|A few days ago we went to another fenced sanctuary like Zealandia that we went to near Wellington. This one is called Orokonui. The fence cost 2.2 million dollars and is 8.7 km in length. It is like the one at Zealandia with the addition of a wire along the top. In the unlikely event that anything gets over the hood at the top of the fence, touching the wire will set off an alarm. The alarm will also go off if a gate is left open. They built this second ecosanctuary so that they could have one on the North Island and one on the South Island. They are mostly for birds but there are also some native reptiles. Introduced pests such as rats, opossum and other animals were eradicated in 2007.
Orokonui is fairly new and therefore there are not so many birds as at Zealandia. It takes many years to increase the bird population. I went there to search for the Fernbird, which is a small brown bird with a long tail. We search all day and I had given up and was heading back the gate when we finally spotted two of them in a small bush. Unfortunately, they did not stick around long enough for a photo. The Fernbird lives only in the very south of New Zealand so it was my last chance to see one before heading further north.
Before leaving Dunedin we went back to the train station to get another photo of it during one of the brief periods of sunshine. The weather has been cloudy most of the time.
Also in Dunedin, we went to see Baldwin Street, which is the steepest residential street in the world. For every 2.86 metres that you go forward, you go up one metre.
On the way to Oamaru, we stopped to look at the birds and seals along the coast.
Also on the way to Oamaru, we stopped to see the boulders on the beach at Moeraki. The boulders started millions of years ago as little balls of mud and rocks. Gradually limestone stuck to the balls and greatly increased its size. The boulders sunk into the sand near the beach. Eventually, the beach eroded and together with the earth’s movement such as earthquakes, the boulders rose free of the sand that encased them. Some are still half buried in the sand on the beach. Inside the boulders the lime has crystalized, which you can see on a few of the boulders that have broken apart. Very interesting.
We are now at the town of Oamaru.