Day 7 - Thursday

Auckland Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 12 › view all entries
Our private airplane to Auckland

Whew, I was starting to feel like I was on a NZ version of Lost! I finally got off the island. The two former Sally Browns had a private 14 seat airplane to Auckland. She went on to Wellington and I went to my hotel in Auckland. I had a nice lamb kebab dinner at a place called Café Midnight Express, headed back to the hotel.

I had a rather long and uneventful morning waiting for a shuttle to pick me up and take me to my campervan at 9 am. I watched the news to see if the weather forecast was going to be nice anywhere and its pretty much all the same ��" a little chilly, rain coming and going.

I got all set up in the van and headed on my way. I needed to stop at a bookstore to find a bird book I wanted. Finally got there after driving in lefthanded circles for a while. Then I was on my way to a place called Tawharanui Regional Park. I stopped for lunch in a little town called Matakana whose claim to fame is that the public bathrooms are designed by a famous artist. They really were quite nice!

I arrived at the park to find some men working with hundreds of sheep. 850 or so. They ran each one through a chute and ran an ultrasound type scanner over each one. They determined if they were pregnant with one or twins or none. Twins were marked, all the pregnant ones were kept but the “dry” ones were sorted out. I asked later and it seems that those were the ones headed to the dinner plate!

The park is nice and I am tired even tough it is only 1 pm.

My Jucy at the first campsite
I decide to stay in the park for the night. When I checked in, I find that I am the only one here. But I mentioned to the ranger that I am a birder, he told me that there were some people doing a bird survey this evening and maybe I could join them. So I did. I joined a group of about a dozen people who were headed out at dusk to spend a few hours watching and listening for the Grey-faced Petrel. Seems they haven’t bred on the mainland for many years but they are now starting to due to the installation of a predator-free barrier fence on the park property in 2004. Many of the ground nesting birds are making a comeback, the petrel being one of them. So we went out to the far points of the park in twos and threes and waited. The birds showed up as night fell and we spent the next couple hours in a chilly rain watching for them and chatting. The local bird experts were pleased with the results. I was happy to have been invited!

Afterwards, I went back to my van and got set up for the night. It’s a bit crowded but fine for one person, maybe two if you’re close! I parked in my private campground field, hung up my wet clothes, and tucked in for the night, hoping to hear a kiwi call. But alas, no such luck!

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Our private airplane to Auckland
Our private airplane to Auckland
My Jucy at the first campsite
My Jucy at the first campsite
Working sheep at Tawharanui
Working sheep at Tawharanui
Auckland
photo by: Fulla