Pam and Tristan from Habitat Tours got in contact with the Once Upon a Trip team in October 2014, to explain their idea of proposing kiwi spotting tours during day trips from Auckland.
The whole team was incredibly enthusiastic about the idea and two weeks later Tristan picked us up from the office so that we could try out their nature tour.
Our first stop was at Warkworth where we were able to see a giant Kauri tree around 800 to 1000 years old. No one knows for sure how old these trees are, as determining their age would require being able to see the rings at the interior of their trunks.
After passing through the charming little town of Matakana, set amongst the vineyards, the beautiful coastal road led us to our final destination. Tawharanui is one of Auckland’s most popular regional parks and features glorious white sand beaches.
We drove through the gate in the specially constructed fence which keeps the park free of predators and all the while Tristan wowed us with his amazing knowledge of New Zealand’s plant and bird life.
Next it was time for a glamorous picnic dinner set up by the guides with little tents and picnic mats. We got comfortable and enjoyed a delicious homemade dinner with a stunning sea view. In summer there is the option of having a swim beforehand.
As night was falling we set off with dimmed head lamps, keeping quiet as we scanned the undergrowth, trying to catch a glimpse of the kiwi that have been reintroduced to the park. The observation rate is 80% but unfortunately we were out of luck on this occasion. Nevertheless we got to see native weta and hear the calls of the canopy birds, especially the charismatic kaka parrot who is last to settle in for the night.
We promise we’ll return soon to update you on what it is like to see our national emblem on the mainland in its natural habitat.
Thanks for your arrangements for our trip to New Zealand, Carolyn. What a fabulous place and great people! The b&bs were terrific, particularly Carol and Craig in Lake Tekapo. T... - John Larson, USARead all reviews