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My trip to Karori Wildlife Sanctuary

David (admin), 28 Dec 2008 04:06 pm

This is copied from the December communication... NZTCV website forum coordinator David Bryden shares his experiences from a recent trip to the sanctuary. While in Wellington for a couple of days last month, I had the wonderful experience of visiting Karori sanctuary for the first time. For those readers unfamiliar with the sanctuary, it is just five minutes from the Wellington CBD and is an area of some 225 hectares protected by predator proof fencing, home to many of New Zealands most iconic and, in many cases, endangered species. Karori Sanctuary is run by the Karori Sanctuary Trust, a charitable community trust, and the small team of full-time staff is assisted by over 400 volunteers. As an avid ecologist and naturalist, I was excited to have the opportunity to visit Karori and experience a density of native wildlife superior to almost any other location on the New Zealand mainland. Within my short trip to the sanctuary, I was not only able to see displays of native fish and geckos, but I was also able to see a variety of birdlife including a pair of hihi or stitchbird, a pair of kaka, a bell bird, and numerous tuis, saddlebacks, robins, grey warblers and fantails. The sanctuary is also home to North Island weka, little spotted kiwi, tuatara, Maud Island frogs, and giant weta. The sanctuary is open every day of the year except Christmas between 10 am and 5 pm, and night tours, and you can either meander at your own speed along the many tracks, or join a guided group. Night tours are also possible, giving you the unique opportunity to see, and perhaps also hear kiwi. Night tours generally start about half an hour before sunset, but ring the sanctuary to find exact times. General admission costs $14 for adults, $6 for children and $34 for a family, with guided tours of the sanctuary costing a little more. The success of the sanctuary depends on the hard work of volunteers, and is a great chance for people interested in wildlife to get involved in a good cause. Membership in the Karori Sanctuary Trust costs as little as $49 a year, and includes free admission to the sanctuary during normal hours, a regular newsletter and various other perks. Volunteer positions are also available and include fence monitoring, bird feeding, weeding, office support, boat skippering and guiding. To get involved as a volunteer, you need to contact Michael at michael@sanctuary.org.nz or you can call the sanctuary on 04 920 9200. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Karori, and wished I could have stayed longer to see more of what the sanctuary has to offer. The sanctuary offers on of the best examples of New Zealand wildlife to be found in mainland New Zealand, and is a very special experience. Check out http://www.sanctuary.org.nz/ for more information.

This post was edited on 28 Dec 2008 04:06 pm

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