Monday, December 10, 2018


First couple of nights at Whananaki DOC site above the beach. Located a dotterel nest with three eggs and Vincent contracted to DOC to manage the campsite helped me tape fence the nest area to stop cars coming over the dunes from crushing the eggs. A variable oystercatcher struggles to protect her single chicks from dogs. High tide roost of fifty variable oystercatchers on edge of Whananaki estuary.
Had to take a look at the bridge across to Whananaki South. Its the longest in the Southern hemisphere.

Whangaruru Harbour -South
Then onto Oakura on the Whangaruru harbour. Gannets feeding and white fronted tern on the rocks next to red-billed gull colony.A  neat campsite overlooking the water and looking across to the Whangaruru peninsular and Puriri DOC campsite our next destination.

 Whangaruru Harbour -North
Puriri is an excellent DOC Reserve campsite which is at this time of the year not busy and just a delightful place to enjoy walks swims and the tame wildlife. A Variable oystercatcher  pair have two chicks a few weeks old and parade these up and down the beach and when concerned the chicks are ushered by the parents to hide under the roots of old the old puriri trees. The male adult is not that old showing brown plumage and he is incredible tame and will take food from campers hands. He flies back and forward after pecking fleshy scraps from oystercatcher shells on the rocks and flies in to deliver food to the chicks.
Another day spent at Puriri bay earning refreshing swim after  walks in the hills high above the bay and spending time watching wild bees and solitary gannets dive for fish.

Moving on we arrive in Russell, Its a long time since I have visited this busy little town. We enjoyed a meal at the water front then escaped to the hillside camp to enjoy the sunset from the van.

Aroha Island
Crossed the causeway and settled in to explore this ecosanctuary. Enjoyed the bush walks circumnavigating the island. In the evening after watching a spectacular sunset we headed out kiwi watching with our head torches covered in red cellophane. No luck, too many people noisily doing the same.

Uretiti DoC campsite