Stewart Island Part 1
I've just got back home from a 4 day trip to Stewart Island, and it was such an amazing trip. I am breaking down these blogs into sections because I took so many photos it would be crazy to try and fit them into one post. The trip started on a Monday morning, with a plane trip from Wellington to Invercargill, then a tiny plane to Stewart Island, which was an adventure in itself! The plane seats 8 people and offers a fantastic view over the Foveaux Strait then over Oban, the township on Stewart Island. Only around 380 people live on the Island permanently but the population temporarily increases to a couple of thousand during summer, with tourists flocking to the Island to see the birdlife and all the Island has to offer.
The Kaka on the island are very friendly, even more friendly than they are back home. There were 3 that visited frequently and even came inside the house a couple of times. they take every opportunity they can get. Arriving in the afternoon meant that I didn't really have time to see many birds as the evening rolled around pretty quickly and it was time for the Kiwi spotting night tour that I had booked.
After the 45 minute boat ride comes a short walk through forest to a beach where the Kiwi are feasting on sand hoppers. It was very dark and the only way I got these photos is by shooting in RAW using a very high ISO and underexposing the photos, then lightening them in processing, otherwise it would have been impossible!We only got to see 2 Kiwi on the night, but the previous night had 6 Kiwi. We stood still and watched the Kiwi having their breakfast trying not to disturb them and make it too obvious they had an audience. They are mesmerising creatures, just fascinating, and a lot faster than you would expect. I highly recommend the Kiwi Spotting night tour, I learned a lot about the Stewart Island Kiwi, which are a lot different than their mainland counterparts.
My next post will be about the magical sanctuary that is Ulva Island, and I promise lots more bird photos.