Zealandia was one of those places that I drove by EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. but never went to. Located in the Wellington suburb of Karori, it’s the World’s first fenced urban ecosanctuary. It’s got rave reviews on TripAdvisor (love me some TA), but I never seemed to take the time to stop and actually visit it. Well, yesterday was the perfect opportunity! A long weekend, plus it was Wellington Open Day, where a bunch of attractions around the city offer admission for a gold coin ($2).
Apparently everyone else had the same idea. Add in some road construction and you have the recipe for gridlock. What a mess! Cars were parked along a very busy road, people were walking in the streets, and, as most places with Wellington, there isn’t much of parking lot, so it was crazy to find a spot.
But once we got there, what a gorgeous place, just outside the city center! The white and grey bird is called a pied shag, but the but the colorful bird is actually quite special. The Takahē were once officially declared extinct until they were rediscovered in 1948 in a remote Fiordland valley. Through conservation efforts, the takahē has seen a gradual increase from a low of 112 birds in 1981 to the current population of 225 birds.