Kiwi Encounter! Friday 11/25/16
Near Rotarua we made our way via coach to Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park. It was a misty kind of morning, but that's why rain jackets were invented, and the clouds lifted while we were inside. Our group had a 9 am guided visit to the Kiwi Encounter, and we were the first visitors. Helen was our guide. She'd been with Kiwi Park for many years and she was excellent. Oh my, were we the lucky ones ... first in the nursery and hatchery, too. No photos were allowed at the nursery window BECAUSE a four-day-old chick was being weighed in front of our eyes -- it held stock-still in a young lady staff worker's hands, the cutest little puff ball you've ever seen. Next came a 14-day-old chick on the "baby scales" and it, too, froze in place. CJ, a one-month-oldster was last, and he was to leave the nursery today and into an outdoor run. CJ was brought out into the visitor room and was held inches away for all to see. Talk about up close! Very, very special.
In the "indoor run," darkened for these nocturnal birds, we watched a feisty 38-year-old lady Kiwi named "Te Kaha" stalking through the undergrowth, and Pie and Thistle on the opposite side of the walkway (woohoo, boy and girl). Rainbow Springs has hatched and released 1600 chicks into the wild, a terrific number for a bird gone nearly extinct, 67 this season alone. The header bird isn't alive, of course, but we were very fortunate to see babes and adults this morning!
They show other birds, water fowl, and fish, and it's a great place to visit.
Biggest and prettiest rainbow trout we've ever seen!
New Zealand Scaup, female and male.
On our way to Rotarua Domestic Airport (also cute and little) and because we had loads of time, our excellent coach driver stopped in a Redwood grove, which amazed all of us, simply because we had no idea Sequoia Sempervirens existed in New Zealand. Above, Bernice, Ibby and Jimmy prove that they do.
A lovely silver fern front marking the path in the grove.
The tree ferns are gigantic, like so much of what we see Downunder.
We transferred to the airport at 10:30 for our flight to the South Island -- shaky Christchurch, to be exact -- departing at 12Noon, but a very nice packed lunch was provided beforehand. So, off we go to more adventure!