Tasmania & New Zealand 2014 travel blog

Endangered flightless Takahe

Female Shelduck

Panorama of view along road to Mt Cook

Mt. Cook and Lake Pukaki from road

Road through hills

Our first order of business this am was the Te Anau DOC Wildlife Centre, where native birds, some endangered, can be seen. We saw Takahe (tah-ka-HAY), Grey Ducks, Shelducks (supposedly midway between ducks and geese, whatever midway means), Mallards and Canada geese (introduced), Keas and Kakas (parrots) and a Red-crowned Parakeet.

The Takahe are being raised in captivity because they are severely endangered—young are reintroduced to the wild in safe locations. In with the Takahe we saw a wild Pukeko that had flown in on its own. The Takahe are flightless and have been severely affected by introduced predators such as cats, stoats, etc.

The Grey Ducks and Shelducks have not competed well with the introduced Mallards and Canada Geese. The Kea is an alpine parrot that is common in some areas (we saw some yesterday). Some of the birds at the Wildlife Centre are injured and unable to survive on their own. It was interesting to be able to see these birds that we might not be able to see in the wild. They are in enclosures with natural features to meet their needs.

Then it was on the road, from Te Anau northeast to Queenstown, where we replenished our groceries, and then on toward Mt. Cook. Last week when we were here, it was cold, cloudy, and VERY windy, and we decided to skip Mt. Cook. Today was sunny and warm.

We traveled through some pretty landscape today. Lake Pukaki was very blue today--last week we struggled to get a photo with sun on it.

Tonight we are in Glentanner Park Centre, about 22 km from Mt. Cook. Tomorrow we “get high.”

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