Saturday, 30 April 2011

A day in Franz Josef

Well I am so glad I'm not in the Kiwi Experience bus. There two bus loads of them here and they are all 18/19 British rich kids (sort of people we were at boarding school with). Its the party bus. I heard one girl saying how here mum had put £400 in her bank account and was telling her friends they should all go shopping in Queenstown. Shopping while travelling is impractical when travelling for 2 reasons, 1. you have to carry all the stuff you by with you and 2. money you spend shopping is money you can't spend on a dorm bed, dinner, a few drinks, or an activity. Then again I suppose people like that just have to ask and they all the money they want. They are the sort of people who will party till the early hours then sleep in instead of getting up to do the glacier hike, or in my case, go to the wildlife sanctuary.

It was very small and only featured one sort of animal, the Rowi Kiwi, rarest of all the Kiwi birds. It is only found in the rainforests of the local area. Kiwi's are endangered, with introduced animals and loss of habitat their biggest threat. Stoats, cats and dogs, Possums and rats are their worst enemies. Their eggs get eaten, chicks crushed and habitats destroyed by these animals, as well as having to fight for food. The wild life centre goes out collects kiwi eggs, hatches then and raises the chicks at the centre then releases them into the wild when they are ready. They had two birds in the nocturnal room. it was a bit dark so they were hard to find. They are the most funny looking things with long narrow beaks, almost like a short chopstick. Their hair is spiky and they have an egg shaped body. They were just walking around not doing much, and they they started fighting, one was bugging the other one. It was pretty funny to watch.

They also had some information about the glacier and about the west coast region. The West Coast is isolated, with the Tasman Sea on one side and the Southern Alps on the other. As I said it was settled during the Gold Rush in the mid-19th century and has a rugged, pioneer feeling to it. The people are a little different here, friendly and hospitable but a bit crazy like the guy who jumped out of a helicopter into a deer. There is mostly Reinforest here, similar to that of South America. The only non-tropical species of parrot also lives here to as well as other exotic birds like the pukeko, pipiwharauroa, tui and waka. Its amazing out here on th West Coast, but very quite. I don't think I could stay here long!

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