Thursday, March 29, 2018

Aroha Island

We had read that the best place to see a wild Kiwi (bird) was Aroha Island, up from the Bay of Islands, a private nature preserve with a campground. It's a small island you can walk around in 30 minutes, joined to the mainland by a causeway through some mangroves. We dutifully checked in, scouted the area, and prepared ourselves for the night vigil in the bush with our red cellophane-covered flashlights (kiwis are poor-sighted and can't see red at all; so the story goes). We went out after nightfall, after the winged birds had stopped singing, found a bench in the appointed area and waited. And waited. And waited. After an hour or so--it seemed much longer--we walked back to the campground defeated, but possibly wiser. As we learned, kiwis are extremely territorial. Aroha Island, maybe 10 acres at most, sports just a pair...a 44 year old female and a 22 year old male. We did the kiwi safari thing one more time the next week, during which I developed my fake kiwi conspiracy theory, to be stated in a later post. All the pix below are from my scouting of the island the afternoon of our arrival.
Kiwi see this and other such all over the Northland

Big beautiful trees on the island

Best, for me, were the botanical exhibits

Way more about Kauri in later posts

A baby Kauri

Helpful map

Birth of a silver fern frond

Alas, no kiwis

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