Takahe and Kaka: a trip to Zealandia

On Saturday we walked up to Zealandia, a special wildlife sanctuary which we are very lucky to live so close to.  Zealandia is an urban eco-restoration project which has the objective of saving New Zealand’s endangered species. The entire area is surrounded by a special fence to keep out introduced predators such as mice, rats and cats.  For those of you interested you can read about the technicalities here http://www.visitzealandia.com/what-is-zealandia/conservation-restoration/our-groundbreaking-fence/

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How high can you jump if you are a cat?

We took the introductory route and I can honestly say that not only was it a great 2 hour walk, but also somewhere we will definitely return to, partly as we only did the walk and did not go to the exhibition, but also as there are still things to see and of course it will vary from season to season.  At the start of the walk there is a great little jetty where you can catch an electric boat for a short trip across the water.  It looked so much like something from a movie where you expect something unexpected to happen!

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Karl at the end of the jetty

We walked along the waterside to the shag lookout, where we saw lots of shags perching in a tree on the opposite side.  I always think cormorants and shags look so primeval, and love watching them dive and come up again, heads held high.

After crossing a pontoon, we came upon a takahe.  There are two of them, a former breeding pair, who are spending their retirement at Zealandia.  One of the guides was there and told us all about their history and where their children and grandchildren are located around New Zealand.

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Takahe pecking at the grass.  The picture does not do justice to the vivid green and ble feathers.

We continued our walk through the woods and over a suspension bridge and across the dam. There are loads of things to look at and experience, such as listening to different bird calls and trying to spot a tuatara, a type of reptile.  On the walk, I was lucky to spot a North Island robin in the lower branches of some trees, and of course we heard lots of tuis.  We arrived in time to see a kaka, a large brown parrot, feeding at a special feeding post.

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At Zealandia

All in all, it was a great way to spend a morning and I highly recommend it to anyone who might come and visit us in Wellington.  You can read more about it here http://www.visitzealandia.com/

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