Yesterday was a lovely mid-winter day here in Wellington: no wind, mainly blue sky and warmish in the sun, so we went for a walk in the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary.
Plenty of people were out and about enjoying the fresh air, but it was still very peaceful.
We had to pass through an entryway where we checked our daypacks didn’t contain any mice or rats. Then we went on into the Sanctuary. A predator-proof fence, specifically designed to exclude 14 species of non-native mammals, ranging from possums to mice, encircles the 8.6km perimeter.
There are plenty of walking tracks for longer hikes, but we just stayed at one end, walking from the gate to the upper dam and back. Highlights were spotting the kaka feeding and an amazingly friendly North Island Robin. As soon as I realised the robin wasn’t just a regular sparrow (being about the same size, but a different colour) I stopped and watched it. It hopped around on the ground just a foot or so away, showing no signs of taking fright even when I moved around to take a photo. Unfortunately the robin photos didn’t work out at all.
Also interesting was the old goldmine, with its cave wetas. The mine was at ground level, only a few metres deep and barely tall enough to stand up, but I had a sudden inkling of what it would be like to be a miner working all day underground in the dark and damp and cold.
Although it was a little muddy underfoot in some places the sanctuary is definitely a great place for a stroll or a longer hike. I’ll be going back before long to explore more of the tracks and try again for better photos.
Rather than adding thumbnail photos to this post I’m experimenting with adding larger photos in posts of their own.