Friday, February 03, 2017


Today we leave the lush and wet fjordland for the southern coast. But not before making one last stop, at the Bird Sanctuary, where volunteers rehabilitate and maintain several endangered and rare birds. The kakapo is one of the world's most critically endangered birds, living dangerously close to extinction for more than half a century.  It is the world's heaviest parrot, and the only flightless and nocturnal parrot.  After many years of holding on with just a few females in New Zealand's most extensive controlled breeding program, the future looks better for kakapo since 22 chicks hatched in 2002, bringing the total up to 84 birds. 

The takahe is the largest living member of the rail family which is found throughout the Southern Oceanic islands.  Takahe were hunted until they were rarely found in the 19th century. None were seen after 1900 and it was declared extinct, but amazingly, 200 pairs were found in a remote region of Fiordland in 1948.  The North Island takahe is extinct, but about 220 of the South Island species continue their dramatic brink of extinction existence. 

The Moorpark Ruru is New Zealand's only surviving native owl.

The kaka is a large parrot, also endangered.

     Our drive to Dunedin is 3 1/2 hours and along the way, we encounter several humorous sightings. 
Two towns Gore and Clinton-

Sheep being transported somewhere-

Dunedin is a lovely city along the coast, with beautiful historical buildings. This is its railway station. 
We end the evening with a terrific dinner at Ironic Cafe, the best seafood chowder I have ever had, lamb of course, and smoked beef. 


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