Monday, November 16, 2009

Karori Wildlife Sanctuary- Zealandia

I had to set the alarm on Saturday morning earlier than usual..... had to be in town by 7.20am for the Forest and Bird bus trip down to Wellington. First off in the morning we were visiting the Karori Wildlife Centre, then it was going to be a walk to Red Rocks and maybe some seal viewing. For photo purposes I am breaking the day into two posts....

I first heard about the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary two years ago when I was studying a paper in NZ fauna. A "mainland island" has been created, with an extensive anti-predator fence, so that some species that have disappeared from this area might be able to live here again. It is a dream that has 500 years of restoration ahead.....
Here is the piece of the fence that you see as you enter the sanctuary. The fence disappears up a hill and you lose sight of it in the distance: this sanctuary really is quite vast.

There is a low level sealed track that has been made accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs. After you have walked a little way, you come to another area where they have fenced it off so they can keep weka out while they establish a population of tuatara and also lizards. Just past this fence I had a lovely conversation with Erin, who was working nearby. She told me two places where I might see tuatara if they had come out, but it seemed it was a bit windy for them today.
The sanctuary is also interesting for its historical role in Wellington. There was a display that recalled old goldmining efforts that I had been completely unaware of happening in Wellington. And you could walk along the dam.

A swing bridge linked to some other trails across the valley. This sanctuary has been conceived on a grand scale!

I didn't try to take many bird photos- time was a bit short for my experimental efforts- but I did take my dslr out for these shots. I know I missed the tip of the duck's beak, but I was excited to see how much feather detail I could capture.
And I will just leave you with this kaka perched on a feeding station....


  1. The duck photo is fantastic.

  2. Brilliant! I love the Kaka! Great to see the effort being made here. I remember that place, there used to be Sooty Shearwaters (mutton birds) breeding on the coast, but I think the cats got them all. Maybe they will become re-established now.

  3. They are trying to re-vegetate some of the coastline where a quarry was, but the marine reserve basically applies to the water not the land I think. The coastal road is very popular with 4WD vehicles- quite a pain even for pedestrians let alone sooty shearwaters.
    I can hear the grey warbler this morning that seems to have established itself in my neighbourhood. I am always surprised to hear one in the urban setting!!!