Zealandia day

As it’s school holidays, I took my little man for a walk in Zealandia (formerly known as Karori Wildlife Sanctuary) yesterday.  Sometimes, the native wildlife is a bit shy, but yesterday, it put on a show!    

Curious green gecko


An adolescent tuatara was very obliging (the tag on their back is to identify them):    


The kaka came down to say ‘hi’:    


The tui was busy serenading:    


This friendly and very rare New Zealand Robin came right up to my feet!  I was so nervous he’d fly away given the very bouncy young man beside me that I didn’t get a very good shot.  To give him credit, he humoured several attempts from me, but I think the light in the bush was too dim to get a decent clear image:    


The weta were at home:    


We saw other birds:  Hihi (stitch birds), bellbirds, shags, scaups, fantails and white eyes.  They were just flying around a bit too fast (or too far away) to get any quality shots at all.    

The cave wetas were plentiful – with their long, long legs and feelers (way longer than the ordinary tree weta you see above), they look like a cricket gone wrong!  One landed on me.  Not fun!    

I love the detail in ferns.  There are over 200 types at Zealandia:    


One little monkey got his daily dose of exercise in!    


And then, we went home and I got to finish this cute Debbie Bliss pattern (Woody) for him in a New Zealand merino/angora blend that will be one of his school jumpers this winter.  Fresh off the needles, and not blocked yet:    


It was a productive day.

ETA:  Since posting, Claudia at Yarnsisters has very helpfully reminded me that Woolyarns, the manufacturer of Zealana yarns, contributes to this sanctuary.  She’s absolutely right – what you see on this post is what we are working to save by NZ’s attempts to eradicate the possum.  Knit with possum, and help save New Zealand’s wildlife.

11 thoughts on “Zealandia day

  1. Woolyarns, the manufacturer of Zealana Yarns is a contributor to this sanctuary. To your readers in the US: this is some of what you are saving when you knit with possum yarns. Beautiful photos!!

    Save a Kiwi, knit with possum!

    1. That’s a great point Claudia! Thank you so much for adding that. 🙂 I forgot when I was posting today that Woolyarns is a sponsor!

    1. Thanks! We did have a wonderful day. As you observe, it’s so much better than being in a zoo where the animals are held in captivity. The birds in the sanctuary are free to fly in and out as they wish, but it is interesting that they stick to living mostly where they instinctively seem to know they will be safe.

  2. What a glorious day you had! Makes me very homesick. My greenie friends here (in the US) recoil when i tell them about things like the Easter Bunny Hunt and the possum control programs. Next time I will show them this lovely post to demonstrate why pest control is needed!

    1. Thanks so much for reading my post! By all means show this to as many of your friends as you like. 🙂

      I guess when you think of it, we must be one of the few countries in the world that has got to a pest issue before irrevocable damage was caused to its native flora and fauna. (I won’t go into it here, but invasive species have changed the landscape of more countries that most people realise. You probably also know).

      But as you know, we have to keep at it, and do more, in order to try to restore some of the brilliance of birdlife that this country once had.

  3. We have many similar issues with invader species here in south africa. I think it’s great that people are finding creative solutions to some of these challenges and making something beautiful out of it. The bird sanctuary looks wonderful, i hope projects like that continue to develope and expand. The blend of wool you made the jumper out of sounds interesting. . . Is the angora you speak of the rabbit or the angora goat? So many people seem to find the mohair scratchy but the rabbit is REALLY Soft. We make some hand spun yarns and it’s always interesting to hear informed opinions 🙂

    1. That’s really interesting about invasive species in South Africa! I’d love to know more – would you have links to information that I could read? (I can of course, google it, but always good to hear it from the locals!)
      The use of possum is a great idea to me too. I think it’s far better than poison. Although proponents say that the poison does not affect other wildlife, I’m still not overly convinced… I’m sure all that toxin entering the eco-system must somehow have a negative effect.
      The angora in my son’s jumper is rabbit. It’s very soft and cuddly. As you say, mohair can sometimes be scratchy. I have some mohair/merino blend queued for use soon – it feels lovely, but hasn’t quite got the same qualities as a cuddly angora rabbit/merino blend of course!

  4. Thanks to that sanctuary I have two pairs of wood pigeon that regularly visit my back garden, I see them every day or two and they’re not shy, if I had a half decent camera I would take some pics 😐

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