Monday, 24 February 2014


I had the privilege of wandering around Zealandia this weekend with a friend who knows the place very well and was patient as I stopped often to take photographs. While my father would have cringed at me becoming a greenie as I have, that's the slang for a conservationist here in New Zealand, he would very much have approved of the work done to restore the forest and bird life up in this special valley so near his home city.

Zealandia, formally the Karori Sanctuary is an amazing place and the reason there's so much bird life in the area around my place. Volunteers, sponsors, Wellington City Council and the NZ Government all work together "to create a self-sustaining ecosystem representative of the pre-human state that existed in New Zealand approximately 1000 years ago" for us to enjoy. They have surrounded the sanctuary with a pest proof fence, protecting the precious native wildlife and vegetation.

It was wonderful on this blustery Wellington Saturday to see the car park full and families out and about enjoying getting up close and personal with the kaka while checking out the small lizards, tuatara and weta. Watching at the bird feeding stations, rewarded us with sightings of bell birds, tui, hihi and those gorgeous small native robins. Listen to the birdsong as they chattered and flew was magical.

A couple of comments from the website summed it up for me:

"This sensational attraction will bring out the untapped Attenborough in everyone who visits." Time out

"An ark within an ark, Karori is one of New Zealand's vital havens for species on the brink."
National Geographic

We spent hours wandering and searching for the different species and managed to get really close at times. The photos below show a few of the birds, being able to find my other lens would have helped brings things just  a little closer. I enjoyed watching the kids enjoying the place and I can't wait to take Noah there when he comes to visit. I had some lovely moments with a little boy who took me by the hand to show me the algae on the pond, then spotting and counting the lizards with another.

This is a place for many revisits, a place to take all my visitors. Maybe starting with Sue next weekend. It's been a while since Sue and I have seen each other in person. In Al Ain a few years ago so I'm very much looking forward to catching up with her on the weekend.

Native Robin 

Tui surveying his domain

Sharing at a feeding station

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