We have the day off today as the North Island tour is ending and the South Island tour is beginning tomorrow. Several of us decided to go to Zealandia which is a place where you can see birds and animals in a natural but fenced area in a valley in Wellington:

The main paths are paved and in use by wheelchairs. They have a gentle slope and are used by kids and seniors. Some other paths are steeper and not paved and are used for birders to get closer to the birds:

There are 2 large lakes where numerous water birds are seen:

Pontoon bridge:

Bird feeders are placed along the paths to attract birds of all types:

Video courtesy of Bruce Wakefield

Walk across dam:

You can see the barrier fence that was constructed to keep predators out. The birds are free to fly out if they wish. The videos show how large an area is protected. Listen for the birds:

Suspension bridge:

Some interesting plants:

Silver Fern image is used on many NZ ads, buildings, NZ airplanes and was almost put on their flag.

This is the massive Totara used for lumber in the early days but now illegal to cut.

The Nikau palm is the southernmost palm in the world.

Mother Fern has babies all along its fronds which drop and root and make new plants. These NZ natives are common in mild climates in California gardens. Tutu is NZ most poisonous plant.

Black Tree Fern

Tomorrow – Cross Cook Straight and visit Hortensia Garden and Upton Oaks Garden

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