hill looking onto Wellington harbour.  The cable car stop was right downtown, a block from our hotel.

From the cable car stop, it was a nice walk to the top of the Botanic Garden.  This was a good route to take as the gardens were built on a steep hill.  It would have been quite a climb had we gone the other way - up instead of down.   This is quite a unique species, unfortunately not labelled!

What a great place to build a garden - along the hillside.  Here's a top to bottom view.

This pigeon looked like it was dressed up for a night out - look at the pretty collar!


We were lucky to be there when there was a show of prize-winning roses - this was but one award winner amongst many!

Next post:  Wellington, the capital

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