We arrived in Wellington mid-Friday morning, having left Michigan late Wednesday afternoon – about 24 hours of travel in 3 flights from Grand Rapids – Houston – Auckland – Wellington. Once the rental car was picked up (it took a while as apparently the Dixie Chicks were playing Napier tonight and so the rental car outfit had 40 cars scheduled for pickup today, many of them to do with that concert) it was off to Zealandia to have lunch and see the wildlife there.
A great day of weather for it, and I got to see 3 species I’ve never seen in the wild before – the Takahē, which was thought to be extinct until it was discovered in a remote part of New Zealand in 1948, The playful Kākā – kind of a cousin to the Kea, and the Tuatara a lizard species that has its origins 200 million years ago!! (I have seen Tuatara before in more captive situations like museums, but not out in a vast area like we saw them today.) I had never seen Kākā or Takahē until today.