Night Tour of Zealandia
Well the weather was keen to drench this event held on 30 April but Zealandia staff and volunteers weren’t deterred and 23 hardy Rotarians and friends went out in the damp and dark to experience the sanctuary at night.
A larger group had been welcomed with nibbles and drinks and enjoyed a brief summary of Zealandia from Denise Church and Paul Atkins. This was followed by the amazing Zealandia video, a five minute ‘history’ timeline from pre-colonisation NZ, the arrival of the maori, the arrival of the settlers, land clearing, urbanisation through to today.
After being kitted up with red light torches and guide commentary receivers we completed the introduced pest bag search and double door trap to enter the sanctuary, promptly being serenaded by two kiwi calling – a great start!
The ‘red light’ march took us along the floor of the gully seeing nesting shags, to the takahe, the tuatara, past some brown teal, to a dear little morepork sitting on a log. Past glow-worms, weta, and a cucumber slug to the long fin eel. Continuing along looking for spiders, stick insects all the while keeping our eyes open and red torches scanning for the elusive kiwi.
Then just as the cold was setting in we were back in Zealandia to a cup of hot freshly brewed kawakawa tea. A great evening of exercise with information, enhanced by the damp forest.