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Published: November 10th 2010
So we said goodbye to a sleepy Debby & left Queenstown early on Daisy's Stray bus doing the south loop. We drove non-stop down to Invercargill & through to Bluff where we arrived at the ferry terminal around 9am to check in foir the 9:30 ferry. Myself, Justin & Gwawr (or Dawn) were the only ones from the Stray bus heading over here - I think beacuse the ferry costs so much! We are staying at a lovely little place here with lots of nice people, myself & Gwawr are here for a few days but Justin only had one night on the Island so we went for a walk around the town. This island isn't tiny but the town is only small & the roads don't extend into the national park. Unfortunately I don't have equipment for a multiday tramp around the island but there are still some nice day walks around here.
Friday I had a lazy day catching up online & washing my rather smelly clothes! Then in the evening I went out on a kiwi spotting trip that took us over to a remote bay where we watched a wild kiwi feeding on the beach for
ages completly untroubled by our presence. We also saw a couple more on the walk through the forest to get to this beach, although one of those was just a kiwi backside disapperaing into the bush! The are amazing birds to watch! So unlike any others.
Saturday was another lazy morning then over to Ulva Island (a predator-free island) for a guided walk. We saw lots of Blue penguins on the way over & many Stewart Island Robins & Wekas following us around the island. We also saw several South Island Saddleback, Rifleman, Brown Creepers, Tui, Kakas, Grey Warblers and Red-Crowned Parakeets, also a family of Yellowheads, a small group of Yellow-Crowned Parakeets, a few Bellbirds, a New Zealand Pigeon & a pair of black Oystercatchers on the beach! It was a small group with our guide and two British couples, who must've been in the fifties or there about and were also keen bird watchers.
On Sunday I headed out for a nice long walk around Horseshoe Point & out to Lee Bay where there is a symbolic giant chain that supposidly links Stewart Island to the mainland. In Maori legend South Island is a canoe &
Stewart Island its anchor. I wandered in a loop up Garden Mound & then back to Oban. There were lots of lovely little bays around Deadmans Beach & Horseshoe Point & a rather rundown house with gorgeous views that I want!!! I finally saw a Shining Cuckoo too, a lovely small bird with a shiny green back, they aren't rare but being small & green in a green forest makes them tricky to spot! I also saw lots of Bellbirds, Tui, etc - the usual suspects! Sunday evening a group of us from the hostel went down the hill to the pub quiz, we were terrible but strangely not last! We were 3rd or 4th from last with 21 points (40 questions)!
Monday afternoon was another walk over to Kaipipi Bay with Gwawr & Karin. Another pretty place but we failed to guess which was the way out of the bay & only found out by watching a boat leave! That evening I met up with Claire who is doing some work surveying Muttonbirds (Sooty Shearwaters) up at Ackers Point & I helped chase some of these birds through the bush! I managed to catch 2 birds for her
(total of 4 caught all evening) although the second managed to get me first! Now I have a rather annoying scratch along my knuckles. It was good fun though & I'm glad I helped with some work out here albeit only in a small way 😊
Tuesday morning we were up & out to catch the 8am ferry back to the mainland. Very sad to leave Stewart Island, it's such a beautiful place!!! I shall have to return sometime...
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