On my wish list was a ferry trip across Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour to Tiritirimatangi. I was so thrilled when VJ told me she had a spare ticket and would like me to join her on a visit to the island.
The island is a native bird sanctuary. Volunteers helped eradicate all the mammals which were predators for New Zealand native birds, they planted over a quarter of a million native trees and plants, and they introduced the endangered takahe. You really are surrounded by birds there. Even when you can’t see the birds, you can hear their song, ringing out loud and clear.
As we passed Rangitoto Island on our way over to Tiritirimatangi on the ferry, the weather looked moody.
We were caught in a shower of rain soon after we stepped ashore – but before long, there was light at the end of the tunnel.
The takahe were easy to spot – and so tame and unworried by our presence that we managed to get quite close to them.
With the kowhai in flower, the tui were making the most of feeding on the yellow flower’s nectar.
VJ managed to catch this photo of a parakeet.
We also saw the cute little “white heads”. You had to be quick to photograph them!
Manuka is in flower at this time of year.
I was pleased that OSH (Occupational Safety and Health) doesn’t seem to have found Tiritirimatangi, or they would have managed to erect barriers and ugly signs around this spectacular drop from the top of the island straight down into the sea.
The coastline is rugged. We especially liked the turquoise pool at the base of this cliff.
The time between being dropped off by the ferry and being picked up mid-afternoon is enough to take you pretty much around the island – and I am no Speedy Gonzales. The tracks are clear and easy to manage. Here is VJ on one of the constructed walkways, which leads to a bridge across a little stream.
We were ready for lunch when we stopped on a breezy knoll. No food is available on the island, so we enjoyed the picnic we took with us.
Our final stop before returning to the ferry was at the lighthouse – and, of course, the shop. The shop stocked some of the most exquisite souvenirs I have seen anywhere. They are well priced as the shop is run by a team of friendly and helpful volunteers – the best service we have had anywhere. I can hardly wait for Christmas to wear the new earrings…