Hong Kong Australia and New Zealand Fall 2017 travel blog

Waiting on bus to RV pickup

Sky Tower from outside our hotel

Best Western President Hotel--not the greatest, but an excellent location for Auckland

Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre

This is it

Bar-tailed Godwit-2015 New Zealand Bird of the Year

Birding enthusiast Mark with Susan and our lecturer

Shorebird chart

Wrybill

Our bird lecturer

Miranda Holiday Park

Nice facilities

Good meeting place


October 26, 2017— Today we left Auckland. We picked up our RVs and headed out. A little note about the RVs. We were pretty comfortable in the RVs in Australia—there was plenty of room to move around, we made the bed in the back work, and the bathroom was comfy and easy to shower in. The RV we got in New Zealand was not as nice. We could not get comfortable in the bed and, particularly annoying, the bathroom was about a foot smaller and had no mirror over the sink. It was as if they wanted to drive you to the campground showers instead of using the RV. So that is what we did for the most part. And, like Australia, we were driving on the left hand side of the road.

Our destination today was Miranda and the Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre. This facility is located just an hour south of Auckland and hosts a wide variety of shorebirds. The big attractions ar the Bar-tailed Godwit and the Wrybill. The Godwit is a big deal because they migrate to and from Alaska every year. The Wrybill is a hoot because it has a bent bill. Endemic to New Zealand, their sideways turned bill is unique among birds. They breed only on braided river beds in the central eastern South Island before migrating to northern New Zealand. The population is estimated to be around 5300 birds, over 40% of which spend their non breeding season at Miranda.

We attended a lecture about the Godwit and the Wrybill at the Centre’s headquarters. We looked around the shop, then took our RVs over to the Miranda Hotsprings RV park. This was a nice facility and a good way to start the trip in the RVs. They had a hot spring that I tried out and enjoyed. They had nice meeting facilities and it was good start.



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