2017 New Zealand travel blog

Ruahine Range

Feeding the Eels Mt. Bruce Wildlife

CA Redwoods!

Nocturnal Kiwi



September 12, 2017

Bright, sunny and windy day. Frost on the grass and glad we had the floor heater. We are finally getting into the hang of Kiwi camping by using the kitchen which is very well equipped with ovens, toasters, microwaves, pots/pans, utensils, plates, glasses, dish towels, instant hot water etc. Some have more than others. Made scrambled eggs, bagel and toast this morning. (Coffee press broke so we are drinking tea that I brought from home.)

We always try to bring souvenirs from Sonoma Valley when we travel to pass on to those who have been especially nice to us. Bob bought a bunch of Sonoma Valley very nice corkscrews because they took up little space in our duffle. When I got out the first one to give to the Ashworths at Junction winery I realized how really daft we were. We knew that almost all NZ wines are screw top. LOL! Ass they say, it is the thought that counts!

Down SR2 and stopped in Norsewood, a very small Heritage town, known throughout for its natural wear: merino wool and possum. Bob found a sweater and had it shipped as we have NO spare room in our duffels. They served very good coffee too!

From there we went a bit passed Woodville to visit Tui Brewery, now run by women. Had lunch there and shared a Brewery Reserve which was supposed to be very “hoppy”. Was just ok. Bob had a very good steak sandwich and I had the bacon bone soup.

Further down SR2 we stopped at the Pukaha Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre. It is one of NZ’s most successful wildlife and captive breeding centers. 1000 hectare wilderness with open/closed aviaries. Wonderful walk. Saw the eels being fed. They can be up to 50 kg and migrate against the current to Tonga where they mate and die. They are not sure how the offspring get back to NZ with the current! From there we went to see the resident Kokako that had been rescued as a chick ( now 12 years old) but unable to live in the wild because of the saving human intervention e.g cannot fend off predators or communicate with other Kokako. They have tried several times to introduce other Kakako with no luck! Then went to see the feeding of the kaka which was very entertaining. 5- came and obviously very used to humans. They typically eat tree bark but were having fruit and veggies. Apparently becoming a nuisance in Wellington. Pukaha spends a lot of time/money protecting these rescues and has been quite successful!

Stopped in Masterson for Pac and Save groceries and gas and then on to Marlborough, wine country known for pinots. GPS took us off the beaten path on the wine gtrail but saw no vineyards until we reached camp!

Top 10 Holiday camp is VERY nice although small. We are cooking our meal and dining using all of their equipment! Getting into this Kiwi thing. Bob has a comfortable chair. I have a desk to do my computer work while I wait for our spaghetti sauce to simmer along. Sipping along with 2015 Villa Maria Syrah.

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