visit to Australia and New Zealand.

To: "tom rauch" <>
Subject: visit to Australia and New Zealand.
From: Susan Knowles <>
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2009 12:09:34 +1100
Hi Tom

In New Zealand From my experience you need to go to islands to see many land birds. The best place we went to was Tiritiri Matangi island, a ferry trip from Auckland. This is a reserve where predators have been removed and endangered species reintroduced. We paid $5 for a birdwatching tour, which was the best money we ever spent. The serious birders (people with binoculars) were put in a group together and we spent 3 hours, seeing all the island species. It is probably of interest only to birders but perhaps your wife would like to spend a day, or half day shopping in Auckland?

We also went to Kapiti, a short boat trip from Kapiti Boating Club, Paraparaumu Beach, approximately one hour by car north of Wellington. (We stayed at the Golf View motel, close to the beach, an older motel but good value.)
You have a choice between the nature reserve or the north end of the island where a local family provided lunch and a tour. This was a couple of years ago and was somewhat more expensive than Tiritiri but still good value. It is advised that you book ahead but I think we got in with little advance notice. Non birders can also enjoy this.

We saw Kaka and aviary birds at the Mt Bruce centre, staying nearby to get there early.

The best place we stayed was Driftwood Cottages, Hawkes Bay. They were near the beach for bird watching and were beautifully set out with a great kitchen. There is really good food in Hawkes Bay so cooking was enjoyable. Driftwood_Cottages_ov=3112_.html

We went to Manawatu Estuary, near Foxton Beach to look for waders, but got the tide wrong and didn't see much.

In general you see surprisingly few birds in NZ apart from sea birds and birds on some islands. Still a great place to visit.


Susan Knowles

On 10/01/2009, at 1:57 AM, tom rauch wrote:

My wife and I are visiting this spring (your fall). We will be in Tasmania (4days), Melbourne (4days), Sydney (5days) and Cairns/Port Douglas (7days). I am not a birding fanatic but like to see as many species as possible in each place we visit on our trips. Our itinerary does not allow for a full day of birding in each location; my wife sleeps in until about 9:00am so most of my birding is on the fly from sunrise until 8:30 or 9:00.

I'm looking for some local "hot spots" (parks, lakes, marshes, etc) that I can hit for a few hours in the mornings, either alone or with some one who knows the ropes.

We are also spending 3 weeks in New Zealand, driving from the south end of the South Island to north end of the North Island. We have a little more time to explore but my birding would basically be the same as above. If anyone has contacts or site information for New Zealand, please advise.

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Susan Knowles


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