Having become tired of developing end-of-tax-year reporting at work, and coinciding with some renovation going on at home and school holidays, I’ve joined the family in the Wairarapa for a few days off.

It’d been a few years since we’d been to Mount Bruce / Pukaha. These days there’s a nice walk up through the bush to the top of the hill overlooking the centre; and we set off on this hoping that we might see (or hear) a kōkako.

OK, so we didn’t see any of those, but we did run across a few of these cheeky chappies:


The Tomtit wasn’t overly afraid of us, and actually came closer and closer, at one point landing on the track between B₂ and me. Lots of fun; R. and I used to encounter the South Island subspecies a lot in the beech forests around Lakes Wanaka and Hāwea.

We made it to the top, and had a little rest before thundering back down the track in time for Kākā feeding at 3pm. The staff give supplementary food for whatever kākā turn up - there are apparently about 150 locally but only 20 or so turned up for afternoon tea today (although apparently this is quite a few):

Kākā feeding time at Pukaha Mt Bruce

After that we had a bit of look at the stitchbirds and the kiwis, but the girls were flagging somewhat and it was time to go.

Still, a really good afternoon. Continuing on the theme, I’m wondering how long the waiting list is for visits to Kapiti Island these days. The girls are nearly at a stage where they could walk to the top. And it’s been 10 years at least since the last time we were there. Could be good.

And maybe we should visit Karori again soon.

Gathadair @dubh
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