Monday, November 29, 2010

The Kiwi House in Otorohaunga: 18 November

One of Ashley's and Ted's favorite stops on the long ride between Auckland and Wanganui was the Kiwi House in Otorohanga, near Waitomo, so of course we had to show it off to Grace.  The Kiwi, New Zealand's icon, is a sightless, flightless, nocturnal bird.  After the (enormous) egg is laid, the male sits on it until it hatches.  The highlight of the stop was seeing two kiwis being fed (their sleep cycles are altered through the use of artificial light.)  Our favorite kiwi, Atu, was a female spotted kiwi weighing about 2350 grams (quite large). She was unlike any we had ever seen before: rather than hiding under the bush, she scampered around her enclosure, played games with the keeper, and unlike her compatriot refused to go to sleep!

In addition to the kiwis, there was a large selection of other New Zealand animals and wildlife.  We had fun!

Large iguana!

Grace feeding the ducks -- of course!

Old Tuatara.  The tuatara is a prehistoric reptile.  One of the kids' favorite books was Old Tuartara.   The text was simple.  "Old Tuatara sat and sat and sat.  'Asleep' says the fantail.  'Asleep' says the fly. . . 'Not asleep' says Old Tuatara [as his tongue flicks out to catch the  fly!]"

1 comment:

  1. Old Tuartara sounds like a great book... would love to see it.