Birds of a Feather....
Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
402Trip End Dec 31, 2013
New Zealand has some amazing birds.
First of all there is the iconic kiwi. So shy and hard to find and able to lay the hugest egg in comparision to its size - Ouch!! Then we were so impressed with the gannets because they sort of epitomise the NZ/Australia relationship. The gannets at Cape Kidnappers have their babies at the colony then when the babies grow to independence they fly all the way to Australia. They spend the equivalent in bird life of their teenage and 20's and 30's in Australia feeding then head back to NZ to breed. Very much like the the many New Zealanders over in Australia working!
After a very pleasant and uneventful ferry ride across the ocean between the South and North Islands we headed to Wellington and a night tour of "Zealandia"
Our next major bird watching was a visit to the Cape Kidnappers to see the largest Gannet colony in New Zealand. It was quite an adventure getting to the colony via a tractor and trailer along a rugged beach landscape. Our tour guide explained the geography of the cliffs as we went along and told us of the excitement the day before when a German tourist had tried to climb down one of the cliffs from above, fell and became stranded. He had to be rescued by helicopter. Later we were to see the story in the newspaper.
A very steep climb took us up to the rugged hedland where the gannets seemd to have chose a very exposed spot to nest. I guess it gave them clear view to any incoming predators. The sheer quantity of birds massed in one place is truly astounding. They squawk and flutter, smooch, make love and fight squashed together on a tiny hedland. They share parenting duties equally and mate for life.
Later that afternoon we reversed to the trip back on the tractor trailer enjoying the view of the majestic and unstable cliffs from another angle then back to our campervan and on to Hawkes Bay for the night.
Travel Tip: We totally recommend the Gannet Beach Adventures tour as a great day out and value for money. Contact www.gannets.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 06 875 9898