One of the most interesting trips I have ever had in my life

Author: Gabrielle Yan (Year 5/6), Summerland SchoolDate: 15/06/23

Tiritiri Matangi was one of the most interesting trips I have ever had in my life. The ferry ride was great, amazingly clean to say the least. The first bird we saw was a bellbird, which had the voice of our school bell, which was very familiar as we have been hearing it for years. Along the way we saw many fantails and bellbirds, so many that they didn’t seem all that rare anymore.

We heard a tūī singing near the feeding area, which had been surrounded by all sorts of birds. On the ground lay lots of skeleton leaves which were pretty much transparent with skeletons that looked very much like fibre.

Our guide, Bob, showed us a tracking tunnel with laminated pictures of predators’ footprints. While we were taking a rest on a wooden bench, we spotted the biggest New Zealand pigeon ever, perched on top of a very large Nikau.

On the way to the lighthouse, we made a wish while touching NZ’s oldest rock (80 million years old) and looking at the youngest (Rangitoto). Right before leaving the forest, we had a finger puppet hunt. The finger puppets were in the shape of native birds and other creatures, which was the most adorable thing ever.

After we left the forest, we saw around 3 takahē, which was chasing after the keeper who was feeding the birds (because he had food with him). The takahē were running at an insane speed, despite the fact that they are only about 30cm tall.

After lunch, we went to the gift shop (I would highly recommend you to go there). Last, but not least, we visited the lighthouse, which was one of the best places on the island.

I really hope to be a guide there when I grow up.

Photo credit: Liz Maire

Just a few of the students’ many thoughts:

“The trip was the best I’ve ever been on and I got to see all the amazing birds. I would like to be a guide there one day.”

“We now have an idea of what Aotearoa might have been like before human civilisation.”

“You can see birds and other species you might not get a chance to see on the mainland.”

“I love that I just didn’t learn about the bird species but also could see them and hear them in reality – not in a video like Youtube.”

“We are so grateful we got to go to Tiritiri Matangi and my family is hoping to go there one day so we can more birdlife and hopefully kiwi, ruru and tuatara at night.”

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