The Other Island

12May09

Hey.

My last post was about a visit to an island. So is this one. But that one was a barren, moonlike surface devoid of all life. This island,on the other hand, is covered with a layer of thick trees, and on it dwells a large variety of flora and fauna seldom seen outside New Zealand, and some birds limited to only conservation islands like these. The island I’m talking about is the island Tiritiri Matangi, and here is a convenient map.

tiri

The boat left from Auckland and stopped by at the Whangaparaoa Peninsula (spelled Whangaporoa on this map, and pronounced “Phon-gah-par-o-a”) to pick up more passengers. Here is another map, this time showing the island itself:

tiritiri-matangi-map-dec-07-480

The boat lands at the wharf (midde left) and you walk up to the light house, and on the way, we saw a Whitehead, Red-Crowned Parakeet, Saddleback, Bellbird, Stitchbird, Fantail, Pukeko, Tui and a New Zealand Pigeon (these links go to the Tiritiri Matangi website).

But the rarest, funniest and naughtiest bird species is to be found at the lighthouse. This is the Takahe, a fat, jovial, species who spend their time eating grass and unfortunate visitor’s lunches. There are only 225 of them left, making them probably the rarest bird I’m ever going to see.

Takahe 

This is a cartoon of Greg, considered to be the naughtiest and a real threat to people’s lunches:

Greg

These are posted up everywhere along with the warning of possible Takahe lunch interference. These birds are very tame, especially Greg, who will snatch your lunch from your hand. Here is a picture of him ‘begging’.

Takahe_-_Greg_&_CheeseCake_-_Tiritiri_Matangi_Isl._Jan_2009_(3)

Dad had some chocolate snatched by Greg, who went and soaked it in water to soften it.

It was a really fun day, and I have some video of birds which you can see when we have converted the tape.

But before I sign off, I have a few pictures I haven’t posted yet (at least, I hope not) and can’t think of anywhere else to put them. This first was taken in the Coromandel peninsula on our trip there:

NZ2 187

This is the odd house I described which we stayed in at the Coromandel Peninsula:

NZ2 210

This was taken from the plane as we flew from Auckland to Queenstown:

NZ2 238

Film fans may recognise this picture of the Arrow River, as this section was used to film the Fords of Bruinen in the Fellowship of The Ring:

NZ2 275 

This was taken on the Mackinnon Pass the day before we went over it by dad, as he went up the day before:

NZ2 294

These fine mountains are the snowcapped Remarkables, taken from Queenstown:

NZ2 295

This is the slightly comic lack of a letter in a church sign in Dunedin:

NZ2 369

I did say that that picture of a Weta was the best wildlife photo dad could take, but I was proven wrong by these next photos. The first is of a yellow-eyed penguin at ‘Penguin Place’ near Dunedin:

Penguin

This one is a grey fur seal taken in Kaikoura:

NZ2 388

And this is Mount Taranaki, taken from a car park near New Plymouth:

NZ2 404

This is a caravan, which I just happened to be staying in:

Photo-0436

This is from the Bay of Islands, a long time ago:

Photo-0011 

 

-THE END-

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One Response to “The Other Island”

  1. 1 Grandad

    The remarkablest thing in all this
    (I hope you won’t take it amiss)
    Is not the rude shock
    Of Greg’s stealing the choc,
    But Dunedin’s cult worship of Chris.


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