Semi live from New Zealand

Old Nov 23rd, 2022, 03:31 PM
  #21  
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Unfortunately the ferry to Tiritiri has been cancelled for a second day running so we aren't going there

Now headed toward Coromandel and the famous Miranda bird hides. Earlier we went on a short walk in Shakespear Regional Park. Lots of the big native pigeons.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2022, 03:41 PM
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Consolation for missing Tiri is that we had a third dinner at Bridge House. Main Divide Rose.
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Old Nov 25th, 2022, 03:53 PM
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Looking forward to hearing about your visit to Miranda Shorebird Centre. Did you see bar-tailed godwits and wrybills? Miranda has been on my bird bucket list for such a long time. I envy you!
You might enjoy this recent article one bar-tailed godwit's annual migration from Alaska to Tasmania:
https://www.theguardian.com/environm...hern-australia

Sorry to hear that you couldn't get to Tiritiri Matangi. As you noted in your earlier post, Hauraki Gulf can be rough at this time of year. But it sounds like you've already seen plenty of the same birds you would have viewed on Tiritiri Matangi, so you haven't missed much.

Were your sightings of brown kiwi and brown teal at night or during the day? Have you seen any kōkako yet? It's that stunning bird on the $50 bill. If not, keep your ears peeled for their song, which has been described as "mournful" (this is how I first noticed one on a bush right behind me).

Tawharanui, which you visited, is also supposed to be a good place for spotting kiwis. I was told so by a young CA woman who'd seen them there on this tour.

I, too, was affected by the weather when I traveled to Tiritiri Matangi for the first time. I'd planned to spend only one night on the island, but on the following day ocean conditions were too rough, so salings were cancelled and those of us who'd planned on leaving had to spend an extra night. It was a blessing in disguise as we ended up having the island to ourselves (no day-trippers), but I also ended up forfeiting a prepaid night in a very nice Auckland hotel.

While there is no shortage of great-tasting rosť in NZ, as you seem to be a fan of Nelson's Seifried Winery you might want to try their flavorful pinot noir rosť. It's one of our favorites and excellent buy when on sale for $15.

Last edited by Diamantina; Nov 25th, 2022 at 04:15 PM.
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Old Nov 26th, 2022, 10:03 AM
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We did see about 5000 Godwits at one hide and roughly 50 Wrybill at another area. Another highlight was Blue Duck. Unfortunately unless I extend my trip and risk going back to Tiri we have exhausted other Kokako options. It was one if my top three want-to-see species.

We going to Zealandia as consolation which has no Kokako.

Last night we stayed in Havelock North in a nice motel (Wine Country Motel). One of the company owners lives here and hosted us for pizza, raspberries and salad from his veg patch and a pour of Elephant Hill Le Phant Rouge ( red blend).

Walk in Boundary Hill

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Old Nov 27th, 2022, 01:47 AM
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Our N Brown kiwi spot was at Marsden Cross near Kerikeri. We probably heard 30 calling and saw two, one huge female less than 10 feet away who turned her head straight at us! ( Normally you see a big butt facing away). Exceptional.

We are at Foxton tonight @ Celtic Motel. Seems newly outfitted (eg brand new towels). My TV is bigger than the one I have at home, there was a Whittaker's square and shortbread cookies with the tea caddy. We had grilled steak and chicken prepared by our guide again as the normal restaurant has decided to close on Sundays. Probably staffing issues.
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Old Nov 27th, 2022, 03:33 AM
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5000 bar tailed godwits and 50 wrybills sounds amazing to me! (I'd hate to be the person in charge of counting the godwits at Miranda.)

Very nice that you also saw a whio and two North Island kiwis, including one very large female! Did you see the whio at Miranda?

I'm sorry you were not able to see a kōkako. Did you see the other two of your three want-to-see species? Even if you had gone to Tiritiri Matangi, you might not have seen a kōkako. Will you be visiting Pūkaha / Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre? I've not been there, but just read they have both wild kōkako flying around in their reserve as well as one kōkako that could not be released into the wild in an enclosure.

That's a nice photo of the forest with the immense tree ferns. Is Boundary Hill in Boundary Stream?

I'm sure you'll enjoy Zealandia.

Last edited by Diamantina; Nov 27th, 2022 at 03:43 AM.
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Old Nov 27th, 2022, 10:32 AM
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The Blue Ducks were at Turangi, where they do predator control.

Boundary Stream is north of Napier
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Old Nov 28th, 2022, 10:22 AM
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We made it to Picton by ferry last night although getting off was a bother as a big truck had stalled out on the exit blocking nearly every one. At first they said it had broken down but apparently operator error. Still made our reservation at Oxley and had a lovely fresh Orange Roughy dish. Did not realize there was still an active commercial fishery for that.
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Old Nov 30th, 2022, 12:47 AM
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Kaikoura today

1) Albatross Encounter

2) Crayfish lunch

3) Feijoa Sorbet (starter)

4)Deep South Hokey Pokey IC (had to be bought from supermarket)
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Old Nov 30th, 2022, 09:25 PM
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We went from Kaikoura to Arthur's Pass today with a stop at Sheffield for the world famous pie shop. I have to admit the pastry was spectacular.



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Old Nov 30th, 2022, 09:27 PM
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Bealey Hotel
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Old Nov 30th, 2022, 10:16 PM
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"Albatross Encounter" was that on the menu or a bird sighting??
Now that does look like a tasty pie! I wonder how many world famous pie shops there are in NZ and Oz. Keep and eye out for a "Who Ate All the Pies" pie. Their stay and bluff oyster pies was possible the best pie I have ever tasted (and there have been a few!)
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Old Dec 1st, 2022, 02:19 AM
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Albatross Encounter , followed by

Lunch.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2022, 10:35 AM
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​​​​​​WE are on the tourist trail now. View toward Franz Josef from Bella Vista Motel.Yes that is blue sky!

Every motel has No Vacancy signs up and if your desired restaurant doesn't take reservations good luck. We missed getting in to Alice May by a few minutes due to a Russian group of 16. There was a buffet nearby so we didn't starve.

Heard that a large batch of visas has been authorized to help with staff shortages.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2022, 12:20 AM
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... duplicate

Last edited by mlgb; Dec 3rd, 2022 at 01:20 AM.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2022, 12:21 AM
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Haast, West Coast.

It's never like this.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2022, 12:32 AM
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One night on Wanaka at newly renovated Archway Motel and Chalets. BBQ in garden, with view of their stunning rose collection.
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Old Dec 3rd, 2022, 07:12 AM
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Is that sunshine in Haast?
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Old Dec 3rd, 2022, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Melnq8
Is that sunshine in Haast?
I thought experienced NZ visitors might appreciate.
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Old Dec 4th, 2022, 08:13 AM
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Monkfish Fat Duck Te Anau

Unfortunately they sat us at an table in the middle of the bar. Uncomfortable and noisy. Fortunately it was open on a Sunday night. The food was decent and the live guitar player a few feet away stopped 5 minutes early. Te Anau seems to have evolved into a miniature Queenstown.

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