Day 15 (31.1.2013): from The Catlins to Stewart Island
this was an easy day. short 1hr drive from Curio Bay to Invercargill where I spent the day – mainly in the public library for its free wifi. in the evening I took the ferry from Bluff over to Stewart Island – the car stayed on the mainland.
Day 16 (1.2.2013): Stewart Island
wow, what a day!
first a 5hr guided walk over to Ulva Island for extended bird watching with Rugedy Range http://www.ruggedyrange.com
Ulva Island is a predator-free birds’ paradise and we wer lucky enough to see some rare species such as saddleback, yellow head, rifleman, red- and yellow-crowned parakee and many more.
super delicious dinner @ Church Hill Restaurant in Oban
in the evening I went on a kiwi-spotting tour – another 2hr walk through the dark rainforest over to Ocean’s Beach which offers some of kiwis’ fav food: sand hoppers hiding underneath kelp at the beach. these kiwi birds are much bigger than expected: a female is up to 60cm and 4.5kg, the beak up to 18cm long, the male is slightly smaller. we were lucky again and saw 3 kiwis: a female adult who didn’t care about 10 ppl watching and taking pix. this was a long and very close encounter – wouldn’t get any better than that! then a juvenile which was running into the bushes as soon as the torch was on him. and last a kiwi that was wading through a little lagoon – a rather rare encounter. taking pix was difficult as it was dark and those kiwis definitely move …